Summary: Don't Grumble, be Grateful! have the Attitude (mind) of Christ, who went to the Cross so we could have joy-Elation G-R-A-C-E
The Mind of Christ
I’d like to begin with a question:
Why did God make us?
Before we address that question, allow me to recommend some classic books on the subject we’re about to examine, Some books about Grace:
All of Grace Charles Spurgeon
The Cost of Discipleship Dietrich Bonnhoffer
What’s So Amazing about Grace Philip Yancy
The Gospel According to Grace (Romans) Chuck Smith
Now, I’ll repeat the question, “Why did God make us?”
We’ll consider the answer later.
Paul had a message for the Philippian Church, and I think that message was central to the Good News of Jesus-and especially for us during the Christmas season.
Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
(Let this mind be in you which is also in Christ Jesus.)
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
. . . Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky
The message today is about Grace, and the outline spells the word
Attitude (the Mind of Christ)
Cross (our destination)
Elation evermore (extreme generosity-& our reward)
So, we begin with
Grumbling (stop) & instead, be
Grateful is Graceful spelled with a T
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
All of us like this virse, I think. I think many of us may have also memorized the following:
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Give thanks IN all things. & I’ve actually heard and read sermons that say, you may not wanna give thanks FOR all things, but IN all things we know that Romans 8:28 still applies (He is working all things together to our good—so we can be grateful in all things, though, maybe not for all things).
But, the Bible does not give us any escape from gratitude. . . Paul also said:
“Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ”. Ephesians 5
The way to overcome an attitude of grumbling is to replace grumbling with gratefulness. . . & we become grateful most effectively when we are communing with our LORD consistently in prayer.
Prayer is the key to the best, most spiritual, grateful attitude.
And prayers are profound in our relationship with God-He is anxious to answer us.
That’s why Lewis said:
“Our prayers are heard . . . not only before we make them but before we are made ourselves.”
C S Lewis (Letters)
I know. I always have to quote CS Lewis. Here’s another quote. See if you can guess who wrote it (maybe one of the authors mentioned at the beginning of the message?) A great American preacher taught that prayer and gratefulness are woven together:
“We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!”
The preacher was Abraham Lincoln
How do we turn grumbling into gratefulness?