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Summary: This sermon deals with our attitude, the humility of Christ, and obedience. It’s an expository message on Philippians 2:5-11

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THE WAY TO THE TOP

12/31/95 Text Philippians 2:5-11

Many of us have had the experience of making it to the top.

It may have been a job promotion, the best grade on exam, a

contest winner or a host of any number of experiences, it often

times feels good being on the top. Jesus wants everyone of us to

be on top in the kingdom of God, but Jesus has a very unusual

route for us to get there. We have spent the month celebrating

Advent & Christmas. .

Some nineteen years ago when the Lord called me into minis

try, I just knew I was going to be a combination of the next Rev.

Martin Luther King Jr and Rev. Billy Graham. Well reality has

sunk in, and I have discovered that has called me to be me. He

has not given me the gifts of either Dr. King or Dr. Graham. I

was thinking the other day, you know Lord, I really don’t have

any great talent in ministry, and there’s nothing about me that

truly excels. Before I could remind the Lord that He could give

me a little more to work with, God spoke to my heart and said,

"but you can be great in obedience." You can outshine all others

if that is your desire."

I pass that word on to us all today. In preparing to meet

our God, He’s not looking at how many talents, gifts, and miracu

lous things we can bring to him. God’s more interested in how

obedient we want to be toward Him, than He is anything else. Our

love for God is not measured in terms of the sacrifices we make,

but rather in the obedience that we give. Jesus says, "if you

love me, you will keep my commandments." Tragically there will

be those who will attempt to make it to the top of the kingdom

and prepare to meet God with a whole range of good works. Jesus

says in Matthew 7:21-23 "Not everyone who says to me, ’LordLord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the

will of my Father who is in heaven. {22} Many will say to me on

that day, ’Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in

your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ {23} Then

I will tell them plainly, ’I never knew you. Away from me, you

evildoers!’

One of the interesting things about making it to the top in

the kingdom of heaven, is that one must always take the elevator

of life in the downward direction. Who would have thought that

the tax collector would have been exalted ahead of the Pharisee

in our Scripture text this morning? Jesus said to be first, be

last. Jesus says to be leader, be the servant of all. Jesus says

to be great, be the least among them. Not only does Jesus say

these things, he demonstrates them to be true through the life

that He lives. Jesus knows what it is to hurt in order to help

others, he knows what it is to suffer so that others might have

life. He knows what it is to be criticized and lied upon in

order to do the will of God. He knows what it is to treat folks

right when they deserve a lot less.

Let’s continue our journey into the second chapter of Phi

lippians starting at verse 5 Philippians 2:5 "Your attitude

should be the same as that of Christ Jesus". Here is the key to

being prepared to meet our God and to making it to the top in the


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