Summary: I have borrowed a lot of this sermon from Rick Warren's book The Purpose Driven Life, chapter 34, "Thinking Like a Servant." In that chapter, Warren suggests that there are five attitudes that servants need to have.
A. Someone has said, “Some minds are like concrete; thoroughly mixed and permanently set.”
1. How about you? How is your thinking?
2. Are you spiritually minded? Do you have the mind of a servant?
3. Or is your mind like concrete, all mixed up and permanently set in a worldly, selfish mindset?
B. We are in a sermon series where we are trying to learn to serve like Jesus served.
1. So far in the series, we have learned that Jesus was a servant and that God wants us to be like Him.
2. Last week, we explored the idea that to be a real servant, we will have to get a grip on our selfish tendencies.
3. Today, we want to learn that being a servant requires the mindset of a servant.
4. Ultimately, servanthood requires a mental shift, a change in our attitudes.
C. In Charles Swindoll’s book, Come Before Winter, he makes the important point that all of us are products of our thoughts.
1. He writes: “Thoughts form the thermostat which regulates what we accomplish in life. My body responds and reacts to the input from my mind. If I feed it with doubt, worry and discouragement, that is precisely the kind of day I will experience. If I adjust my thermostat forward – to thoughts filled with vision, hope and victory – I can count on that kind of day. You and I become what we think about…”
2. The same is true about being a servant – if we don’t think like a servant, then we won’t become a servant.
D. Scripture is clear that the battle is won or lost in the brain.
1. Look with me at Romans 8:5-6: Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace…
a. Notice how the two very different outcomes are determined by what our minds are set on.
b. How we control our minds and what we focus our minds on is so important.
2. Let’s look at Romans 12:2: Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will.
a. What does Paul say is the way a person is able to break out of the world’s mold? By changing their thinking.
b. We are transformed by the renewing of our minds.
c. We are transformed by adopting a spiritual mind – the mind of Christ.
d. Then we will be able to know God’s will and do God’s will.
3. Another passage of Paul that speaks to the importance of renewing and controlling our minds is 2 Corinthians 10:5: We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
a. That is a very important and challenging goal for us: to take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ!
b. With God’s help we can control and direct our thinking.
c. How great that would be if all our thoughts were spiritual and godly!
4. Let’s look at one final passage about the importance of what we do with our minds – 1 Peter 1:13: “Therefore, prepare your minds for action...”
a. There are many spiritual actions that we need to prepare our minds for, but one of the most important is to prepare our minds for service.
E. I want us to spend the rest of this sermon exploring how a servant thinks and what a servant should be thinking.
1. I am borrowing these points from a chapter in Rick Warren’s immensely popular book, The Purpose Driven Life.
2. In chapter 34 of that book, Warren says, “Real servants serve God with a mindset of five attitudes.”
3. I believe these five attitudes will help us truly have the mind of a servant.
I. First of all, Real Servants Think more about Others than about Themselves
A. This is a subject we focused on last week, when we made a case for selflessness in a selfie world.
1. Real servants focus on others, not themselves.
2. This is true humility: not thinking less of ourselves but thinking of ourselves less.
3. That’s what Paul was getting at in Philippians 2 when he wrote: Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. (2:3-4)