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Summary: In this sermon I talk to Christians about putting the needs of others first as we follow the example of Christ. I also talk about the church displaying servant leadership in the community.

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Introduction

As Christians there are alot of things that often rob us of living in the grace of God. Do you ever just loose your joy? Many things can make us loose joy little things like,

-Waking up late and getting in trouble with the boss

-Admitting your spouse was right and you were wrong

-The ice cream machine at McDonald’s is broken

Then there are some more serious issues that can rob us of our joy. Things such as;

-Getting out of God’s Will

-Loosing your job

-Loosing a loved one

-Something goes wrong with the kids

Today I want to talk about that can rob us of experiencing joy-selfishness. We must learn to give up selfishness and put others first. Our culture has a me first attitude. Example: Toby Keith’s Song, "I Wanna Talk About Me." Have you ever met a person consumed with self? That is not a fun person to be around.

Let’s look at an example of Christ.

READ Philippians 2:3-11

-Give some background of Philippians

-"When you make yourself nothing you are really something." From The Seven Checkpoints by Andy Stanley

It is so important for you and I to follow the example of Christ both invidually and as a church body of making ourselves nothing for the good of others.

I want us to look at a couple of points from this passage.

1.) The Root of our Conflict

-The root of the conflict we experience in relationships and in the church is not the people or the circumstances, but most of the time we experience conflict because we are not getting what we want.

Illustration: Think of the last argument that you had. Maybe it was last week at work, or maybe or with your children or maybe with your spouse in the church parking lot. What was the real problem? You were not getting your way! Thats what it all boils down to and I want us to understand some ways to change that attittude.

a.)Selfish Ambition

In John Macarthur’s Study Bible(NKJV)he notes that this word, "speaks of the pride that prompts people to push to get their own way." Have you ever seen this in life? Have you ever seen this in churches? People always push to get their own way.

Illustration: Churches battle over what kind of music will be sung and over if the Pastor should wear a tie or not, over carpet color, and ministry ideas.

-We argue with people we love over silly things like what movie to see and where to eat and it snowballs to the point of not even speaking to one another.

-Selfish ambition is all around us and very simple, it simply says, "I am not getting my way and I am mad about it."

b.) Conceit

-This word literally mean empty glory.

-This is so important for us to understand. We talked a few weeks ago about the glory of God. We talked about how our top priority should be to make sure that God is glorified through our lives.

-The problem comes when we start putting our glory and desires ahead of God’s. Most of us would never do that intenionally but at times we are after our own agenda and not God’s.

-The biggest problem many of us have is the fact that we struggle with ourselves. We are more concerned about getting our way than God getting His way.

-God has a top priority and it is His glory! When we don’t share that same priority it becomes about our glory and not His-now that’s empty glory.

-If we are to be a successful church we must seek God’s glory and not our own even as a corprate body of believers.

2.) A New Standard (Verses 4-11)

-As Christians we are called to a new standard. We are called to have the attitude of You ahead of me! How do we do this? It seems so hard! We could spend all night talking about what the Apostle Paul says in Philippians 2:3-11 but I want us to just pull a few very practical things out of this passage. These are a few simple things that you and I can do to make sure that we always put others ahead of us.

a.) View others as more important than self. (3b)

-This is the ultimate definition of humility. Don’t you love being around humble people? They are always building others us and viewing others as important.

-I had a professor that did that. He was a very smart man but always took time to make sure that I felt important and always let me know he was interested in the ministry God had given me.

-Isn’t true that we all have a basic human need to feel important?

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