Waynedale United Methodist Church
Sunday, August 20, 2017
Making Disciples of Jesus for the Transformation of the World!
   
“The Attitude of Jesus”
Philippians 2:5 – 11

Ted Jansen  August 6, 2017  Waynedale UMC

 

1.)        What conversations have you been having with yourself this morning?  We all have conversations with ourselves.  We are constantly talking to ourselves, though we might not share that conversation with others.  We all talk to ourselves. 

For example, did you say, “Good morning Lord,” or did you say, “Good Lord, it’s morning!”  Did you tell yourself, “It is going to be a great day!” or, “I sure need a better day.”  What have you been telling yourself this morning as you prepared to come to worship?  What has the conversation in your mind been about?    

            The inner conversation that we have often reflects our “attitude.”  We all have an attitude and the great news is that you can change your attitude, if desired.  The attitude that you have right now can be different.  You can go from discouraged to encouraged.  You can go from focusing on your failures to focusing on your faithfulness.  You can have a different attitude.

 

2.)        Have you ever asked yourself how you received your “attitude” or inner conversation?  Sometimes we have had things happen to us or we have been shaped by people that have been a blessing to us or who have been a burden to us.  Sometimes we receive our attitude from what we allow into our minds.  We need to understand that we have a choice as it relates to our attitude.    

            As we think about our attitude and how we got them and what kind of attitude we have today I invite you to listen to this scripture that Paul wrote to the church in Philippi.      

             

3.)        “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus…”  (Philippians 2:5) 

            Your attitude, the conversation that you have with yourself, should be the same that Jesus Christ had.  We should “think” and have conversations with ourselves like Jesus had when he was here on earth.  The thoughts that filled His mind should fill our mind.  That is our goal, that is our target, that is the way we can fulfill this verse.     

            One way to fill your mind with Jesus’ mind is by reading or listening to the Gospels; Mathew, Mark, Luke and John.  They give us information about the attitude that Jesus had.     Discover what Jesus did and imagine the conversation and attitude that He had.  What is one random memory that comes to you mind about something that Jesus said or Jesus did?  (Share these with other people.)         

            Paul summarizes two attitudes that Jesus had in the verses that follow.     

 

4.)        Jesus had an attitude of serving.  Philippians 2:6 – 8 says, “Who (Jesus) being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.  And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death - even death on a cross!” 

            God, in Jesus, became a servant who humbled himself and was obedient in giving his life for others.  Jesus died on a cross for all.  Jesus did this because He cared, loved, and gave Himself as a sacrifice for us.  He was God, while He did this!  Wow! 

 

5.)        We need an attitude of serving.  When you serve the needs of others, whether you want to or not, it makes you think and changes your attitude.  You might be helping out at VBS, or serving in a food bank, or digging a trench, or cleaning a toilet, or running an errand for a neighbor.  You might be giving of your time volunteering as an usher, or working in the nursery, or doing something for your neighbor.  When you serve you become like Christ in your attitude. 

            Erica, my daughter, told me in the past of a college friend of hers who played piano for hospice patients.  That touched me as I thought of a person dying of cancer and this young college guy serving these dying patients by playing music.  That young man has an attitude of service. 

            There are times when we get too self-focused for a variety of reasons.  One of the best ways to bring life and health and faith to our hearts is to serve others.  It makes you feel good when you do something for another person or a servant act.  When we serve we are like Christ in our attitude.     

            What is one practical thing you could do to serve someone in our community?  We need to get ideas for our Worship and Witness Sunday.  I want you to share with another person about one or two ideas that you have done or you could do in serving someone in love.   (Have people share)

 

6.)        Jesus had an attitude of glorifying.  Philippians 2:9 – 11 says, “Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” 

            Jesus was used to glorify God.  Jesus, as a part of the Trinity is receiving glory, along with the Father and Spirit.  God the Father planned for Jesus to receive worship, praise and exaltation.   

 

7.)        We need an attitude of glorifying.   We are called to exalt and worship the exalted and Risen Lord.  The attitude of giving glory to God begins in your mind and is expressed in all the other aspects of your life.              

            How many of you have been blessed, encouraged, uplifted, helped, and encouraged as a result of a worship service where glory to God was expressed?  How many of you come in with an “attitude” of some sort and left with a better attitude after worship than before?  It is important to be aware of having an attitude of glorifying God.    

            I invite us to sing the Gloria Patri.  This is one way of offering our praise and glorifying God.  Then let us sing the Doxology and the chorus, “Alleluia.”  

            One of the best ways to help us have the attitude of Christ is to imagine being with Jesus in the Upper Room when He was celebrating the Passover with His disciples.              

 

8.)        Communion reminds us of all that Paul is wanting the church to grasp and hold on to as disciples of Jesus Christ.  We are reminded as we focus on the bread and juice of what Jesus wanted us to “think” about when we gathered. 

Jesus gave Himself for us on a cross.  His body was broken and His blood was shed.  That is what we are to “think” about.  We are to let those thoughts lead us to receive love anew.     

            When we accept that we are loved and forgiven it gives us new hope, new grace, new direction, new opportunities to love, serve and forgive. 

              As we come to Communion listen to the words of the Prayer of Thanksgiving and let them shape our heart and soul.  I am going to read a portion of the prayer and then allow the words to soak into our spirit and minds.