February 25, 2018

Sermon July 21, 2013: Kingdom Thinking

DSCN0665Philippians 2:1-11

Paul’s letter to the Philippians is a letter about love – everyone’s love for Jesus Christ (the Lord)

Often, our focus is how do I get by this week: eating, paying rent, not getting fired, finding a job, all those practical things.  But Jesus told us to worry about nothing, and to pray about everything.  We need to engage in kingdom thinking. And it’s not Jesus and ME, it’s  Jesus and US.  We are following Him together.  What will help us do that?

1. Do nothing out of selfish ambition and vain conceit.  Philippians 2:1 tells us to be like minded.  We should be one in Spirit and in purpose.  Ambition is OK – it gets us out of bed, but selfish ambition says I want what I want no matter what it costs anyone else.  You may win, but at the expense of others.  Selfish ambition is not very nice.  Regarding vain conceit: On this earth, you may win recognition, but nobody cares and nobody remembers.  Earthly recognition is brief and shallow.

Selfish ambition is never satisfied.  Instead, we should focus on what will be the most productive for the most people, no matter who gets credit.  “It’s amazing what can get done if nobody cares who gets the credit.”  Serve one another.

2. Consider others better than yourselves.  When considering others,  you’re not that good and they’re not that bad.  You’re also not that bad, and they’re also not that good.  Humility is knowing who you are and knowing who you are not.  We all have different gifts.  There are a few things each of us is good at.  Don’t be intimidated by what people do well, and don’t be disappointed by what they don’t do well.

3. Look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.  We see through our own lenses (filters) very well, but there is more than one way to look at things.  When it comes to doing things, rarely does it matter whose way it gets done.  It’s just important to do it.  We can lock heads over how we’re going to do it.  We need to set other people’s interests and concerns over our own.  It is rewarding when we serve others.

Have you ever done something kind for someone and you feel good at the end of the day?  It is like an internal reward system that God put in us.  It takes energy sometimes to see other’s point of view – to understand why they think the way that they think.  Next time someone says something odd, give them the benefit of the doubt.  They are designed differently.  Seek to understand their point of view.  People are the most fascinating creation on earth.  It’s not a big jump to move from irritation to fascination.

4. Your attitude should be the same as Jesus Christ, who did not consider equality with God something to be grasped.  Jesus humbled himself and became obedient to death, even death on a cross.  Are you ready to be obedient?

Songs: All Bow Down, Nothing But The Blood, Amazed, In Moments Like These, and At The Cross

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