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Having the Right Attitude Pastor Turriff 10-11-2020

Updated: Oct 12, 2020


Philippians 2:1-11

How do you view Mount Calvary? Do you see Mount Calvary as your “spiritual growth center” where you can grow in your faith through the message each week, through the Bible studies that are offered, and through worshiping together? Is it your “serving place” where you can put your faith into action by helping other members, by serving together to benefit our congregation, and by living your faith in the community? Is it your “resting place” where you can go to find comfort and peace when the world seems upside down, or when your health declines, or when you have family problems, or where you can receive a kind word and see a friendly face? If it is, praise God! If not, why not?

If not, what are you doing to change it for the better? Are you just going to throw up your hands and give up? Or are you going to settle for the status quo? Two things we don’t ever want to do – give up or become complacent. Mount Calvary – which is you, by the way – can only get better when we have the right attitude, the right motivation, and the right actions.

The Apostle Paul gives us his God-directed insight into HAVING THE RIGHT ATTITUDE. It starts with Jesus. Our focus . . . our attention . . . our motivation must all center on Jesus. If you read through this small section of God’s Word, look at the list of characteristics that Paul provides. Jesus displayed them all. Paul says that these same characteristics are to be found in us and put into practice so that our church, our families, and our community will benefit.

How can we not be awestruck at the love Christ demonstrated to you and to me and to the world? Did Jesus have the right attitude or what! One of the most important characteristics that Paul lists, in addition to love, is humility. Jesus was the epitome of humility. Paul explains it step by step.

Jesus – true God – came down from heaven . . . left his throne on high . . . to take on our humanity. He didn’t demand or cling to his rights. No, the Creator humbled himself and became like his created – fully human, yet was without sin. That humility led him to be hated and ridiculed by the religious leaders, misunderstood by the people, and listened to and followed by only a few.

Since God required that there be a sacrifice for the forgiveness of sin and for the salvation of the human race, Jesus was it. He willingly became “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” So, Jesus “humbled himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross.” Jesus wasn’t thinking about the pain and the agony he would suffer; Jesus wasn’t thinking about the horrible death he would die; Jesus wasn’t thinking about the Heavenly Father turning his back on him because he was covered with the sin of all humanity; Jesus wasn’t thinking about himself. He was thinking about you and me and the whole world. His great love for us moved him to humble himself so completely.

Did the Father accept Jesus’ humble sacrifice? You know it, and you believe it. Look what happened next: the Father exalted him; the Father gave him a name no one else will ever have; the Father would make sure that all creation would know his name and bow before him as their LORD and King; the Father would make sure that every mouth would confess that Jesus is our Savior and King – all so that God would be glorified.

It's all about HAVING THE RIGHT ATTITUDE! When we also humbly serve God and others, we receive these blessings from God: we have unity with Jesus; we have comfort from his love; and we have fellowship with the Holy Spirit. Then we can demonstrate his tenderness and compassion to each other. We can be of one mind. We can have the same Christ-like love. We can be one in spiritual thoughts and actions. We can be one in purpose. We can be humbly thinking of others before ourselves. Yes, because of Jesus, our lives have changed and so have our attitudes. Jesus has taught us what humility really looks like; what servanthood is all about; what obedience really means; and how to demonstrate true love.

I would love to see people coming to visit Mount Calvary because they heard we are warm and friendly to everyone the moment they come through the door; because they heard that we preach the truth of God’s saving Word; because they heard we preach how Jesus saved the world from sin; because they heard that we sing – a lot; because they heard that we get people involved and that we have a lot of areas to use their talents; because they heard we have a variety of Bible studies; and because they heard how we serve the community.

Since there is always room for improvement, it starts with us. We are to imitate Jesus. We are to be Jesus to others. So, let’s begin with humility. If we are truly humble, like our Savior, then selfishness and conceit cannot exist. It’s not our way or the highway. It’s treating others with respect, not just because they might be older than we are, but rather because they are a soul won by Christ. It’s listening to what others think; for example, it’s working through a project, considering all ideas, taking time to think it through, and then joining together to come to a decision that benefits everyone and gives God the glory. Another thing, let’s be Christ-like servants to each other. Such a servant counts others as better than himself. Put your ego’s aside and figure out how you will serve each other without complaint, without bitterness, and without resentment. Jesus served everyone the same – no matter who they were or where they came from. It’s their souls that mattered to Jesus. It’s those souls that matter to us.

I want Mount Calvary to be your “spiritual growth center” where you long for his Word and where you grow stronger in your faith. I want Mount Calvary to be a place of spiritual rest where you can cast your cares and burdens on Jesus and find loving, caring people to talk to and share your troubles with. I want Mount Calvary to be a place where you can serve your Savior and put your faith into action. I want Mount Calvary to be your home away from home. I want Mount Calvary to be better and better every week. I want Mount Calvary to shine brightly in the community because Christ lives here. I hope you want that too. HAVING THE RIGHT ATTITUDE – a Christ-like attitude – is what it’s all about. It’s starts with us. It’s centered on Christ. Amen.

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