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Perspective - Week 2

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Hey everybody, we're so glad to have you back for another week of the series called Perspective. What we're doing for four different weeks, we're actually diving into the Book of Philippians and pulling some high points out that we're asking God to use His Word to change our perspective about how we do life. Now, I don't know about you all, but I love when I find out something new and say, "Man, I never thought of that before. Okay, that piece of information, it changes my perspective." I like to call it having a mind-shift; when my mind actually moves from having always thought one way to thinking a different way. I'll give you some different examples. One example, I always thought that the bigger an organization becomes the more a leader has to do. Until one day, I had a leader that I respect a ton say, "No, no, no; actually the bigger an organization becomes, the less that the leader should do." And I'm like, "You know like, he or she should become lazy?" And he said, "No, no, they should fewer things, but the fewer things, but the fewer things then have a broader impact." And that brought a mind-shift because I was trying to do more, do more, do more. And I realized I should actually do fewer things, but do the right things and doing those right things bring a broader impact to a growing organization. That was a mind-shift for me. Another mind-shift I had; I thought that success for years was accomplishing, conquering, moving forward. And then one day, John Maxwell, who is a mentor and a friend, he said, this was his definition of success, he said: Success is when those who know you best love and respect you most. When those who know you best love and respect you most. And all of a sudden that changed my perspective. And now I would say success isn't so much what you do, but success is who you are, and when you are right before God, then the natural overflow will be to do right things, it was a mind-shift. Years ago, Amy helped me with a mind-shift. We were a family that really cared a lot about our house and kind of our image. If you were going to come over we'd have everything straight, throw all of the toys in the closet; just don't open that closet! You know, light the candles, and put on the Christian music to blow you away with our spiritual reverence for God as you walked into our holy sanctuary! And we just put all of this effort into it. And one day Amy said, "I really feel like we should change our priorities and we should choose relationships over things." I'm like, "What do you mean?" She said, "What if we just valued people and relationships and stopped trying to create this perfect image?" And this was a mind-shift. And so, now if you come over, the house may not smell good and there are toys everywhere, but I'm telling you, I've got a refrigerator full of IBC Root Beer to offer you only the best because relationships matter, things don't and this was a mind-shift. And what I want to do today is talk to you from God's Word about having a different way of thinking. Now, let's review the context of the Book of Philippians because it's really important. If you missed last week, Philippians is a letter written from the Apostle Paul to the Church in Philippi; a church that he actually started around the year 52 A.D. This was many believe his favorite church, that he truly loved the people. They send him a generous gift and so he wrote this as a thank-you letter. If you read carefully through all four chapters of the Book of Philippians though, you're going to see at least 16 references to the mind. You're going to see him talk about how you think, what you remember, what your attitude is. And today, I want to talk to you about a different way of thinking when we have a changed perspective. Philippians 2:1-2 says this: If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if you have any comfort from His love, if any fellowship with His Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my... What? Here's our theme from last week, then make my: complete by being... What? He says by being:, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Now, there was a little bit of division going on in the church and so he was going to encourage them to be like-minded and to think about the same things. In fact, if you're taking notes, the little Greek word translated as like-minded is the word phroneo and it means to set your affection on, it means to think, or it means to be single-minded. He says, 'I want you to be like-minded, to think on similar things.' Now, why does this matter? Well, if you look through Scripture, there are so many powerful verses about how important our thoughts and our minds would be. Let me just rattle a few of them off to you. James says that a double-minded man is unstable in all he does. Paul says, 'I want you to be like-minded, or single-minded.' Paul told the Romans, he said: Do not be conformed to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, then you'll be able to test and approve what God's will; His good, His pleasing, His perfect will. Paul told the Corinthians to take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ. Paul told the Philippians, he said: Whatever is noble and pure and right and lovely and admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy... He said: ...think on such things. Proverbs says: As a man thinks in his heart, so he is. Here's a mind-shift for you perhaps. If you just think you are what you do, write this down: How you think determines what you become. How you think determines what you become. In fact, whenever I teach on leadership, one of the things I always tell people is, especially in the church world, don't go and copy what some other pastor is doing. You don't have the same gifts, talent and calling. What you don't want to do is copy what they do; what you want to do is find out how they think. Learn how they process, find out what they read that influences them. Don't copy what they do, learn how they think, get inside their mind. Then if you can think like they think, you can do in your own calling what God has called you to do. Now for Paul, everything was about Jesus. He said, last week we looked at the verse that says '...for me to live is Christ, to die is gain.' And so he's saying, 'Hey, don't just think like each other, but what I want you to do is I want you to think like Christ.' He's said in other places, 'I want you to have the mind of Christ.' Now, why is this so important? If you look at the way Jesus lived, you'll probably think, "I could never live like that. I could never be as loving as He is, I could never be as generous as He is, I could never be as full of grace; and see, I could never please God the way He does." Let me give you a mind-shift because it's really all about what goes on in the mind, write this down: If you think like Jesus thought, you'll live like Jesus lived. If you think like He thought, empowered by the Spirit of God, you can actually live like He lived. Now, how did Jesus think? Well, we know beyond a shadow of a doubt if you looked at what He taught and the way He lived, He thought about pleasing God and loving people. In fact, when asked, "What's the important command?" He said: "It's to love the Lord your God with all of your heart, mind, soul and strength and love your neighbor as yourself." He was all about pleasing God and loving people and Paul was teaching the principle. If you'll be like-minded, if you won't think like the world thinks, but let your mind be renewed, if you'll be transformed by the renewing of your mind, and if you think like Jesus, you can actually live like Jesus. And here's the way Paul taught this, verse three he said: nothing... Everybody say, do nothing! Okay, nothing means in the Greek language, nothing means nothing! I just wanted you to know! Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. I don't know about you, but naturally I do almost everything out of selfish ambition or in vain conceit. And Paul says: No, I want you to think like this: do nothing, not a thing out of selfishness, but in... But in what? He says: ...but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Now, the Greek word translated as humility is printed in your notes and under no means should you attempt to pronounce this word without adult supervision and in the safety of your home. Okay, this word, it means modesty, it means humility of mind, and it means lowliness of mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility of mind, in other words, I choose in my mind to position myself lower than others to please God and to love other people. Verse four he says: Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others... Then he says you're what? All of our churches, he says you're...attitude...okay, come on everybody, all of our churches let's say it: ...your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus. Your attitude, your attitude, your attitude; everybody say attitude, now say it with attitude, attitude! What is attitude? Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference, massive difference. It's a little thing that can change the trajectory of your life. It's a little thing that makes a big difference. Okay, now there's a lot of good things about a positive attitude. In fact, you may not have been the brightest crayon in the box; you know what I'm saying? You might have graduated in the lower half of your class and so you can say, I'm not very smart, I'm stupid, I graduated in the lower half of my class! Or you can have a positive attitude and you can say, "You know what? I graduated in the half that made the top half possible!" Okay, that's a different attitude! Sorry about that, I'm just trying to give you a little ammunition okay! It's like the kid who stood in his back yard and he had a baseball bat and a ball and he said, "I am the greatest hitter who has ever lived!" And he threw the ball up and he swung as hard as he could and he missed and he's like, "Ha, ha, ha!" And he picked up the ball again and "I am the greatest hitter who has ever lived!" And he threw the ball up and he swung and he missed again! He said, "Oh, I don't care!" He said, "Oh I don't care, I am the greatest batter of all time!" He threw the ball up, he swung and he missed again and he's like, "Wow, I'm also the greatest pitcher who ever lived, because I just struck out the greatest batter of all time!" I mean, we're talking about attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference. Now, what is your attitude? What is your attitude? Very simply, I would say your attitude is your mental habits. That's what it is. It's your habits of thought; it's the way you've trained your brain to think. And what do we know about habits? We know that they are acquired, you can create habits, you can create good habits, and you can create poor habits. You can create good habits of thought; you can create bad habits of thought. An action repeated becomes a habit formed; the way we think, do not become conformed to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Now, what Paul did not say is just have a positive attitude, which is really important, we should have a positive attitude; but what he said is you should have a Christ-like attitude. Your attitude should be like that of Christ Jesus. Verse five, look at it again, that's exactly what he said: Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus. And what did his attitude lead him to do? Verse six: Who (Christ Jesus), being in the very nature God did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but he made himself... What? He made himself: ...nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. Now, let me give you a mind-shift, because so often in this world we think it's all about us: "I've got to throw myself out there!" "I've got to be great!" "I've got to promote myself!" "It's all about my Facebook friends!" "It's all about my Twitter followers!" "Hey, I've got to be a self-promoter!" Here's a mind-shift in the Kingdom of God, write this down: Pleasing God isn't about self-promotion, but self-abandonment. Mind-shift: Pleasing God is not about self-promotion, but self-abandonment. Let's break it down: Jesus did not consider equality with God something to be grasped. That word in the Greek that's translated grasped; it literally means to rob, to plunder or to rape. Equality with God is not something that we should grasp, that's what Lucifer tried to do in the Old Testament, it's recorded five different times, he said, 'I will,' basically, 'I will be like God, I want to be like God.' In the Garden when the serpent came, that's how the serpent tempted Adam and Eve, 'Hey, you can be like God!' No, equality with God is not something to be grasped. It's not about self-promotion, it's about self-abandonment. We lose our life in Christ to find Christ's life in us. The text goes on to say that he did not consider equality with God as something to be grasped, but Jesus made Himself nothing. I want you to think about this for a moment. Jesus, who had every right, who was with God, is God, in all glory in Heaven, stripped Himself of everything to become a servant to serve those who sinned against Him. He was the One who had every right to be praised; and yet, He would kneel down and wash feet of the lowest of the low. He made Himself nothing. Now, when God created the world, what did God create the world out of? He created the world out of nothing. So here's the deal, as long as you are nothing, God can make something out of you. As long as you are nothing, God can make something out of you, but when you start thinking of yourselves as something, do not think of yourselves more highly than you ought, that's when you're at risk of not fulfilling God's divine calling for you. Jesus made Himself nothing, the Kingdom of God, mind-shift different perspective; it's not about self-promotion, it's about self-abandonment. It's about me saying my life is not my own, I've been purchased by the shed blood of Jesus; my life is now all about Him. Jesus made Himself nothing, taking on the very nature of a servant. Now, if you look over in verse one whenever Paul introduced himself to the people in Philippi in the letter, it's the only Epistle where he didn't introduce himself as an Apostle. Every other one he's giving his credentials, but because of his relationship with them, he just said, 'I am a doulos,' is the Greek word, 'I am a servant'. He said, 'I kneel down, I am here to serve God and to serve you.' In fact, the way this word is translated, it's translated as a slave or a servant and I love this, it literally means one who is permanently devoted to do the will of another; that's what a doulos is. Jesus made Himself nothing so that He could become a doulos, so that He could become permanently devoted to do the will of the One who sent Him; and that's that mind-shift we should have. It's not about, "Hey, look at me! Hey, look how good I am!" But self-abandonment, "I lose my life so that I can find it" Here's another mind-shift if you're taking notes: Serving is not what I do. A servant is who I am. Mind-shift! Suddenly a different way of looking at things will lead to a different result. Let's all say this aloud, serving is not, everybody together; serving is not what I do, a servant is what? A servant is who I am. And suddenly, we'll start to see ourselves as...this is just what I do as a reflection of who I am. The problem is we often want others to serve us because we don't truly see ourselves as full-on a servant. I'll give you an example. I went into a store. In our country, we have these big, box stores, huge, with everything in them times a thousand. And there are some that are dangerous for women, and there are some that are dangerous for men. And I was in one that was dangerous for a man. This particular one has lawn mowers and weed-eaters and power tools and saws and nails and paint and hammers and everything that could tempt a man to unleash the finances that God has given him for things to build and create! But anyway, I was in there and I came across a lady that looked a little bit out of place, because I'm telling you, she had to be in her mid-eighties and she was tiny, frail, I mean we're talking well over 100-pounds, frail sweet lady. And I walk down the aisle and this lady was lugging a giant chainsaw to her cart! I'm looking on there and my first thought was, "This is cool!" My second thought was, "This is crazy!" And I don't know if it's ever happened to you, but I just felt this sense of, I need to help her. And I mean, not just help her get it in there, but like, anyone who is carrying that, I was sent here to help her. And immediately, I rationalized it out in my mind you know, "Oh she's got it, no big deal, I'm in a hurry anyway." And so I kept on going and I rounded the corner and another lady came up to me from the church and gave me're my pastor look and said, "You're my pastor! I thank God for you!" And the words out of her mouth, no one has ever said this, but at that moment, she said, "You are such a servant of God! You are such a servant of God!" And I was thinking, "No, I'm not! I'm not! I'm a loser! I just thirty seconds before thought I was supposed to help this lady, but no, I'm too important, I'm too busy, I rationalized it out!" "Oh, you're such a servant!" I'm like, "Thank you, I've got to go!" And I ran back over, looking for this little frail lady who was about to break and I came around the corner. And thankfully, she was still there! This time, she had a giant set of yard clippers, the biggest things ever! So, I just went up to her and I said, "Ma'am, I just want to know, can I help you?" And she said, "Oh yes, do you work here young man?" I was like, "No, I don't work here; I just wanted to know, what are you trying to accomplish?" And she was real sweet and she said that the neighbors told her that her yard wasn't looking very good and asked her to do something about it. And I said, "Don't you have like a son or a grandson or a friend that can come help you?" And she wasn't bitter, she was just real sweet, she just said, "No, they're all too busy," and she said, "Do you think this will cut a tree?" And I said look, "Can I come over, would you mind if I just came over and helped you in your yard?" She said, "Young man, are you a yard boy?" It's like, I said, "No I'm actually not, I'm not even sure I could actually start that chainsaw, but if you'll let me, I'll give it a try!" And I just remember walking away from that with a couple of thoughts; one saying, "Thank you God for a second chance and thank you that you've called me to represent Jesus everywhere in this world." You see, serving is not something we do, but a servant is who we are; there's a mind-shift that takes place. So, I don't go to church just to serve, hey I serve because I'm a follower of Christ. When someone's in need it's like, hey I'm not going to go do something good for them, hey this is just an overflow of who I am because serving is not something I do, a servant is who I am if I belong to Christ. Jesus said, 'I didn't come to serve others, I didn't come to be served by others,' he said, 'I came to serve, I am a servant'. And how did He serve? Verse 8-11, some of the most important text in all of Scripture: And being found in the appearance of a man, Jesus humbled Himself and became obedient to death... The chief act of service in the history of the world: ...even death on a cross... Therefore what did God do? 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 on earth and under earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. That is what Jesus did. He didn't consider equality with God something to be grasped, but He made Himself nothing taking on the very nature of a doulos, one who was totally devoted to do the will of another. Now I want you to think about this, I'm going to read you some well-known verses from the Book of Philippians. And I want you to ask yourself, how could Paul who was chained 24-hours a day to a Roman soldier as he was awaiting the trial that would determine the fate of his life, knowing full well that they could say guilty, your life is over it's time to be executed. How could Paul say something as insanely beautiful as: To live is Christ, to die is gain. How could he say: I consider my life worth nothing to me if only I may do the will of God? How could he say: I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord? How could he say while in house arrest: Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything with prayer and petition make your request known to God and the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. How could he say that? Well, if you think like Jesus thought, you can live like Jesus lived. Mind-shift, it's not about me, it's all about Him. Serving's not what I do, serving is who I am. Pleasing God isn't about self-promotion, but self-abandonment. Final mind-shift, if you're taking notes: There are all of these reasons that Paul could be miserable and there's all of these reasons why we could be miserable as well. I don't have this and this isn't fair and I wish this were different, and why didn't God answer this, and I deserve more than this and on and on and on, and how could I be happy in a world this bad? How could I be joyful when life isn't the way I want it? Final mind-shift: My joy, is not based on what happens to me, but what God is doing in me and through me. Mind-shift: My joy is not based on what happens to me. Last week, we looked at the verse: But this has happened to me to advance the Gospel. It's not what happens to me, but it's what God is doing in me and through me, and that's why in the middle of house arrest in a Roman prison Paul could write such a beautiful letter and he could say this while he knew they might execute him, verse 17: But even if I'm being poured out like a drink offering... In other words, even if this costs me everything, even if I spill my blood for Jesus, which one day He would... ...even if I'm poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I'm glad and I rejoice with all of you. I'm glad, because you know what? It's not about me, it's all about Him. It's never been about me, it's always been about Him. If I think like He thought, I can live like He lived. Serving is not what I do; a servant is who I am. It's all about Him. Pleasing God isn't about self-promotion, but self-abandonment. I'll lose my life to find it and therefore, my joy isn't based on what anybody does to me or what happens to me; it's based on who He is and what He's doing in me and what He's doing through me and what He's doing through me. You can lock me up but you can't shut me up. I'm here to glorify God and will not stop until the day I die. Father, I pray that the power of your Word today will help change our prospective. And God, when we see things from a different way, I pray we would live in a way that brings even more glory and honor to you. All of our churches, as you're praying and reflecting right now, I know a lot of you may be facing some obstacles, some hurdles, some challenges, some things that you don't necessarily understand, and it's really easy to get focused on our own self-centered viewpoints. Maybe you're going to recognize, I really want God to give me a different perspective, "I want to see things the way He see it, I want to think like He thinks. I don't want to be so wrapped up in my perspective that I miss the bigger picture. God, give me some mind-shifts, help me to see things from your viewpoint. God, help me to have your perspective, help me to think like Jesus thought so I can live like Jesus lived." All of our different churches, you find yourself, your attitude's not always right, your mind's just not always right, but you really want to have an attitude like Jesus, you want to think like Jesus thought. I'm telling you, it's a big prayer, and the outcome will be bigger than you could ever imagine. All of our churches you say, "Yes I really do, I really want to think like he thought." Would you lift up your hands right now? God, I thank you for all those who are hungry to have the mind of Christ. God I pray that you would give us the ability to take every thought captive, anything that is not from you or consistent with your truth, that we would recognize it and grab that thought and make it captive and make it obedient to Jesus Christ. God I pray that you would give us the ability to think on things that are pure and admirable and excellent and praiseworthy. God I pray that you would give us the ability by the power of your Spirit to have our minds renewed, that we wouldn't conform to the patterns of this world, that we would be transformed by the renewing of our minds. God I pray that you would plant these truths deep within our hearts God, that we don't just serve, but we are servants of our Lord Jesus Christ, that it's not about self-promotion, but it's about self-abandonment. That our joy is not based on what happens to us, but it's based on you, on your presence, on what you're doing in us and through us. And God as I pray that as we learn by the power of your Spirit and the truth of your Word to think like Jesus thought, God, that you would help us to live like Jesus lived; all for your glory and for your namesake. As you keep praying today at all of our different churches, there are so many people I'm afraid have really a wrong mindset about God. When I talk about people all of the time, there's a sense you know, "Oh, God's out to get me, God's mad at me, God's mad at me!" Or some people are kind of the opposite, "Hey, God doesn't care what I do, God's cool, it's no big deal." Let me give you a mind-shift that may be different from what you've been taught. The reality is that God does love you and God also cares very much about how you live; and the truth is that all of us are sinners, every single one of us. A lot of people say, "Hey, I'm a good person, I'm a good person." Actually, no we're not! Look at a toddler, you don't have to teach a toddler to be selfish, by nature we are selfish. We are sinners and our sin separates us from God. So logic says, "Well we've got to try to be good, we've got to try to work hard." Here's a mind-shift: The mind-shift is that you can't be good enough for God; your sin has already separated you from Him. Here's another mind-shift: Jesus did for you something you couldn't do for yourself. He was the perfect sacrifice who shed His blood on a cross for the forgiveness for our sins. Here's a mind-shift: You can't be good enough, but it's only by the grace of God that you're saved and there are those of you that are here because it's time to call on Him. Mind-shift: You'll never be good enough on your own, you call on Him today and He'll forgive every sin you've ever committed. He'll fill you with His Spirit; you'll be able to communicate with God. Christianity for you won't be a religion. Mind-shift: It's going to be a relationship with God through Jesus and that's why you're here. All of our churches, those of you who would say, "I need it, I need His forgiveness, I need His presence, I need His grace; I've sinned and I need His love and forgiveness in my life. Today, I don't want it to ever be just about me again, I want to lay down my life and I want my life to be all about Him. I want to lose my life in Him so I can find His life in me. Today I give my life to Him. If that's your prayer at all of our churches, would you lift your hands high right now and just say "Yes!"

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Duration: 32 minutes and 46 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
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Posted by: lifechurchopen on Jun 27, 2012

Perspective - Week 2 - Craig Groeschel -

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