3 “Impossible” Teachings to Follow

Philippians is one of my favorite books in the Bible.  At one point in my Christian life, I had it memorized, but don’t ask me to quote it today…that was before marriage, kids, full-time job, internet, fantasy football, kid sports, blogs, twitter/facebook, cable TV, etc.  Life used to be simpler and less cluttered.  I guess it could be today? Anyways…

The passage (Philippians 2:1-11) we looked at yesterday at Graystone is very challenging.

Here are 3 (a three point sermon if you will) hard teachings to follow:

1. We, Christians, are to love one another.  In fact, this is how “the world” knows that we are true disciples of Jesus Christ (John 13:34-35).  I have a hard enough time loving people in my family and those that I really like.  It is really hard to love those that I do not like, especially Yankee fans.

Do we truly love and care for one another?

2. We are to put others, our brothers and sisters in Christ, above ourselves.  We are not to be selfish or look only to our own interests, but we are to look to the needs of those in our family of faith.  You mean, church isn’t all about me and getting my needs met?  We live in a very egocentric world.  We are selfish by nature (I.e. a two year old child).  We are naturally bent toward selfishness and our world/culture encourages this line of thinking.  I love the opening line of The Purpose Driven Life: It’s not about you.

Well, it is a real challenge to put others ahead of ME.  This is the teaching of Jesus.  So, today, let’s go out of our way at least one time, and look to meet someone else’s needs.  It could be as simple as letting another car pull in front of you at the carpool line…or buying someone lunch…or giving your pastor a brand new truck (full-size, four door, preferably black)…whatever.  See, that is a great example of how selfish I am.

Let’s do something today for someone else. 

3.  Our attitude should be the same as that of Jesus Christ.  OK really?  I mean, Jesus was perfect.  He was humble.  He was a servant.  He was obedient to God…even to death on a cross.  This is a pretty high standard to live up to.  I personally enjoy having a pity party every now and then, and maybe coping an attitude when things do go exactly my way.  Oh, it’s not about me?  Well, dang!  I have a long way to go if Jesus is the standard.  He is.  The good news is that God is not finished with me/us yet, and He will complete the work He has started in us…all the way until our glorification.

Well, all of this is too difficult in and of ourselves.  God’s grace is sufficient for me.  And His power is made perfect in my weakness.

IMAGINE if each of us did have Jesus’ humble, servant’s attitude.  What if we did put each other ahead of ourselves?  And what if we loved each other no matter what?

Do you know how close our church would be?  Do you know how unified we would be?  I think a big part of us fulfilling what God wants is UNITY in the CHURCH, but that might be another post for another day.

Any thoughts?

2 replies »

  1. I find it funny that these are the same lessons most of each teach our children every day yet we fall short ourselves. They sound so simple but these are such hard lessons and things I struggle with daily. I can tell you that the last 2 months I have made a real effort to work on not being so selfish, so judgmental and all in all just being a better person and putting others first. I have really only changed two things in my life: the first being that I set the alarm for 20 minutes earlier now so every morning before I leave for work I read the Bible and get some perspective and when I feel myself getting upset with someone or wanting to be selfish, or passing judgment on other people, I pray instead. It is absolutely amazing to me how spending time talking to God and in his Word, two things that sound so simple, can make all the difference in your day to day life.

  2. There are two commands which summarize the spirit of the O.T. law. One is to love the Lord with all your heart, and the next is to love your neighbor as yourself. The first is found in Deuteronomy the second in Leviticus. Add to the list of the impossible – “love your wife as Christ loved the Church.” That’s pretty much impossible and can’t be done without the Spirit. Now, I have a great wife, but that’s asking too much. The second derivative of this command is found when Jesus says “a new command that I give unto you.” “You shall love your neighbor as I HAVE LOVE YOU.” Now that’s a little more than loving your neighbor like yourself, its loving your neighbor as Christ would love them. No way – that is really impossible, and thats why Christ calls it a “new commandment.” But all things are possible with God who enables us. What could we do as a church if we just kept it simple and loved each other as Christ commanded.

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