Like Jesus in Attitude
Becoming Mature Like Jesus #2
“God loves you just the way you are, but he refuses to leave you that way. He wants you to be…just like Jesus.”
Your heart and mine seems so far from that of Jesus. He is peaceful; we are hassled. He is purposeful; we are distracted. He is pleasant; we are cranky. He is spiritual; we are earth-bound. The distance between our hearts and his seems so immense. How can we ever hope to have the heart of Jesus Christ. Ready for a surprise? WE ALREADY DO! If you have given your heart to Christ, Jesus has given Himself to you. If you are in Christ, you already have the heart of Christ. In Gal. 2:20, Paul said: “Christ lives in me” (MSG).
What does it mean to be like Jesus? The world has never known a heart so pure, a character so flawless. His spiritual hearing was so keen he never missed a heavenly whisper. His mercy so abundant he never missed a chance to forgive. No lie left his lips; no distraction marred his vision. He touched when others recoiled. He endured when others quit. Jesus is the ultimate model for every person.
Several centuries ago the emperor of Japan commissioned an artist to paint a magnificent portrait of an exotic bird. After many months of waiting, he went to the man's studio to see how he was progressing. Upon his arrival, he found that the final touches had just been put on the canvas. The work was a masterpiece in every minute detail. When his illustrious guest asked what had taken so long, the painter went from cabinet to cabinet, producing armloads of separate sketches which featured outlines of the bird's feathers, tendons, wings, claws, eyes, and feet. He had been making preliminary drawings all along, but only when the emperor appeared was the lengthy task perfected.
As it took much painstaking effort before the picture could be true to its subject, so the Holy Spirit must constantly work in the believer's life to conform his to the image of God's Son. Though the Christian has been justified and even potentially sanctified in God's sight through the new birth, a long process of spiritual development must still be accomplished. His state must catch up with his standing. When the King of kings comes to claim His own, then the blessed work will finally be completed.
1. God Wants You To Be Like Jesus With a SPIRITUALLY-MINDED Attitude.
5Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
[MESSAGE] 5Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself.
Rom. 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
Phil. 4:8—“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.”
2. God Wants You To Be Like Jesus With a
6Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.
[MESSAGE] 6He had equal status with God but didn't think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. 7Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave….
“All of self and none of Thee…Some of self and some of Thee…None of Self and All of Thee.”
A woman said to a guest at dinner, "We say grace at dinner each day to remind us around here that there is something bigger than our egos." Prayer can free us from the gravitational pull of our egos and remind us of the goodness and might of God. Prayer can move us from self-centered preoccupation to wonder and awe.
3. God Wants You To Be Like Jesus With a
7but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.
[MESSAGE] 7Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human!
Matt. 20:26-28-- Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave--just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."
Toward the end of his life, Albert Einstein removed the portraits of two scientists--Newton and Maxwell--from his wall and replaced them with portraits of Gandhi and Schweitzer. He explained it was time to replace the image of success with the image of service.
4. God Wants You To Be Like Jesus With a
8And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-- even death on a cross!
[MESSAGE] 8Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn't claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that: a crucifixion.
[NIV]12Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed--not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence--continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.
Fred Craddock, in an address to ministers, caught the practical implications of consecration. "To give my life for Christ appears glorious," he said. "To pour myself out for others ... to pay the ultimate price of martyrdom--I'll do it. I'm ready, Lord, to go out in a blaze of glory.
"We think giving our all to the Lord is like taking a $1,000 bill and laying it on the table--'Here's my life, Lord. I'm giving it all.'
"But the reality for most of us is that he sends us to the bank and has us cash in the $1,000 for quarters. We go through life putting out 25 cents here and 50 cents there. Listen to the neighbor kid's troubles instead of saying, 'Get lost.' Go to a committee meeting. Give up a cup of water to a shaky old man in a nursing home.
"Usually giving our life to Christ isn't glorious. It's done in all those little acts of love, 25 cents at a time. It would be easy to go out in a flash of glory; it's harder to live the Christian life little by little over the long haul."
When an old preacher died, his relatives found his many sermon manuscripts neatly tied and filed away. On top of them was a card with this inscription: "Where has the influence gone of these sermons I have preached?" On the other side was the answer. He had written, "Where are last year's sunrays? They have gone into fruits and grain and vegetables to feed mankind. Where are last years raindrops? Forgotten by most people, of course, but they did their refreshing work, and their influence still abides." In conclusion, the preacher said, "So too, my sermons have gone into lives and made them nobler, more Christlike, and better fitted for heaven."