When Charles Evans Hughes was appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, he moved to Washington and transferred his membership to a Baptist church there. His father had been a Baptist minister, and Hughes had been a lifelong witness to his own faith in Christ.
It was the custom in that Baptist church to have all new members come forward during the morning service and be introduced to the congregation. On this particular day, the first to be called was a Chinese laundryman, Ah Sing, who had moved to Washington from San Francisco and kept a laundry near the church. He stood at the far side of the pulpit. As others were called, they took positions at the extreme opposite side. When a dozen people had gathered, Ah Sing still stood alone.
Then Chief Justice Hughes was called, and he significantly stood next to the laundryman. A Christian who only associates with people of the same intellectual, academic, or professional interests is not living up to what Scripture mandates.
The bible teaches us that we must not set ourselves so high that we cannot see others around us. Today I want to look at what our proper attitude should be toward ourselves. In order for the church to grow it is imperative that we all know the proper perspective that we must view our own selves.
I. It Is Not About Us (1-7)
a. It’s About Kingdom Building
b. The world does not revolve around us. (vs 5)
c. Our life should be aimed at pleasing God. (Vs 9)
ILLISTRATION: The story is told of the foreman on a building site who asks one of the builders what he is doing. The builder replies, "I'm breaking rocks."
Another worker is asked the same question, and he answers, "I'm earning for my family."
The question is posed to a third worker. With a glint in his eye, he responds, "I'm building a cathedral."
II. Greatness Is Achieved through Serving (vs 11)
a. Our purpose is to serve God
b. Serve our fellow man
c. A servants Heart
ILLISTRATON: Serving should never be inconvenient; I’m reminded of a general contractor, who frequently visited Home Depot. He liked to help people load their merchandise. One day he was there and was on his way to his van when he noticed a guy who realized he had left his lights on. He turned them off, expecting a dead battery. He jumped in his car and thought of helping him. Then he thought, No. It had been a bad day. I didn't sleep well the night before and was running behind schedule.
“He prayed, Lord, I don't need this right now. You know that I usually would help, but, God, not today! Let someone else do it. Yes, I know I have a set of jumper cables right behind my seat, but not today! He slipped the key in the ignition, gave it a turn and . Click, click, click. He looked down to see his light switch was on.
III. The Lower You Are The Higher You Go (vs 12)
a. God wants people that don’t have egos
b. God wants people that don’t have to Be important
ILLISTRATION: Here Only By Grace, A Man & Wife, after worrying for half an hour that they wouldn't get on an overbooked flight, were summoned to the check-in desk. A smiling agent whispered that this was their lucky day. To get them on the plane he was bumping them up to first class. This was the first and only time they had ever been so pampered on an airplane--good food, hot coffee, plenty of elbowroom.
They played a little game, trying to guess who else didn't belong in first class. One man stuck out. He padded around the cabin in his socks, restlessly sampling magazines, playing with but never actually using the in-flight phones. Twice he sneezed so loudly we thought the oxygen masks would drop down. And when the attendant brought linen tablecloths for our breakfast trays, he tucked his into his collar as a bib.
We see misfits at church, too--people who obviously don't belong, people who embarrass us and cause us to feel superior. The truth is we don't belong there any more than they do.