Sermon 09/06/20: Tiny Attitudes (Pentecost XIV)

WORSHIP AT HOME for 09/06/20. If illness or travel prevented you from joining us for worship Sunday, or if you would like to experience the worship again, you’re welcome to use the links below to have a time of worship at home. (Just right click on the link to play each hymn or the sermon in a new tab, and close that tab when finished.)

CALL TO WORSHIP: Please recommit your life to follow Jesus as Savior and Lord with the words of the Centering Prayer: Lord Jesus, today I am far less than the person I want to be or can be with your help. I ask today that you would be more and more the center of my life. Guide me to all that is good, cleanse me from all that is not. Teach me Your ways and form in me Your nature. Help me to serve you in flow as I am gifted. Help me to notice my neighbor and work through me to redeem my neighborhood. I am a sinner; please be my Shepherd, my Savior and my Lord. Amen.

HYMN: Gaither Vocal Band – Jesus Is Everywhere
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ADR8kkQf0j4

A TIME OF PRAYER (Testimonies, Joys & Concerns)

Congregational Prayer: God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.

Please pray for yourself and your neighbors, lifting up your needs to God while giving thanks for answered prayer.

The Lord’s Prayer: Our Father, who art in heaven; hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

HYMN Old Friends Quartet – I Want to Be More Like Jesus Every Day [Live]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGpo1ke0EWE

MOMENTS WITH THE CHILDREN – If you are blessed to have children with you, ask them what they are thankful for, and then thank God together!

GIVING OF OUR TITHES AND OFFERINGS – these can be mailed to the church office.

MESSAGE: Tiny Attitudes
Text: Philippians 2:1-17, Matthew 10:25a
Series: Tiny Habits for Growing Christians
Right-click, open in new tab to play … Sermon audioSermon slides as a PDF file.
Audio for sermon at Wesley UMC

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SERMON NOTES

Matthew 10:25a it is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master.

Philippians 2:1 So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any incentive of love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from selfishness or conceit, but in humility count others better than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 

5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 

12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for God is at work in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. 

14 Do all things without grumbling or questioning, 15 that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. 17 Even if I am to be poured as a libation upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all.  

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HYMN Alan Jackson – Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus (Live)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ufYSFCKKoHs

BENEDICTION: Let us dedicate ourselves to the service of Jesus by joining in the Prayer of Saint Francis:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace
Where there is hatred, let me sow love
Where there is injury, pardon
Where there is doubt, faith
Where there is despair, hope
Where there is darkness, light
And where there is sadness, joy
O Divine Master, grant that I may
Not so much seek to be consoled as to console
To be understood, as to understand
To be loved, as to love
For it is in giving that we receive
And it’s in pardoning that we are pardoned
And it’s in dying that we are born to Eternal Life
Amen

(If you wish, you can listen to this prayer being sung:
Sarah McLachlan – Prayer of St. Francis
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agPnMxp5Occ )

If you worship at home, please let us know so we can pray for you!

TRANSCRIPT

How are we to practice our faith in this new day? We are living in something that our world has not seen for over 100 years – a pandemic. How are we to do what faithful Christians do today? Well, if we cannot do big things perhaps God will help us to do tiny things. Because if all of us are faithful, the tiny things will mount up to be far more than the big things we used to do.

I’ve encouraged you the past few weeks when you arrive at a new place to announce, whether it’s just to yourself or out loud, “Jesus is Lord,” knowing in your heart that Jesus is here and that Jesus is LORD right here and right now, even if that’s a place that doesn’t seem to be much of a holy place. A grocery store, aisle like this one; it’s a hard place to be holy. It’s a hard place to be spiritual, but Jesus is here.

And in a way, it’s possible that you can be his missionary in places as ordinary and difficult as this, but you can be his missionary in every part of your ordinary life. And that’s because of one very simple tiny truth that I hope will fill your heart this morning.

And here is that tiny truth, Matthew chapter 25. It is enough, It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher and the servant like his master. How are we going to live our faith in this day and this time? It is enough to be like Jesus. It is enough. While somebody is bound to ask, “Pastor, it’s not easy. How exactly do I be like Jesus?”

Let’s look at what the scripture says. Philippians 2:5-11, we believe that this is actually an early Christian hymn that people would sing these words to remind them. Have this mind among yourself, Paul writes, which is yours in Christ Jesus who though he was in the form of God did not count equality with God as a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. It is enough for you to be like Jesus. So how can it be … This week? This day? That you would empty yourself.

How can it be … This week? This day? That you could find yourself taking the form of a servant. As you do, you will be like Jesus.

The next part. In being found in human form just as we are, he humbled himself, and he became obedient unto death. Even the death on a cross. Therefore, God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name. It is enough to be like Jesus.

So… This week? This day? How do you imagine that you will become obedient, willing to sacrifice yourself? Whatever form that takes, you will be like Jesus. It is enough to be like Jesus. The verse goes on to say, verse 10, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow in heaven and on Earth, and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. How is it, this week or this day, that your knee will bow, that your tongue will confess, that Jesus Christ is Lord, right here right now, wherever you might find yourself?

Because … why do you confess that Jesus Christ is Lord? He is with us, and because it’s enough to be like Jesus, He will help you in every time, and every place where he is acknowledged to be Lord. This week, this day, how will you fall to your knees, and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, in the place where you are, right here, right now? Well, if we did that, what would we see that would be different? There’s an old phrase … intentions are good, emotions are good, but obedience is something that a camera can see. If obedience becomes something that you do, a camera can see it. So, if people did this, what would a camera see? What would you or I see in people?

Just before this hymn to Jesus Christ, and just after, Paul explains that. And here’s what he says– whoops, got ahead of myself here! It’s enough to be like Jesus. You see I didn’t want you to forget that. It’s enough to be like Jesus. But if we are like Jesus, what are we going to see? What’s the camera going to see?

Well, if there is any encouragement, Paul writes if there is any encouragement in Christ, any incentive of love, any participation in the spirit any affection and sympathy, complete my joy,” Paul writes. By being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord, and of one mind; this is what a camera can see when people are willing to humble themselves and take the form of a servant and be like Jesus. Do nothing from selfishness or conceit. But in humility count others better than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests but also to the interests of others. It’s a little bit like taking up a cross to benefit all mankind, which is what Jesus did. How will we humble ourselves further to be like Jesus? “Therefore my beloved,” Paul writes, “As you have always obeyed. So now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work …” You didn’t think it would be anything but work, right? Pretty much every problem that we face in this life is helped to be solved by work. Are we willing to work? What does Paul say? “Work out your own salvation.” Work at being like Jesus. Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling … don’t take anything for granted. Believe in, trust and work, because, verse 13, “God is at work in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” God wants salvation to come to us. And God is working in us to bring that to pass. It is enough to be like Jesus. Paul goes on to say — just think for a moment about how hard this is would be for some people — or how hard this would be for some churches. Verse 14, “Do all things without grumbling or questioning.” Uh-oh. Questioning is not asking questions because you want to know. Questioning is doubting and challenging and arguing and feuding because if you can do all things without grumbling or questioning, you will be blameless and innocent. You will be children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation. Among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life. So that in the day of Christ, Paul writes, “I, Paul, may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.”

This is what a camera would see if we were like Jesus. Because it is enough for a disciple to be like his teacher. It is enough for a servant to be like his master. And it is enough in this time for us to be like Jesus.

And, in a sense, when we do that, we will be missionaries in all kinds of places. Because if Jesus goes with us, we bring the light of Jesus Christ into the darkness of the world. And there are some places that are pretty dark, but there is no place that remains dark when you bring the light to it. And so Jesus is here in this grocery store line or any place else you might find yourself. Jesus is here. Jesus is Lord.

And it is enough, if you can, in this place, to be like Jesus. You’ve heard these letters before, WWJD, they stand for What Would Jesus Do. Well, there you are, in a challenging place, people are fighting and arguing, and there are so many temptations.

There’s the temptation to look at this young man and judge him for what he’s buying. What sort of family is he caring for with what he’s buying? Well, I sure hope there are some vegetables wrapped up in that plastic, but the little thing you see ahead of there, those are peanut butter cheese and crackers. Children need better than that, assuming he has some children to feed. It’s so easy for our personal judgment to come out as we look at other people, as we are tired, as we are standing in line, as we are feeling inside ourselves, the unrest, the feeling these days of being unsafe because of people not practicing safety precautions in the grocery store or somewhere else. But can you pray here? Yes, you can.

And, in this place, you can be like Jesus, but you’ll need to turn your eyes away from all the temptations, to imagine yourself on your knees in this place and ask yourself a very good question. What would Jesus do if he was standing in a grocery store line? What would Jesus do if he was standing here? Because if I know what Jesus would do, then I can choose, to the best of my ability, to be like Jesus.

Let’s take a poll. What would Jesus do? If you look through the scripture, pretty much what he would do is he would pray. He would pray for the people. He would pray for the hurts and the needs of the people in that day and in that place. What would Jesus do? Well, he’d probably pray. You could pray too.

There might be something else Jesus would do. Are you ever tempted to pay for the groceries of the person in front of you? You ever find yourself coming up on that line in the McDonald’s drive thru and feel yourself tempted to pay for the person behind you? Have you ever looked across the restaurant at a family that looks like they’re financially struggling and felt the temptation to pay for their meal? What would Jesus do? Maybe we should give in to that temptation because that’s what it would be like to be like Jesus.

I want to add something too, because not only is it what would Jesus do, sometimes Jesus would say something that would change a person’s life. And you might have an opportunity to say something. That’s what Jesus would do. And as it says in multiple places in the scriptures, he says to the disciples, “Don’t worry about how you’ll explain. Don’t worry about how you’ll defend yourself when you’re accused. Don’t worry about how you will speak when you’re dragged into court and being persecuted. What you will say will be given you in that hour.” And sometimes what we say out there in the real world can make a tremendous difference in someone’s life, even if it’s just to wish them well.

What would Jesus do? What would Jesus say? If we allow ourselves to follow through on whatever we are given, in that moment, we will do what Jesus asks us to do, we will say what Jesus asks us to say. And, in that moment, and in that time, and in that place, we will be the blessing of what it is for us to be like Jesus because that’s what the world needs. And, friends, it’s what we need also. It is enough to be like Jesus.

Lord Jesus, we don’t always know what to say, but, Lord, in that moment, help us to listen to you and be guided by what you say to us. Lord, we don’t always know what to do, but, in that moment, Lord, help us to be guided to do what you would have us to do. And more often than not, Lord, we realize that we have done something that you do not want us to do. And sometimes the thing that shows your presence, and your living within us, is for us to do and for us to say that thing which is so hard which is simply to say that we’re sorry. But, Lord, when we need to apologize, help us to apologize. When we need to do something good, help us to do something good. When we need to say something that brings a blessing, Lord, help us to say something. But, in all things, Lord, we ask that you would help us to be like Jesus because that is enough. Amen

QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION: Let’s have a conversation! Please reflect upon the questions below as you consider the material presented above. In a comment, share your thoughts and additional questions. What would you like to know?

What grabbed your attention?
What is the human need or problem?
What questions do you have about any quotes provided?
Does the Bible say anything about this?
What solutions do you see for the problem?
What specifically could we begin to do to make a change?

Additional Resources
Kinmundy United Methodist Church is located at 308 E. Third Street, Kinmundy, IL 62854. Worship begins at 9 am Sundays. The building is handicap accessible.
Wesley United Methodist Church is located at 3381 Kinoka Road, Patoka, IL 62875 in the country between Kinmundy and Patoka. Worship begins at 10.45 am Sundays.
VISION: We are a functional family of God, where Jesus is Lord and people grow.
MISSION: Every layperson is called to carry out the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20); every layperson is called to be missional. (¶126 of the 2016 Book of Discipline)
Paradigm: There are two kinds of people in this world: people who need to become disciples and disciples who need to become disciple makers.
 

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2 Responses to Sermon 09/06/20: Tiny Attitudes (Pentecost XIV)

  1. Gerri says:

    Great sermon could not get slides to download today, probably operator error, but still enjoyed sermon and music! Well done once again, Pastor Dave!

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