God Help Me To Have the Attitude of Christ
In one of my favorite movies, Young Frankenstein, Dr. Frankenstein sends Igore out to get a brain for his creation – the brain of a brilliant scientist. Unfortunately he drops the one he is supposed to retrieve. He decides then to substitute another one. Later when asked about it he admitted his mistake. Instead of the brilliant scientist, he got the brain of “abbey somebody”. Abnormal! Even though there was a label there that says: Do not use this brain!
In an odd way that is today’s message as well: Do not use this brain! We all have a part of our brain that is geared toward being self-centered! Instead, we want to have the mind or attitude of someone else … the Lord Jesus Christ. Attitude – ‘mind, feeling, mental state or habit as opposed to just thinking.’ The attitude of Christ is actually to be a habit of thinking.
This would be a great basis for life-changing prayer…. asking God to help us to get into the habit of thinking along the attitude of Christ. Expressions of that prayer for consideration.
1. Help Me To Grow In Fellowship
(2:1-4 If then there is any encouragement in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, 2 fulfill my joy by thinking the same way, having the same love, sharing the same feelings, focusing on one goal. 3 Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. 4 Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.)
This passage is filled with words of fellowship. Are these the qualities we all desire to see in our church … in each other… in ourselves?When we ask God to help us grow in fellowship we become focused on the interests of others, which rids us of rivalry and conceit. When we remove our own interests we are free to bless those around us. We should see this as a focus on the one goal – a new habit of thinking that we train ourselves to engage.
2. Help Me to Grow in Humility
(2:5-8 Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus, 6 who, existing in the form of God,
did not consider equality with God as something to be used for His own advantage.7 Instead He emptied Himself by assuming the form of a slave, taking on the likeness of men. And when He had come as a man in His external form, 8 He humbled Himself by becoming obedient
to the point of death— even to death on a cross.)
Here is that challenging statement: Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus. This is followed by the greatest example of humility that has ever been known. Greatest because of heavenly origin. The gospel story is here in an ancient song.
Jesus Lived. with God (John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.)
Jesus Left … giving up heaven for a time.(John 3:16 “For God loved the world in this
way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.)
Jesus Loved … serving, considering others better than himself. (‘emptied Himself’ , slave, likeness of men)
Jesus Lost … his earthly life at the hands of sinful men…in the most cruel method devised by man…between two criminals.
We know there is more to the story, but notice that Jesus never pulled out his God Card … he walked through this life without presuming to force others to follow Him. Do you think God honors humility? James 4:6,10 God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble….Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you.
3. Help Me to Grow in Praise
(2:9–11 For this reason God highly exalted Him and gave Him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow— of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth— 11 and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.)
While the world and Satan may have counted Jesus down, God raised him up! He was highly exalted. He has a name above every name. Every knee will bow and confess. Jesus is exalted over everything in God’s domain, and everyone eventually will admit that this is true (vs. 10-11).
God help me to grow in praise … Exalting Christ with my words. Exalting Christ by bowing before Him. Exalting Christ by confessing His Lordship.
4. Help Me To Grow in Discipleship
(2:12,13 So then, my dear friends, just as you have always obeyed, not only in my presence, but now even more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13 For it is God who is working in you, enabling you both to desire and to work out His good purpose.)
Discipleship is following, learning, becoming like Jesus. Paul doesn’t just want us to think about these changes, but to act upon them. Two qualities of discipleship:
Obedience (vs. 12) Not just when teacher is looking! Work out your salvation. Keep putting effort into Christlikeness. Do this with all seriousness and commitment.
Trust (v. 13) Trust God to help you grow in your discipleship. God who is at work in you, enabling you. What is God doing? Enabling you to desire His purpose. Enabling you to work according to that purpose.
Christian Eberhart: It would likewise be possible to translate “it is God who gives you energy;” the Greek term employed here is energeo, denoting power, action, and work.
We are Energized to pursue looking out for the interests of others.
Use this passage as a prayer urges us to ask God to help us grow…in Fellowship, in Humility, in Praise, in Discipleship. Allow God to energize these areas of your life by
inviting Him in prayer to help you.