Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Christ’s Attitude

Philippians 2:5

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:

112015 Ray McDonaldAs many readers and church members know – one of my favorite sayings goes like this – Christianity boils down to attitude.  I have been known to elaborate on that by saying – Christianity boils down to attitude – the condition and position of one’s heart.

I enjoy writing about Christ’s attitude because we are called – as the church – to have a Christ like attitude.  It (the attitude of Christ) is missing at times in the church (isn’t it?).  I know that sounds judgmental – and I don’t mean it to be – but after being in church life my whole life and in ministry for 40 years I can honestly say the attitude of Christ is not always felt by me or others from good church people or their pastors.  Not that any of us are perfect – but that is what we are striving toward.  We should be striving to have the heart and attitude of Christ.

Here are a few examples (and feel free to post some additional ones please).  If the purpose of the church is to reach the lost – teach the saved – and turnaround and reach the lost again – why are so many churches dying?  It might just involve our attitudes.  Here is the Great Commission given to us by Jesus – our marching orders – Matthew 28:19-20 – 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

Here’s my issue.  If the main purpose of the church is to make disciples – to reach the lost and equip them to be followers of Jesus – and our attitude is striving to be in line with Christ’s attitude – why is there so much rebellion in the church around evangelism and discipleship?  I mean many churches do not take in a single new member a year and a large percentage of many congregations are not engaged in ongoing discipleship training.

Let me be very clear if we’re not on board yet.  Other than the truth of God’s word – which never changes – why are so many churches bound by what worked for them or the previous generation?  If hymns played by an organ and/or piano reached your generation – great – and we should continue that style of worship for those who are blessed by it.  But if reaching the next generation might mean using a band – praise and worship songs rather than hymns – multimedia and even an informal style of worship (as long as the truth of God’s word remains true) why is there so much rebellion among some in the church?  I would think that the saved would jump at the chance to bring others into the kingdom – even if it meant a change in their worship service (after all – the saved are already saved – right?).

Let me give some other examples.  If our attitude is to be the attitude of Christ – do we believe Christ ever met a stranger or someone he wouldn’t reach out and touch?  Yet in some churches persons are more concerned with a visitor’s clothing or the hat on their head than reaching out to them with Christ’s love.  Visitors come and go from many churches without a greeting or anything more than a per-functionary greeting.  Jesus ate with sinners and He let His family wait for Him while He was ministering to those who needed Him.

Don’t get me started on the absence of Christ’s attitude in some of the business meetings in churches – pastors and lay officers who are on power trips or ego rides certainly do not present the attitude of Christ who came to serve rather than be served.  Matthew 20:26-28 – 26 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— 28 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.”

The attitude of Christ is one of sacrifice – of servanthood – of giving of oneself to the uttermost.  When He was ready to depart from this earth – one of the last teachings He gave His disciples was that of servanthood.  He washed His disciples’ feet – the lowest of jobs in the household.  John 13:14-15 – 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.

If Christians want to have the attitude of Christ – we should work to out serve one another (not in a competitive way but out of true desire to be like Christ).  I’ve been a Christians for over 49 years – I can worship God in almost any atmosphere – and I have my favorite way to worship – but if reaching others for Christ means adjusting my preferences – I’ll do it.  When I come to meetings I should be seeking God’s will and what will advance the kingdom – not my agenda.  When I come to worship services I should be looking for someone that needs a friend – someone that needs welcomed – someone that just needs to feel like they belong – somewhere!  Anyone with me?  Am I right or am I wrong?  Tell me!

I’m sure we can come up with other examples – and my purpose for writing today wasn’t pointed at judging anyone – but rather spurring us on to more Christ like attitudes – because Christianity boils down to attitude – the condition and position of one’s heart.

Said another way – Jesus said these were the greatest commandments – Mark 12:30-31 – 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.  By the way – Philippians 2:5 is one of my favorites if you didn’t know – Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

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March 10, 2016 - Posted by | Bring, Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Theology, Worship | , , , , ,

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