The reality and incredible power of the Cross and of the wonder of the salvation which God offers humanity is because Jesus acted.
He gave up an intimate, face to face relationship with his Father, he gave up independent authority, submitting himself entirely under God while he lived as a human being. He set aside his divine attributes and came under the spirit’s direction. He left behind eternal riches, living as a poor man. He even gave up his favorable relationship with God, being willing to face the anger of God for our sins.
He acted in a selfless manner, humbling himself.
And he did that for you and he did that me.
And Paul calls us – the Church, throughout the ages, to be of the same mind.
Why? Because is this lies the true and incredible power of the Church. Here is how the church begins to change a community. Here is how the church begins to change a culture. Here is how the church begins to change a nation.
When we live out the radical nature of the gospel, when we follow in the foot steps of our Lord in how we live and how we act with one another, then there is a powerful testimony released into the world:
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. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus.
Can you imagine what would happen if we begin to live this out in our daily lives, if these truths became a part of our very DNA. Can you imagine what would happen inside the church, and within the community if we lived this out? We would, I believe, begin to see God work and move in a remarkable way.
As we start to have the same mind of Christ, and that starts to manifest itself in our actions, our witness will be a powerful one because we will truly start to be the representatives of Christ, in body mind and spirit, not living in the past, but ministering in the present.
As we gather each week to worship and honor God, and to encourage, comfort and build each other up in fellowship, we should be doing so with the cry of ‘Lord, take what I know in my mind, and make it real in my life, helping me to live it out each day for your glory.”
As the Psalm says Show me your ways O Lord and TEACH me your paths. LEAD me in your truth and TEACH me.
The issue is not that we believe – but what we do out of that belief. Will we act in the name of Jesus? Will we be the people, the church, the blessing, the message that God wants us to be here in this area. Will we step out and do the things God is calling us to do for his Kingdom? Will we be a church that is of one mind, united by love and humility and looking out for the interests of each other and those whom we encounter on a daily basis?
This is not about effort. This is not about trying harder. This is not about being more enthusiastic. Our Psalm this morning says:
SHOW me your ways O Lord and TEACH me your paths. LEAD me in your truth and TEACH me.
All this must come from the Spirit of God that is within us. If we try and act our faith out of our own strength we will become tired, burnt out and disillusioned. If we try and live out of our own strength we will soon lose the joy of our salvation.
All that we are and all that we are to be must come from the desire for the Lord to show us HIS ways, to be taught HIS paths, to be lead in HIS truths. It’s not our ways, it’s not our paths, it’s not our ways that matter, but his.
In order to have the same mind as Christ we need to have Christ in us. We need to be engaging with him personally on a daily basis. We need to be spending time with him, opening our hearts, minds and ears to be willing to hear from him. We need to know his character, his love, his passion, his compassion if we are to have the mind of Christ. We need to start with each of us and our relationship with God – and then it flows over into our fellowship, exercising our faith, encouraging, building up and supporting each other. And then that over flows into our work, our neighborhoods, into our community.
It begins with us. Let us now go into the vineyard to work, with the same mind as Christ.
It begins here. It begins now.