The Secret to Sacrifice and Service

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Philippians 2: 5-11

5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,

6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,

7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.

8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.

9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth,
11 and that every Tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Introduction:

A pastor once shared a story about his church. He said my church council was planning the annual “Youth Sunday” program, and one of the members suggested that the teenagers serve as ushers, lead in prayer, bring special music.

One of the teens stood up and said, “Quite frankly, we’re tired of being asked to do little things. We’d like to do something difficult this year, and maybe keep it going all year long.

The kids have talked and prayed about this, and we’d like to work with our trustees in remodeling that basement room so it can be used for a classroom.

And we’d like to start visiting our elderly members each week and taking them cassettes of the services. And, if it’s OK, we’d like to have a weekly witness on Sun-day afternoons in the park. We hope this is OK with you.”

He sat down, and the new youth pastor smiled to himself. He had privately chal-lenged the teens to do something that would cost them—and they enthusiastically responded to the challenge.

He knew that sacrifice is necessary if there is going to be true growth and minis-try.

The test of the submissive mind is not just how much we are willing to take in terms of suffering, but how much we are willing to give in terms of sacrifice.

The university challenge for us family is found in this passage today…are we will-ing to live a life of service, submission and sacrifice so that Christ may be glorified…

Just how far are we willing to bend? Just how much are willing to be broken?
Let’s examine the text today to discover the secret to Sacrifice and Service.

I. The Submission of Jesus

5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,
6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,

Note:
Paul is charging the church to do something in this verse. He is calling for them to change from the way they were into another form.

• He wants them to change their thinking and their perspectives
• He wants them to allow for the Mind of Christ to rule them, their thinking, their be-havior, their desires, their total being…
• This is an invitation for them to allow Christ to invade their worlds.

Application

I think verse 5 is a wonderful invitation for us too. It beckons us to give up our mentali-ty so that we can embrace Gods best for our lives.

It challenges us to have a submissive mind for a greater call!

God wants our minds, he wants us to think like him and to give up ourselves like him.

If we would let the mind of Christ be in us, we could be much better believers…

• Our thoughts would change…
• Our actions would change…
• Our desires would change…
• Our decisions would change…
• Our living would change …
• Our giving would change…
• Our service would change…
• Our obedience would change

In part two of this verse, we discover what was actually on the mind of our savior…
Here we see that submission was what he was thinking about…
And it was this submission that caused him to do what He did for us when He came down from glory!

“being in the form of God, He did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,”

This is a beautiful Mind! The triune God head is trying to get us to look like Jesus, think like Jesus, imitate Jesus, and follow the example of his submission on earth.

Application

Family, God is showing us what his mind was like…

• This year you will be challenged to have a mind like this…
• This year you will be challenged to have a mind of a servant
• This year you will be challenged to have a mind for sacrificial involvement…
• This year you will be challenged to give up yourselves for the good of others…
• If Jesus could go to great lengths like this for us, how much-more should we do for Him?
• Let’s work hard this year at having the submissive mind unto God…which is the mind of Christ.

William Booth’s Secret
When J. Wilbur Chapman was in London, he had an opportunity to meet General Booth, who at that time was past eighty years of age. Dr. Chapman listened reverently as the old general spoke of the trials and the conflicts and victories.
The American evangelist then asked the general if he would disclose his secret for success. “He hesitated a second,” Dr. Chapman said, “and I saw the tears come into his eyes and steal down his cheeks, and then he said, “I will tell you the secret.

God has had all there was of me. There have been men with greater brains than I, men with greater opportunities; but from the day I got the poor of London on my heart, and a vision of what Jesus Christ could do with the poor of London, I made up my mind that God would have all of William Booth there was. And if there is anything of power in the Salvation Army today, it is because God has all the adoration of my heart, all the power of my will, and all the influence of my life.” ”

Dr. Chapman said he went away from that meeting with General Booth knowing “that the greatness of a man’s power is the measure of his surrender.”

II. The Service of Jesus

7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.

Note:
Here we discover a very powerful picture. Christ according to Paul made him, no repu-tation but rather him “emptied Himself” and become a servant.

In His serving he willingly did the will of His father on earth…

I don’t believe this was easy…I don’t believe this was a light decision…I don’t believe this was something thought of in a vacuum…

Family… God is showing us what true service is like…its doing exactly what the

• This year were going to challenge you to have a mind like this…
• This year you’re going to be challenged to lay down your agenda , just like Jesus
• This year you’re going to be challenged to embrace a higher call to service , just like Jesus
• If Jesus could go to great lengths like this for us, how much-more should we do for Him?
• Let’s work hard this year at having the servant mentality , just like Jesus

Thought:

Even Creation thinks about serving…
Have you ever thought of it, that only the smaller birds sing?
You never heard a note from the eagle in all your life, nor from the turkey, nor from the ostrich.
But you have heard from the canary, the wren, and the lark.
The sweetest music comes from those Christians who are small in their own es-timation and before the Lord.
Keep Serving no matter how small you may think you are…

—Watchman-Examiner

III. The Sacrifice of Jesus

8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.

Note:
• When we come to this verse it is a shift from the heavenly to the earthly!
• Paul is reflecting on what happened after Christ became a man…
• He kept on serving and being willing to serve…and because he was willing to serve, He humbled himself in all of his splendor and did what no one else dare to do!
• HE BECAME OUR SACRIFICE!

Note:
In his humility…
1. he did not demand human rights and privileges [When he easily could have]

In his humility…
2. he subjected himself to persecution and suffering at the hands of other hu-mans.[when he could have exercised his divinity and got revenge, but he didn’t do it]

In his humility…

3. Unbelievers were allowed to do him harm [when in his sovereign power as God he could have stopped them, but he didn’t do it]

The text says “He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.”

The great Mathew Henry commenting on this verse said this…. “ His whole life was a life of humiliation, meanness, poverty, and disgrace; he had nowhere to lay his head, lived upon alms, was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, did not appear with external pomp, or any marks of distinction from other men. This was the humiliation of his life.”

“ But the lowest step of his humiliation was his dying the death of the cross. He be-came obedient to death, even the death of the cross.”

Observation:

Can I tell somebody today!
• Heavens Hero, took this form of death willingly!
• He was heavens finest, and he was subjected to the lowest form of death
• He was heavens answer for mankind sin, and his death was the worst in human his-tory
• Yet he did it as a willing, obedient, sacrificial servant for his Father…

This is incredible, this is amazing Grace… To save a wretch like me…

Application:
Family, can I tell you that … God is talking to you and I…He is trying to teach us what the secret to Sacrificial service looks like…

Story:
Bininger Chooses Slavery
Abraham Bininger, a Swiss boy from Zurich, came with his parents to this country on the same ship that brought John Wesley.
The father and mother of the lad both died on the voyage and were buried at sea, and he stepped alone from the gangway on to a strange continent, where there was not a single familiar face.
When he had grown to manhood, he asked to be sent to tell the story of the cross to the negroes of the island of St. Thomas, having heard of their great misery and degra-dation.

When he arrived at the island, he learned that it was against the law for any person but a slave to preach to the slaves. It was the policy of the planters to keep the blacks in ignorance and superstition.

Shortly after this the governor of St. Thomas received a letter signed Abraham Bininger, in which the writer begged urgently to become a slave for the rest of his life, promising to serve as a slave faithfully, provided he could give his leisure time to preaching to his fellow-slaves.

The governor sent the letter to the King of Denmark, who was so touched by it that he sent an edict empowering Abraham Bininger to tell the story of the Messiah when and where he chose—to black or white, bond or free.

that’s what we are called to do… we are to become slaves of God in a foreign land to reach those who are insulated to sin…
Welcome to FPU…a place where you will be challenged to serve others

Welcome to FPU…A place where you will be reminded to submit to God in every area of your life

9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name,

10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth,

11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Note:

As we close let me consider the words of Dr. William Mc Donald …
He says when we arrive at this last verse of this song… (It was a great hymn of the church) we see that there was an abrupt change.

Because Jesus took the path of renunciation, and did not seek a name for himself, But humbled himself. We get to see what the father has done to consider the actions of his Only Begotten son.

Because Jesus humbled Himself, God has highly-exalted him! ( Oh yes he has)

Because Jesus didn’t seek a name for himself, God has given him a name above all names.

Because Jesus bent his knees, to serve others, God has decreed that every knee shall bow to Him…

Application:

So what is our lesson family…. The lesson is that the way to go up is down!

We should not exalt ourselves but be the servants of others….

The lesson is that God is in the exaltation business, if you humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God he will exalt you in due time….

Let’s serve him this year, being committed to sacrifice and service in our beloved community and abroad.

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