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A Christian With An Attitude

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Mark 8:34-38

34Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 35For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. 36What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? 37Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? 38If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”

Introduction:

- Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

    • Looking for the cup of life, having to cross the bridge of faith.
    • an exciting adventure that takes a man with attitude to play the part

 Although this movie is a production of Hollywood, we as Christians recognize that it takes someone with attitude to be a follower of Christ. If we are to follow Jesus, We have to have be people with a particular attitude.

I find myself telling my Kids sometimes, “Hey, I don’t like your attitude.”  Or “You better straiten up your attitude.” As we walk the Christian walk, we must watch our attitude.

I.          Maintain an Attitude of Devotion to Run the Course Ahead Of You.*

A.    Giving Your Loyalty to Jesus 

Illust.: If two men ride on a horse, one must ride behind.

   -- As quoted in Bob Phillips, Phillips' Book of Great Thoughts & Funny Sayings, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1993), p. 300.

B.   Giving Your Labor For Jesus

Quote.: I like work; it fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours.

   Jerome K. Jerome (1859-1927)

Quote: Work is not primarily a thing one does to live, but the thing one lives to do. It is, or should be, the full expression of the worker's faculties, the thing in which he finds spiritual, mental, and bodily satisfaction, and the medium in which he offers himself to God.--   Dorothy L. Sayers (1893-1957)

Quote: Activity itself proves nothing: the ant is praised, the mosquito swatted. Apart from God every activity is merely a passing whiff of insignificance. -- Alfred North Whitehead (1861-1947)

Illust.: Beware of the barrenness of a busy life.

In an effort to get the work of the Lord done we often lose contact with the Lord of the work and quite literally wear our people out as well. I have heard more than one pastor boast that his church was a "live" one, pointing to the printed calendar as a proof-something on every night and several meetings during the day. Of course this proves nothing except that the pastor and the church are being guided by a bad spiritual philosophy. A great many of these time-consuming activities are useless and others plain ridiculous. ---  A. W. Tozer (1897-1963)

C.    Giving Your Life For Jesus

Quote: In every Christian's heart there is a cross and a throne, and the Christian is on the throne till he puts himself on the cross; if he refuses the cross, he remains on the throne. Perhaps this is at the bottom of the backsliding and worldliness among gospel believers today. We want to be saved, but we insist that Christ do all the dying. No cross for us, no dethronement, no dying. We remain king within the little kingdom of Mansoul and wear our tinsel crown with all the pride of a Caesar; but we doom ourselves to shadows and weakness and spiritual sterility. --- A. W. Tozer (1897-1963) 

Gal. 2:20 (NIV)

20I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

1 Pet. 2:24 (NIV)

24He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.

II.       Maintain an Attitude of Discernment to Recognize the Danger around You.

A.     The Danger of Worldly Enticements

Illust.:  Like the eagle that sat down on the frozen ground to feed upon its prey, and when it would have arisen, found its great wings so frozen to the ice that it could never rise again but perished beside its costly pleasure; like the ship that sailed so close to the current that it was not possible to stem the awful tide that drove it over the abyss--so Christian men and women are trifling with forbidden things until they have neither heart nor strength to rise to their heavenly calling.    --James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988), p. 447.

B.   The Danger of a Wasted Existence. 

Quote:  The more we miss the key to living a full life, the more people invent guide books that tell us how to "find life." -- Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater. Christianity Today, Vol. 30, no. 3.

C.   The Danger of a Worthless Exchange.

- Don’t come to the end of your life and find you’ve made a bad trade.

Phil. 3:8-9 (NIV)

8What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.

III.    Maintain An Attitude of Determination to Reach The Prize Ahead of You.

A.    In Spite of the Contempt 

Quote: Many can bear adversity, but few contempt. --- English Proverb

Quote: A fly, Sir, may sting a stately horse and make him wince; but one is but an insect, and the other is a horse still. -- Samuel Johnson

Matt. 10:32 (NIV)

32“Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven.

B.    In Spite of the Culture

Quote:   Our society is not a community radiant with the love of Christ, but a dangerous network of domination and manipulation in which we can easily get entangled and lose our soul. The basic question is whether we ministers of Jesus Christ have not already been so deeply molded by the seductive powers of our dark world that we have become blind to our own and other people's fatal state and have lost our power and motivation to swim for our lives. -- Henri J. M. Nouwen, Leadership, Vol. 3, no. 3.

- Noah walked with God in spite of the sinful and adulterous nation that surrounded him.

C.       Inspired by His Coming

Illust.: Dr. George Sweeting, President of Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, tells of the day he noticed an unusual combination of bumper stickers on the car of a man who was visiting the school. The coincidental message conveyed by the two stickers prompted Dr. Sweeting to suggest to the unsuspecting visitor that he might want to remove one of them. One read: JESUS IS COMING! and the other: ESCAPE TO WISCONSIN. -- Dr. George Sweeting, President of Moody Bible Institute, Chicago, IL.  Christian Reader, "Lite Fare."

Illust.:  After church, where she had been taught about the Second Coming, a little girl was quizzing her mother.

   "Mommy, do you believe Jesus will come back?"

   "Yes."

   "Could he come this week?"

   "Yes."

   "Today?"

   "Yes."

   "Could he come in the next hour?"

   "Yes."

   "In a few minutes?"

   "Yes, dear."

   "Mommy, would you comb my hair?"

   -- Don Hussong, East Wenatchee, Washington.  Leadership, Vol. 4, no. 3.

Conclusion:

Quote: "Crucified" is the only really definitive adjective by which to describe the Christian life. ---   J. Furman Miller

Quote: The world has yet to see what God can do through a man who is fully committed to him.

It doesn't take such a great man to be a Christian; it just takes all there is of him. ---  Seth Wilson

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