Jan 31

“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross! Therefore, God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:5-11

Winners think they will win BEFORE they've won.

The big difference is in how a man thinks. His attitude will govern his actions.

For instance:

A winner is always ready to tackle something new ... a loser is prone to believe it can't be done.
A winner isn't afraid of competition ... a loser avoids it, thinking the competition will beat him.
A winner knows he's sometimes wrong and is willing to admit his mistakes ... a loser usually finds someone else to blame.
A winner is challenged by a new problem ... a loser doesn't want to face it.
A winner is decisive ... a loser frustrates himself with indecision.
A winner realizes there is no time like the present to get a job done ... a loser is prone to procrastinate with the hope that things will be better tomorrow.
A winner thinks positively ... acts positively... and lives positively ... a loser usually has a negative attitude and a negative approach to everything.

Winners win because they think differently:

Here’s How To Think Like A Winner:

WINNERS THINK OUTWARD! (Vv. 6-8)

Peyton Manning of the Colts is a proven winner. You could be sure he was looking outward every Sunday afternoon. He quickly scanned the defense and found the open receiver, reading the blitz, and knowing what audible to call.

A winner is constantly looking over the field or the court gathering and processing data – adjusting – adapting – it is impossible to win if you are not thinking outward.

Paul was clearly thinking outward – which is why he wrote this letter in this way to this church. He was aware that they were not in a winning frame of mind. They were not winning because they had lost their unity & humility. They had become self-seeking, vain and contentious. Their sense of community had been destroyed and they weren’t close to getting it back. So – Paul points them to the example of ONE Who thought outwardly – and did it better than anyone ever did – JESUS.

If you want to know what it means to think outwardly – learn from Christ. He thought outside or beyond Himself and His needs. Verses 6-8 give us some amazing insights to how He thought:

“Who being in very nature God…..” - “NATURE” = “morphe” – “ESSENCE”

“Did not consider equality with God…” – “EQUAL” = “isos” = “EXACTLY SAME”

“Something to be grasped……” – Here is an amazing irony. The very thing that Lucifer coveted, and Adam craved and that powers our own sin nature is the VERY THING THAT JESUS POSSESSED – and voluntarily gave it up! He did not clutch it – He did not leverage it – He did not rely on it – what did He do with it?

He made Himself nothing…..” – This self-emptying is called the “Kenosis”. It means “self-depravation” – Jesus deprived Himself of what was rightfully His – the glory and beauty and majesty that accompany His position at the right hand of the Father and came to earth. He could separate Himself from all His divine attributes but by putting on flesh He veiled His full glory and limited the expression of His divine power.

When you are a majestic, glorious spiritual being and you empty yourself into human flesh you certainly lose something in the translation.

One of the things we fear the most – that we are nothing and that our life means nothing. The need for meaning and significance are strong motivating forces in our lives. Jesus had ALL OF THAT and gave it all up to become NOTHING! Why? So, He could make us into something!
“And being found in appearance as a man…..” - The word for this is “hypostasis” and means “substance” or “essence”. The doctrine of the “hypostatic” union declares that Jesus was 100% God and 100% man – one Man with two natures!

The Second Person of the Godhead emptied Himself by pouring His life into the flesh and blood of a man we came to know as Jesus of Nazareth – Jesus the Christ!

“He humbled Himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross…”
Imagine the most embarrassing humiliating thing that can happen to you and then imagine voluntarily surrendering yourself to that. That would be humbling and humiliating. People don’t normally do things like that BUT JESUS DID!

Crucifixion was the most degrading form of human punishment known to the Romans. The word “cross” was never mentioned in polite society.

By Jewish law, anyone who died on a cross died under the curse of God.

You may be thinking, “Brad, that doesn’t sound like winning to me! How can dying a horrible humiliating death be considered winning?”

It was a win because it was obedience! Jesus was a winner because He obeyed God! He thought outward – outside of His own self-interest and accomplished the will of God! Every time we obey God’s will – we win, no matter what it may cost us at the time!

SO, WE ARE COMMANDED TO HAVE THE SAME ATTITUDE THAT CHRIST HAD. THAT MEANS WE ARE TO THINK OUTWARD – OR TO THINK OUTSIDE OF OUR SELF…….Working For Unity……Practicing Humility…..Living In Sacrificial Obedience.

The Church at Philippi was struggling in strife and disunity because the members were not thinking outwardly. They were losing – not winning. They were competing for power and position and prestige constantly trying to muscle their way to the top.

IMAGINE HOW IT WOULD FEEL TO BE PART OF A FELLOWSHIP WHERE EVERY MEMBER COMMITTED TO THINKING OUTWARD – COMMITTING TO UNITY AND HUMILITY AND LIVING IN OBEDIENCE – WOULDN’T THAT BE A GREAT COMMUNITY?

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