Part 2: Attitude Is Everything

Introduction: The big theme in Philippians is joy. But how can you experience joy when you don’t feel all that joyful? How can you have joy if your attitude lacks joy and thus is the main barrier? Paul’s joy wasn’t a syrupy denial of the hardships of life, but an embracing of it with joy for the cause of Christ. How could he write a book on joy when he was in jail? Because he didn’t focus on his misery, but focused on the good that was coming out of his hard times because it furthered the gospel.”You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.” Philippians 2:5 (NLT)

Something To Talk About:
Joy is one of our core values of Christianity, and as a result is something every follower of Jesus wants. Yet, so few Christians truly have lasting, steady joy that endures difficulty. “Why?” Two words: joy killers. There are several joy killers, but in Sunday’s message I focused on three: disunity, pride and selfishness. The church exists to win people to Jesus Christ and then make disciples out of them. To do this, Paul recognizes that a church must be united. And, for a church to be united, Paul recognizes that humility, putting the whole above the individual, must be standard operating procedure. Without humility there can be no unity, and where there is no unity, there can be no successful advancement of the gospel. Selfishness, much like pride, can undermine the church because it causes us to look only to our own interests. When we do that, we miss out on the interests of others.

Discussion Questions:
1. The solution to disunity is to give up your rights, give up having things only your way. When we lose our rights it should not upset us. What do you feel you have a right to? Is it robbing you of your joy? How can the church achieve a true, biblical unity? Do you pray for Unity?

2. The solution to pride is to serve somebody. Why is it so easy to get consumed with our image? We all know different kinds of people: from different backgrounds, beliefs, or states in life? Can you put yourself in their shoes and see the world as others see it? What might it look like to put that aside and instead seek the joy of serving and valuing others?
3. The solution to selfishness is living for the good of others. How would you be different if you lived for the good of others? How would Northstar be different? What would be the impact in the lost world?
4. Who are you being an example of Christ-likeness to? How are you doing that?

Take One Thing Home With You:
Philippians 2: 6 says, “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage.” I hope you don’t miss the significance of that verse. To me, it is totally astounding that the Lord Jesus Christ, who was in very nature God made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant. And in the greatest act of obedience ever offered to God, Jesus humbled himself to die on the cross as atonement for sin. This self-sacrifice tells us so much about love and grace, but more importantly who Christ was and is. Jesus endured the humiliation of humanness to win my salvation. There is nothing more appropriate in the whole world than for for us to worship and praise our Lord and Savior. And to do so with joy