2-1-15 An Interest in Others
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?Accommodation: An Interest in Others? Isaiah 53; Philippians 2:3-8 2/1/15 Preached at Lake Murray Presbyterian by Dr. Ben Sloan
Let?s assume you are out at a social gathering and meet Sara. Sara shakes your hand, looks you in the eye, asks you questions about yourself and those you love, and leave you with a smile. How would you feel about her? Now let?s assume you meet Jack a minute later at the same event. Jack barely acknowledges your existence, looks around for someone else to talk to, then can?t remember your name. How would you feel about him? Ironically, if you try to be selfish it ends up backfiring on you. Being considerate is part of being a Christian, and it is a big part of wanting to help others more than helping yourself. This passage is really a commentary on loving your neighbor as yourself. I. The first step in being considerate is to AVOID SELFISHNESS AND VANITY TO CONSIDER OTHERS Do not value your position over others. If you try to get to the top of the ladder by stepping on the hands of others or worse= pushing others off the ladder it will come back to bit you in the end. Interestingly there was developed a whole political and business theory by Machiavelli who basically said, ?the end justifies the means.? In other words- you are supposed to think of yourself as so great and wonderful in and of yourself, that you should do whatever it takes to get to the top so you can bless the world. Instead- the Bible says (1 Samuel 2:30) ?He who honors me I will honor.? If you get to the top but you have lost your God- at the end of your life you will realize you?ve missed Him- but in the middle of your life you will have crushed others for your ambitions. ???? At Dunlop there was a guy named Steve. He was a hard worker, but he wanted to be supervisor. He thought he could get the job by starting right away critiquing the work of others. He actually suggested the firing of certain employees for doing wrong things without even talking to these employees himself. He would have a regular conference with the head supervisor about other employees. When an opening came, he was promoted to supervisor because of his care. But he made so many enemies that the people refused to do their best for him. The called him ?Back-stabbing Steve.? He did not last very long as a supervisor and never got another promotion. Cheating to get ahead, seeking to exploit others? weakness to get ahead is not right. You may win the World Series. II. A major part of consideration is looking at what Jesus did. THE SERVICE OF CHRIST TO CONSIDER OTHERS- God made himself nothing. He humbled Himself below us. Taking the very nature of a servant. One of the big words Calvin used in speaking of the service and consideration of Christ was ?Accommodation?- it is the opposite of pride- but it is a necessary part of service. God is high, mighty and transcendent- but He made Himself knowable- accommodating Himself to our needs. Jesus knew we were not responding to God- so instead of just leaving us in our sin- He came down for us- accommodating Himself to us. Accommodation is a key part of customer service, and it is a key part of consideration.?? Accommodation is going out of your way. It is looking to see what we can do and then bending to their needs instead of having them bend to our gifts or bend to what we offer, or what we had to do when we were not accommodated.?? An accommodating person is an understanding person who bends to the needs of others.?? Churches can also be non-accommodating. This shows in whether they have wheelchair ramps. It shows in whether they have a nursery to accommodate babies. It shows in whether the people stay in their churches or care for the people outside of the church. Christ went out of His way- humbled Himself to become human to accommodate- to bring the gospel down to us. When we look at the humble life of Jesus there is something deeply attractive about that. When I think about accommodation- I think about a good husband accommodating a pregnant wife. She cannot go so fast- he must slow down; She cannot bend so easily- he picks up more; hugging straight on is harder sideways works; temperature and food fickleness is common. A good husband is patient and kind and helpful- understanding the need. III. THE SERVICE OF INTEREST IN OTHERS- By His wounds we are healed. He humbled Himself not just to elevate humility- or to show us it is necessary to be humble- but out of a healing and loving interest for others. It is love that causes interest. ?? I like it when people who are in celebrity positions use their spotlight to bring a spotlight on a needy cause. So Russell Wilson, the Quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks does a lot of volunteer time for the Seattle Children?s Hospital, an d Boys and Girls clubs; So Tom Brady the quarterback for the New England Patriots does a lot of work for Best Buddies and Boys & Girls clubs. Ryan Wendell the center for New England- spoke of knowing he is on the world?s biggest stage and that he wants to be a good witness for Christ and think of others. K. J. Wright a linebacker for Seattle spoke of his faith meaning everything to him and that if he had any advice to give kids it would be to seek God and others first. ???? Last week the President of Uruguay, Jose Mujica, and his wife, who was a senator, picked up a hitchhiker. Many people had passed him by on the road. They showed an interest in the hitchhiker- where he was going why he was on the road. The hitchhiker began to realize he was riding with the president and his wife. He tried to take some selfies (pictures of himself with them) from the back seat.?? The president of Uruguay is one of the poorest paid presidents in the world. He lives on 10% of his salary to have his salary the same as the average person in Uruguay. I do not agree with most of his politics, but where he lives out the good Samaritan parable and considers others better than himself in humility- I can at least respect that quality. ?? ?When you stand before the Almighty who humbled Himself can you say you followed him in humility and caring? Part of being a servant is asking, ?Is there anything I can do for you today?? Part of being a servant is observing- what needs to be done? What are the needs of other people. Then seeing yourself as the one in that place called to answer that need. The Lord?s Supper is a reminder that Christ served us in the ultimate way, and He still serves us out of His great ongoing never-ending love. He serves us in humility- giving Himself- His body and His blood. He serves us and we need to know He is interested in us- giving us an example to be interested in Him and interested in others above ourselves.