More Than… In Life, Love, and the Hereafter
ABCDE... To be MORE THAN In Life, in Love, and the Hereafter, never be less than. We can never settle for being less than we can be - or less than God intended that we be. To be MORE THAN in life, in love and the hereafter two will always be better than one and it will take the help and support of a prayer partner, a trusted friend, a good brother or sister in Christ. To be MORE THAN in life, in love and the hereafter conquering won't always look like winning but being more than a conqueror though Christ who loved us will always make us a winner!
More than... In life, in love, and the hereafter just about covers it all. To approach something of this magnitude with any sense of clarity and personal connection we have to define and process these very real obstacles to becoming MORE THAN Conquerors in life love and hereafter. They are simply ABCDE! Each letter represents the name of a critical and functional component of our life our love and our hereafter.
A = Attitude
B = Behavior
C = Culture
D = Demonic
E = Emotion
We will use a Sunday gathering for each one of these to define them with both a broad and narrow context, and as both obstacles and opportunities in life, love, and the hereafter. We will also identify a glossary of key words for each that can personally connect us to each one as we own and learn to use in becoming MORE THAN... In Life, In Love, and In the Hereafter.
"Stop worrying about the world ending today. It’s already tomorrow in Australia." Charles M. Schulz
"The greatest day in your life and mine is when we take total responsibility for our attitudes. That's the day we truly grow up." John C. Maxwell
"Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way." Viktor E. Frankl
"A bad attitude is like a flat tire. You can’t go anywhere until you change it." - Anonymous
[attitude]; a settled way of thinking or feeling about someone or something, a disposition or mindset impacting subsequent approach and behavior towards life, love, and the hereafter.
[attitude]; a psychological construct, a mental and emotional entity that inheres in, or characterizes a person. Attitudes are complex and are an acquired state through experiences past and present (physical spiritual, emotional). It is an individual's predisposed state of mind regarding a value and it is precipitated through a responsive expression towards a person, place, thing, or event (the attitude object) which in turn influences the individual's thought and action.
[key attitude words]: Apathy/Passionate - Anger/Joy - Doubt/Belief - Despair/Hope - Pride/Humility
Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. 19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. 20 But that is not the way you learned Christ!— 21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be made new in the attitude of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. 25 Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. 26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and give no opportunity to the devil. 28 Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. 29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
I guess we all have figured out by now that attitudes are important. For followers and believers’ in Jesus - attitudes are a game-changer. For our context (more than), Paul listed three virtues that are available to our attitude to become MORE THAN in Life Love and the Hereafter.
The first - BE HUMBLE. In Greek culture, humility was thought of as a vice or weakness, to be practiced only by slaves or anyone considered by culture or class as lesser than. But Paul stated that Christians should be completely humble in their day to day lives. This is the opposite of pride. On the other hand Christians should not promote false humility, but should recognize who they are in God’s program.
For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.
This virtue is listed first because of Paul’s consistent emphasis on unity (pride destroys unity - humility builds unity) and to counteract their struggle with past pride, and to motivate and facilitate obedience and dependence on God. Christ was the supreme example of that kind of humility.
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
The second - BE GENTLE. The evidence of a right attitude in a Christian believer is to be gentleness or “meek” (prautētos).
1 Peter 3:13-17
Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, 15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, 16 having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. 17 For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.
This is the opposite of being abrasive, rude, and harsh. The expectation here is - keeping one’s emotions under control (chill). Gentle or Meek - not soft or weak. Not looking for weakness or passivity here. Reach for balance - between one who is angry all the time and one who is never angry - somewhere between the "anger ball and the "sponge-ball." Anyone who is controlled by God can be angry at the right time but never angry at the wrong time. Moses had the reputation for being a gentle or meek man (Numbers 12:3). But, he got angry when Israel sinned against God (Exodus 32). Jesus was both gentle and humble in heart (Matthew 11:29). But, He became angry because the Priests rented the temple space as a public E-Bay for thieves (Matt. 21:12–13).
The third - BE PATIENT. patience (makrothymias). Patience is the never give up, wait a little longer, persevering spirit of peace that gives us the attitude needed to become MORE THAN and not lesser than in times of frustration, difficulty, and adversity.
Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. 8 You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. 9 Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door. 10 As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11 Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.
It is the faith and focus that trusts and believes and does not doubt and pout. This patience does not quickly and hastily retaliate or abandon God's plans and promises. Patience is evidence that we are becoming MORE THAN in Life, Love, and the Hereafter.
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
Paul gives these us these three attitudes (humility - gentleness - patience) to listen to, to learn from, and to love with. They are available to use to become the new us - MORE THAN and NEVER LESS THAN. These are available to unite the two of us to become better than just one of us, and to bring confidence and certainty to the fact that conquering doesn't always look like winning. For us to become more humble, abandoning self-pride and arrogance, to embrace gentleness and reject being rude, harsh and abrasive, and finally to understand that patience is a complete virtue. Patience is capable of leading us into an attitude that always gives us hope, help and the MORE THAN advantage in life, love, and the hereafter. Paul is saying... bear with one another in love and make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. In our character and conduct reflect this new attitude. Be MORE THAN. Use your new attitude in your character and conduct to "protect this house" guard and represent what God made in creating the “one new man."
But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.
They are to keep this unity “through the bond” which consists of “peace.” This attitude will mean that Christians will listen to, learn from, and love each other even in frustration, difficulty, and adversity.
The teachable moment for you and I becomes when we have been begun to be made new in the attitude of our minds; no longer futile in our thinking, darkened in our understanding, and ignorant of God's truth. These are not commands and demands - these are attitudes needed to love, serve and lead as MORE THAN in Life, Love, and the Hereafter.
We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.
Located in Peoria, AZ, we are a non-denominational Christian church. We love God and teach His Truth. We invite you, your family and friends to join us on the faith journey, growing closer to one another, the Christian community of believers at Reunion, and most importantly with God. Read more about the timeless Truth we build our lives and faith in Christ on HERE.
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