Zach Zehnder takes us into week two of the Serving Challenge, a 40 day journey to serve like Jesus. Today's message is about attitude.
Well, good morning, king of Kings, how we doing today. Good morning. I want to say hello again to Northwest Omaha. Come on, I street, give it up for Northwest Omaha, yeah, and of course, what's up I street. It is good to be with you all today as we explore how to serve like Jesus. All right, I want to start with a a. Would you rather question Would you rather clean your bathroom or do your dishes? You got to pick one, all right. So I'm going to ask it again and you got to raise your hand and hoot and holler both campuses, would you rather? How many say I'd rather clean my bathroom? Hands up, hoot and holler, really okay. How many say I'd rather do the dishes? How many have abstained and said I don't want to do either and I don't want to participate in this pastor's illustration? Stubborn people. I got you to be a part of it Somehow, some way. I don't know that I saw the numbers reflected here at I street, but there's a new survey out that says actually more Americans would rather clean their bathrooms than do the dishes. Crazy. So let me be one more question how many of you truthfully actually like or enjoy doing the dishes? Someone here said love it. There are twisted people in this world Saw a few hands go up. Here's what I found about doing dishes. Not many like to do it, but everybody kind of has to do it, and there's lots of ways and opinions and strategies and tactics in how to do the dishes. And so you have to decide. If you live with somebody else, are you going to be one of two types of people A the type of person that says you know what I prefer, to do things myself and get things done the way I want to, to stack them in the dishwasher myself and put them away the way that I want them to, and so that's what I'm choosing. Or B are you going to invite others into this battle of doing the dishes and in so welcoming others to join you in the battle, you welcome their opinions, their strategies, their tactics and all the wrong ways in which they do the dishes? This is the battle my wife, alice and I are experiencing at our home. We're welcoming our two teenage boys into the battle because at some point our kids have to contribute, yes, but now that they're in, we get their opinions, we get their strategies and turns out, everybody does the dishes the same way. Maybe you've seen this in your home. In our home we've got some kids that like to stack the dishwasher and pack it in super tight and some just leave way too much empty space. Not good stewardship. Our dishwasher the spoons lay flat and so one of us four lays the spoons up. The other three are adamant it spoons down every time. Some people with dishes it's like the pots and pans are the hardest to clean and so they will hand wash them, and others are like no, that's the reason we bought a dishwasher, they go in the dishwasher. Some people believe that bowls are meant for top rack only. Others sinfully try to place them on the bottom rack. Some pre-scrub dishes and get them clean even before they get them in the dishwasher. Others take them as dirty as they are, and again, that's why we bought a dishwasher. For some they don't mind dirty dishes sitting in the sink. In fact, some younger folks are more on the lines to allow dirty dishes to sit in the sink for one to four days. Others don't like spending one to four minutes with dirty dishes in the sink. Some in the morning. They don't care if they wake up to a kitchen that has a few dishes in it. Others. It's a cardinal sin to wake up to anything other than a perfectly tidy and clean kitchen, and that's actually what brings you the most happiness in life, and you know who you are. Needless to say, like I said, there's a lot of ways to do the dishes, and I'm not a slob by any means. I wouldn't like my dishes sitting in the sink for more than a day. That seems excessive to me. But I'm not one of those types that needs to have them done and walk down to a perfectly clean and tidy kitchen. And so why do I do the dishes? Why do we all do the dishes? Well, a somebody's got to do them, they've got to get done. But why do I do the dishes? Because remember those people that wake up and they believe it's a cardinal sin that if the kitchen is not perfectly tidy and clean, that then they won't be happy in life. I married one of those, and that brings her a lot of joy and happiness. And so the reason that I do the dishes solely for me is because I have found maybe you know this phrase that a happy wife equals a what, and if that's all I got to do, then I'll do it, and it's taken me some years to get to that point. But I was thinking yesterday as I was doing the dishes, I was thinking you know, I don't know when the last time I've complained about doing the dishes? I mean, I guess I'm kind of doing it to you right now, but you know what I mean Like and again, I don't enjoy it, hardly any of us do but we do them because they need to get done and there have been times in the past I do need to admit and confess that I have done the dishes, or maybe it's some other household chore. Maybe you can relate maybe it's some other thing on the to-do list that you have done the thing that's on the to-do list, but you've done it with such a poor attitude and you've walked around as you're doing it like acting like a suffering servant, that after you finished doing the thing that you were supposed to do, you're actually worse off than if you hadn't even done the thing to begin with. Anyone know what I'm talking about. This silly, trivial example proves that the motivation behind what you do can be more important than what you do. More on that in today's message. Let me catch you up where we were last week. We just launched a brand new sermon series called Serving Challenge, in addition to a series here at King of Kings. We're welcoming everybody to get in this series in a deeper way than just hearing the messages, though. We definitely wanna make sure you come back for those, and so many of us here at King of Kings are going through Serving Challenge, a 40 day challenge to serve like Jesus, and we're on day six of this. If you missed the first five and you're like, oh man, I'm coming in late, that's totally okay. The first five days were really introductory. Honestly, you can catch up in probably 20 to 30 minutes and then you're right here with us, and actually the daily challenges start today, day six, and so get in. If you haven't Couple of ways to get deeper into Serving Challenge, if you have not yet joined a Connect Group, these are our small groups here at King of Kings. We're going through this on a deeper level in relationship with groups, and so there are openings available at each campus on Wednesday nights and if you're new to King of Kings, like this is how we get deeper, this is how we grow in relationship. And then I mentioned it last week, I'm so proud of the team here at King of Kings. Our brand new app is incredible. It's intuitive. If you have the old King of Kings app, you'll have to update or refresh and you'll see a brand new app. And even for Serving Challenge, we've got daily one or two minute videos that are encouraging. We can talk to one another, we can challenge one another, encourage, talk about what we're doing, what we failed to do, and just really be the body of Christ, especially now that we're one church in multiple campuses. And so download the app. It's really cool. I started the sermon series last week reminding you that you are great. You have greatness inside of you. God is great and he created you in his image, and you actually do not diminish God's greatness. When you live up to your greatness, you reflect it all the more. But the path to be great according to God is very different than the ways of this world. The path to be great actually is found in the world. It actually is found in following the way of Jesus, who himself said I didn't come to be served, but to serve. We learned last week that, according to Jesus, greatness is service, not status, and so we're looking at how did Jesus serve us in these 40 days so that we can ultimately serve more like him. And we're looking at Philippians two to guide us in this series, verses five to 11. We're gonna slowly work our way through them in this series now, and so we're starting in verse five, which is gonna kind of lay the tone of what God is going to and how he's going to service in the following verses. But it starts right here with this. We're looking at five aspects and we're getting the first aspect and it says this here it is in your relationship with one another, have the same mindset Other translations say attitude as Christ Jesus. So we're looking at five aspects and this is the number one aspect. It's the attitude. So we're gonna get to serving in this challenge. Trust me, we will do some things. If we go all the way through serving challenge and don't actually do anything like that would be a real miss, right. But I think it's really appropriate and we see it even in the passage in Philippians two to spend some time setting up why we do all of this, to spend some time thinking about what's going on on the inside and our attitude or our mindset. And the word attitude like it's kind of is it the mind or is it the heart, or is it both? It's kind of both, in fact. Science talks about how these two are continually communicating with one another, and so I'm gonna kind of use those interchangeably heart, mind, attitude, mindset. But how we doing on the inside, before we do things and we will I wanna make sure that it's coming from the right heart, with the right motivation. And I've found in my life at least in my life pursuing my relationship with God that I can tend to be more of a doer than actually just being with God and making sure that all my doing is coming from the right place. And when all I do is do and I don't be with God, what happens is I can start thinking about all the things that I do and start thinking that I'm doing a really good job and become self-righteous and then maybe even at some point become judgy of others if they're not doing as much as I'm doing. And when you live with that mentality, you get burnt out, you get exhausted, and so what's your attitude? What's going on on the inside for you? So today's message is gonna have two parts First we're gonna do an attitude check and then we're gonna have an attitude alignment. Attitude check, attitude alignment. I'm hopefully gonna do what a chiropractor will do with your back, except in doing it with your attitude today. So everybody say attitude check. I remember those words my student pastor on mission trips. He would wake us up at some ungodly hour and then, 15 seconds after he woke all the students up, he'd say attitude check. And we'd all say praise the Lord, cause all we wanted to do is go back to sleep. Attitude check, praise the Lord. I tend to look at things more from a collective mindset because I don't know each of your stories and what I see collectively, and you know this. You look at trends and charts and all the numbers are spiraling in directions we don't want them to go. And we can see that on the inside, mentally, like we're really struggling in these days. And the issue is, if we're struggling on the inside, eventually that's gonna come out on the outside. Jesus said these words in Mark, chapter seven, starting in verse 20,. Jesus went on. He said what comes out of a person is what defiles them. So what comes out is what defiles you. But then he says but it's from within, out of a person's heart, that evil thoughts come sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly All these evils come from inside and defile a person, and so God is saying, like it's what comes out of you that will defile you, but what comes out of you is what you put inside of you that will eventually come out, whether you like it or not. So we need to make sure that we're okay on the inside, that we're not stuffing or suppressing our feelings or welcoming in a lot of inappropriate things inside, so that on the outside we're good. That can happen, though, right? I know if you've been in relationship. There are times in your relationship that you've been arguing with the person for maybe hours, days or weeks and at the end of it you're not even sure like what are we even arguing about in the first place? Because likely you don't remember the thing that you were arguing about in the first place, because it wasn't about the thing in the first place. It was about all the things you'd suppressed, all the conflict that you hadn't dealt with. That now is coming out of you in a way that's unhealthy, and that's what Jesus is saying. He's saying I want to make sure you're healthy on the inside so that what comes out is good. Have you noticed and I don't know if it's a direct coincidence in 2007, that was the first year the iPhone came out and in 2008, the first ever rage room was built. Have you heard of these rage rooms? They're becoming really quite popular. They're called anger rooms or smash rooms. If you haven't been to one. You rent out the room for 45 minutes or an hour and you essentially just go there and throw things out of wall and smash things and get all of your anger out, and the popularity for these things has really grown. In fact, some places actually have a BYOB policy to get to bring your own box. You can throw all of your own stuff, all of that sentimental stuff your ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend gave to you. You can throw that against the wall and people thought I wonder if this is a healthy way, like let people blow off steam for a while and maybe then they'll be better off after it. In Google, in search of 2023, rage rooms have gone up 46%. I think the only industry growing faster than rage rooms is pickleball, and I've played it a lot in the last couple of years and it's pickleball other than an opportunity to stand six feet away from your opponent and just smash the ball as hard as you can at each other and annoy all the neighbors that live around them, but at first it was thought these rooms might be healthy again and let people blow off steam. Many of us want to get better on the inside, but is it working? An option that may feel good for less than an hour is it actually leaving people feeling better? And maybe you'll call the Fun Police on me, and you'd have every right to do that. I'm not saying you should never go to that, but my main point in research is now out on this is these rooms may be helpful, but this is the caveat If you actually have other ways to cope mentally outside of this. Otherwise it can have devastating consequences and it can just flare you up even more. Like any of us need to be flared up anymore, and this is what's kind of crazy Again the world of iPhone and all the information that we live in today. Like we live in a world filled with more information than we ever have before and we get to curate what it is that we bring in, what we listen to, what we watch, what we read more than we ever have, and sadly, though, it's not having the effects that I think we want it to have. It's actually leaving us feeling more flared up, more polarized, more divisive, and it's like that's not what it ought to be doing to us. I was on the elliptical July 3rd 2023, this year and I noticed on the screen that already in 2023, at the halfway point of the year we had had 330 mass shootings, and that number surpassed the entire year of 2016, and we'd already accomplished it halfway through this year. We're just getting angrier and more polarized and more divisive, and I know these are like the extreme emotions, but I think you can look at the trends and charts as well to see that some of the inner ones are also struggling. Things like loneliness and depression and sadness, like we're not right on the inside and eventually it'll blow up on the outside. What Jesus is saying to us is if you're unhealthy on the inside, you will do unhealthy things on the outside, and so, again, I don't know your specific circumstance, but if you're the average person in here right now, then today you are in a worse place mentally on the inside than you were five, ten or twenty years ago, and the younger generations are getting crushed by this even more because this is the only world they've ever known, and here's why this is important. Lean into this. The University of California, berkeley, has said that the major side effects of all of the polarization that we're experiencing in our nation right now listen to what their conclusion is it makes us more likely to demonize one another, especially those that are different from us, and so, in the scope of serving, we are far less likely to serve somebody if we're demonizing them, if we're divisive, if we're polarized, if we're different, if we can't agree, if we're unhealthy on the inside. And so what do we do? Thank God, we have an answer. Part two everybody say attitude alignment. So how do we get our attitude aligned If the diagnosis, the X-ray, is in and collectively we're struggling like what's the fix, what's going to change? And my answer to all spiritual problems which this is a spiritual problem is look to Jesus, and that's what we're doing in these 40 days. It's impossible to have a mindset like Jesus without a mindset on Jesus. You can tweet that, or is it X that? Now I don't even know what it is anymore. So we're going to look at what's the mindset, what's the attitude that Jesus has, and we're actually going to jump into a really polarizing, divisive moment that Jesus was thrown into the middle of. It's in John chapter eight and some of your Bibles. If you were to open to them, they will read that some of the earliest manuscripts don't actually include these verses in it, and scholars have wondered why, because clearly it was a part of some of the manuscripts, and so they've wondered. Not that it wasn't available at that point, but maybe the reason that it wasn't in is because the nature of the content is so controversial and so scandalous that the early church didn't know what to do with it. So better just leave it out. It's a really polarizing, divisive moment. John chapter eight, starting in verse one, it says but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives by the way, I hate olives, so I can't think of a much worse mountain, maybe like the Mount of Mushrooms, or Mount of Kale would be like the worst one. That's not the point, though. Let me keep going. Had dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. He was there to teach that day and he would teach, but maybe in a different way than what they thought. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery and they made her stand before the group. And last I checked, committing an act of adultery requires two people, and so my question that comes up is where's the man? Where's the man in this situation? And again, this is scandalous, right we think of. They catch her in the act of adultery and they drag her to Jesus. Was she even clothed? Was she wrapped in bedsheets? We don't know. Clearly this was a plan to humiliate and sabotage this woman. But there's something deeper going on, and I'll show you that in just a moment. And the teachers of the law of Pharisees said to Jesus, verse four this woman was caught in the act of adultery and in the law, moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say? And so far they're right. I mean without, with the exception of not bringing the man. They're doing the right thing. I'll read it word for word Deuteronomy 22, 22. If a man is found sleeping with another man's wife, both the man who slept with her and the woman must die. You must purge the evil from Israel, and so that's the law that God gave to Moses and Jesus. You've been saying you're the son of God and so apparently this is the law that you actually spoke into existence. And so what do you say? Verse six we see what's really going on here. They were using this question as a trap in order to have a basis for accusing him. It's a pretty well thought out trap, think about it. What it's the law that you gave. And so what do you say? If Jesus says yes, stone her, then that would seem to go against kind of the vibe and the teaching of grace and salvation and hope and mercy to all. But if he said no, don't stone her, then that would seem that Jesus is relaxing on his morals and on the law, which is, again the law that he gave, and clearly, if somebody's doing something wrong according to the law, there ought to be a punishment, right, I think. So they catch him, or they thought they caught him. I love what Jesus does and then miss of this heated, polarized, divisive moment. But Jesus bent down and started to ride on the ground with his finger, so in the middle of this trap that they've been planning I don't know how long they were planning, I don't know how many people were involved, but they've been planning that and it's the heat of the moment. And what does Jesus do? He draws on the ground, and it frustrates these teachers and Pharisees of the law to no end. They want to kill this man. And he's just drawing, just drawing a picture. Maybe we don't know what he's writing or what he's drawing. And so it says they kept on questioning him. They weren't happy with his response, but they kept questioning him. And then, when they questioned him, what did Jesus do? He straightened up and said to them let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her. And again he stooped down and wrote on the ground, and at this, those who heard began to go away, one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left with the woman still standing there. Now again, there are different theories. I find it fascinating to think about. What did Jesus write in the ground? Sometimes the Bible is amazing for what it includes. Other times it's amazing for what it doesn't include. Lots of fun theories. And so one theory is that Jesus, he was doodling, just doing just that, just doodling on the ground, just like drawing a picture. And I think the image that we want to see here is that you're trying to trap me. That's hilarious. I'm just gonna draw a picture as you went through all this planning. Another theory is that Jesus was writing a Bible verse. He certainly knew a lot of them. Another theory because they all left is that Jesus was writing the names of those in attendance and then he would put a sin next to their name and that's what got them to leave. And it's funny because the text says they all left, but the older ones left first. It's not because the older ones are bigger sinners, they just had a longer time to do it and likely a longer list. These are fun to think about, but I think if God was only on record writing one thing in this world, even if it was in dirt, it wouldn't be words of guilt and shame to help people remember their sin, because God is not a sin writer, he's a sin destroyer. And so more important than what was in the dirt was this next moment that would happen with this woman. Jesus straightened up and asked her woman where are they? Has no one condemned? You Can't imagine what she's feeling, what she's going through. There's no indication that she was even interested in a relationship with Jesus or what he even had to offer. She was committing an act of adultery just minutes before, and I get that. Jesus cleared the crowd because they were sinful and they had no stone to throw. But here is the perfect, clean and sinless man. Is now the time when he's gonna tell me how much I screwed up, and now is when he's gonna punish me. Has no one condemned you? No one, sir, she said. And Jesus looks at her right in the eyes. I like that. He started this story and he's literally kneeling in a posture below, but then he straightens up and he looks her eye to eye and he says then neither do I condemn you. Go now and leave your life of sin. What an amazing story In a really polarized way, in a really polarizing moment, when everybody wanted to take out their rage and throw things because life wasn't going the way they wanted it to. No one had a stone to throw, and the only one that could have thrown a stone never even picked one up off of the ground. To begin with, she didn't deserve it, but God didn't want to drag her through the dirt any longer. And this image of what is going on in that crowd that day, I think, is the image in the battlefield that's going on for our minds every day. And I really believe the number one reason we struggle with mental health today is because we're listening to the lies and the traps of the enemy far more than the truth of the gospel. And I believe that the reason we struggle with mental health today is because we're listening to the lies and the traps of the enemy far more than the truth of the gospel. And if we just come around the truth of the gospel and hear Jesus' words, like he gave to this woman for our own lives, for our own dirt man, I wonder how much life would be different and changed. And I get it. I know why we listen to the lies of the enemy and the traps of the enemy because, honestly, there's some truth to what he says. We all have dirt that we bring into our relationship with God and it's real. I get that. And I also understand that the enemy, he doesn't want to be in relationship with me and so what he wants to do is he wants to accuse me and accuse me, and accuse me and remind me of the things I've done, remind me of the things I've said, remind me of the things I haven't done, remind me of that one night when it all went crazy and just tell me that over and over and over. And as he tells me that he gets louder and louder and louder because he doesn't desire a relationship with me, but because he's prowling around like a roaring lion, he speaks loudly so he can just go tell somebody else what they've done. And what I love about Jesus is he got down in the dirt in this moment. Later he would become the dirt we'll get to that in a moment but he gets down into the dirt. But then when he talks to the woman, he rises up to remind her of a truth that I'm coming eye level to you right now and I don't need to shout at you the fact that word of God talks many times about how God comes in a gentle whisper, God is reminding her I don't need to shout, because I actually desire to be close to you.Speaker 2:
I want a relationship with you. Your dirt doesn't scare me, doesn't keep me away. The enemy, he's gonna keep coming at you loud, but he does not care about you. He seeks to destroy you. And so don't just listen and take it and take it and take it, but listen to the truth of the gospel that says I love you, I forgive you, I choose you. When no one else will come near to you, I will. I have.Speaker 1:
And so my hope today is that, this image of that polarizing, divisive moment that I believe is a part of all of our lives, if we're honest, is that you would get to a place where you see no other accusers around and it's just you and Jesus. And I legit, honestly, don't care how you got here today. Just like this woman, she was dragged to Jesus, probably scantily clad and probably with no desire or intent to even enter into anything with him. And so God doesn't care how you come, just that you get here. And you're here today. What a beautiful time to hear the truth of the gospel, because God would do more than just get down and doodle in the dirt. He would become the dirt. He would take on all your dirt, all your mess, all your sin, all your stain, and he would carry that on his perfect body and he would take it all the way to the cross. And what we see in John 8 is just a beautiful foreshadowing of what God would do, through Christ on the cross and in the tomb. Jesus was there that day to teach a lesson and teach a lesson did he ever? But it was also a foreshadowing to tell the enemy that you can come at me with whatever trap you want, you will not keep me down. You want to make a public spectacle of me in this moment. You will not make a public spectacle of me, I will make a public spectacle of you. You thought those Pharisees and teachers of the law were your weapons that were going to bring this woman, to destroy her. I'll use the enemy's weapons against him if I have to, to bring grace and freedom to those who need to hear it. That's what I'll do. And so the plan didn't work. Trap didn't work. And so what did they do? They reassembled, they thought bigger. They got Satan himself in on this one. They got one of the 12 to turn and betray and silence the other 11 pretty much. And Jesus took the dirt on the cross yours and he died. And then they took his dead, lifeless body and buried it in a tomb and put it with a stone that was so large that no human being could move it. What did they do? They trapped Jesus in the best way they knew possible. Jesus got down in the dirt like he'd never gotten down in the dirt before. But on Easter morning he straightened up, took one miraculous breath, rolled the stone away and told the enemy and all his accusers, you will never keep me and my people down. You don't trap Jesus, you don't trap my God, and so stop living and trapped, stop thinking that you'll work your way out of it. That's a trap that the enemy wants you to live in all your life. You never will. But the good news is you don't have to, because God did it for you. And when our serving others comes from the right heart of gratitude of when I made a mess of my life, jesus got messy for me so I could be called up out of that life and live a life for him and serve others. That's when we can change the world. So I've got two challenges today, one I mentioned earlier if you're not in the 40 to challenge, get in, try it. Serve like Jesus. See what happens. It might just be the very thing you realize that you were created for. My number two challenge this week really practical I want you to do the dishes every day this week. And if you're in a family with a lot of people like, how cool would it be if you guys are arguing not over who has to do the dishes, but who doesn't have to do the dishes, as you're scrubbing those dirty plates, dirty bowls and stupid pots and pans. So you're taking that dirt off. May you receive the grace of Jesus that has removed every dirty thing you've ever done, every dirty thought you've ever had done, removed, paid for, and may your life be changed by that Stand please let's pray. God, this is a holy moment, and so let us not miss it. We're here, god, just you and me. There are no accusers around. And if I could be honest with you, god, sometimes the reason I listen to the lies of the enemy is because there's more truth in what he has to say than lies. I did make mistakes.Speaker 2:
I have screwed up. I don't deserve you.Speaker 1:
The gospel says that when we have sinned, god came near and became a servant, a servant obedient to death, even death on a cross. So, lord, I know who I've been and I know even who I will be without you, as I try to walk in this life and I try to do things on my own sometimes and I know I'll fail. But I receive your grace anew today and I pray that everybody receives it, because this gift is for all. If you could be there for an adulterous woman, why can't you be there for me, for each of us in this room? You can and you are, and you're here right now. And so may we stop listening to the accuser and to the father of lies, and may we listen to the truth teller and the one who is willing to endure all of my dirt For God. You are worthy, you're worthy. It's what you want most for your kids to just receive the gift and, after we receive it, to serve. We love you, jesus. It's in your name we pray. May the Father both campuses set.