Leaders Study: "ATTITUDE"
Do you call yourself an expert on receivership? You probably say What? Or no way! But do you live your life this way, having a "me first" identity, always placing the emphases on the "I" and "Me." If only I... If it could go this way for me...Then I could....
"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." (Gal 2:20)
This means that the ownership of your life is completely self focused and centered. The ownership of your life is yours and yours alone! But Christ calls us to Him, and out of ourselves. Our ownership has been transferred, our pink slip has been signed over from ourselves to Christ, IF you postulate Christ as your Lord. What effect are you having to those around you? When we relinquish ourselves to Christ, then the proper attitude of life will take over. The vision of our life and the result of what we have will be based on a positive outlook. A positive attitude that is based solely on what Christ has done for us. So regardless of our external circumstances, we are to be totally focused on our Lord. We then are to allow our attitudes to be Christ centered. We could allow our circumstances to take the lead or Christ to take the lead, the choice is given to us.
If we are receivership oriented and not Christ centered, then all of those circumstances will be squeezed, and bitterness and resentment will flow out of them. Or we can be Christ centered and oils of sweetness will pour out. What pours out from you? Is it the love and care that is modeled to those around us or bitterness and hostility. Bitterness will not be squeezed from our circumstances, but from our attitude, which results from those circumstances. The way Christ is exhibited in you will be from your focus and attitude and not your circumstances. Your direction in life, your joy and happiness, your cares and concerns, your willingness to reach beyond yourself will grow from your attitude and maturity, all stemming from who you are in Christ!
The circumstance will change once we realize our wrong thinking and error. The receivership mentality dies within us and the Christ centered life is birthed. This is the way we are made, the reason we endure suffering, the way a fallen, sinful, and unjust world is turned from the glory of Satan into the glory of our Lord. We do this by allowing Christ to reach in us and conform us to His image and character, regardless of what we are going through, regardless of our circumstances. As we raise Christ up in our thinking and in our attitude, it changes who we are and what we do. So that we are people of distinction by our perceived behavior by others from a changed core of who we are by what Christ has done!
The attitude will be the impact that strikes at the issues of life, breaking them away from our hurt and pain to the absorption of grace and the acceptance of Christ. We can not trust in our education, wealth, success, failures, people, appearances, skill, gifts, or circumstances. The attitude of trusting in things and circumstances must be laid on the floor of the cross and no where else. So the attitude of trust in Christ takes over who we are. Our attitude must be Christ driven and not appearances driven. We must embrace the day with joy, knowing Christ is at work in us, in those around us.
Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it. As the elect, saved by grace, it is still up to us what we make out of what Christ gives us. Maturity will make the difference of a life of distinction and purpose, or a life governed by strife and chaos. So what is your response? What is your attitude? Where does your maturity lay?
Remember to begin in prayer!
· Prayer 5 min
· Pick one of the options 5-10 min
· Read lesson and bible passages 10-15min
· Discussion groups 15-30 min
· Going deep 5-10 min
· End in prayer and repeat application. 5 min
Total lesson time 45 min - 1 hr
Have your group sit in a circle and say, "Once upon a time," then have each person take turns clock wise to finish the story. Each person just puts in a sentence or two, and the next person takes it and so forth. Have your students use their imaginations, it may be funny or serious, let the story continue for 5 or so minutes.
Explain that even Shakespeare, the most eloquent writer in the history of the English language, was not able to create a unifying theme throughout his works. Nor was he able to give them application and meaning for life. Although it is a wonderful look into the human condition, in the end they are just great plays and sonnets (love poems) that cannot save us.
The Bible took over 1500 years and over 40 known authors to complete God's masterful work. From Genesis through Revelation we have a universal theme of the fall of man, God's love for us and His pursuit for our regeneration (He saved us from our sinful nature and guilt by His shed blood of grace). The Bible is a complete testimony of the human condition, the story and meaning for our existence, and the meaning of life.
Optional Story: "Grandpa's Attitude"
(This is a great illustration that I personally have seen in various forms over the years. This is a copulation of several stories of people beating the odds.)
Matt was a slow, awkward, and clumsy kid. He was shorter than the rest of the kids, had a speech impediment, and could not walk a straight line growing up. His grandfather was an Olympic athlete years ago and Matt wanted to be just like him, but was told by his parents and teachers it could never happen.
So Matt tried and tried to play sports, to run, to hit the ball or receive a pass. All Matt could do was look ridiculous and make the other kids tease and chase him. But Matt was determined to find a sport he was good at. His grandfather was a big source of encouragement and told Matt to never let people tell you that you cannot do something. It is your attitude that will determine your outcome over any ability you may or may not have.
So with his grandfather's support, he decided to keep plugging away through the teasing, failures, and setbacks he experienced. Soon he got the attention of his high school track coach who noticed that he could run. Matt never considered track; he wanted to play baseball or football. You see, Matt was like a "Forrest Gump," always teased and chased after. So out of sheer need, he developed great running skills.
Matt's grandfather bought him a letterman's jacket and said it was his as soon as you make the track team, even though his mother was outraged that her father was setting Matt up to fail. Matt knew he could do it. So he practiced every day, but when he tried out, he did not make the freshman cut. So Matt kept on practicing, and his grandfather kept on encouraging and his mother and classmates kept on teasing and harassing him. Matt persevered.
Two weeks before the junior varsity tryouts, Matt's grandfather died. Matt's mother knew this would be the end of her son's pipe dream and feared he would be devastated. Yes Matt was, and feared all of his work would be for nothing, because his grandfather would not be there. But he remembered his grandfather telling him he is to do it for himself and no one else.
Matt's Mom comforted him and said to him that he should give up. She loved him and just did not want her son to experience any more humiliation. But Matt pressed on and entered the meets for the tryouts. Matt made the cut! And he was not even at the bottom, but right in the middle of the group and would be a starter on the sprints!
His coach called Matt over and gave him a large envelope. Matt opened it and saw the school letter for his jacket along with a note from his grandfather that read, "Matt I knew you could do it."
Matt had someone to encourage and believe in him. We have a God who made us, gifted us, and loves us. He gives us the ability and strength to press on to the goal that we are called to do. The ability may not be ours but the choice to pursue it and the attitude that goes with it is our choice to make.
God has an envelope for us too, will we reach for it with a winner attitude or become bitter and withdrawn as Matt could easily have done? The choice is ours. But beware, a life with a bad attitude will be a life filled with strife, conflict, sleeplessness, and unhappiness. We are to pursue a "Rad Dude Attitude" no matter what we are going through, God will bless and keep us, and we will be that Rad Dude or Dudess!
Lesson: "Getting away from Distractions!" ("Having a Rad Dude attitude")
This series is meant to be a simple guide to help you dig into God's Word. It will provide you with the "map" of questions, tools, and a chart; but you must provide the will. To surrender our will to God's will is the essential element of being a growing Christian. God's Word provides the way; you simply provide the means.
There are many ways we can study the bible effectively. There is no "best" way, only that we do it! Many Christians feel all they have to do for Bible lessons is sit in a pew, turn on the television or radio, or naturally receive their knowledge for being a Christian; but this is not how to transform our lives. We must read and get into the Word of God ourselves: Through prayer, hard work, discipline, concentration, application, and even more prayer!
So set aside time each day free from distractions and go for it with passion and vigor. Let Christ transform you through His Word.
"For the Word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and the joints and marrow, and is discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." (Hebrews 4:12 KJV)
PRELUDE INTO GOD'S TREASURE CHEST:
ATTITUDE: Start with the proper attitude! You are going before a Holy
God, so adjust yourself with these attitudes:
REVERENCE: (Hab. 2:20, Psalm 89:7) Prepare your heart and mind, you are not going to a football game! Be quiet; clear your distracting thoughts and desires away!
YOUR WILL: (John 7:17f) We must be willing to not only read but to obey God's decrees! It is not about you, it is about God! Make it your choice!
ANTICIPATION: (Psalm 63:1) We must come before God with eagerness and expectancy. This is not a chore; it is fellowship with the creator of the universe, what better time could there be!
BE ALERT: (Prov. 1:7; 3:5-6) Find a time where you are most alert and awake!
BE IN LOVE: (Job 23:12; Jeremiah. 15:16) Fall in love with His Word! Have the appetite, as it was better than your favorite meal! Do not let it be just a duty! The love will increase as we increase in our effort and study!
"Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law." (Psalm 119:18)
A very important point: For this to work, you must have a relationship with Christ, with your trust in His grace. Without it you are programming a computer without any knowledge of its language or design. You may attempt it, but all you will get is "foolishness;" as Scripture tells us, the knowledge will be hidden from you.
"The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man's judgment." (I Cor. 14-15)
In God's eyes it is far more important why we do something than that we do something, even good. (I Sam 16:7, II Chron. 25:2) Thus we do not want to do the right thing with the wrong attitude and motives.
Discussion on "INTO THY WORD"
Open: Have all the students tie each other's wrists behind them with masking tape, so they cannot move their hands. The teacher will have to read the Bible passages. They cannot try to break free and must remain sitting down! Do not tell them why they are being tied!
1. What is it like not to be able to move your hands?
2. Read Hebrews 4:12 in several versions if available. Explain that this imagery is like an animal being cut opened and the guts coming out! (Girls should like this one)
Q. Why does the bible use this imagery to describe itself?
3. How can the Word of God get into you so you become divided and everything is exposed in you? (Explain the importance of surrendering our will, so God can use us. He usually does not when we get in the way.)
4. How can you develop a good attitude, and why would that be important in life as well as Bible study?
5. Why is reverence so important, what does it mean to you?
6. Why should we be alert?
7. What happens when we do something such as operate heavy machinery or drive a car when we are not alert?
8. Have you ever set aside time to do devotions and read the Bible by yourself on your own accord?
9. If so, how did it go? How long did you last?
10. If you stopped, why and what would be the essential ingredient (s) to keep plugging
away at it?
11. How powerful is God's Word in your life?
12. Have you ever anticipated something real bad? What was it like to anticipate? How
did you feel when you received the anticipated answer?
13. See scriptures I Sam 16:7 & II Chron. 25:2: Why is it more important to have a why
to do good stuff instead of "just do it?"
Place a $5 bill on the table in front of the students (do not expect it back) and ask them to try to get it without breaking their masking tape cuffs. Explain having a negative attitude is cutting them off from the blessings and wonder that God has in store for them. You may not be rich or famous, but that is not important, it is the positive attitude of life and receiving His redemption and blessing that will give you meaning and true happiness that no car, job, house, spouse or anything that could ever bring you!
Negative attitudes will tie us up from experiencing life, joy, fulfillment, peace, love and happiness! Negative attitudes will also get in the way of refusing to give our will up for our Lord and savior. Go through the next week being fully aware of your attitudes, keep a journal of them, that is keep track of your negative attitudes and positive attitudes. Then notice your feelings and responses in those situations.
"Prayer Walk." Spend as much time as you can, or schedule this at a different time, maybe after church, or before church next week, instead of games for youth group, etc.
Go to a public place such as a shopping mall and greet people at random and say something nice and uplifting.
(Do not witness your faith for this exercise. You can and should at a different time, because it will give you much different results. Maybe have 2 of your group witness, and the other 2 just greet. Try it!) At the same time be praying silently for the people you are talking too. Notice the attitudes of the people you are encouraging, and notice your attitude as people return kindness or bitterness. Keep in mind how you can be a bitter free person who is an encourager to others.© 2000, Rev. Richard .J. Krejcir Ph.D. Discipleship Tools www.discipleshiptools.org