Monday, February 17, 2014

YOU! No more pecking order!

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We are examining “YOU” as a member of the body of Christ.
Bill Hybels notes: "Take ten chickens, any ten. Put them in a pen together, and spread a little chicken feed. In short order, you will witness an amazing phenomenon. In a matter of minutes, the chickens, previously strangers, will form a hierarchy based on dominance or, in everyday language, they will establish a Pecking Order. Instinctively, they will determine, through a series of skirmishes, who the Number One chicken will be; then the Number Two; the Number Three; all the way down to the unlucky Number Ten chicken.

Much is at stake in this dance of domination. Chicken Number One pecks at and intimidates Chicken Number Two, without experiencing any kind of retribution from Chicken Number Two. Chicken Number Two will take it from Chicken Number One but will turn around and peck away at Chicken Number Three, who will in turn, take out its frustration on Chicken Number Four. The Pecking Order continues all the way down to Chicken Number Ten, who, needless to say, has a pretty miserable life - pecked but no one to peck."
This phenomenon of the Pecking Order does not belong exclusively to chickens. We see it today very clearly in the business world. But the truth is, it’s not just in the business world but everywhere. It happens at family picnics, parties, class reunions, sporting events, conventions, and the Church.

I recall at a recent lunch at a convention for pastors, this very phenomenon. Most of the discussion revolved around a few questions. So where do you pastor? What is your position? How many people attend your church? How big is your staff? Some even ask, "How big is your budget?" I saw preachers, missionaries, and church workers, lining up in the order. The truth is no one is immune to this phenomenon.
We all have the tendency to look at others in terms of their profession, educations, wardrobes, cars, homes, and with the subconscious mindset of fitting them into the Pecking Order.

So, what’s the problem. It’s natural. Here is the problem. Jesus Changed the Pecking Order!

Our Text today is Philippians 2:5-11 NRSV:

Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,

who, though he was in the form of God,
    did not regard equality with God
    as something to be exploited,
but emptied himself,
    taking the form of a slave,
    being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form,
    he humbled himself
    and became obedient to the point of death—
    even death on a cross.

Therefore God also highly exalted him
    and gave him the name
    that is above every name,
10 so that at the name of Jesus
    every knee should bend,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue should confess
    that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father.

In order to be great in God’s kingdom, you and I have to willing to embrace the attitude that Jesus demonstrated. We learn from the text that Jesus was against the Pecking Order. Jesus understood that equality with God was not something that we can grasp…in our flesh we seek to serve our selfish desires and ourselves. In contrast, God’s order is love, compassion, and right living. A CHRIST-FOLLOWER is one that is willing to follow Jesus’ example by embracing attitudes of release, reverence, and resolve. God responds to his people that living with this attitude by lifting them up and granting his reward.

I refuse to line up in the packing order... You know I love ya, Don 

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