Series: Upside Down. James Dewhurst March 1, 2020

Upside Down


Today, we begin an 8-week series, that is in tandem with our Real Groups, called – Upside Down!

One of the hardest things to do in life is to be consistently different than the world that’s around you!

> The benefit to blending in, is that you don’t ever get singled out!

> The price of blending in, is that you won’t ever get to stand out!

Matthew 5:14-16
14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (ESV)

-Our world says, Look at Me, but God’s Word says, Look at Him!

-Our world says, Promote Yourself, but God’s Word says, Humble Yourself!

-Our world says, Do what you want, but God’s Word says, Do what God asks!

-Our world says, Even the score, but God’s Word says, Forgive the Debt!

-Our world says, Speak your mind, but God’s Word says, Hold your tongue!

-Our world says, Point out mistakes, but God’s Word says, Cover those mistakes!

-Our world says, Take all you can, but God’s Word says, Give all you’ve got!

The definition of the word Invert is: to put upside down or in the opposite position, order, or arrangement.

Ephesians 5:1-2
1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (ESV)

Matthew 5:1-12
1 Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him. 2 And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying: 3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. 5 “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. 6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. 7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. 8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. 9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. 10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (ESV)

+ The word “Blessed” used in this passage means to be happy. The problem is, none of the circumstances in this passage is anything to get very excited about. So, How?

+ Jesus wants us to know there is an internal joy that comes from obeying God, that supersedes even the worst circumstances around us. Spiritual joy from obedience!

Matthew 5:8
8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. (ESV)

*God’s blessings in our lives are directly connected to the motives in our hearts!*

Proverbs 16:2 “All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the Lord.”

A French philosopher said – “We would often be ashamed of our best actions if the world only knew the motives behind them.”

Someone else said – “Motives are invisible, but they are the truest test of character.”

George Washington Carver – “If one’s motives are wrong, nothing can be right.”

Unknown – “Genuine kindness doesn’t have ulterior motives.”

James 3:17
17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. (ESV)

The word Pure means: “to be unmixed, without contamination or dilution.”

God wants our motives to be pure because the world is expecting them to be selfish!

Philippians 2:3-4
3 Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. (ESV)

One of the greatest hurts in life is finding out we’ve been used when we thought we were being loved!

1 Timothy 1:5
5 The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. (ESV)

God wants to purge our motives so we stop wounding people and start healing them:

> What can I get from you, needs to become, what can I do for you?

> How can you benefit me, I need to turn into, how can I benefit you?

> What can you offer me, needs to upgrade to, what can I offer you?

-Motivation is moving people for mutual advantage!

-Manipulation is moving people for self-advantage!

Matthew 20:28
28 even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (ESV)

Pure motives alone, have the power to turn our world upside down!

The most valuable person to have in your life is the one who is only there for your good!

Selfishness and selflessness both have an aroma. One is funky and the other fragrant!

Ask: Am I putting off the aroma of Christ or the stench of selfishness to my world?

1 Corinthians 13:4
4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant (ESV)

John 15:13
13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. (ESV)

A true servant always places the best interest of others before their own!

To become pure in our motivations, we need the Holy Spirit within us, to help us do two things:

(1) Conquer Old Desires!

The pursuit of power, prestige, pleasure, position, and praise are all improper motives!

The trouble with wrong motives is they can end up hardening and become principles!

The Bible tells us a story about two of Jesus’ disciples who had a motivation problem, in:

Mark 10:35-45
35 And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came up to him and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” 36 And he said to them, “What do you want me to do for you?” 37 And they said to him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.” 38 Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” 39 And they said to him, “We are able.” And Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you will drink, and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized, 40 but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.” 41 And when the ten heard it, they began to be indignant at James and John. 42 And Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 43 But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (ESV)

+ These two men, who were serving Jesus, had some old desires still in their hearts.

+ Pride, power, and prestige were driving them to try and undercut the other 10 disciples.

+ Jesus, lovingly turned their world upside down, by challenging them to serve instead.

The disciples learned that day that the way up is down!

(2) Create New Desires!

Psalm 51:10
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. (ESV)

Philippians 2:13
13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. (ESV)

God doesn’t manipulate us, he transforms us from selfish to selfless by his spirit!

We need to be pure in heart, for our ministry to others to ever have meaning!

How do we get our motivations to be pure?

Psalm 139:23-24
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! 24 And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting! (ESV)

Need Prayer?