THE PROPER ATTITUDE.
1. In recent years, since I have been here, I have spoken several times on the subject of attitude.
2. Basically, I feel that this idea of "attitude" holds the key to all progress and all problems.
A. Especially is this true in the field of religion.
3. Attitude defined: Webster says that "attitude" means:
A. "Posture; position assumed or studied to serve a purpose; as, a threatening attitude."
B. "Position or bearing as indicating action, feeling, or mood; as, keep a firm attitude; hence, the feeling or mood intself; as, a kindly attitude."
4. The word "attitude" is comparable to disposition, outlook or approach that one manifests to a subject or principle that confronts him.
5. Possibly one of the finest compliments that can be paid to a person is that he or she has a fine, or good attitude.
I. THE WORD "ATTITUDE" ITSELF IS NOT FOUND IN THE BIBLE.
A. But there are a number of principles used that involve attitude.
1. For instance: in the Sermon on the Mount, found in Matt. 5,6,7, there are sayings of Jesus that are referred to as "beattitudes".
a. Each one of these statements gives reference to a person's attitude about certain things. Take time just here to read: Matt. 5:1-16.
2. I think Jesus detected the proper attitude in a lawyer when He told him: "Thou art not far from the kingdom of God", Mk. 12:28-34.
3. Paul referred to the proper attitude of citizens of the kingdom in Phil. 2:5-16.
4. The Bible refers to men that obeyed the Word, and those that refused to obey. Acts 2:36-47; 24:24,25; 26: 27-29.
a. Attitude was a great factor in all three of these cases.
b. And so it is in similar cases today. If people truly have the right attitude, they will obey the gospel.
II. THE PROPER ATTITUDE.
A. Nothing must be allowed to take precedence over our desire to KNOW and PRACTICE the truth, which is the Word of God, Jno. 17:17; 8:32.
B. We must place the truth before everyone and everything else, Mt. 10:37-39; Jno. 14:15; 15:14; Mt. 15:1-9.
1. We are to "Buy the truth and sell it not...", Prov. 23:23.
C. We are to seek always to obey God rather than man, Acts 5:29; Gal. 1:10.
D. We are to view the scriptures as they truly are:
1. Take time to read: Rom. 1:16,17; 2 Tim. 3:16,17; 2 Pet. 1:3; 2 Jno. 9-11.
E. We are to consider ourselves as "strangers and pilgrims" in this world adn that we shall be judged by the Word of God when this life is over, Jno. 12:48.
III. THE VALUE OF HAVING THE PROPER ATTITUDE.
A. Toward God. Mt. 22:37.
B. Toward Others. Mt. 22:39; Phil. 2:3; Mt. 7:12.
C. Toward Ourselves. Rom. 12:3; 1 Cor. 8:2; 10:12. Gal. 6:3.
D. Toward the Bible. Rom. 1:16,17; 2 Tim. 3:16,17; 2 Pet. 1:3; 2 Jno. 9-11.
E. Toward Jesus Christ. Jno. 3:16; 8:24.
F. Toward the Church. Mt. 16:18; Acts 20:28.
G. Attitudes govern our actions.
1. We cannot expect our actions to be in harmony with God's Will unless we maintain the proper attitude. Jno. 4:23,24.
H. Our acceptance or rejection of any truth depends upon our attitude toward it, 2 Thes. 2:9-12.
I. We can never experience the joys of the kingdom of God without the proper attitude.
1. This accounts for much indifference, murmuring and the lack of joy exhibited by many members of the church today.
a. Such people haven't developed the proper attitude toward that which they have claimed to profess or accepted, Mt. 23:25-32.
J. One cannot be "faithful unto death", Rev. 2:10, without having the proper attitude in this life.
1. Just think of the marvelous attitude manifested by the apostle Paul.
a. Note these scriptures: Acts 20:24; Phil. 1:21-26; 2 Tim. 1:12; 4:6-8.
IV. IMPROPER ATTITUDES.
A. Improper attitudes on our part will keep us out of heaven.
B. Such attitudes will color our outlook and thinking with regard to the necessity of doing God's will in God's way.
C. Such attitudes will limit God's grace and mercy toward us as individuals.
1. God loves and saves those who are of a "meek spirit and contrite heart", Psa. 34:18; Isa. 66:
1. What is your attitude toward spiritual matters and obeying the word of God?
2. Remember what Jesus said: "...if ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free", Jno. 8:31,32.
3. If you are of the age of accountability and have not obeyed the Lord, your attitude is not right.
4. If you have committed sin as a child of God and have not asked forgiveness, your attitude is not right.
5. Why not have the right attitude today and obey the word of the Lord?
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