THF SUNDAY SERMONS
14TH AUGUST, 2022
SERMON TITLE: Attitude
SERMON TEXT: Matthew 9:16 – 17
PREACHER: Reverend Ebenezer Olawuyi
Now, you have a new spirit, you have been recreated, your real person has been recreated, but you know what? Your spirit can never function well until your mind is controlled and renewed. Your spirit can never be at its best potential until your mind is renewed. Do you get that? You will never be at your best in life until your mind is renewed. So, what Matthew 9:17 – 18 is saying is that you can’t carry a new Spirit and still think in the old ways, it won’t work. You can’t carry a new spirit and still be thinking in the archaic way, it won’t work. You have received the Spirit of a conqueror and a victor and here you are still thinking like a loser – that’s the attitude of a loser.
Your attitude is the way you think about life and the way you see and perceive things, until you change it, you can never go far. Attitude is like a flat tyre, until you change it, you can’t go. You can manage your car with a faulty tyre for a short distance but not for a long while. Attitude is like a flat tyre, until you change it, you can’t go far. You’ve got to change the way you think, reason and perceive things.
Winston Churchill, that great man that led Great Britain for many years, said something about ‘attitude’ many years ago. He said, “Attitude is a small thing that makes a big difference”. It looks insignificant, but it makes a big difference. You know what? You are just your attitude; you are a product of your attitude. The Scriptures in Proverbs 23:7a says, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” Can you put your hands on your mouth and say, “I will use what is available to get what is unavailable. I have my mouth, I will use my mouth to get what I don’t have.” I have seen the wonders of confession even in prayers. I have seen the wonders of speaking. I tell you, if you are battling with sin and you want to stop living that life of sin, what you will do is to wake up every morning and tell yourself what God says you are: “Sin shall not have dominion over me, because I am not under the law but under Grace in the name of Jesus. I yield my body, my members as instruments of righteousness, not as instruments of unrighteousness to serve sin any longer. How will I who have been dead to sin live any longer therein? No way!” As you say this word, the Devil may still be accusing you about what you did before, but you are speaking life into your body and you will begin to walk in the reality of what you are saying.
When I read a little about Tobi Amusan, that young lady who had become the trending news now all over the world. She had made Africa and Nigeria proud. She put it on her Twitter page before she even went on the competition that she will be the next World Champion, and you know what? That affected the way she was thinking, because she didn’t just say it, she kept on practicing and working hard, mindset helping her. Your attitude will determine your focus in life and is an energizer; it energizes you. She kept on practicing and it came to pass. Attitude is like a flat tyre, until you change it, you can’t go far. “For as a man thinks in his heart, so he is.”
There is what is called ‘Mindset’, that is, the mind that is already set, a mind that is already formed. The problem a lot of us have is because our minds have been set, so you need to unset that mind because the mind itself has a spirit. The mind itself has a spirit, that was what Paul said in Ephesians 4:23 – “And be renewed in the Spirit of your Mind” because the mind itself has a spirit. It is set, that’s what he is saying there. And what makes a mind to be set? Your background. Someone who comes from a polygamous family or a family of chiefs where her father is always beating up her mother or the mother beating up her husband may grow up with the mindset that all men are wicked and can’t be trusted. If she gets married with that mindset, she will not enjoy her marriage because she will always suspect her husband’s every single step. Mindset can be terrible, some people have this mindset of poverty, so when they see a person who is rich, the next thing is to think that he has stolen or made ritual. People say, “As poor as a church rat”, because over time, people have associated Christianity with poverty. Mindset! If you don’t change that mindset, you can’t go far because when multi-million ideas come into your mind, you won’t even have the strength to pursue it.
Mindset determines everything. You see a young lady who succeeds in life and you think she is dating her lecturer? So, no lady can ever succeed without messing up? That then debars you from making efforts because you think she was in a relationship. Some people might have been saying of Amusan that she probably was going out with some of the coaches at the Commonwealth Games. Even some of the Whites would have had the mindset that Africa can never become something in life. I am aware and was reading that the BBC Crew that came refused to interview her and were questioning the success of the young lady that there must have been a mistake. It was one of them, maybe an African who came in to interview her. All of them refused, thinking how could it be an African? This is related to what we read in the Devotional this morning about the mindset that a lady can never become something in life. Who told you that a lady can never become the President of a nation? Some husbands also have this archaic mindset and so, never allow their wives to become something in life and tie her down because of the archaic mindset they brought from their family. So, they lock a brilliant lady, a lady that should become a super champion. Maybe they would have even become popular through their wife but they lock her in the kitchen. If you married a man with a terrible mindset, just pray that God would change that mindset.
Even mindset about leadership… that was what happened to the disciples and Jesus confronted their mindset. They felt that those who are bosses should be served, Jesus then told them that he was their master and boss but was washing their feet, they should also wash others’ feet. Some people just love position but do not want to work, they are never interested in serving. Mindset! They want position but do not want to work. One of the greatest thing Jesus did to his disciple was to change the way they were reasoning. At a point they thought about divorce but Jesus told them to look at what is there from the beginning. What God has joined together, let no man put asunder. Jesus wanted to change the way they were reasoning. Look at the ten leaders, what hindered them from entering the promised land? Mindset. They came back and said they saw giants in the land and thought they were like grasshoppers in their sight – the failure mindset, the defeatist mindset. Joshua and Caleb however told them that if the Lord was with them, they would take over – that’s the conqueror’s mindset: “I can’t be a loser. I can’t accept no for an answer, it is not possible. I failed today does not make me a failure.” Because you failed today does not mean you are a failure. Ask people who are great in life and they will tell you of their failures. Do not tell your child that you have never failed, you are not helping matters. If you fall seven times, rise up; have the attitude that you cannot be down, you have to rise up.
Mention the stories of men. Do you want to talk about Abraham Lincoln and the number of times he failed? Want to talk about Thomas Edison, Isaac Watt? Many stories of failure who never accepted that they were failures. Attitude will determine what you will become in life. Your attitude towards life will determine what life will give you in return. Change your mindset, that’s what Jesus was saying. Change the way you are thinking, you can’t have a new Spirit and still think like the old. Just because of your own experience, when you see a brother and a sister talking together, you think they are fornicating. What’s that? Change your mindset. That doesn’t mean you should not be careful, anyway. It doesn’t say you should not warn when you see the wrong thing. But you can’t have this failure mindset in everything in life. Mention any area of life: your profession? If you don’t have the right mindset, you can’t go far. Marriage? If you don’t have the right mindset, you can’t go far. Money? If you don’t have the right mindset, you can’t go far. Jesus said, “Nobody puts the old wine in the new wine bottle or vice-versa. What you do is that you put the new wine in the new wine bottle. That was what Paul was saying in Romans 12:2 – “…but be transformed by the renewing of your mind”.
Let me now conclude. What brings about the renewal of your mind? What you hear determines what you think. What you think determines what you believe. What you believe determines what you confess. What you confess determines the result you get. Think rightly. There is what is called wrong thinking. You want to experience the new life? You need to think rightly, don’t think negatively. Don’t think like a failure, think like a success in life. That’s why you need to be very careful of what you hear. You need to be very careful of the news you hear and the people you associate with. I told you the other day, one great motivational speaker said, “Out of every ten of people you relate with, the closest five reflect who you are. If the closest five of them are poor, you will likely have poverty mentality.” In fact, it has been established, if the closest five of them to you have an income of ₦10,000 per month, your income will likely be ₦10,000 per month. The way those people think is how you are going to think. Association – what you hear regularly and the people around you, be careful.
You can’t be greater than your thought life. Your attitude determines your altitude in life. Change the way you think. That’s why you’ve got to hear the Word regularly, come to church regularly and attend Bible Study. That’s why you need to listen to sermons over and over. Change the way you think! Change it. Get away from wrong association, it will affect you. You may say they are criticizing you, but one way or the other… influence is not when someone tells you to drink alcohol when he is drinking alcohol. If you are his friend who is always with him, maybe at the beginning, you started speaking against what he is doing, over time, you will soften your resolution. One day, you will just say, “Let me even taste it,” and that’s the start. The person didn’t force you to drink alcohol but he has influenced you. You know what? That person who influenced you is a leader.
Who is a leader? A leader is someone who has the ability to influence someone else to do something which he wants. So, you have ineffective leaders and effective leaders. There are good leaders and bad leaders. Let me give you an example: the ten leaders, those ten spies, look at the number of people that they made to fall. Because of that, God swore and said, “This generation from 19 downwards, none of them would enter the promise land”. They were all destroyed as a result of the influence of the ten leaders who had negative influence. What about Korah and Abiram, how many people died with them? 250. They were swallowed up. That’s negative influence. You stay with someone who has a terrible mindset and is always thinking negatively? You may begin to criticise that person, but over time, you will begin to align. The Bible talked about some people in the Bible who mixed with the multitude and made them to sin; they followed them from Egypt and over time, they started complaining like them. Leaders! Recently, I heard the story of a small boy in school. As small as he is, he sends big boys to buy things for him and they will go. That small boy is a leader. In fact, you know what, the boy is in junior class and he sends senior students to go and buy something for him and they obey him, he doesn’t hold a knife but he has influence.
Be careful of those who are around you, they will influence you to do the wrong thing. People with wrong mindset… you will become like them over time. So, what you hear from your association and background over the years makes you believe that God punishes us with sicknesses, so when you are sick, you don’t even have the confidence to pray because you believe you are being punished for your sins. I don’t know who that father is that wants to punish his son because he has done him wrong, how much more of your heavenly father who is good. Change your mind. Let that mindset begin to break and be flexible and renewed. Receive the mind of God, think like God. Have the attitude of God, think like Him in every area of your life. Nobody puts an old wine in a new wine bottle, if not, the wine bottle will break and the wine would be wasted. You can’t be the best God has created you to be without changing the way you think and the way to do is to look at your association and check if they are influencing you negatively or positively. Look at your life, what you used to be and what you are now. Can you say you are better or have gone down? Assess yourself except you are a reprobate, that’s what the Bible says. Check your life. Think positively.
Think about what God says you should think about. That is why God gave us many instructions about our thinking and He says in Phil. 4:8 – “…whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things.” Meditate on lovely and good things. Change the way you think! Remember, attitude is like a flat tyre, until you change it, you can’t go far. Remember, attitude is a small thing, yet it makes a big difference. Change your attitude about marriage, relationship, work, academics, health, money, life, politics, and you will see great results. Politics is a dirty game, yes, but you can live right. You can dare to be different. The reason why a lot of people don’t vote is because of negative attitude. Some people have Voter’s Card but they will never go to vote. Change your attitude. Attitude determines many things. Jesus himself said, “You have a new wine? Look for a new wine bottle. Don’t ever dare to put a new wine in an old bottle, if not, two things will happen, the bottle will break and the wine will waste.” Don’t waste that great potential that God has given to you, believe God and say, “Lord, I need to change my mind about the way I think and about leadership. Let me be someone who will serve. I want to serve, I want to be a servant, a chief servant. Lord, help me as I take your Word into my mind, I see the way you see things. I will think like you think.”
Tell the Lord to help you to open up yourself unto Him.
Ask the Lord to help you to renew your mind and change your mindset (the way you think and see things).
You need Jesus in your life to be able to develop the right mindset and attitude. To receive Jesus into your life as your Lord and Saviour, put your left hand on your chest and say, “Lord Jesus, I receive you into my life and accept you as my Lord and Saviour. Please, help me to grow the right mindset and attitude. In Jesus Name I prayed.” Congratulations, you are saved. Continue in Christ!