Posts Tagged ‘Humility

11
Apr
17

The Exalted Poor

Good Tuesday morning to you! It may be hard to fathom, but James says that Christians who are poor have a higher position than the rich. Check out what he says:
Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position. – James 1:9 (NIV)
How can this be? Are the poor more exalted than the rich? Yes! Why? Because believers in Christ who are poor tend to have a deeper faith than the wealthy. It’s a matter of perspective. What is the goal of life? Is it to love and trust God or to collect things? Jesus asked,
What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? – Mark 8:36 (NIV)
You might not be living high on the hog in this life, but remember that this life is brief. The seven or eight decades on earth cannot compare to the billions of decades in Heaven. Neither envy the rich nor covet their money and things. Gold may glitter on earth, but it is mere pavement in Heaven.
13
Mar
17

The New Clothes

Good Monday morning to you! After taking some time to talk about the ways we used to live and how they are inappropriate for God’s people, Paul turns to how we should live now. He says:

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. – Colossians 3:12 (NIV)

Since we are all one in Christ and Christ is in us, we must live differently than the ways we used to live. One of the most important aspects of being a follower of Jesus is that we put others before ourselves. Instead of putting ourselves first, we put Jesus first and then others. We are to be compassionate, kind and humble. We are to be gentle and patient when we deal with others. This is counter-intuitive and counter-cultural. It’s not how the world operates. However, it is how we operate because we don’t belong to the world anymore.
06
Jan
17

It’s Hard To Be Humble

There are sins that we all struggle with of which we are completely aware.  We know what they are.   The things that we know we shouldn’t do, but we do them anyway.  Greed.  Lust.  Swearing.  Lying.  Gossip.  Drunkenness.  These are behavioral sins.  We deal with these on a regular enough basis that trying to repent of them consumes us.

Then there are sins that we have heard about but don’t even realize we are committing.  We are so focused on trying to change our behavior that we have no time for these sins.  Sins like pride, materialism, selfishness, not loving our wives or husbands or children like we should, not loving our neighbor like we should and not loving God with all of our hearts, souls, minds and strength.  These are attitudinal sins.

I was smacked right in the forehead with an attitudinal sin today while reading from Matthew’s Gospel.

God blesses those who are humble,
for they will inherit the whole earth. – Matthew 5:5 (NLT)

When pride fills us, it makes us think that we are better than we really are.  Paul wrote in Philippians 2:3b (NLT)

Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.

He then wrote in Ephesians 4:2 (NLT) “Always be humble…”

Pride is what makes me believe that my way is best.  Pride is what makes me think that I know it all.  Pride gets in the way of being like Jesus who gave up the glories of Heaven for the humiliation of Earth.  He was completely humble in His approach to others.  If we want to be more like Jesus, we need to be more humble.

My mom taught us from a very young age the priorities of life.

  • God
  • Others
  • Self

I think that this is a recipe for humility.  Put God first.  Put others before yourself.  Take care of yourself, but not at the expense of serving others.  Philippians 2:4 (NLT) says,

Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.

My prayer today is that we will not get so focused on the external issues and sins that we forget about the heart issues.  Pride is a heart issue and God cares about the condition of our hearts because it is from our hearts that everything about us flows.

Luke 6:45 (NLT) says, “A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart.  What you say flows from what is in your heart.”

PRAYER: Help us to do away with pride today, O Lord. I want to look more like Jesus on the inside as well as on the outside. Cleanse my heart and help me to love like Jesus loves. In His name, amen.

12
Jan
16

It’s Hard To Be Humble

There are sins that we all struggle with of which we are completely aware.  We know what they are.   The things that we know we shouldn’t do, but we do them anyway.  Greed.  Lust.  Swearing.  Lying.  Gossip.  Drunkenness.  These are behavioral sins.  We deal with these on a regular enough basis that trying to repent of them consumes us.

Then there are sins that we have heard about but don’t even realize we are committing.  We are so focused on trying to change our behavior that we have no time for these sins.  Sins like pride, materialism, selfishness, not loving our wives or husbands or children like we should, not loving our neighbor like we should and not loving God with all of our hearts, souls, minds and strength.  These are attitudinal sins.

I was smacked right in the forehead with an attitudinal sin today while reading from Matthew’s Gospel.

God blesses those who are humble,
for they will inherit the whole earth. – Matthew 5:5 (NLT)

When pride fills us, it makes us think that we are better than we really are.  Paul wrote in Philippians 2:3b (NLT)

Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.

He then wrote in Ephesians 4:2 (NLT) “Always be humble…”

Pride is what makes me believe that my way is best.  Pride is what makes me think that I know it all.  Pride gets in the way of being like Jesus who gave up the glories of Heaven for the humiliation of Earth.  He was completely humble in His approach to others.  If we want to be more like Jesus, we need to be more humble.

My mom taught us from a very young age the priorities of life.

  • God
  • Others
  • Self

I think that this is a recipe for humility.  Put God first.  Put others before yourself.  Take care of yourself, but not at the expense of serving others.  Philippians 2:4 (NLT) says,

Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.

My prayer today is that we will not get so focused on the external issues and sins that we forget about the heart issues.  Pride is a heart issue and God cares about the condition of our hearts because it is from our hearts that everything about us flows.

Luke 6:45 (NLT) says, “A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart.  What you say flows from what is in your heart.”

PRAYER: Lord, help me to be more humble.  I confess that I am filled with too much pride and I need Your grace to overcome my attitude of pride.  Thank You for forgiving me of my many sins.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

07
Jan
16

Atonement

Micah 6:6-8 (NIV)
With what shall I come before the Lord
    and bow down before the exalted God?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
    with calves a year old?
Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams,
    with ten thousand rivers of olive oil?
Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression,
    the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
    And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
    and to walk humbly with your God.
​How can we atone for our sin?  This is what Micah wanted to know in verses 6-7.  How could he make up for his transgressions and sin?  What could possibly make up for the myriad of sins we commit each day, week, month and year during our brief lifetimes on this planet?  We are sinful and we know it.  There’s something wrong with us of which we are fully aware.  We lie and lust and lose our tempers.  We cheat and steal and covet.  We do, think and say the most awful things to and about each other.  God could have demanded all kinds of sacrifices to make up for our sinfulness.  He could have struck us all down several billion times over for our transgressions.  But He didn’t.  
Instead of asking us to sacrifice our firstborn, God did it instead.  He sacrificed His own Son, Jesus, for our sins.  He gave up His one and only Son so that we could have our sins washed away.  Now what does He require of us?  Not sacrifices, but mercy.  Not mindless obedience, but faithful devotion.  Not fearful servitude, but doing right by others.  Not pride and arrogance at being a part of His family, but humility in the way that we live.  God’s desire is that we would love Him and love our neighbors.  When will we learn that God is less interested in us controlling our sin than He is in how we love Him and others?  He doesn’t want sacrifices of money, animals or even our children.  He wants our hearts to be sold-out in full surrender and devotion to Him.  He wants a relationship with people, not an army of mindless robots.  If only we could get it through our heads that God cares more for the inner condition of our hearts than He does for the outer expression of our religion.  When we do, we’ll find a more deeply satisfying relationship than we could ever dream of in this life.  
 
PRAYER: Help me, O God, to love You more this day than I did yesterday.  Help me, O God, to love my neighbors as I love myself.  Help me, O God, to live humbly before you, showing mercy and loving justice to everyone I meet.  I ask this in the name of Jesus, my Savior, amen.
30
Oct
15

The God Who Pays Attention

1 Kings 18:22-29 (NIV)

Then Elijah said to them, “I am the only one of the Lord’s prophets left, but Baal has four hundred and fifty prophets. 23 Get two bulls for us. Let Baal’s prophets choose one for themselves, and let them cut it into pieces and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. I will prepare the other bull and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. 24 Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the Lord. The god who answers by fire—he is God.”

Then all the people said, “What you say is good.”

25 Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “Choose one of the bulls and prepare it first, since there are so many of you. Call on the name of your god, but do not light the fire.” 26 So they took the bull given them and prepared it.

Then they called on the name of Baal from morning till noon. “Baal, answer us!” they shouted. But there was no response; no one answered. And they danced around the altar they had made.

27 At noon Elijah began to taunt them. “Shout louder!” he said. “Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened.” 28 So they shouted louder and slashed themselves with swords and spears, as was their custom, until their blood flowed. 29 Midday passed, and they continued their frantic prophesying until the time for the evening sacrifice. But there was no response, no one answered, no one paid attention.

Elijah bet on the one true God.  His faith in God and his confidence in God was so great that he laid down the gauntlet and challenged the 450 prophets of Baal.  They called upon the name of their god over and over.  They did everything to get his attention, but their efforts were in vain.  1 Kings says that “…there was no response, no one answered, no one paid attention” (1 Kings 18:29, NIV).  

Sometimes, we try to please the “gods” in our lives.  These gods are success and wealth and status.  We sacrifice to them and yet they do not answer us. We try to get their attention, but they do not respond with satisfaction.  We do so much to try and arouse their interest in us, but they are not paying attention.  We think that money will make us happy, but it only makes us greedy.  We think that success will satisfy, but it is fleeting and does not respond the way we wish it would.  We think that status will make us feel better about ourselves, but no one pays attention because they’re out trying to make a name for themselves as well.  

All the while, the one true God loves us and wants to satisfy our every longing.  He doesn’t want to give us wealth to hoard.  He wants to bless us to be a blessing to others.  He doesn’t want us to succeed in mere earthly terms.  He wants us to win the race that leads to eternal life.  God doesn’t want us to seek earthly status and greatness in the eyes of others.  He wants us to be humble and by humbling ourselves, He will lift us up.  

The gods of this world are dead and they’re not listening to us.  They will not respond to our desperate attempts to rouse them.  They will not satisfy the deepest desires of our hearts and souls.  They will only leave us empty and longing for more.  Do not waste your life trying to please the gods of wealth, status and success.  Instead, do as Jesus said to do and seek the Kingdom of God first and His righteousness.  If you will, God will provide everything you need and He’ll bless you with even more.  

PRAYER: Father God, I ask that you will satisfy the deepest longings of my heart and soul.  Thank You for Your loving care.  Thank You for paying attention to me.  I do not deserve Your attention for I am weak and frail.  I have sinned time and again and yet You love me anyway.  I cannot express my gratitude with mere words.  Help me to live it out today.  Amen.

23
Sep
15

God Lifts Up The Humble

James 4:7-10 (NIV)
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
 
Why is it that when we are most in need of God’s help and presence in our lives that we tend to turn away from Him?  When we are going through the wringer of life, we somehow think that we’ve got to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and make things happen.  After all, when the going gets tough, the…well, you know the rest.  It’s our pride that causes us to turn away from God.  James, in the previous verses, said that God opposes the proud, but He gives grace to the humble (James 4:6).  
We should turn to Him in our hour of need and He will come near to us.  We should confess our sins and weaknesses to God instead of pridefully rationalizing them.  We should weep over our sinful condition and wail over our weaknesses. We need to come to God in all humility and instead of lifting ourselves up and puffing ourselves up, let God lift us up instead.  He has plenty of grace for us.  We need not tackle life alone.  God is there and He will fight for us and strengthen us by His presence in our lives.  When the going gets tough, the humble get grace.
PRAYER: Great and mighty God, I need Your grace in my life.  Help me to be humble before You instead of trying to do things on my own.  Gently break me of my prideful tendencies.  Help me to draw near to You instead of fleeing from You.  You are good and You are kind.  Thank You for loving me through Your Son, Jesus.  Amen.



%d bloggers like this: