We Must Humble Ourselves

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“No,” Peter protested, “you will never ever wash my feet!”  Jesus replied, “Unless I wash you, you won’t belong to me.” – John 13:8 NLT

Not Just My Feet

Jesus showed us example after example of His humbleness. From the time He laid aside His glory in heaven to come to earth clothed in the flesh of a lowly human. Jesus was the perfect example of supreme power under control. He could have lashed out at any time and wiped out village after village. But He chose to be a servant to the people. Serving them by teaching and healing every disease. Now, Jesus was preparing to perform an act that in that time and place was performed only by servants. To wash another person’s feet showed complete meekness and humbleness. The disciples knew that and that is why Peter said “No, you will never wash my feet”. Peter could not imagine Jesus, His Lord and Master, stooping so low as to do that. But when Jesus explained to Peter that He could not be one of His disciples if Peter didn’t allow Him to wash his feet, Peter said “”Lord, then wash not only my feet, but wash my hands and my head, too!” Peter would later understand that Jesus was doing this as an example of how humble we, as Christians, must be. Maybe we all need to participate in a good old fashioned foot washing ceremony. Would we be willing to do that for our brothers and sisters?

 

So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor.​ – 1 Peter 5:6 NLT​

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 10-27-2017

Does the Success of Others Bring Us Joy?

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29 It is the bridegroom who marries the bride, and the bridegroom’s friend is simply glad to stand with him and hear his vows. Therefore, I am filled with joy at his success

​. – John 3:29 NLT​

Over and over in Chapter 3, we are reminded of John’s faithfulness and steadfastness in following the plan that God had laid out for Him. In today’s society, with all of it’s “me first” attitudes, we need this constant reminder. We, like John, need to know our place in God’s plan and be faithful in carrying out that plan. God’s plan is for us to teach and preach the “foolishness” of the gospel. God has gifted each of us with a special gift that He wants us to use in spreading His Word. What is our gift and how are we using it to further the Kingdom of God here on earth? There is not one job in God’s Kingdom that is not important. Every part of the body has to function well for the Church to work as God planned it. Do we do our job with gratitude that God has chosen us to help Him? Are we filled with joy when those that have more visible jobs are successful? Do we honestly and fervently pray for those in authority over us? Are we “filled with joy” when those around us are promoted to a position over us? In our hearts and minds, we must see ourselves as less important and Jesus as Lord or as Paul puts it, we must mortify the flesh and follow after the Spirit.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 08-14-2017

Called and Equipped

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Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,
— Philippians 2:5 NKJV

Having the same mind as Christ Jesus does not mean that we know everything that He knows. It means that we have the same attitude toward others and that we desire the same outcome from situations. It ultimately means that we humble ourselves under His mighty hand. That humility will cause us to want to please Him. Yes, even to the point of dying for Him. Not there yet? Most of us aren’t. That’s okay for now, God knows our hearts. Just keep striving toward the mark so that we don’t miss the high calling of Christ Jesus. Living a life of Holiness is a journey that is taken one step at a time. Whatever God asked you to do, you can be sure He has prepared you to go through it. He will go before you, with you, and be your rearguard. 

“God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called” – Pastor Jack Graham

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 12-11-2016

What is Good?

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8 No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you:
to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God. — Micah 6:8 NLT
 
These three requirements seem fairly simple. When we read them, we probably think that we already do these. And perhaps, to some extent, we do. Justice and kindness are things that we do naturally, right? What about the thoughts and the words that we speak when others are not around, are they just and kind? When someone wrongs you, are your thoughts of mercy or revenge? When you see others being mistreated, are you willing to get involved, regardless of the personal cost (Think of the Good Samaritan)? Walk humbly is the really tough one. Are we humble enough to give of our resources, of ourselves, of our abundance and of our time to help others? Even to the point of dying for them? And, if we do these things, are they to show others how righteous we are? Every good gift comes down from the Father above. When we share those gifts with others, we are laying up rewards in heaven.
Walk humbly with our God? Help me to do that, Jesus!

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 12-09-2016

Good Answer!

even-smaller-bug-light128 She replied, “That’s true, Lord, but even the dogs under the table are allowed to eat the scraps from the children’s plates.”

29 “Good answer!” he said. “Now go home, for the demon has left your daughter.” 30 And when she arrived home, she found her little girl lying quietly in bed, and the demon was gone. — Mark 7:28-30 NLT

Hearing the words that Jesus had just spoken to her, it would have been understandable if this woman would have just crawled out of the room and left without receiving anything from Jesus.  But instead she suffered the humiliation and showed great humility by humbling herself before Jesus.  She told Jesus, I am not asking for the best, your leftovers will be more than sufficient to fulfill my needs.  Because of her humble response, Jesus answered her request and healed her daughter.  Is there a request in our lives that Jesus hasn’t fulfilled?   Is it possible that our “unanswered” prayers only appear to be unanswered because we refuse to humble ourselves before the Lord?   Is it possible that God can’t say “yes” because we refuse to say “yes” to His request?  Is it possible that we will only accept our preconceived notion as the answer and we miss what God is trying to do in our lives?  In this instance, Jesus first said “no” (which is an answer) but then because of her humbleness and persistence, He said “yes”.  God always answers every prayer, just because we don’t like the answer doesn’t mean He didn’t hear and answer us.  We need to be like the Phoenician woman, we need to be persistent but humble.  If we give God a good answer, He will give us a good answer.

So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. — 1 Peter 5:6, 7 NLT

 

Post 02-25-2016

Alert and Fully Sober

even-smaller-bug-light113 Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. 14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do;16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” — 1 Peter 1:13-16 NIV

God has made each of us different, but there is one thing that every human has in common, we were all born in sin into a sinful world. We have all succumbed to those fleshly desires that kept us from enjoying the freedom that Jesus died to purchase for us.  When we have those thoughts that we might be better than others we need to be reminded that there was a time when we lived in ignorance of the goodness and the graciousness of God. ​ Paul warns us in Romans not to think of ourselves as better than others.
 
3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. — Romans 12:3 NIV
In Philippians, Paul takes it a step further and advises us to put others and their interests above ourselves and our interests. 
3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. –Phil. 2:3, 4 NIV
If we practice doing this instead of being judgmental, we will be following the example that Jesus set for us.  If we have this mindset and focus on the fact that the only difference in us and them is the grace that God has so generously given unto us, it will cause us to show those around us the same kind of grace and forgiveness that God has shown to us. That is a step toward being holy even as God is holy. 
Post 12-10-2015

Forgiveness Is More Than Words

even-smaller-bug-light112 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.. — Colossians 3:12-1​4​ NIV

​The characteristics that Paul talks about here​ are totally contrary to the flesh. Yet, these are the goals that we should be striving toward in our daily walk with Jesus. All of us have certain areas in which God has gifted us and the change from natural to spiritual in these areas are easier for us than for others.  The flesh is stubborn and wants to hold onto the old ways. Nevertheless, we must strive every day to improve in all of the areas. Being humble is hard for the flesh. When we do good deeds, we want to be recognized and praised for those good deeds. But, we must remember that we are doing these things for Jesus and laying up our rewards in heaven.  

2 “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. —  Matt. 6:2-4

Probably the toughest of all of these things is to learn to truly forgive.  We say that we have forgiven those who have hurt us, but how do we treat that person after we have said those words.  Does remembering the incident still cause you to act differently toward that person?  Forgiveness is not a pardon for the person’s wrong,  It is not saying that what they did is okay.  It is saying that we all make mistakes and we all need forgiveness at times, so we should forgive others because of the forgiveness we have experienced in our lives, particularly, the forgiveness of our sins by Jesus. We need to forgive for our own benefit and not allow a root of bitterness to grow in our hearts that satan can use to destroy relationships with others and eventually destroy us.

31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. — Ephesians 4:31

Post 10-17-2015

Stay Humble and Faithful

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1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. 3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.–Romans 12:1-3 NIV
​When Paul says “bodies” here, he is talking about more than just the physical body that we see.The Greek word is “soma” which can mean “a sound whole” In other words, Paul is referring to the same things that Jesus listed in Luke 10:27, when He said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind“.  We. like David, need a “heart after God’s heart” and we need “the mind of Christ”  If we have these two things, then we can be sure that our soul is secure in Jesus Christ and it will be our desire to worship God with all of our strength.  Our heart’s desire will be to daily ask God to “create a clean Heart” and “renew a right Spirit” within us. If we do this, our minds will be continually renewed by the Holy Spirit. If we stay in communion with the Holy Spirit who stays in communion with the Father, then we will know God’s will for our lives for this moment. And when you think about it, that is probably all we can handle. We won’t need to know what tomorrow is going to bring, if we don’t make it through today. Stay humble and walk in faith. 

8 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.—Micah 6:8 NIV

Post 06-28-2015

Have the Heart of a Servant

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

6 Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough? 7 Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. 8 Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old bread leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.—1 Cor. 5:6-8 NIV
​Paul​ continues to emphasize the necessity of having a humble mindset. We must live our lives with humility and the attitude of a servant. Jesus is our example of serving others in our daily lifestyle. The leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees is their teaching of the necessity to keep the Law. In the Old Testament law, the Jewish people could eat no leavened bread during the Feast of the Passover. They were even required to get all the leaven out of their houses so nothing could be tainted with the leaven. They had to celebrate the Passover each year. This required them to kill a sacrificial lamb each time. But Jesus is our sacrificial Lamb and he was sacrificed once for all sin of all times. He does not need to return to the cross each year. Jesus is the bread of Life and because of this, we are not required to follow the old ways. In fact to do so is to add to the plan of salvation things that God does not require of us The leaven that we need to avoid in our life is pride and the desires of the flesh. We replace those things with the fruit of the Holy Spirit who now lives in us. We are”new creations” in Christ Jesus and He has fulfilled the law for us.
17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.–Matt.5:17 NIV

“…Not Only My Feet…”

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

4 So during the meal Jesus stood up and took off his outer clothing. Taking a towel, he wrapped it around his waist. 5 Then he poured water into a bowl and began to wash the followers’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. 6 Jesus came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” 7 Jesus answered, “You don’t understand now what I am doing, but you will understand later.” 8 Peter said, “No, you will never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “If I don’t wash your feet, you are not one of my people.” 9 Simon Peter answered, “Lord, then wash not only my feet, but wash my hands and my head, too!”—John 13:4-9 (NCV)
​Jesus showed us example after example of His humbleness. From the time He laid aside His glory in heaven to come to earth clothed in the flesh of a lowly human. Jesus was the perfect example of supreme power under control. He could have lashed out at any time and wiped out village after village. But He chose to be a servant to the people. Serving them by teaching and healing every disease. Now, Jesus was preparing to perform an act that in that time and place was performed only by servants. To wash another person’s feet showed complete meekness and humbleness. The disciples knew that and that is why Peter said “No, you will never wash my feet”. Peter could not imagine Jesus, His Lord and Master, stooping so low as to do that. But when Jesus explained to Peter that He could not be one of His disciples if Peter didn’t allow Him to wash his feet, Peter said “”Lord, then wash not only my feet, but wash my hands and my head, too!” Peter would later understand that Jesus was doing this as an example of how humble we, as Christians, must be. Maybe we all need to participate in a good old fashioned foot washing ceremony. Would we be willing to do that for our brothers and sisters?
Post 01-23-2015