Posts Tagged 'humility'

Serving Others

JESUS SPEAKING

Just before the Passover feast, on the night that Jesus was arrested, he knelt down and washed His disciples feet. We read, ‘So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done for you? You call Me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you say well, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.'” —Jesus— (John 13: 12 – 17)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

During the first century, nearly everyone wore sandals. The roads and pathways were comprised of small stones and dirt; making daily foot washing an indispensable necessity. Servants and low ranking members a house were usually called upon to accomplish this filthy task. And yet Jesus, being the Son of God, lowered Himself down and washed His disciples feet; creating an example for all those who may desire to follow Him. Being a Christian means embracing a life of humility and selflessness. Rather than seeking to be served, we must strive to serve others. And in turn, we will experience the joy derived from emulating our Lord and Savior.

There once lived an influential evangelical preacher named Gypsy Smith. One day he recounted the story of a woman who was interested in Christian work in London. She wrote him a letter stating, “I have a meeting I want you to come to speak to. It is only a small meeting and will take nothing of you.” He answered, “I cannot come, and it would be of no use if I did come. If it takes nothing out of me it will do nobody any good.” It is service which costs, and a cheap religion is not worth preaching […] Another Christian missionary named E. Stanley Jones once said, “The man is not greatest who has the greatest number of servants, but the man is greatest who serves the greatest number of people.”

Serving others represents the foundation of Christ’s earthly ministry. To follow Jesus is to embrace a life of selflessness and service. If we let go of our own wants and desires, we can more resoundingly accomplish God’s will in this place. Jesus said in verse 17, “if you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.” The word ‘blessed’ generally refers to the happiness that accompanies God’s favor. And so He promises that a service oriented life will bring us more joy than a self-centered existence ever could. By serving others we can know God’s blessings.

“Lord Heavenly Father, we pray for the strength and desire to live a life of service; to sacrifice for Your kingdom and Your glory. May we lay down our selfish concerns to better represent Jesus Christ; that we too might be an example of Your love in this place. May we care for our fellows, may we serve others, and may we receive the blessings that accompany genuine Christian living. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.” God bless all of you!

Humility

JESUS SPEAKING

     “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Mathew 5: 3.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

     In this scripture, the phrase “poor in spirit” is a reference to the attribute of humility (a precious treasure that creates joy in the hearts of all those who possess it.)  Practicing humility requires acknowledging that God is the giver of all good things.  The Lord provides us with our food, shelter, clothing, careers, relationships, and every other necessity of daily living.  He has complete power over all of creation; the very air we breathe is a gift from Him.  Although the humble offer God many praises, the prideful prefer to acknowledge themselves first; mistakenly believing that everything they possess is the product of their own intelligence and hard work.

     An ancient ruler known as Nebuchadnezzar was once the mightiest king who had ever lived.  His reign over the Babylonian empire began in 605 B.C.  Like most powerful men, humility wasn’t one of his greatest attributes; he demanded that his subjects worship him in the manner of a God.  One day as he leisurely strolled through his palace, he spoke, saying, “Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty?”  Before he was finished speaking, a voice came from heaven saying, “The kingdom has departed from you […] your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field.  They shall make you eat grass like oxen; and seven years shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses” (Daniel 4: 30 – 32.)  Indeed, because the Babylonian King had failed to give God the credit for his possessions, he slipped into madness and began acting like an ox for seven years; eating grass in the fields.

     As believers, we must avoid making the same mistake.  Instead, we must acknowledge that all good things come from God; that every possession is a blessing and a gift.  Those who desire to enter God’s kingdom would do well to continually honor Him.  Practically, Christian humility can be expressed through prayers of gratitude offered to God daily; we can also say grace before meals and praise the Lord in our private time and during worship services.  Tithing is another acknowledgement of God’s goodness.  Ultimately whatever form of thankfulness we choose to offer, it should come from the heart; and from a deep appreciation for everything that God has so graciously given us.

     “Lord Heavenly Father, we thank You for Your many gifts and provisions; for our food, our clothes, and our homes (to name a few.)  We recognize that all good things come from You.  Help us to maintain a spirit of gratitude and humility.  Cleanse our hearts of pride, that in lowliness we might better serve You and our fellows.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you!

Becoming as a Little Child

JESUS SPEAKING

     At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”  Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.  Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.” (Mathew 18: 1-5)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

    Simply put, humility is the acceptance of helplessness.  Although we are all called to repent, the salvation that comes through Jesus Christ isn’t something that can be earned; it is something that must be received.  A child inherently realizes their own helplessness, and so they look to their parents for the fulfillment of their essential needs.  The disciples had yet to realize that those who were the most helpless, were also the individuals who honored God the most.  Today, those who are lowly push themselves down and elevate the one who provides for them.  So humility is the result of honoring God, and lowliness (humility) is the best way to know and love God, who is all powerful.

   In nature, birds are an abundant group of animals.  Their young ones remain in the nest while the adults go out to hunt; permitting them to return with a continuous supply of food.  Obviously no chick can provide for itself; they can’t fly, fend off predators, keep warm, or even clean themselves properly. They never stray from their nests because they instinctively know and understand their own limitations, and in turn, they comprehend the value of their parents.  Knowing no pride, the nestlings receive their care and nourishment as little children.

     Today, God has sent His son to us, that we might eat eternal food.  Jesus says, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”  We live in this world, which is our nest for a short time, and those who venture out to achieve righteousness for themselves find only death.  Salvation must be directly received as a gift from God.  We must instinctively understand that we are powerless to become right with God outside of His provision.  Have we accepted God’s message?  Have we accepted it as a gift and not a wage?  Have we become helpless enough to understand that God provides us with all that we need?  We must be lowly and grateful that God has made a way for us to know and love Him. We must become as little children.

     “Lord Heavenly Father, as we come before You, we lift You up.  You are an amazing, powerful, and awesome God.  You are Holy and righteous, and we thank You for all that You have done for us.  We ask and pray that You help us to be humble, and we ask that You lead us into a lowliness of heart; help us to seek Your righteousness and not our own.  Feed us with Your Spiritual food, and make us like little children.  We love You Lord, we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you!


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