It is all too easy for victory to go to our heads. God brought Israel out of Egypt, and led them through the wilderness. Moses said it was God “who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do you good in the end–then you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth’” (Deuteronomy 8:16-17 NKJV). They had had to gather manna daily to teach them humility and obedience to God. None of them could claim their part of the Promised Land without doing His will. “And you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth” (Deuteronomy 8:18 NKJV). Today, no one has a claim to salvation without Jesus Christ, for He said, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved” (Mark 16:16).
This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.
“To God be the Glory” isn’t only a song worth singing – it’s a spiritual principle that must be followed.
Regardless of the Bible’s clarity on the situation:
- “For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”” (Luke 14:11)
- “For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.” (Romans 12:3)
- “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.” (Philippians 2:3)
There are some who still insist on being an obstinate Diotrephes (3 John 1:9). If their name isn’t lauded they want no part of it (whatever it happens to be). If they aren’t the center of attention they won’t be found (the limelight will never equate with the spotlight). If they aren’t first place there will be no place for them (number one is anything but lonely). If they aren’t the boss they won’t work (as if they would work regardless).
But regardless of how a glory hog views his or herself, in God’s eyes, a glory hog only ends up being covered in the mud of the far-country’s pig pen.
“For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (1 Corinthians 6:20)
It’s hard to look down on others when we’re looking up at the cross of Christ.
That thought isn’t cliché – it’s rock solid truth. If Jesus died for us as an individual (and he did) and we didn’t deserve it (because we didn’t) then that means Jesus died for everyone else who deserves it no less than we did. And because of that we should want other people to find the same grace that we have found at the foot of the cross of Christ. A thought like that is what Paul was trying impress upon the mind of Titus and then unto the individuals whom Titus would be teaching (Titus 3:1-7).
Furthermore, this mentality isn’t a new expectation by God because of the cross of Christ; the mentality was consummated at the cross, but it didn’t originate there (Isaiah 57:15). God has always had the right to create his own standard of forgiveness, and his conditions are non-negotiable: 1) admit we’re wrong and take his offer to be made right, or 2) stay stubbornly wicked or self-righteous and earn what’s coming (Romans 3:23-27, Romans 6:23).
Humility is a must to follow Jesus. Humility is a must to be right with the Father. Humility is a must to allow the Spirit of God to work on us in a good way. And humility is a must when it comes to dealing with other people.
None of this means there’s no such thing as a righteous judgment (John 7:24), but what it does mean is that if we can’t see what humility is trying to teach us while looking up at the cross then we must be too busy looking down on other people.
“I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Luke 18:14 – NKJV)
There is nothing wrong with encouragement. We all need encouragement. And people generally mean well. But we must be cautious with [receiving] compliments. They can inflate and skew our vision of self. We can even begin to look for them, expect them, become concerned if we do not receive them.
via Whose approval really matters? | Root Downward, Fruit Upward
Thank God his grace has become evident in us. Thank others that they have seen the divine presence in us.
A public school in Portland, Oregon has garnered the ire of some parents due to the discipline that was meted out on their children through a corrective action based program aimed at bad behavior.
So why the ire? It’s not because their child was given extra homework or because they were suspended in any way or because they were “assaulted” physically with a paddle. The school had obviously decided that these punishments don’t deter or correct the bad behavior. The ire came because this particular punishment “humiliated” their child. And what was this “humiliating” punishment that crossed the line? Let me provided you with a quote from the story:
The “community service” program, called off at the César Chávez K through 8 school while the Portland Public Schools district investigates, reportedly punished misbehaving kids for unruliness (such as throwing food) by having them do chores that included picking up trash from hallways and paper towels from bathroom floors.
That sounds dreadful! How could something like that happen in America? This is the 21st century! And while I’m at it, will someone cue the soft and solemn sound of a violin please?
I’m no advocate of child abuse. I can’t be more staunchly opposed to it! I believe an individual should be punished to the extent of the law when an avenue of punishment creates unreasonable or irreversible damage to a child. But my friends, the only thing that will last beyond the day when it comes to the punishment of picking up trash in hallways and cleaning bathrooms is the lesson that was meant to be learned. If a little humiliation is what it takes for a child to learn not to throw food, or to disrespect a teacher or a fellow classmate then a little humiliation might be one of the best things that has ever happened to that child.
A culture that fails to see the necessity of disciplining a child’s bad and disrespectful behavior is a culture that fails to see the adult that an uncorrected child will grow to become. And in case you haven’t noticed, it’s a lot easier to correct a child that still needs to learn a lesson than it is an adult who refuses to acknowledge the fact that what they have done is wrong. When you think about it like that, I guess humility isn’t such a bad avenue of correction for a child after all, huh?
“Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.” (Proverbs 22:15)
Scripture: “Say to the king and to the queen mother, “Humble yourselves; sit down, for your rule shall collapse, the crown of your glory.”” (Jeremiah 13:18)
Thought: Politicians may enjoy playing games with political power, but many forget that their power is on loan (John 19:10-11). Those who lift themselves up through pride will fall, whether through internal political failure, external forces or mortality itself. From the book of Genesis right into the book of Revelation, the scriptures are replete with these examples that have been recorded not only for those who are reigned over but also for those who are reigning. The books of Judges, 1 and 2 Kings, 1 and 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Proverbs, Jeremiah and Daniel are so politically and governmental based that one must be blind with pride to not see it (I mean come one, there’s not hardly a book in the Bible that doesn’t say something to political leaders)…and when any politician becomes too blind see the handwriting on the wall, their crown of haughty glory will give way to a crown of lowly corrosion.
Prayer: Father, please be patient with our political leaders as you are with us. Help them to see your righteousness and to be willing to lead with the scepter of your son (Hebrews 1:8). Help us to set the proper example as your people as we lean upon your arm and trust in your providence. Strengthen those who stand for what’s right and help those who stand for the wrong to sit in humility before you so that political strife and haughtiness would give way to humility and rest.
A denominational study site required extra confirmation for comments, and I refused to jump through that extra hoop. So you get these comments on their study for today here on TFR, answering specifically one of their “To Ponder” questions. Feel free to use the comments below in any form you’d like (except online, where etiquette demands a link). Continue reading