We all have a past

And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins,” (Ephesians 2:1 NKJV)

We all have a past.

If we are saved then we were saved from something.

If we are a member of God’s church then at one time we were a member of the world.

Don’t have a past you say? Then you don’t have a future with God!

The thought that Paul shares in Ephesians 2:1 keeps arrogance and haughtiness out of our lives. It reminds us about the importance of humility. It tells us that we were on track for Hell, but God’s grace changed our destination (Ephesians 2:4-9).

Forget this and we become like the Pharisee named Simon (Luke 7:36-50).

Our present is not meant to be our past; our past is not meant to control us. But that does not mean we should forget it to the extent that we lose the benefit of remembering it and allowing it guide our new life in Christ.

in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.” (Ephesians 2:2-3 NKJV)

#humility, #the-past, #thoughts-from-ephesians

Eighty-three: Exodus 7.7 VOTD

“Now Moses was eighty years old and Aaron was eighty-three years old when they spoke to Pharaoh.”

Exodus 7.7

Aaron was Moses’ older brother. Moses was the great deliverer of God’s people. With some character flaws, Aaron was passed over, but still used by God as high priest. With one exception, when he followed Miriam in her complaint against Moses, he seemed to have accepted his role.

Let us not be discontent that we have not been chosen for a greater role. What can we do to accept the calling that God has extended to us?

#humility #service

Low and despised: 1 Corinthians 1.27-29 VOTD

“But God chose what the world thinks foolish to shame the wise, and God chose what the world thinks weak to shame the strong. God chose what is low and despised in the world, what is regarded as nothing, to set aside what is regarded as something, so that no one can boast in his presence.”

1 Corinthians 1.27-29

Paul hits hard and early when he writes to the proud and arrogant Corinthians. He cuts at the root of their pride.

Why is humility essential to salvation?

#VOTD #humility #pride

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5-17-2017 Humbling History

“And Joseph died, all his brothers, and all that generation. But the children of Israel were fruitful and increased abundantly, multiplied and grew exceedingly mighty; and the land was filled with them. Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph” (Exodus 1:4-8 NKJV). The “new king over Egypt” must have been taught Egypt’s history without having to admit that Joseph, and his God, had absolutely saved Egypt from complete starvation! How can something so meaningful be omitted from their history books? Life’s lessons may be painful to remember, but they are humbling. “By humility and the fear of the LORD Are riches and honor and life” (Proverbs 22:4 NKJV). Without the humility of history, the pride of the present creates cruel tyrants and dictators. “A proud and haughty man -‘Scoffer’ is his name; He acts with arrogant pride” (Proverbs 21:24 NKJV).

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#history, #humility

Inflexible

He cannot bear correction—stiff-necked—
Inflexible—his back will break.
The humble bend before the Lord,
Inherit the earth, defeat the world.

JRMatheny

#humility, #poetry, #pride

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1-16-2017 Humility In Victory

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.

#humility, #obedience-to-god

Glory Hogs

“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)

#arrogance, #conceit, #glory-to-god, #humility

The cross of Christ produces humility

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)

#cross-of-christ, #humility, #judging-others, #salvation

Careful with compliments

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.

#compliments, #humility

Discipling a child who does wrong

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)

#child-discipline, #children, #humility, #news, #parenting

Scripture, Thought and a Prayer on Political Haughtiness

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.

#humility, #politics, #religion-and-politics, #scripture-thought-prayer

How to avoid taking preeminence in the kingdom of God

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

#christian-service, #humility, #practical-lessons

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(#204) The Proverbs of Solomon 30:21-23-The Earth Is Not Enough

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-29:27 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. Proverbs 30-31 were added and preserved by the Holy Spirit. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 30:21-23: “For three things the earth is perturbed, Yes, for four it cannot bear up: 22 For a servant when he reigns, A fool when he is filled with food, 23 A hateful woman when she is married, And a maidservant who succeeds her mistress.”

These are trouble-makers in any society, for these demonstrate a lack of essential qualities of humanity.

1) “A servant when he reigns” will have too many scores to settle! Those souls who begin their journey at the bottom of the scale, and revolt themselves to the “ruling class,” become the most merciless tyrants history has ever seen. Do the names Karl Marx, Joseph Stalin, Adolph Hitler, Mao tse-Tung, ad nauseum, come to mind? People who believe their ancestors suffered slavery, but they must exact revenge for it, will justify their own looting, killing, and hatred because of this attitude. Learn a lesson from Zimri in 1 Kings 16:8-20.

2) “A fool when he is filled with food” doesn’t realize from where his food has come! A “fool” doesn’t appreciate or obey God, and since God Almighty is the source of all blessings (James 1:17), humility and thanksgiving are left out of this person’s character. Aptly-named “Nabal” illustrates this when we read 1 Samuel 25:2-42.

3) “A hateful woman when she is married” will only use her marriage to accomplish her wicked ways. Jezebel comes to mind, for she married Ahab and used his power for her own purposes (1 Kings 16:29-34; 18:4, 16-19, 20-40; 19:1-3; 21:1-16). A woman with spiteful intent will be the same whether married or not!

4) “A maidservant who succeeds her mistress,” whether by the mistress’s death, divorce, or husband’s adultery with the maid, the mistress has suddenly achieved “success” without following the proper channels! Hagar (Genesis 16:1-6) illustrates this attitude, and her son, Ishmael, has marked the people who claim to have sprung from his family (Genesis 16:7-16).

The general command of God that will change these people for good is: “humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time” (1 Peter 5:6). “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead” (Acts 17:30-31).

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #humility, #marriage, #merciless, #proverbs, #repent, #tyrant

Someone has said What is needed in…

Someone has said, “What is needed in the church is more towels and fewer titles.” When Jesus’ disciples were arguing over who was greatest, he told them they needed to become the Towel Brigade. Jesus took a basin of water and a towel and washed their feet and wiped them dry. But the lesson was not in dirty feet, but in pride-filled hearts. No spirit is further from Christ’s spirit than the haughty spirit. Yet I’ve seen some folks so proud, they could strut sitting down! In the parable of the good Samaritan the priest and Levite passed by on the far side. They represented the religious people. Someone said the reason the religious folks passed by on the far side was they saw he’d already been robbed. There was nothing left to take. Too many want titles, not towels. I once heard a preacher correct a member, “Don’t call me brother, call me Dr. So and So.” Well, the truth is there are no doctors or reverends or fathers or most holies in the Lord’s church. All are servants or they are not Christ’s. This is Just-a-Minute

#humility, #just-a-minute, #service

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(#145) The Proverbs of Solomon 20:6-Don’t Ask Me!

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 20:6: “Most men will proclaim each his own goodness, But who can find a faithful man?”

People who boast of their own good deeds, usually are without the works to back it up! “Who can say, ‘I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?’” (Proverbs 20:9). Even the Apostle Paul, with humility before God, said, “I know nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this; but He who judges me is the Lord” (1 Corinthians 4:4).

The good way to prevent this creeping arrogance is to: “Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth; A stranger, and not your own lips” (Proverbs 27:2). Self-praise is no praise! Beware of those who are in the business of promoting themselves! “A man’s pride will bring him low, But the humble in spirit will retain honor” (Proverbs 29:23). Under New Testament Law, Christians must: “Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion” (Romans 12:16). The reason is that “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble. Therefore submit to God” (James 4:6-7).

Everyone else can see through such boasting, as other proverbs declare: “Even a child is known by his deeds, Whether what he does is pure and right” (Proverbs 20:11); “Whoever falsely boasts of giving Is like clouds and wind without rain” (Proverbs 25:14); “Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him” (Proverbs 26:12).

If you were to ask: How good am I? Don’t ask yourself! Ask Jesus Christ: “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him” (John 14:21). “For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another” (Galatians 6:3-4). “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16).

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #boast, #humility, #obedience, #pride, #proverbs