Tag Archives: humility

WAITER!

Thank You, Father, for enabling me to get so much accomplished today. Everything is pretty much together for Sunday. Glad I can now just read through what is ready.

Matthew 2:1-12 (<<click the green)

It seems early to be reading through the first chapters of Matthew in that we tend to associate them with December and not September. Celebrating Your birth in December may be a man-made thing but regardless we can learn from the characters associated with Your coming to earth and the wise men definitely have some things to share.

It’s interesting to compare their mentality in coming to You and many of ours. They said, “…we have come to worship him.” They came to give. They came to honor. They came to extend proper acknowledgment of who You were (and still are for that matter). But why do we come to You?

So many times instead of bearing gifts, we come with our hands extended, expecting to receive.

Instead of seeking a church in which we can worship You, we look for what a church can offer us.

We are so full of ourselves that we demand that You show us who You are and expect You to give us a reason as to why we should stay around. We have the arrogance to say, “Here’s what the world’s offering me – can You beat it?”

Unfortunately, we seem to treat You more like a waiter than our Master and Creator. “Can I get a refill of my drink? I really shouldn’t have to ask. It’s your job isn’t it?”

Lord, may I never treat You like the genie in the bottle who is there to make my wishes come true. May I keep myself in the proper place of humility and contriteness. Lord, You love me, You sought me out when I was lost. When I come before You may it be with head bowed and eyes closed. Worship is do You. You deserve the best that I have to give to You. I don’t deserve anything good – only death and condemnation. But You graciously – mercifully – give good to me regardless. May I be a wise man as I come to worship You. Amen.

Sept 14th, Thurs, 8:28 pm

Swollen with Pride

Lots of things clamoring for my attention this morning, Father, so struggling to sit down and get at it. I am praying for Your touch and direction for my family today – Your will be done. Amen.

1 Peter 5:5-6 (<<click here)

Young and old, Lord – many times we struggle with each other. Lack of respect plagues both sides. Lack of understanding does as well. Frustration can run high. The best thing we can do is to follow Peter’s advice and embrace humility.

In a lot of ways, I think that “pride” impacts us like an allergic reaction. Someone says something with which we don’t agree and it’s like a bee sting! We react almost instantaneously and our pride swells us up so much so that we can’t see things for what they are. I can picture someone with their eyes swollen shut! Pride works the same way many times and when it “attacks” we need a big dose of the anti-inflammatory called humility.

Our society in recent years is a ticking time bomb. Say the “wrong” thing, stand up for the “wrong” cause, express your opinion and if it differs from someone else – watch out! You might just get blown to pieces! We all just need to slow down and think…think…before we act – before we speak – before we blow up!

Love…humility…compassion…mercy…respect…all need to factor in – especially as Christians. God is the judge, not us. Yes, I realize somethings are blatant, in your face, over the top sin. But can any of us honestly throw the first stone? John 8:1-11 We are all guilty. Sin is sin and there is no ranking of them.

Young and old, black and white, men and women, any combination we can come up with…let us love one another! Lord, You said it Yourself, “This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you.” John 15:12

Lord, help me to use the anti-inflammatory of humility to combat my reactions to pride. Help me to see through your eyes – eyes that see clearly – and to respond as You would. Amen.

Feb 15th, Wed, 9:57 am

Humble Service

Goodness, gracious! My day was packed yesterday, Father, and I’m having an extremely difficult time keeping my eyes open and not keeping my mind on track but getting it on track even! Help me, Father!

1 Peter 5:1-4 (<<click here)

Peter here is speaking to elders – leaders of the church. Lord, 17 years ago this summer the responsibilities of serving as an elder were placed on my shoulders. Service truly is at the core of leadership in Your kingdom. And along with it should be humility, as well.

Peter clearly exemplifies these two characteristics in his writing. He had every “right” to thrust forth his superiority, after all, he was one of the original twelve – he was an apostle. He knew Jesus. He was one of the “inner circle” along with James and John. Jesus called him Peter – meaning “rock” – and said, “upon this rock I will build my church.” Matthew 16:18

If anyone was at the top of the proverbial heap it was Peter. But do we see that? Not a bit! His humility is evident. He identifies himself as “a fellow elder” – that’s it.

Leadership in the church – in God’s kingdom – is a precarious thing. Strong leadership is important – men and women who get things done, visionaries, those who push onward and upward. But without a servant’s heart, without the humility of realizing that their responsibility is to carry out Your will, Lord, without those elements at the forefront of their leading, trouble is just around the corner

Power and control unbridled can so easily lead to the corruption of heart, soul, and mind. Pride can grow to the point where no one can tell us what to do! We get this erroneous mindset that we are above sin and we can delve into whatever forbidden arenas we want. We begin to “lord it over the people assigned to [our] care” instead of leading them “by [our] own good example.”

Lord, may we pray for the leaders of Your Church. May service in humility – as Your life exemplified – be the overarching element that impacts our every action. Lord, may I be a leader under Your terms of service, not my own.

Feb 13th, Mon, 6:37 am

Humility

Father, please settle my heart and mind as we come to our time together this morning. Enfold me in Your arms as I climb onto Your lap. May I breathe in the aroma of Your holiness – pure and unblemished. I pray that it will burn away the dust of the world that wants to accumulate. Refine me. Purify me. Cleanse me of all unrighteousness. Make me wholly Yours. Amen.

James 4:6-10 (<<click here)

“…humble yourselves before God.”

Our world is not a great promoter of humility, Lord. Though if we would take the time to embrace it, a little humility would go a long way. It’s not about putting ourselves down but about putting ourselves in place. We must abdicate the throne as the supreme authority in our lives and yield to You. You are all-knowing and have the wisdom to use that knowledge. We are short sighted and on many fronts are making educated guesses at best as to what we should do or where we should go. I humble myself before You, Lord.

In doing so I realize that the devil has absolutely nothing of any value to offer. I resist you – get out of my life – you are not welcome! Lord, Jesus, I stand with You! When I come close to You, You come close to me. I cling to You, my salvation!

I wash my hands of this old world and its mirage of satisfactions. Purify my heart, Lord. Enable me to lead a pure life – cleanse me.

Lord, may I see my actions of the flesh for what they are. May I be filled with “sorrow and deep grief” over time wasted in following my own selfish desires. May fulfillment only be found in You.

I’m Yours, Lord. Amen

Sept. 22nd, Thurs, 7:10 am

For Such a Worm as I

Father, as I come before You this morning, my thoughts leading up to this time, my thoughts during this time and even today’s Puritan prayer reading, all are focusing on the same area – my unworthiness and Your mercy and grace.

Some 30 years ago, when I was serving on staff in one of my first churches a friend of mine expressed his offense at the text of a favorite hymn, by Isaac Watts, “At the Cross.” The first verse reads,

Alas! and did my Savior bleed
And did my Sovereign die?
Would he devote that sacred head
For such a worm as I?

He took offense at the word “worm”. He felt that that was too much, that because of what You had done for us, Lord, that we shouldn’t think of ourselves in that terminology – it was too debasing. Many must have agreed with him for in most “modern” hymnals the phrase “For such a worm as I” has been replaced with “For sinners such as I.”

Way back then it bothered me and I think it does more so today. Lord Jesus, I realized who I am in You. I am not who I once was – I have been gloriously changed! I have been reborn! And as the psalmist proclaims “You have removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.” Psalm 103:12 I love that verse! If I place my finger on a globe and go north, eventually I will be going south. BUT… if I trace my finger across the equator heading east – I will never go west. The two never meet. That is how far You have removed our sins from us! Thank You, Lord!

But no matter where I stand now (and again only because of YOU) it does not change who I was when I started! Yes, I was a sinner but too often we want to sweeten that by saying “I am a sinner saved by grace.” And most assuredly that is true. All praise to You, Lord, for your grace and mercy but it doesn’t take away from the fact that I am a sinner and until I am welcomed into Your eternal presence that’s what I am – a sinner.

I think part of the issue is that by rejecting the “worms” we make ourselves feel better about ourselves. But for me at least it helps to keep my humility at a healthy level. I am totally dependent upon You, Lord, for my salvation. Left to my own ways, I am nothing. I am the lowest of the low. Lord, thank You for lifting me up out of the pit of despair. Thank You for giving of Yourself – for sacrificing Yourself “for such a worm as I.” You “came down to my level, When I couldn’t get up to Yours.”  May I ever be humbly grateful, Amen

Sept 10th, Sat, 5:18 am