Tag Archives: humility

Humble Service

Father, yesterday was a beautiful day of fellowship. I have every reason to feel thankful for I am truly blessed. Our gathering was not as big as in years past but the spirit was sweet. Bless my family, Father – those who were there and those who couldn’t be. Amen.

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

Peter here is speaking to elders – leaders of the church. Lord, 18 years ago this past 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, 2017, Mon, 6:37 am

Are We Quick to Crush?

Quite a day, Father! I was at work at 6:00 a.m. with an unusual arrangement of events. Back at it again tomorrow with truck number three for the store this week. Many of my coworkers have labored for several years in this situation and they are weary and worn – help me to be a positive, loving influence in their lives. May I shine brightly! Amen.

Matthew 23:1-4 (<<click to read the passage)

My study Bible* makes an interesting statement about this passage – one I had never really thought about.

“Jesus did not condemn what the Pharisees taught but what they were – hypocrites.”

But as I thought about it, the teachers of the Law and Jesus butted heads a lot! But you never hear him say anything negative about their teachings. They were a bit nitpicky but their teachings were solidly based on the Law. And in reality they did know the Law inside and out – it’s just that they didn’t live it!

How many of us “churchy” types deal with this issue? We know all the rules and regulations and readily make others aware when they miss the mark on obedience. We are quick to point out certain things that we find abhorrent but just as quickly ignore our own fallibilities.

For example, we may call attention to someone’s inability to control their liquor because they enjoy drinking but don’t think twice about the extra 50 pounds we carry around because we just love to eat. Is drunkenness a bigger sin than gluttony?

Proverbs 23:20-21 states,

Do not carouse with drunkards or feast with gluttons, for they are on their way to poverty, and too much sleep clothes them in rags.

Looks like they are pretty much in the same basket. Humility goes a long way.

How quick are we to “crush” others to lift ourselves up?

Lord, help me to not think too highly of myself. I have issues, too. They may just not be like other people’s issues. As always may I see people as You see people and act accordingly. Amen.

*Life Application Bible New Living Translation

Oct 17th, 2018, Wed, 7:21 pm

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, 2016, Sat, 5:18 am

Childlike…Not Childish

A quiet morning to begin the day – may my heart be quiet as I sit in Your presence this morning, Father. May I hear Your voice clearly. Touch and direct my life in the direction You would have it go. Amen.

Matthew 18:1-6 (<<click the green)

My study Bible* makes a great point in regards to this passage – are we striving to be childish or childlike? This particular incident was not just one from Matthew’s perspective; three of the four Gospel writers include it in their writings. It is something with which they all struggled – looking out for number one. Are we not guilty as well?

The disciples saw and heard much of what Jesus was doing but their concept of His coming kingdom was clouded by the common misconceptions of the day. They were looking for an earthly kingdom, not a spiritual one that would encompass all of eternity. So with that mindset in place they – like we – were jockeying for the best spot possible. “Who is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?” they asked.

Childish, right? Me first! Oo, oo, oo, pick me! Here they are arguing over a petty non-issue – who is greatest? Who amongst us is going to get those high ranking positions with all of their power, prestige, and perks?

And what is Jesus’ response? He doesn’t crack any heads together. He’s doesn’t lash out at their foolishness in anger. Nope. He puts a child among them and says, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.”

Childlike…not childish.

Lord, it is so easy to spend the time I have looking out for myself. The world literally shoves this down our throats every day. But everything I strive for is temporal – here today and gone tomorrow – power, wealth, security…love even – at least the world’s idea of love. I would ask that You help me to not focus on greatness but to focus on humility. May I seek to follow Your admonition from Matthew 6:33 AMP,

“But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being right—the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also.”

Amen.

*Life Application Study Bible New Living Translation

July 17th,2018, Tues, 6:20 am

Use This Broken Vessel

Father, I enjoy our time together and I really feel incomplete when we don’t connect like this first thing. I want to praise You this morning for Your minute by minute presence in my life. Every day You help me, encourage me, direct me, correct me and more! Everything You do for me is because You LOVE me!

Colossians 3:12b (<< click here)

Lord, since You chose me to be a holy person that You love (12a) I must clothe myself “with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility gentleness and patience.” (12b)

This list may be short, but Lord it is a lot to process! I am not complaining whatsoever; I just want to get every possible benefit from it! So much to take in and learn from.

“tenderhearted mercy” – compassion (NIV), bowels of mercy (KJV), heart of compassion (NASB) Lord You call me to love others without reservation – to extend to them the love You extend to me

“kindness”– not harsh or rough, not brutal but a genuine desire to be benevolent to others – caring

“humility”– not full of myself, but thinking of others and their needs and feeling first

“gentleness”– amiable, mild, not severe or rough

“patience”– the beauty of provocation, annoyance, misfortune or pain without complaint, loss of temper or irritation

Wow! This is not a little list but a BIG list! And really it boils down to clothing ourselves with Christ! It is a lot to live up to. On some of these fronts, I have a decent handle most of the time but sometimes I fail miserably and of course, patience is often a struggle.

Lord, all I can do is to give myself over to You every moment of my life! I see You working through me. I know there is still a lot of “bad” me to work around or sometimes through but with all my heart, soul and mind, I truly want these attributes – Your attributes – to shine through in how I live my life. Use this broken vessel to touch others, to love others, as only You can.

As the old song goes,

Spirit of the living God, fall fresh on me.
Spirit of the living God, fall fresh on me.
Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me.
Spirit of the living God, fall fresh on me.” 
~ Daniel Iversion, 1926

June 21st, 2015, Sun, 6:26 am