Monday, April 5, 2021
If I say to you, I think being a humble person will get you further in life than being a person who has to fight and get their own way, you would probably agree with me in a certain sense, but inside privately, you'd question what I have to say.
Monday, April 5, 2021
James 4:6, 10
What is the reward for humility? James tells us in James 4:6 and 10. He tells us the reward that God gives the humble person, and that's, by the way, where the reward comes from. It's not just the natural consequences of life, but a direct reward from God. Listen to this. James 4:6, "That's why the scripture says, 'God opposes the proud. But gives grace to the humble.'" So, humility and pride are the two polar extremes. God resists the proud. Why? The proud say, "I can do it." And God says, "Okay, if you can do it, I'll let you do it. " It doesn't work. But he gives grace to the humble. What does that mean? A humble person is a person who's always thinking less about himself, and more about God and other people. When it says that God gives grace to the humble, what does that mean? Well, grace has two ideas, two shades of meaning to it, or two dimensions, perhaps. The first is that that God will give you undeserved favor. When you act with humility, he'll give you undeserved favor. Think about it. Imagine you go to your boss, and you're asking for a raise, and you say, "Look, I demand a raise, like I need to have a raise, right now. I want a raise, and you need to give me a raise," and you're prideful about it. Or, instead, if you say, "Boss, would you consider giving me a raise? I'm not demanding it. I'm humbly asking," and then you make your case politely, but give him the room to decide, what do you think's going to give you the best chance to get the raise? The humble approach will, not only because it makes sense, but because God will give you the grace.
Wednesday, March 10, 2021
Today we're going to be dealing with the topic of trusting in God. I know that sounds like a big topic, but it's really about trusting in Him when we're dealing with life and things are completely out of our control.
Wednesday, March 10, 2021
Today we're going to be dealing with the topic of trusting in God. I know that sounds like a big topic, but it's really about trusting in Him when we're dealing with life and things are completely out of our control. We're going to look at Psalm 131. It says, "O Lord, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty; Nor do I involve myself in great matters, or in things too difficult for me. Surely I have composed and quieted my soul; Like a weaned child rests against his mother, my soul is like a weaned child within me. O Israel, hope in the LORD from this time forth and forever."
I see three main things here. In verse one, he says, "O Lord, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty; Nor do I involve myself in great matters, or in things too difficult for me." The author's being completely honest and humble. Be honest and be humble. Be honest that you can't do it. God doesn't want someone with all the answers who thinks they have it all figured out and they're just overconfident as a result. Be humble. Humility is recognizing that it's not all about you. My son, Eli, is my youngest of four. Because he's so short right now, when he goes to get a glass and get a drink or get a bowl for his cereal in the morning, he often has to ask for help because he knows he just can't reach it. It's okay to be humble. It's okay to be honest.
In verse two: "Surely I have composed and quieted my soul; Like a weaned child rests against his mother, my soul is like a weaned child within me." What's he doing there? He's talking about contentment. First, he says in verse one, be humble and be honest. Then, in verse two, he says to be content. I've composed and quieted my soul. I'm content where I am, just like a weaned child rests against his mother. It's just like that bond that a mother can meet the needs of a child and that child rests against after feeding. Then there is contentment and quiet. So be honest and humble, be content, and then lastly, be hopeful.
"Oh, my soul, hope in the Lord from this time forth and forever." From this time forth and forever, be hopeful for what God has for you to come. How you ultimately trust God has everything to do with you and has nothing to do with you. You have to be humble. You have to be honest. You have to be content. You have to be hopeful. Ultimately, though, it is God in whom we trust.
Let me pray. Father, we thank you that we can solely trust in you, not having to look anywhere else. But Father, sometimes it's very difficult, especially when life gets out of control and things we just can't seem to keep a grasp on them. I pray that we can learn from this passage and that we can employ these things in our own lives, that Lord, before you, we can be honest and humble, Lord, that we can be content and we can be hopeful. We thank you in Jesus' name, amen.
Thursday, January 7, 2021
Today, I want to talk to you about when weakness is strength. How can you be strong when you're weak? It seems like a complete oxymoron.
Thursday, January 7, 2021
2 Corinthians 12:8
2 Corinthians is probably one of the most neglected books of the New Testament. It's not really taught a lot and there are not many "good" verses in it. But it's Paul's most personal and vulnerable letter. He talks about all the different challenges he faced in dealing with the Corinthians. There were many accusations leveled against him: he wasn't an apostle, he was two- faced, etc, etc. In chapter 12, he talks about how he faced a problem in his life that made him so weak that he begged God to take it away. He called it a thorn in the flesh. We don't know what the thorn in the flesh was. It could have been a literal pain or a figurative expression. We don't know what it was, but it was so bad that Paul said in 2 Corinthians 12:8, "Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you. For my power is made perfect in weakness.'" Three times Paul pleaded with the Lord to take away the weakness, whatever this thorn in the flesh was. But sometimes God is not going to take away the thorn in the flesh. Sometimes he's going to allow it to work in your life, so that in your weakness his power might show up.
How was Paul's weakness strength? Here's a hint. Paul goes on to say, "Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." Can you imagine going to a meeting at work and bragging about your weaknesses? Well, Paul is not bragging about his particular weaknesses, he's bragging about the fact that weaknesses do certain things. He says, I will more gladly boast about my weaknesses, for when I am weak, then I am strong. What does that mean? It seems like a contradiction. Let me give you a couple of words to fill in that will add more clarity. When you study this passage, Paul is fundamentally saying, when I am weak in myself, then I am strong in the Lord.
What's he saying? Weakness can be strength when your weaknesses are brought to the strong attention of God Almighty. Paul had all of these challenges, especially the thorn in the flesh. He had hardships, insults, everything you can imagine, but he was strong, because in his weakness he turned to the strong God. If you didn't have any weaknesses, you wouldn't turn to the strong guy. You would just kind of muddled in the middle, getting by but not thriving. When you're weak, you turn to God and His strength, and he lifts you up higher than you would have ever been on your own. God doesn't want you to muddle in the middle. He wants you to be strong. So, when you're weak, acknowledge it. Be humble about it, speak to it. Be open about it. You have to tell everybody in the world about every weakness in your life. Just be a humble person, admit to God that you're weak, and then let God's strength replace your weakness. When I am weak in myself, then I am strong in him.