The Power of Humility…
“Pride is the mother hen under which all other sins are hatched.”
—C. S. Lewis
In Philippians 2, Paul admonishes the church at Philipp to, Live unselfishly, as Jesus did, who gave up trying to advance Himself. Instead, He lived to help others; and when He humbled Himself, God highly exalted Him, and He will do the same with you.
What do we do when we don’t feel like obeying God?
He has not left us alone in our struggles to do His will.
He wants to come alongside us and be within us to provide help.
God gives us the desire and the power to do what pleases Him.
We find the secret to a changed life when we submit to His control and let Him work in and through us.
In our struggle against temptation, we must ask God to help us both do His will and desire to do His will.
To change our desires to be more like Christ’s, we need the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit (1:19), the influence of faithful Christians, obedience to God’s Word (not just exposure to it), and sacrificial service.
Often it is in doing God’s will that we gain the desire to do it (see 4:8-9).
Do what He wants and trust Him to change your desires.
Why are complaining and arguing so harmful?
If all that people know about a church is that its members frequently argue, complain, and gossip, they get a false impression of Christ and the Good News.
Belief in Christ should unite those who trust Him.
If people in your church often complain and argue, they lack the unifying power of Jesus Christ.
Stop arguing with other Christians and complaining about people and conditions within the church; instead, patiently work on your issues and let the world see Christ.
Our lives should be characterized by moral purity, patience, and peacefulness, so that we will shine “like bright lights” in a dark and depraved world.
A transformed life effectively demonstrates the power of God’s Word.
Are you shining brightly, or are you clouded by complaining and arguing?
Don’t let dissensions snuff out your light. Shine out for God until Jesus returns and bathes the world in His radiant glory.
God views service and humility as strengths, not weaknesses.
If we are going to be like Jesus, we need to love people – even people who are hard to love.
Jesus set the example for us, coming to die even for the people who hated Him.
As good parents know, love means a willingness to be inconvenienced, a willingness to set aside our own concerns to attend to the needs of someone else.
Love is a lot more than good feelings – it must also include good actions.
God is good not because He is powerful, but because He is good.
He always uses His power to help other people, not to serve Himself.
We praise people who risk their lives to save others; we do not praise people who had the power but refused to use it.
We admire self-sacrifice, not selfishness.
Jesus came to serve, not to lord it over people (Matthew 20:28).
He told His disciples they should not be like power-hungry rulers, but should set an example by helping people.
“Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant” (verse 26).
Jesus shows us what the Father is like (John 14:9) – not just what He was like 2,000 years ago, but what He is like all the time.
If we follow Jesus, grace should fill our families, our friendships and our workplaces.
Being like Jesus means that we are not always demanding to get our own way.
We are not bragging about ourselves or insulting others.
Paul describes the results of God at work in our lives:
“The fruit of [God’s] Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23).
If we are to be like Jesus, our relationships may have to change a lot.
It won’t be easy, and it won’t happen overnight. It takes time, so we need patience with the process, both in ourselves and in others.
We need faith that God will finish the work he has started in us (Php 1:6)
Selah (let us pause and calmly think about these things)
Wednesday, June 8
Joy and Strength Devotional
OPPORTUNITY FOR GRACE
“Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.”
Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life.”
— Philippians 2:14–16
There is an invitation, even in suffering, to practice laid-down love.
Are we quick to argue when others don’t see what we want them to?
Are we prone to complain when our expectations are unmet?
As God’s people, we get to cast all of our frustrations at the feet of Jesus.
May we walk in the wisdom of his Word that leads us into life.
Today, may we look at every hiccup in our plans as an opportunity to receive and extend grace.
In getting to know why we react the way we do, we are able to offer compassion to both ourselves and to others.
In receiving God’s great mercy, we are empowered to forgive and seek forgiveness over and over again.
Then we will shine as lovers of God who do not let pride keep us from loving well.
God over all, I need your grace to empower me to turn my offenses over to you.
I know that you don’t expect me to be perfect, so I’m laying down that impossible bar for myself.
Let me be full of humility and grace. And when I am offended, help me to look within to see why without blaming others for my consternation.
Come join the Adventure!