Tag Archives: humility

Personally a hypocrite

“But we are sure that his religious difficulties never resulted in hypocrisy.” Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

This struck me almost as pointedly as the scriptures.

Luke 6:42 NKJV — “Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me remove the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the plank that is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck that is in your brother’s eye.”

It had been during prayer.

I was talking with the Lord about a past circumstance and suddenly the Lord asked me a question.

Who has hurt you the most?

The truth was clear.

“I have.”

My own sin has caused me the most suffering.

Then, respond to all other hurts with that in mind.

And with this my entire prayer focus turned.

It is so easy to look at another and see their blindness, prejudice, or sin.

To experience the pain of hypocrisy in another and recoil from the sting, bruised and battered.

Yet, the Bible is clear, our own sins are as black as anyone’s.

Humility says, “I’m a sinner, too” and stops talking.

Instead of recoiling, rejecting, or loudly renouncing another’s sin, what of prayer, forgiveness, and honesty?

Can we allow Christ’s love to enlarge our hearts and include those who have sinned against us?

What about a brother or sister?

Can we choose to continue in love, prayer, and encouragement even when the other seems calloused?

Matthew 18:21 NKJV — Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”

Matthew 18:22 NKJV — Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.

Can we forgive seventy times seven?

If I have been hurt, I certain I have hurt others.

If Christ forgave me, He will forgive them.

Therefore, my heart must be willing to love, quick to forgive, and honestly humble, for we all stand stained by sin, in desperate need of a Savior.

John 15:12 KJV — This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.

It’s a command which takes every fiber of our choice to walk in every day of our lives, but it’s a command.

And He knows what is best for us.

John 15:13-14 NKJV — “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.”

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for Your Word. Thank You for convicting me of my sin, that I might repent and see others more clearly, not tainted by the past. Lord, please help me to walk daily in this commandment. Please teach me how to be Your friend and how to love as You do. Lord, please help me to see myself clearly, remove the plank from my eye. Lord, I want to be real, honest, and humble, please help me to be. Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for Your patience. May my life reflect Yours, that Your name be glorified. Amen.

Jonathan

Illustration from The Children’s Bible by Golden

He waited for his father to finish speaking.

As soon as he was finished he spoke with him.

“David! Praise the Lord for His victory today! Truly, the Lord has set you before Him to do His mighty deeds. Please, come with me.”

1 Samuel 18:3 NKJV — Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul.

1 Samuel 18:4 NKJV — And Jonathan took off the robe that was on him and gave it to David, with his armor, even to his sword and his bow and his belt.

He was the son of the king, King Saul’s oldest son.

Next in line for the throne.

He was a warrior, who trusted God to lead him.

1 Samuel 14:14 NKJV — That first slaughter which Jonathan and his armorbearer made was about twenty men within about half an acre of land.

Jonathan could easily have been full of expectation for his future as the next king, but his heart was surrendered to God.

Jonathan’s life is a lesson in humility, he walked honorably before God.

God had not chosen him to be the next king.

His father, King Saul, didn’t follow the Lord with his whole heart and actually refused to obey God more than once.

Through King Saul’s choices, he removes his own family from the kingly line.

1 Samuel 15:23 NKJV — “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He also has rejected you from being king.”

But Jonathan doesn’t turn his back on God.

Never, not even once, does Jonathan envy David for being God’s chosen king after King Saul.

Instead, he sees the man who God has anointed to be the next king and he loves him.

1 Samuel 20:17 NKJV — Now Jonathan again caused David to vow, because he loved him; for he loved him as he loved his own soul.

Jonathan is an excellent example of friendship.

When King Saul was afraid of David and wants him killed Jonathan first warns David of the danger and then speaks to his father on his behalf.

1 Samuel 19:4 NKJV — Thus Jonathan spoke well of David to Saul his father, and said to him, “Let not the king sin against his servant, against David, because he has not sinned against you, and because his works have been very good toward you.

And Jonathan has to do it again, because his father had become hardened.

At one point King Saul is so enraged by his fear and hatred of David that he tries to kill Jonathan when he speaks to him in defense of David.(1 Samuel 20:33)

Jonathan is humble, and walks in honor before the Lord, no matter what.

Including, honoring his father, although King Saul was no longer an honorable man.

Nothing changed Jonathan, he continued to choose to walk rightly before God.

That same choice meant he followed his father and king into the battle which cost him his life.

He died fighting to protect his king.

1 Samuel 31:2 NKJV — Then the Philistines followed hard after Saul and his sons. And the Philistines killed Jonathan, Abinadab, and Malchishua, Saul’s sons.

No one can choose to make others honorable before God.

Each person only has the choice for themselves.

“Will I walk rightly before God?”

That is the question.

Jonathan answered that question very well.

May his life inspire us to choose to be honorable as well.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Jonathan and his life. Thank You for teaching me so much through his example. I love how devoted he was to You, to David and to his father. Please help me to live a life which inspires others to honor You as well. Please help me to be a friend like Jonathan was to David. Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for Your love and faithfulness. Thank You. Amen.

December 13

Today’s prayer:

Unto the upright there arises light in the darkness; He is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.
Psalms 112:4 NKJV

Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for being our light! Thank You for being upright and righteousness. Lord, thank You for being merciful and kind, full of compassion and understanding. Lord Jesus, please help each one of us to completely surrender ourselves before You. Help us to be aware of those things which would hinder our relationship with You, those things we have allowed to bend our perspective away from completely following You. Lord, please remove anything which would ensnare us. Lord, please break off the chains of sin and help us obey Your Word with zeal and humility, not as puffing ourselves up, but instead resting in Your strength and Your Sovereignty. For You do not see as man sees. Lord Jesus, help me to relinquish every part, every piece of my life to You. Please help me to walk in wisdom, honor, and love. Please give me Your perspective and set Your Word upon my heart. Thank You for all Your wonderful works. Lord, I humbly lift up the hurting, the sick, the lost,the caption, the prodigal, and the innocent before You. Please, touch each heart and bring them all they need. Thank You. Amen.

October 18

Today’s prayer:

Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus,
Romans 15:5 NKJV

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You. These words are encouraging. Please let it be so. Let Your church be of one mind. Let the church be unified and pure before You. Lord Jesus, reveal Yourself to each of us, that we might see and know You personally, that our lives might be purified by Your Holy Spirit. Lord Jesus, hold us in Your hands and teach us from Your Word. Let Your light so shine among us that we repent from everything which is contrary to Your Spirit. Lord, make us like Yourself. Lord Jesus, make me into Your image. Please continue to teach me humility, honor, and truth. My life is Yours, do with me as You will. Thank You for Your faithfulness. Thank You for Your love. Amen.

Blue Jay

(Sorry, He wouldn’t hold still, so you get a blue flower!)

After two nights of bad dreams, I awoke this morning feeling panicked.

Instead of following my normal routine of prayer and Bible reading, I began searching the internet on my phone.

This lasted for a bit, when He spoke.

What are you doing?

stop.

“Lord, I have no idea. Please forgive me for allowing myself to be driven by fear.”

I closed the internet and opened my Bible.

Incline my heart to Your testimonies, And not to covetousness.
Psalms 119:36 NKJV

After spending more time in prayer, I got up and began my day.

Yet, I just couldn’t get past my poor choice this morning.

I’ve fought fear as long as I can remember.

I felt ashamed that I had walked in it for any length of time.

Because it’s an old foe.

In this case it took a familiar form.

Fear of the future driving me to make plans and secure items in case…

To have everything I might possibly need because the future is uncertain and I might not…

Piffle!

What utter nonsense!

Like I have any idea what is best?

Do I really have so little faith in God’s provision that I think I have to figure it all out?

The moment the Lord spoke I could see it all clearly as a lie which I’ve fallen into before.

And I was disgusted with myself.

But God is so faithful.

His mercy is broad.

After I confessed and repented, He brought me another reminder.

A blue jay.

I was opening the house and startled a fledgling who has been hanging out with his mom in our yard.

He clumsily flew to the vegetable garden.

As I watched him I remembered earlier this week.

I’d been near the fence, pulling a weed in the flower bed, when a loud sound caused me to look up.

There he was barely hanging on to the top.

From the sound of things, I gathered he’d hit the fence first and then managed to hang on instead of plummeting to the ground.

Of course I scared him badly and he lept into one of the trees.

The memory coupled with the fledgling hoping around the tomatoes helped me let go of my shame.

“Thank You, Lord. Sometimes, I’m going to hit the fence instead of land on it. Thank You for showing me that I’m really just a fledgling, still so much to learn.”

God wants to free us from sin, not burden us with shame, because we are sinners.

Of course we shouldn’t go overboard the opposite direction and think we can behave anyway we like either.

It’s a delicate balance.

And it takes walking with Jesus daily to remain on the narrow path.

Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.
Matthew 7:14 NKJV

With my errors and scrapes of late, I’m spending today seeking Him.

I’m so thankful He is shining His light into my heart, but I also want to be cleansed completely of anything else which might cause me to stumble.

And it takes time with Him to become clean, renewed, and taught.

Turn away my reproach which I dread, For Your judgments are good. Behold, I long for Your precepts; Revive me in Your righteousness. Let Your mercies come also to me, O Lord — Your salvation according to Your word.
Psalms 119:39‭-‬41 NKJV

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your mercy and grace. Thank You for forgiving me of my poor choice this morning. Lord Jesus, I choose to trust You alone, not put my hope in things or people or even times and seasons. Lord, You alone are worthy of all my praise and worship, I do not want to look to anything else. Thank You for teaching me and loving me always. Thank You for humbling my heart and making the truth clear. Only in You is there peace and security. I praise Your Holy name, Jesus! Amen.

and He…

“Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.”
James 4:10 NKJV

It grinds against every part.

It can be the roughest sand paper to one’s soul.

It can seem as difficult as lifting a semi truck with one hand.

Yet humility holds a promise.

When I choose to humble myself, God will lift me up.

Pride begins so early, that it is able to be demonstrated at an young age.

Humility on the other hand takes conscious continued choice.

The rewards of humility are astonishing: to be lifted by God.

Pride will never pay that kind of dividend.

So I have to ask the Lord:

“Am I remaining humble before You?”

It’s important for me to check my heart.

It’s a valuable exercise to ask difficult questions.

Through this I can hear the Lord drawing me farther and farther from the sinful prideful person I am.

And the more I work at humbly setting myself before God, the easier it gets.

Why?

Because, the longer I walk with Jesus the more I realize how much higher, better, and holy He truly is.

Resting in His arms

image

Despite my inability, God has truly blessed me with a great amount of responsibility.

He has placed children in my life, both my own as well as others.

He has called me to teach and between my own family, school and Sunday school I’m often very busy.

It was in my quiet time with the Lord this morning He spoke something directly to my heart.

Isaiah 61:11
” For as the Earth brings forth her bud, and as the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.”

If I rest in His arms, while diligent in my daily activities, He Himself will cause it to bare fruit.

I can dig a whole.

I can plant a seed.

I can water it daily.

Yet I can’t make it sprout, grow, or bring forth a crop.

Only God can.

And He will.

My position is to simply be honorable before Him daily.

To complete each task unto the Lord with the humility and joy of a bond servant.

Then I am able to rest in His arms and trust the outcome to His perfect will.

I may  never see the fruit here on Earth, but true contentment comes through a life of service.

Weed amongst the flowers

image

Pride isn’t a flower I plant.

However it seems to be showing off amongst the other flowers in my life lately.

This morning I read about king Hezekiah.

“At that time Merodach-Baladan the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a present to Hezekiah,  for he heard that he had been sick and had recovered. And Hezekiah was pleased with them, and showed them the house of his treasures…There was nothing in his house or in all his dominion that Hezekiah did not show them.” Isaiah 39: 1, 2b

Showing off.

How easy it is to do.

How dreadful the consequences.

In this case, Isaiah relates to the king the future.

He explains the country will be taken over by Babylon.

In my own life I have been praying about pride.

I’ve had my “showing off” moments far more often than I would like.

It has always created embarrassment.

I have prayed to be like Moses, the humblest man. (Numbers 12:3)

I wonder how pride grows amongst the flowers so quickly.

The motivation for showing off is to impress another, whether one or many.

Why do I feel I need to impress anyone?
Answer: because I have taken my eyes off the Father.

I have folded into listening to other’s criticism and have walked out feeling lack. So I work harder to impress.

Oh how foolish!

When all I need to do is walk daily with Jesus.

He knows me.
He loves me.
He doesn’t have to be impressed.

He restores my soul.
He mends my broken.
He is the reason I am anything.

If the Creator of the universe feels this way about me–Why am I trying to show off?

So I ask the Lord to uproot the pride and replace it with humility.

Deep breath.

Sigh.

“Lord, forgive me for my pride. Heal me from my hurt. I know those words were not meant to harm, only to guide, but I felt cut down instead. Please give me the ability to discern Your correction. Teach me how to be less sensitive to criticism. Help me to love no matter what. “