All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” 1 Peter 5:5, NIV
What is humility? Is it the opposite of pride? If pride expands one’s importance, does humility deflate one’s importance? That’s the view given by most English dictionaries—a deemphasis on one’s own importance. But what is the biblical view of humility?
If someone compliments you on a job well done, do you refuse to take credit or receive their compliment? Or do you graciously say, “Thank you,” in a spirit of genuine appreciation and humility? In Romans 12:3 Paul exhorts the believers not to think of themselves pridefully but rather to think of themselves “soberly”—that is, realistically or accurately. Paul’s topic is the grace given by God to each Christian to serve in the Body of Christ. We should neither overestimate the gift of God’s grace or underestimate it. Rather, we should think of it soberly and realistically—humbly—and minister accordingly. To think less of God’s gift would be to devalue it; to think realistically about it allows one to serve humbly.
How do you view yourself? With pride? With false humility? Or soberly and realistically according to the grace of God in your life?
A really humble man…will not be thinking about humility, he will not be thinking about himself at all. C. S. Lewis
The Upright Walk of A Bowed-Down Man – 1 Peter 5:5-7 – Skip Heitzig
Who is he, this King of glory? The Lord Almighty—he is the King of glory. Psalm 24:10
On our way home from our honeymoon, my husband and I waited to check in our luggage at the airport. I nudged him and pointed to a man standing a few feet away.
My spouse squinted. “Who is he?”
I excitedly rattled off the actor’s most notable roles, then walked up and asked him to take a photo with us. Twenty-four years later, I still enjoy sharing the story of the day I met a movie star.
Recognizing a famous actor is one thing, but there’s Someone more important I’m thankful to know personally. “Who is this King of glory?” (Psalm 24:8). The psalmist David points to the Lord Almighty as Creator, Sustainer, and Ruler of all. He sings, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it on the seas and established it on the waters” (vv. 1–2). In awestruck wonder, David proclaims God is above all, yet intimately approachable (vv. 3–4). We can know Him, be empowered by Him, and trust Him to fight on our behalf, as we live for Him (v. 8).
God provides opportunities for us to declare Him as the only Famous One truly worth sharing with others. As we reflect His character, those who don’t recognize Him can have more reasons to ask, “Who is He?” Like David, we can point to the Lord with awestruck wonder and tell His story!
Reflect & Pray
What has the Lord shown you about Himself? How might you share that with someone?
Lord, thanks for blessing us with the pleasure and privilege of seeking You and giving us opportunities to share You with others every day.
Sin is often frightfully deceptive. We can be diligently serving the Lord without realizing that we’re actually doing so for selfish reasons such as recognition, affirmation, or achieving our own goals. Or maybe our external behavior doesn’t match what’s really going on within our heart. We could be doing all the right things outwardly while at the same time holding a grudge, finding fault, or grumbling in our heart.
These problems flow from our flesh and its sinful desires, which are part of the condition in which we were born. The only cure for a self-focused life is what Galatians 5:16 calls “walking by the Spirit.”
First, we must realize that we cannot live a godly life apart from the Holy Spirit. Remember, the flesh cannot be changed or tamed but must be replaced with dependence on the Holy Spirit. He alone can overcome the pull of sin because His power is unlimited.
Second, we must surrender to the Holy Spirit rather than yield to our fleshly desires. In other words, “Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts” (Rom. 13:14).
Third, we must trust the Lord. We can’t fully surrender to Him until we confidently believe both that His Word is true and that He keeps His promises. Then, as our thoughts, decisions, and actions align with the truths of Scripture, we are empowered to stand firm against temptation.
God wants you to live in the fullness of His Spirit. So lay your flesh down at the cross today, and let the Spirit lead you into a fruitful, abundant life.
“For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.” (Psalm 119:89)
This is the central verse in the longest chapter in the longest book in the Bible, and it is surely one of the greatest verses in the Bible. It conveys the amazing news that the Word of God (which is the theme of the entire 119th Psalm) has existed from eternity past and will continue to exist forever in the future. It was eternally settled in the mind of God before the world was created, then gradually inscripturated “at sundry times and in divers manners [as God] spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets” (Hebrews 1:1).
Other verses in this psalm likewise stress the eternal validity of God’s words: “The righteousness of thy testimonies is everlasting. . . . Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou hast founded them for ever. . . . Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever” (Psalm 119:144, 152, 160).
In the book of Isaiah appears a magnificent claim: “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever” (Isaiah 40:8). This contrast is expanded by the apostle Peter: “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever” (1 Peter 1:23).
To guarantee this great truth beyond any further question, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself made the following tremendous claim: “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away” (Matthew 24:35). “Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled” (Matthew 5:18).
The entire physical universe is (literally) “passing away,” heading inexorably downhill toward ultimate death—with one exception! The words of our Bible and its glorious promises are eternal and immutable. HMM
Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.
—2 Timothy 1:13-14
There is a great decision that every denomination has to make sometime in the development of its history. Every church also has to make it either at its beginning or a little later—usually a little later. Eventually every board is faced with the decision…. Every pastor has to face it and keep renewing his decision on his knees before God. Finally, every church member, every evangelist, every Christian has to make this decision….
The question is this: Shall we modify the truth in doctrine or practice to gain more adherents? Or shall we preserve the truth in doctrine and practice and take the consequences?…
A commitment to preserving the truth and practice of the church is what separates me from a great many people who are perhaps far greater than I am in ability. This is my conviction, long held and deeply confirmed by a knowledge of the fact that modern gospel churches, almost without exception, have decided to modify the truth and practice a little in order to have more adherents and get along better. RRR165-167
We’re under constant pressure to have more adherents, more members, more numbers, Lord. God help me never to modify or compromise to achieve that, but to tenaciously holdfast to my core beliefs and priorities. Amen.
By love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word even in this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.—Galatians 5:13, 14.
A Man who habitually pleases himself will become continually more selfish and sordid, even among the most noble and beautiful conditions which nature, history, or art can furnish; and, on the other hand, any one who will try each day to live for the sake of others, will grow more and more gracious in thought and bearing, however dull and even squalid may be the outward circumstances of his soul’s probation.
It is the habit of making sacrifices in small things that enables us for making them in great, when it is asked of us. Temper, love of preeminence, bodily indulgence, the quick retort, the sharp irony—in checking these let us find our cross and carry it. Or, when the moment comes for some really great service, the heart will be petrified for it, and the blinded eyes will not see the occasion of love.
Anthony W. Thorold.
“Thy shoes shall be iron and brass; and as thy days, so shall thy strength be.” Deut. 33:25
Here are two things provided for the pilgrim: shoes and strength.
As for the shoes: they are very needful for traveling along rough ways, and for trampling upon deadly foes. We shall not go barefoot — this would not be suitable for princes of the blood royal. Our shoes shall not be at all of the common sort, for they shall have soles of durable metal, which will not wear out even if the journey be long and difficult. We shall have protection proportionate to the necessities of the road and the battle. Wherefore let us march boldly on, fearing no harm even though we tread on serpents, or set our foot upon the dragon himself.
As for the strength: it shall be continued as long as our days shall continue, and it shall be proportioned to the stress and burden of those days. The words are few, “as thy days thy strength,” but the meaning is full. This day we may look for trial, and for work which will require energy, but we may just as confidently look for equal strength. This word given to Asher is given to us also who have faith wherewith to appropriate it. Let us rise to the holy boldness which it is calculated to create within the believing heart.