humble Christian

A humble Christian is not an oxymoron. In fact, humility is a sign that a Christian is growing to be more like Christ. Peter, a man, well acquainted with pride encourage Christians to pursue humility. Here are five marks of humility:

God is mighty and my humility is a necessity.

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you.” ” – 1 Peter 5:6

Humility starts with God. Humility for a Christian is important because humility realizes God is God and you are not. If not fight for space to prove others how wonderful you are, you will be frustrated because space is reserved for God. However, there is coming a day when God will shower you with praise for his great work in you. Think of that. The God of the universe will exalt you!

Pride and anxiety exist when humility doesn’t.

“casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” – 1 Peter 5:7

People in a self-help culture can pride themselves on taking care of themselves and their anxieties. However, Christians realize that anxieties often get the best of us and that we aren’t strong enough to ward off all worries, but God is able and he cares. This is more than a “let go let God” mentality. It’s a “while you go, cling to God” mentality.

Humility is a mighty weapon against Satan and sin.

“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith,” – 1 Peter 5:8-9a

Don’t minimize the danger or power of Satan. He is a lion-like destroyer hunting you down. Nothing makes him happier than to see you drown in pride and be killed by anxiety. His greatest schemes are to feed your mind with ideas that you are god or that God is not there for you. When you resist Satan and his schemes, and rest in the strength that Jesus gives you, then Satan is no match for you.

Humility is understanding you are not alone in the battle.

“knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

By Silvanus, a faithful brother as I regard him, I have written briefly to you, exhorting and declaring that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it. She who is at Babylon, who is likewise chosen, sends you greetings, and so does Mark, my son. Greet one another with the kiss of love.  Peace to all of you who are in Christ.,” – 1 Peter 5:9b-14

Peter gives an example of a few of your “brotherhood”. This is meant to encourage you that you are member of a larger worldwide community of faith that is suffering for the sake of Christ. Yet one day soon Christ will restore, confirm, strengthen and establish you.

Humble Jesus ultimately saves the day.

In the end, Jesus will have his way. He wins. Jesus has dominion over all. Jesus is a king who rules over all peoples, times, places, and things as the King of kings and Lord of lords. There is no one more powerful than Jesus. Peter promises that because he loves us, Jesus our powerful king will right every wrong in his wonderfully perfect kingdom. If you are in Christ, you are in his kingdom. That is a glorious promise and hope. Amen. Enough said.

 

Questions for Reflection:

  • What does humility look like according in this text? How do humble people treat one another? What do you do when you are proud? What do you do when you are humble?
  • What is anxiety? What does it look like to cast your anxieties on Christ? How does God care for you?
  • How does humility protect you from Satan and his schemes? How do you resist Satan? How was pride Satan’s own downfall?
  • What things can Jesus do that the devil cannot do?
  • What is the Christian mindset towards God, Satan and self? What is the reward for humility and obedience in the end? How does Jesus ultimately save the day? How does Jesus kingship and future kingdom give you hope today?
  • Do you agree with the “amen” at this text?
  • As you look back over 1 Peter, how does it give you courage and strength to stand firm, especially when your faith is under fire? How have you seen God on display throughout the letter?
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humble leaders

It is easy to be humble when standing at the base of a mountain or the edge of the sea. However, when standing over another person it is a struggle to remain humble.

Humility is not the most desirable characteristic, especially for leaders. However, according to God humility is true greatness.  Humility is viewing yourself in the light of God’s holiness and your limitedness.

Humility according to God starts with those in leadership. Elders and pastors are to be examples of humility. According to Peter, leaders are to show humility in three ways:

“So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” – 1 Peter 5:1-5

Humility is seen as you serve in plurality.

Shared leadership keeps a leaders pride in check. God designed leadership to be done together with other leaders who pass onto one another character.  We see this best in the life of Christ and his disciples (v.1).

Humility is expressed best as leaders shepherd their flock.

The job of a leader is to care for those he leads by teaching and protecting (vs.2-3). Many leaders in the Bible start out as shepherds like Moses and David. Shepherding sheep is a humbling job, but is great preparation for shepherding people. Jesus himself was called the Chief Shepherd. He is ultimately your highest elder. All other elders work for him and do as he did.

Humility seek their reward is the eyes of God not men.

You may not see many humble leaders listed on Forbes 500. The reward for humble shepherding is not the praise of men, but the prize of the unfading crown of glory from God himself (v.4).

Humility in younger leaders is demonstrated in their submission to older leaders.

Those who are younger struggle the most to submit to authority. The younger you are the greater your struggle with pride, but often the older you are the more humble you become because you realize your limitations (v.5).

Peter knows the struggle of submitting to leadership and humbling leading. Early in his life he struggled with pride. He challenged and denied the authority of Christ. However, as he observed the sufferings and humility of Christ it left a mark on him that would forever change him. Christ would restore and call him to love sheep like he did. As we see from his letter, he became a tender shepherd leader.

 

Questions for Reflection:

  • What is or isn’t humility? Why is humility an important character of a leader?
  • What do you know about Peter’s own struggle with humility, especially earlier in his life? How had he grown in humility?
  • What is the motivation for shepherding the flock? How can these motives become distorted? What are the common temptations of leaders?
  • What is to be the response of the flock towards elders? How does also express humility? Toward whom is your humility ultimately pointed? What does it look like to submit to leaders over you?
  • How do elders join in the suffering of Christ? When have you seen God’s grace to the humble or his opposition to the proud?
  • What are the consequences of pride? What is the prize of humility?
  • How can you clothe yourself in humility toward one another?

limits, sleep, gospel song

Limits

It is okay for me to have limits–God doesn’t. It is okay to get a good nights sleep–God doesn’t sleep. It is okay for me to rest–God doesn’t need to. We don’t know a lot about what heaven looks like, but this much we know: God is not pacing the throne room anxious and depressed because of the condition of the world. He knows, He is not surprised, and He is sovereign. It is okay for me to have limits. He is able. – Richard A. Swenson, The Overload Syndrome, p.37

Humility

Humility, rightly understood, shouldn’t be a fabric softener on our aspirations. When we become too humble to act, we’ve ceased being biblically humble. True humility doesn’t kill our dreams; it provides a guardrail for them, ensuring that they remain on God’s road and move in the direction of His glory. – Dave Harvey, Rescuing Ambition, 14

Cross

Every time we look at the cross Christ seems to be saying to us, “I am here because of you. It is your sin I am bearing, your curse I am suffering, your debt I am paying, your death I am dying.” Nothing in history or in the universe cuts us down to size like the cross. – John Stott, The Message of Galatians, 179.

Sleep

Your sleep tonight will be a small but real fact of faith. You’ll lay your full weight on a bed, trusting this structure to support you. You can fully relax, because no effort at supporting yourself is required; something else is holding you up. And in the same way, throughout the night sleep, Someone else is sustaining you. This is a picture of what it’s like to belong to Christ. – C.J. Mahaney, Humility: True Greatness, 85.

Gospel Song

3:10 to Yuma

This is a movie review:

This is a remake of a 1957 Western.

Dan Evans (Christian Bale), is just a man trying to make a life for his family. His life is one step away from crumbling to nothing: He’s down a leg, his son Mark suffers from chronic respiratory problems, his ranch and only source of income has become a desert from lack of rain, and then the banker who owns the note on his property is seeking to make a buck by repossessing and selling it to the railroad. Reacting to his difficult situation, Dan says, “I’ve been standing on one leg for three damn years waiting for God to do me a favor and He ain’t listening.”

Dan Evans is no hero, just an ordinary Joe. He is what he is, no frills. He simple speaks what he thinks and does not manipulate.

Then there is Ben Wade (Russell Crowe), who plays the best outlaw I have ever seen. He is the kind of guy you love to hate, but there is something mysteriously interesting about him. He is Bible thumping creep with a Messiah-complex, and who has named his gun “the hand of God”. He kills anyone who stands between him and the riches he seeks, and even kills people as a hobby. A unique side note: his mom at a train station as a child abandoned him, and interestingly enough she told him to read the Bible.

One day Ben comes across Dan Evans’ herd of cattle while seeking to rob a banker coach. Dan becomes instrumental in Ben’s arrest and volunteers to help deliver him to Contention, Arizona, where he will be put on the prison train to Yuma at 3:10pm. Dan does this all for $200 to save his ranch and gain the respect of his wife and son. He is willing to risk his life for what he loves.

While on the journey to Contention it is just that, contention. Ben does everything he can to outsmart his captors. This is when Dan becomes an ordinary hero. Dan and Ben have multiple interactions on the journey. Dan’s humble ways shoot down the pride of Ben Wade. We learn that Dan’s life is built to be a hero to his children, and a man of honor to his wife. These are all things Ben learns to admire: fatherhood, humility, and character.

I recommend 3:10 to Yuma for adult audiences because of the violence and language.

 

less is more

less is more: less of me, more of God
 
“God, I want to step it up in my faith!” This was my cry as I came across these familiar, yet refreshing verses of Scripture…
 
Mark 10:42-45. An apostle makes a strange, but striking comment about Jesus’ purpose, which reveals His true character. He says, “He [Jesus] came not to be served, but to serve.” What? How could the God of the universe or the King of all kings not come to earth to be served? Jesus took the form of a waiter and even a slave to show that life is all about giving of oneself not receiving.
 
Luke 9:46-48. Jesus breaks up an argument among His disciples who were trying to prove who was the greatest man among their posy. Before they started to really duke it out, Jesus steps in and says, “Whoever is least among you will be the greatest.” In other words, make less of yourselves and more of Me.
 
We live in a culture today that’s national anthem is “Me, me, me, me, me, me, me, mmmeeeee!!!” However, we never read in the Bible that this is to be our theme. On the contrary our motto is to be “God first”, “You rule”, or simply “You God!”
 
Remember what John said, “He must increase and I must decrease.” [John 3:30]
 
In fact, the Scripture explains a lot about who I am. Paul’s says it best when he says he is the “scum of the earth.” I am a sinner. I do not deserve for a minute the position that I have before God. I didn’t earn it. I didn’t buy it. And I sure wasn’t good enough for it. Yet, Jesus Christ has allowed me to have a right standing before Him all because of what He has done for me.
 
After four years of ministry at Battle Ground Bible Church I am starting to get comfortable. I know the church, and they know me. Comfort is not always a good thing. I don’t want to get to comfortable. I believe God always want us out of our comforts zone and step in up in our faith. So out of this comfort a new vision for my walk with Christ and our youth ministry was born.
 
LESS IS MORE. < = >
 
Less of me. My identity is Christ. There is nothing about myself to be proud of or to boast in. If anything my pride and boasting is in Christ.
 
More of God. His purpose is making Himself known. So my purpose must be in sync with His. I am to make God famous. When people look at me, they are to see less of me, and more of God.
 
So are you with me in this great cause to make more of God and less of us?
 
 
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