Humility Promotes God’s Blessings

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The Solution to Pride

By: Jonathan Santiago, CBN Digital Product Designer, cbn.com

120 Humility ideas | humility, words, words of wisdom

But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6 NASB).

What would cause God to be opposed to us? According to James, it is pride.

As fallen humans, our sins have separated us from God. He is holy and cannot abide with sin. To bridge that gap, we know that God came to us in human form to bear our iniquities and unite us back to Himself. In the same way that sin affronts a holy God, pride opposes God. Proverbs 6:16-17 says that a proud look (or haughty eyes) is an abomination to Him (he detests it).

If Tarzan were to teach a Bible study, he might phrase it this way: “Humility, good. Pride…ba-aad!” Yes, humility is good, so that means we should concentrate on being humble, right? Not necessarily.

I’ve found when I focus solely on being humble, I’m still focused solely on myself. At the end of the day, that’s still pride. It’s all about me. This can be a dangerous trap for Christians. Because we all know that he who is greatest must be a servant (Matthew 20:27), we may tend to boast in a false sense of humility. Over time, this can lead to a lack of true servitude towards one another. We can acquire a mindset of, “I’m more important than you because I serve more than you”… pride. So, what do we to focus on in order to be genuinely humble? Love.

Love takes my focus off of me and onto somebody else. Humility is a result of true love. Here is the checklist for love:

Love is patient, love is kind, it is not jealous; love does not brag, it is not arrogant. It does not act disgracefully, it does not seek its own benefit; it is not provoked, does not keep an account of a wrong suffered, it does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth (1 Corinthians 13:4-6 NASB).

If we learn to love well, we won’t brag about our actions. We won’t be self-seeking or jealous. Our actions will be done in kindness. We will not be easily provoked, and we will not be arrogant. It’s important to note that these are all effects of love. Love is selfless in its very nature. When we are acting selflessly, there is no room for pride.

Focusing inward without love can actually lead to selfishness. Focusing outwardly in love will lead to selflessness, and a genuine, passionate humility will be the byproduct. A humble heart will be a byproduct of following the two great commandments: loving God first, and loving others second (Matthew 22:37-39).

God’s very nature is love: The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love (1 John 4:8 NASB).

I don’t want God to oppose me. I want to be humble. I want more of God’s grace. I want God to perfect His love in me.

If you do too, maybe you’d like to pray this prayer:

Father, I ask You to perfect Your love in me. Please reveal pride in my life and allow me to humble myself by the power of Your Holy Spirit. I want more of Your grace, more of Your favor. Help me to love better. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Jesus’ Prayer for Us

Al Mulder and Bonny Mulder-Behnia, Authors, Today Devotions

Scripture Reading — John 17:20-23

“[Father,] I pray also for those who will believe in me . . . that they may be one as we are one . . . that they may be brought to complete unity.” — John 17:2022-23

My daughters and I were privileged to be at their mother’s bedside when she spoke her last words. There is something very special about people’s ­final words.

Jesus’ prayer in John 17 is his final prayer with his disciples—just prior to his struggles in the garden and his betrayal, trial, and crucifixion. These words reveal his heart for all who believe in him!

Note what Jesus did not pray for. He did not pray for victory over Roman oppressors. He did not plead for the health and wealth of his followers. He did not ask for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. He did not even mention concern over worship practices or theological questions.

Jesus prayed for unity!

His prayer was that all who believe in him would be ­united with God and therefore be united with one another in “complete unity”—in all the days and years that followed!

Earlier that same evening Jesus said, “A new command I give you: Love one another. . . . By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34-35).

Love is an action word. As lovers of God, pray daily for grace to love your neighbors as yourself. That is what Jesus wants.

Prayer

Father, Son, and Spirit, your love is amazing. Fill us so full of your love that it overflows to all of us and our neighbors, making us one in you. Amen. (AM)

Are You Scared of Loving Zacchaeus? –

By Laura MacCorkle, Crosswalk.com

When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” Luke 19:5, NIV

I’m scared of some things—and some people—but I’m not too scared about spending time with those who don’t know Jesus. Never have been.

In fact, I enjoy people who are vastly different than me. I must say, though, that I am nowhere even close to the greatest friend-who-knew-no-stranger-of-all-time: Jesus. And so I admire his ability to walk toward those who might scare you and me … those who we might walk away from today.

Zacchaeus was one such character. He really was a despicable little man. As I’m sure you know, tax collectors in Bible times were not the sort of person you invited over for a potluck to your home on an early spring evening. No, they were viewed as the lowest of the low. The pond scum of society. The ones you wouldn’t even let in your front door.

Amazingly, though, Jesus didn’t adjust his course when he was walking through Jericho one fine day. With his eye on the tax collector, Jesus walked right to where Zacchaeus was perched in a sycamore tree. Because he was small in stature, Zacchaeus had climbed up this tree so that he could see who Jesus was when he passed by in the crowd of people. He had heard about him, and now he wanted to see for himself.

Had he heard how he’d performed miracles? How he’d attracted and fed large crowds of people? How he’d touched the untouchables and healed those with leprosy? How he’d stood up to the religious establishment and called them on their legalistic teachings?

Who knows for sure. But whatever he had heard, Zacchaeus wanted to see this man who defied everyone’s expectations of what the Messiah would be.

“Zacchaeus,” Jesus said as he addressed him by name. “Come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.”

Can you imagine what Zacchaeus must have thought? He knows me! Wait, HOW does he know me? And why is he coming to spend time with me? Doesn’t he know that everyone despises me because I take all of their money? Why would he want to spend time with ME?

But whatever Zaccheus may have thought didn’t stop him from scrambling down the tree and welcoming Jesus “gladly.” He was smitten with the love of the Savior. And he knew that this was the Christ.

“Look, Lord!” Zacchaeus said to him. “Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”

And Jesus said to him, “Today, salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.”

How amazing is that? Jesus didn’t shy away from someone who the rest of society was shunning. He also didn’t get up in Zacchaeus’ face, make him feel like dirt and then strike him down with the Law in his initial effort to love him. No, he just said, “Hey, I see you and I’m going to spend some time with you. Come on, let’s go!”

It’s the “great commission” in action. “Go ye into all the world.” Even to the parts of town that you usually avoid. Even to the societal groups that offend you. Even to the family member who has chosen to live a different lifestyle. He, she, they … any of these people can represent Zacchaeus in your life.

But don’t walk away from them. Walk toward them. And extend an invitation for a better way of living and the hope of a glorious eternity. Just like Jesus did for you.

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