Tag Archives: humble

Humble Child – Protecting Angel


The Little Girl in the Park

From: Inspirationalarchive.com

There was this little girl sitting by herself in the park. Everyone passed by her and never stopped to see why she looked so sad. Dressed in a worn pink dress, barefoot and dirty, the girl just sat and watched the people go by.

She never tried to speak, she never said a word. Many people passed but no one would stop. The next day I decided to go back to the park in curiosity to see if the little girl would still be there. Yes, she was there, right in the very spot as she was yesterday, and still with the sad look in her eyes.

Today I was to make my own move and walk over to the little girl. For as we all know, a park full of strange people is not a place for young children to play alone. As I got closer I could see the back of the little girl’s dress was obscenely shaped. I figured that was the reason people just passed by and made no effort to help.

Deformities are a low blow to our society and, heaven forbid if you make a step toward assisting someone who is different. As I got closer, the little girl lowered her eyes slightly to avoid my intent stare. As I approached her, I could see the obscene shape of her back more clearly. She was grotesquely shaped in a humped-over form. I smiled to let her know it was OK, I was there to help, to talk. I sat down beside her and opened with a simple Hello.

The little girl acted shocked, and stammered a “hi,” after a long stare into my eyes. I smiled and she shyly smiled back. We talked until darkness fell and the park was completely empty. I asked the girl why she was so sad. The little girl looked at me and with a sad face said, “Because I’m different.”

I immediately said, “That you are!” and smiled. The little girl acted even sadder and said, “I know.”

“Little girl,” I said, “you remind me of an angel, sweet and innocent. She looked at me and smiled. Slowly she got to her feet and said, “Really?”

“Yes, you’re like a little Guardian Angel sent to watch over all those people walking by.”

She nodded her head yes, and smiled. With that she spread her wings and said, “I am. I’m your Guardian Angel,” with a twinkle in her eye. I was speechless, sure I was seeing things. She said, “For once you thought of someone other than yourself. My job here is done.

” I got to my feet and said, “Wait. So why did no one stop to help an angel?” She looked at me and smiled, “You’re the only one that could see me,” and then she was gone. And with that, my life was changed dramatically.

So, when you think you’re all you have, remember, your angel is always watching over you.


The Compelling Majesty of His Power

From: My Utmost For HIs HIghest

The love of Christ compels us . . . —2 Corinthians 5:14

Paul said that he was overpowered, subdued, and held as in a vise by “the love of Christ.” Very few of us really know what it means to be held in the grip of the love of God. We tend so often to be controlled simply by our own experience. The one thing that gripped and held Paul, to the exclusion of everything else, was the love of God. “The love of Christ compels us . . . .” When you hear that coming from the life of a man or woman it is unmistakable. You will know that the Spirit of God is completely unhindered in that person’s life.

When we are born again by the Spirit of God, our testimony is based solely on what God has done for us, and rightly so. But that will change and be removed forever once you “receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you . . .” (Acts 1:8). Only then will you begin to realize what Jesus meant when He went on to say, “. . . you shall be witnesses to Me . . . .” Not witnesses to what Jesus can do— that is basic and understood— but “witnesses to Me . . . .” We will accept everything that happens as if it were happening to Him, whether we receive praise or blame, persecution or reward. No one is able to take this stand for Jesus Christ who is not totally compelled by the majesty of His power. It is the only thing that matters, and yet it is strange that it’s the last thing we as Christian workers realize. Paul said that he was gripped by the love of God and that is why he acted as he did. People could perceive him as mad or sane-he did not care. There was only one thing he lived for— to persuade people of the coming judgment of God and to tell them of “the love of Christ.” This total surrender to “the love of Christ” is the only thing that will bear fruit in your life. And it will always leave the mark of God’s holiness and His power, never drawing attention to your personal holiness.

Humility Is Power

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Load Line

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. —1 Peter 5:6-7


In the 19th century, ships were often recklessly overloaded, resulting in those ships going down and the crews being lost at sea. In 1875, to remedy this negligent practice, British politician Samuel Plimsoll led the charge for legislation to create a line on the side of a ship to show if it was carrying too much cargo. That “load line” became known as the Plimsoll Line, and it continues to mark the hulls of ships today.

Sometimes, like those ships, our lives can seem overloaded with fears, struggles, and heartaches. We can even feel that we are in danger of going under. In those times, however, it is reassuring to remember that we have a remarkable resource. We have a heavenly Father who stands ready to help us carry that load. The apostle Peter said, “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:6-7). He is capable of handling the cares that overwhelm us.

Though the testings of life may feel like a burden too heavy to bear, we can have full assurance that our heavenly Father loves us deeply and knows our load limits. Whatever we face, He will help us to bear it.

Heavenly Father, I sometimes feel as if I can’t go
on. I am tired, I am weak, and I am worn. Thank You
that You know my limits better than I do. And that, in
Your strength, I can find the enablement to endure.
God may lead us into troubled waters to deepen our trust in Him.

A Goodbye Kiss

From: inspirationalarchive.com

The Board Meeting had come to an end. Bob started to stand up and jostled the table, spilling his coffee over his notes. “How embarrassing. I am getting so clumsy in my old age.”

Everyone had a good laugh, and soon we were all telling stories of our most embarrassing moments. It came around to Frank who sat quietly listening to the others. Someone said, “Come on, Frank. Tell us your most embarrassing moment.”

Frank laughed and began to tell us of his childhood. “I grew up in San Pedro. My Dad was a fisherman, and he loved the sea. He had his own boat, but it was hard making a living on the sea. He worked hard and would stay out until he caught enough to feed the family. Not just enough for our family, but also for his Mom and Dad and the other kids that were still at home.”

He looked at us and said, “I wish you could have met my Dad. He was a big man, and he was strong from pulling the nets and fighting the seas for his catch. When you got close to him, he smelled like the ocean. He would wear his old canvas, foul-weather coat and his bibbed overalls. His rain hat would be pulled down over his brow. No matter how much my Mother washed them, they would still smell of the sea and of fish.”

Frank’s voice dropped a bit. “When the weather was bad he would drive me to school. He had this old truck that he used in his fishing business. That truck was older than he was. It would wheeze and rattle down the road. You could hear it coming for blocks. As he would drive toward the school, I would shrink down into the seat hoping to disappear. Half the time, he would slam to a stop and the old truck would belch a cloud of smoke. He would pull right up in front, and it seemed like everybody would be standing around and watching. Then he would lean over and give me a big kiss on the cheek and tell me to be a good boy. It was so embarrassing for me. Here, I was twelve years old, and my Dad would lean over and kiss me goodbye!”

He paused and then went on, “I remember the day I decided I was too old for a goodbye kiss. When we got to the school and came to a stop, he had his usual big smile. He started to lean toward me, but I put my hand up and said, ‘No, Dad.’

It was the first time I had ever talked to him that way, and he had this surprised look on his face.

I said, ‘Dad, I’m too old for a goodbye kiss. I’m too old for any kind of kiss.’

My Dad looked at me for the longest time, and his eyes started to tear up. I had never seen him cry. He turned and looked out the windshield. ‘You’re right,’ he said. ‘You are a big boy….a man. I won’t kiss you anymore.’”

Frank got a funny look on his face, and the tears began to well up in his eyes, as he spoke. “It wasn’t long after that when my Dad went to sea and never came back. It was a day when most of the fleet stayed in, but not Dad. He had a big family to feed. They found his boat adrift with its nets half in and half out. He must have gotten into a gale and was trying to save the nets and the floats.”

I looked at Frank and saw that tears were running down his cheeks. Frank spoke again. “Guys, you don’t know what I would give to have my Dad give me just one more kiss on the cheek….to feel his rough old face….to smell the ocean on him….to feel his arm around my neck. I wish I had been a man then. If I had been a man, I would never have told my Dad I was too old for a goodbye kiss.”

-Bishop Thomas Charles Clary

A Love Story

 “A faithful friend is a sturdy shelter; he who finds one finds a treasure. A faithful friend is beyond price, no sum can balance his worth. A faithful friend is a life-saving remedy…”

Sirach 6: 14-17


One day, I woke early in the morning to watch the sunrise. Ah the beauty of God’s creation is beyond description. As I watched, I praised God for His beautiful work. As I sat there, I felt the Lord’s presence with me.

He asked me, “Do you love me?”

I answered, “Of course, God! You are my Lord and Saviour!”

Then He asked, “If you were physically handicapped, would you still love me?”

I was perplexed. I looked down upon my arms, legs and the rest of my body and wondered how many things I wouldn’t; be able to do, the things that I took for granted.

And I answered, “It would be tough Lord, but I would still love You.”

Then the Lord said, “If you were blind, would you still love my creation?” How could I love something without being able to see it? Then I thought of all the blind people in the world and how many of them still loved God and His creation.

So I answered, “Its hard to think of it, but I would still love you.”

The Lord then asked me, “If you were deaf, would you still listen to my word?” How could I listen to anything being deaf?

Then I understood. Listening to God’s Word is not merely using our ears, but our hearts.

I answered, “It would be tough, but I would still listen to Your word.”

The Lord then asked, “If you were mute, would you still praise My Name?”

How could I praise without a voice? Then it occurred to me: God wants us to sing from our very heart and soul. It never matters what we sound like. And praising God is not always with a song, but when we are persecuted, we give God praise with our words of thanks.

So I answered, “Though I could not physically sing, I would still praise Your Name.”

And the Lord asked, “Do you really love Me?”

With courage and a strong conviction, I answered boldly, “Yes Lord! I love You because You are the one and true God!”

I thought I had answered well, but God asked, “THEN WHY DO YOU SIN?”

I answered, “Because I am only human. I am not perfect.”


No answers. Only tears.

The Lord continued: “Why only sing at fellowships and retreats? Why seek Me only in times of worship? Why ask things so selfishly? Why ask things so unfaithfully?”

The tears continued to roll down my cheeks.

“Why are you ashamed of Me? Why are you not spreading the good news? Why in times of persecution, you cry to others when I offer My shoulder to cry on? Why make excuses when I give you opportunities to serve in My Name?”

I tried to answer, but there was no answer to give.

“You are blessed with life. I made you not to throw this gift away. I have blessed you with talents to serve Me, but you continue to turn away. I have revealed My Word to you, but you do not gain in knowledge. I have spoken to you but your ears were closed. I have shown My blessings to you, but your eyes were turned away. I have sent you servants, but you sat idly by as they were pushed away. I have heard your prayers and I have answered them all.”


I could not answer. How could I? I was embarrassed beyond belief. I had no excuse. What could I say to this? My heart had cried out and the tears had flowed, I said, Please forgive me Lord. I am unworthy to be Your child.”

The Lord answered, ” That is My Grace, My child.”

I asked, ” Then why do you continue to forgive me? Why do You love me so?”

The Lord answered, “Because you are My creation. You are my child. I will never abandon you. When you cry, I will have compassion and cry with you. When you shout with joy, I will laugh with you. When you are down, I will encourage you. When you fall, I will raise you up. When you are tired, I will carry you. I will be with you till the end of days, and I will love you forever.”

Never had I cried so hard before. How could I have been so cold? How could I have hurt God as I had done?

I asked God, “How much do You love me?”

The Lord stretched out His arms, and I saw His nail-pierced hands. I bowed down at the feet of Christ, my Saviour. And for the first time, I truly prayed.

Author Unknown.

The Last “I Love You”

Carol’s husband was killed in an accident last year. Jim, only fifty-two
years old, was driving home from work, the other driver was a
teenager with a very high blood alcohol level. Jim died instantly. The
teenager was in the emergency room for less than two hours.

There were other ironic twists: It was Carol’s fiftieth birthday, and Jim had two plane tickets to Hawaii in his pocket. He was going to surprise her. Instead, he was killed by a drunk driver.

“How have you survived this?” I finally asked Carol, a year later.

Her eyes welled up with tears. I thought I had said the wrong thing, but she gently took my hand and said, “It’s all right; I want to tell you. The day I married Jim, I promised I would never let him leave the house in the morning without telling him I loved him. He made the same promise. It got to be a joke between us, and as babies came along, it got to be a hard promise to keep. I remember running down the driveway, saying ‘I love you’ through clenched teeth when I was mad, or driving to the office to put a note in his car. It was a funny challenge.

“We made a lot of memories trying to say “I love you” before noon every day of our married life.

“The morning Jim died, he left a birthday card in the kitchen and slipped out to the car. I heard the engine starting. Oh, no, you don’t, buster, I thought. I raced out and banged on the car window until he rolled it down.

“Here on my fiftieth birthday, Mr. James E. Garret, I Carol Garret, want to go on record as saying I love you!”

“That’s how I’ve survived. Knowing that the last words I said to Jim were ‘I love you!’

Written by Debbi Smoot

Humility of a Child


Unless You Become As A Little Child




The Greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven

1At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”

2He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. 3And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.

Causing to Stumble

6“If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. 7Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come! 8If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire. 9And if your eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.”  Bible Suite

Character, Not Competition

Matthew 18:1-5

Jesus used a number of teaching methods. He made use of stories or parables; He would sometimes raise a question to provoke thought; and some of His teaching was in response to questions people asked. Also, the Lord made use of object lessons and sometimes the object was a person; in this case, a child.

“At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, ‘Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’ Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. ‘Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me’.” (Matt. 18:1-5).

When I read their question I see something we call competition. I understand, these disciples were not fully enlightened at this time and that their view of the kingdom was probably influenced by carnal, political thinking. But I see something here that we call competition. This is confirmed by two other references:

In Mark chapter 9 he tells about an occasion on the way to Capernaum, where the disciples were fussing among themselves about “who would be the greatest,” (Mrk. 9:34). In Matt. 20 the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Jesus and said: “Grant that these two sons of mine may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on the left, in Your kingdom.” Apparently there was a worldly spirit of competition between these men, in their earlier days. {There is certainly post-Pentecost evidence that these men conquered this spirit; though they were still tempted, see Gal. 2:11-16}.

I wonder if we shouldn’t think about this. Is there an ill-advised spirit of competition in our culture and even in religion that we need to be alert to? I believe there is. We see, sometimes, an ugly kind of childish competition between churches and religions; a party mentality – where one group attempts to defeat and humiliate another group, and feel proud of their defeat of the other side.

Among preachers, most readers have witnessed some very senseless, adolescent and ungodly battles – where competition was the issue not truth. It should be said, sometimes the non-preaching brethren contribute to this nonsense, by exalting men, playing favorites and choosing sides. Wasn’t this a big part of the problem in Corinth? Of course it was. It is childish; it is worldly, and it is a great hindrance to the work we were all called to do.

And this kind of repulsive rivalry and competition has torn some local churches apart – not over matters of principle, but matters of carnal envy and strife. It is a problem in our culture; it happens in religion, and sometimes brethren calculate, plan and manipulate in a vain effort to exalt themselves above others. “Who is greatest in the brotherhood?” “Who is greatest in the local church? “And all of this has led some to offer the cynical reply: “Who cares!”

This kind of thing is tiresome, unprofitable, childish and productive of no positive good at all. We need to guard against it! And when we begin to get caught up in subtle plans and methods where men scheme for pre-eminence, we need to remember who we are and quit it.

Immature contests of personal and party rivalry is sinful, but at this point in their journey with the Lord, they were asking, “Who is the greatest?”

In reply to this ill-advised question – the lord “called a little child to him,” and “set him in the midst of them.” Jesus had a great regard for children and great concern for their welfare. You may remember the very touching story reported by Mark, in Mark chapter ten (to be cited below).

The story is told about a business meeting that was being conducted in a local church. There were no elders so there were business meetings every month to make decisions and plan the work. These men got together and one brother had decided IT WAS TOO MUCH TROUBLE TO HAVE BIBLE CLASSES FOR CHILDREN. He took up this issue and argued at some length about what a waste of time it was to deal with these pesky children. He finished his little speech and sat down . . after a few moments of silence, a brother got up and read this . . . in Mark 10:13-16 . . .

“Then they brought little children to Him, that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked those who brought them. But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them, ‘Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.’ And He took them up in His arms, put His hands on them, and blessed them.”

They kept their Bible classes. Jesus had a great affection for children and He blessed them. On this occasion – in Matt. 18 – The disciples are wanting to know, “Who then is the greatest,” and “Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them.”

He said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.”

Jesus and His kingdom IS NOT ABOUT the ranking of men from greatest to least; His kingdom is not like the governments and political administrations of men – – where power, money and numbers enjoy more influence than character and virtue. No! This King and this Kingdom is about changing your life and serving the Lord “unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.”

The disciples had their mind of competition instead of conversion and in that regard, they were unenlightened, carnal and immature.

This King, Jesus, and this Kingdom is about changing your life, not out-doing your brother! This language is strong, direct and demanding: “unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.”

And I think it was intended for us to notice THE NECESSITY OF CONVERSION IS ILLUSTRATED BY CHILDLIKE HUMILITY; infantile humility! Babies are dependent; they are teachable and innocent; very open about their needs, and they are not generally clamoring to out-do other babies and attain loved. They want to live and learn. These are kingdom qualities!

In order to be in the Lord’s kingdom I have to change! I must give up that competitive drive to be better than others; I must come face to face with my dependence, be open about my spiritual needs, and be willing to listen and learn and be governed by the King, Jesus!

I must be converted: From pride to humility . . from worldly ambition to spiritual ambition . . from godlessness to godliness. I MUST BE CONVERTED; Jesus said, you must be born again!

The gospel wasn’t given – just to be a free ticket into a good place; it was given to cleanse us of sin by his blood and change our lives, from the inside out! When I obey the gospel, I’m not just saying, “I was wrong about the church,” I’M SAYING: “I was wrong about how I was living my life . . I was wrong in my behavior . . I was wrong in my attitudes, ambitions and associations . . I was lost!”

Character, Not Competition!
What Jesus said next highlights one of the surest marks of true conversion I call this: Pure, Innocent Willingness To Serve! Verses 4 & 5 . . .

“Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.”

Humility, as we often see in babies; that’s what’s great! Not your status over others but your humility; your meekness and submission to the King! Your purity of motive and intention, that’s where true greatness is. Character, not Competition! This is about pure, innocent willingness to serve!

Consider – babies do not come into the world knowing everything about the world; they do not enter into life on earth encumbered by some of the perspectives and attitudes we have; we seem to do a good job teaching them these things as soon as possible, but babies do not come into the world with these ideas. Babies do not come into the world with any arrogance or selfish ambition. They do not naturally have a false and exaggerated pride that covets pre-eminence. They are content to be fed, to be loved and cared for. The extremes of human ambition and temperament do not drive them to seek glory and honor and aggrandizement.

Humility, as we often see in babies – – that’s the Lord’s definition of greatness; and it is absolutely essential in order to be converted and stay converted!

Constant Connection
We should say this: This childlike humility; this PURE, INNOCENT, WILLINGNESS TO SERVE must be a permanent, constant part of our character throughout our lives as the Lord’s people. This humility; this pure, innocent, willingness to serve not only brings us into the presence of deity . . It keeps us in that fellowship. This infantile humility is the basis of our constant connection to the Lord.

This humility is not to be understood as self-hatred! The humbling of self is not A bitter hatred of yourself; not a tendency to say and think ugly and depreciating things about yourself! Biblical humility does not mean – we should confess sins we’ve not committed. Biblical humility does not involve constant self-criticism . . or exaggerated confessions of your lowliness . . or an advertised low estimate of your self.

Biblical humility always goes hand-in-hand with the truth; the truth about who we are! Our real status – having a clear concept of our real status – that’s the basis of humility. And this must be a constant attitude!

When I let God’s word tell me about myself, and I accept that truth, about who I am – that’s the basis of this humility. And God’s Word tells me my real status has nothing to do with my reputation, my wealth, my position or rank; my genius, my success or my looks! I am a creature made in the image of God; but I’ve sinned; Christ died for me, so I can be saved and be a child of God!

Those simple facts form the basis of true humility which produces in my character, this thing I’ve called, pure, innocent, willingness to serve! This disposition I must have – to be converted, and to stay converted; this pure, innocent, willingness to serve. And this is based on my acknowledge of my real status: I am a creature, made in the image of God; but I’ve sinned; Christ died for me so I can be saved and be a child of God!

If I scheme and maneuver and calculate how I can promote myself –
I do not have this humility!

If my daily thought and occupation is to outdo others, and avoid that unambitious simplicity we see in Christ –
I do not have this disposition.

If I tend to look out for myself, and cannot see the needs of others…
If I want to chart my own course for me, regardless of God’s will –
I do not have this pure, innocent willingness to serve that should be constant within me!

If I am anxious to claim my freedom and independence…
If I expect everybody to serve me, attend to me and acknowledge my talent and greatness –
this childlike virtue is not in my character.

If I’m always comparing myself to others, seeking the praise of men and dreaming about my greatness –
I am unlike the innocent child in Jesus’ arms!

Paul said, “Put on therefore, as the elect of God . . humbleness of mind, meekness,” (Col. 3:12). Simon Peter said, “All of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility,” (1 Pet. 5:5). The prophet Micah spoke of those things the Lord requires – and he said, “To do justly, to love mercy, to walk humbly with thy God,” (Mic. 6:8). James reminds us, “God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble,” (Jas. 4:6). Solomon reminds us – that “By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, and honour and life,” (Prov. 22:4).

And the perfect illustration of humility – Paul wrote about, in Philippians chapter two (Phil. 2:5-11).

“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

How patient Jesus was in teaching His men the meaning of humble service. By a simple act, Jesus taught them and He teaches us, that this pure, innocent willingness to serve IS ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL TO BE CONVERTED, AND STAY CONVERTED.

Because of the Lord’s work for us, and His word to us, we should want to cleanse ourselves in His blood, of all self-pride, arrogance and empty ambition. The glamour of some high position, the appeal of human applause, and the drive of worldly competition should have no place in our hearts. Jesus said, “He that humbleth himself shall be exalted,” (Lk. 14:11 and Lk. 18:14). We humble ourselves when we come to Him, in obedience to the gospel. We must live as Christians by that same constant disposition, that pure, innocent willingness to serve Him. He says, “Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

By Warren E. Berkley
From Expository Files 4.11; November 1997

The Power of Humility


I was asked to be a guest speaker at a church in Orlando. It was an honor to speak at this prestigious church. When I heard of the invitation I was full of excitement. My problem was I was a little too prideful. All I could think about was the occasion, what to preach, how to do various things,etc.

On the day of the engagement, I arrived at the church and could not find anywhere to park. It was raining and humid and several distracting things happened on the way to the church. When I got into the church, I was greeted by a long-haired, unusual looking man whom I had never met, and who was led over to me by one of his friends. He was totally blind. The blind man hugged me as though I were his brother who had been away for a long time. He was sincere, friendly, and genuine. Someone said, ” He is our special music for today.” The special music was to be just before my sermon. I thought, this can’t be good.

A little later, we all went into the sanctuary for the service. The church was packed. People were standing in the narthex and folding chairs were being put in other empty spaces. The denominational authorities were there from that faith. There were other distinguished guests as well in attendance. I thought, “Wow! All this for me?”

Everything was going well. I felt nervous but confident. Then the special music was announced. When the man was introduced there was great applause. He was dressed in very casual attire and was led to the piano by his attendant. Who is this man? Everyone was looking at him with anticipation as he adjusted his seat and placed his hands on the piano. Then, he began to sing and play the piano perfectly. The voice was outstanding and the playing was effortless. But, the look on his face and the way he sang was spiritually moving . He did three songs. Each one seemed better than the one prior. When he was done everyone had a handkerchief or tissue and you could feel the love and admiration they had for this exceptional musician. I felt ashamed. I thought they were there for me.

The music was over and it was time for me to speak. This was the first time I thought I would not be able to speak. When I got to the pulpit I looked out over the audience and thought to myself, “God help me.” I was seized for a moment with emotion and the feeling of how do I say anything after a spiritually dynamic performance like that? Duty came to the rescue. I began to preach and the Holy Spirit, who was there for him, was there for me. I needed Him! The planned message was immediately put aside and one extemporaneously was put in its place. The message was now on humility. It was about a man who thought he was all that important and a another man who humbly went about his Father’s business with power and Godly impact. I did not tell them in the sermon that the prideful man was me and that a blind man had shown me the light.

When it was over the pastor of the church took me to the front of the church along with the blind man to greet the people as they left. The musician was swarmed with people and only a few came to where the pastor and I were standing. The people were warm and friendly as they left the church. I went over to the blind man and told him how much I was blessed by his ministry. He said,”the people have heard the word of the Lord today with power and that is what is important.” I did not expect that. He thought the Word was honored today? I could go home with the consolation of honoring God’s Word. That experience will always be in my mind and heart. That man really knew the Master and had spent much time in His presence, no doubt. I would do well to follow his example. (Simposious).