Thursday, March 31, 2011

March 31, 2011 … The Summation of Humility

Passage of the Day: Romans 13: 8 … Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.

My Journal for Today: For an entire month, with the help of John MacArthur’s devotional book, Strength for Today, I’ve been studying and journaling my own devotionals on the topic of “humility,” which has immense implications for the Christian believer. This is the fifth time I’ve been through MacArthur’s devotional series for March on the topic of humility, and there is much I have learned, much I have applied, and still much I need to apply. I can only hope and pray that I’ve been able to convey, for anyone who might read this series from MacArthur or myself, some of those implications.

If you’ve been with me, we’ve learned - or over-learned - that we, as Christians, must follow the very strong exhortation to have an attitude like our Lord’s, as we read in Phil. 2: 5

SCRIPTURE: Phil.2: 5 ... Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.

Of course, that means we need to hold humility high in our walk toward Christlikeness because we saw that humility was one of the only two qualities, along with meekness, which Christ described Himself (see Matt. 11: 29).

SCRIPTURE: Matt. 11: 29 ... Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle [i.e., “meek”] and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Furthermore, as Christians we also know that the extent of a Christian’s humility can ultimately be seen in the outpouring of love, or lack thereof, which a believer expresses toward others. See 1stJohn 3: 16

SCRIPTURE: 1st John 3: 16 ... This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.

And as we also read in that verse, as well as Phil. 2: 6 – 11, Christ was our example and model of humility; and His humility, even unto death on a cross for each and every one of us, becomes the goal of every disciple (more specifically Phil. 2: 5 – 8 - I charge you to look that passage up and meditate deeply on it).

However, we are challenged – even at times debilitated - by the spiritual DNA of our own hearts (see Jeremiah 17: 9), which is wicked and self deceptive. And so, when we see a Christian exhibiting Christlike humility in their loved expressed for all, especially our enemies as Christ commanded, we know that expression of love must be from God (see Eph. 4: 32).

SCRIPTURE: Eph. 4: 32 ... Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

“God-love,” as we could call the love that emanates from humility, turns away from the flesh (see Gal. 5: 13) and demonstrates our surrender to God’s Spirit, which is love personified. And when we can/do surrender completely to God’s Spirit, He can pour Himself, i.e., through His enabling/empowering grace, into our lives as we love others as Christ loved us (see John 14: 21 and Romans 5: 5).

This is the humility which was modeled by Jesus (again Phil. 2: 5 – 8); and it is the humility that we who are in Christ must treasure and to which we must aspire. Yes, it is to this Christlike humility I aspire; and I’ve got a way to go to get there.

My Prayer Today: Oh Lord, help me to be humble and reflect Your love in my life. Please shine Your light clearly on my path ahead so that I can truly deny myself and HUMBLY follow You. Amen

Blogger’s Note: To any who have been following along with me this month – or maybe you’ve just gotten here today, I ask: What is God’s Spirit convicting you to do [pursuing Christlikeness is always a choice!] to develop the humility which reflects Christ and honors God rather than succumbing to the pride which is our human default? Perhaps God is leading you to have a more disciplined devotional life. Maybe He is calling you to a more intimate and abiding prayer life. Or … what about your service to His kingdom? I don’t know where/how you need to decrease pride and increase humility in your life. But now would be a good time to take whatever conviction you’re feeling and turn it into action for God’s glory. If you agree, I’d really love to read a response to my journal entry today via reply here, or on Facebook, or even an email to Hope to “hear” from you. … wrb

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