Humility now, exaltation later

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

Pride and selfishness are the besetting sins of mankind. Always lurking nearby, ready with an enticing word that plays to our vanity and to our self-importance. Many have fallen victim to the siren song of self. Few find the strength to resist.

The answer to these sins is pure love exhibited in humility. Augustine is reported to have said, “Humility is the foundation of all the other virtues, hence, in the soul in which this virtue does not exist, there cannot be any other virtue except in mere appearance.” Continue reading “Humility now, exaltation later”

Love yourself?

Here is, as they say on Facebook, an unpopular view.

I have noticed a fascinating trend with regard to Jesus’ second greatest command to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39). What this statement says, many insist, is that we should love ourselves, because Jesus says we should.

This is an excellent example of concluding the exact opposite of what the Lord is trying to teach. Continue reading “Love yourself?”

Logically right but spiritually wrong

“Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God” (Matthew 4:7).

Following Jesus’ baptism, God said: “This is my beloved son” (Matthew 3:17). Immediately afterward, Jesus was taken to the wilderness to fast and be tested 40 days.

Satan tempted him there. His temptations all began with, “If you are the son of God…” He began with something that seemed perfectly reasonable: make stones into bread and feed yourself.

Men easily err when they think of what is perfectly reasonable to them, but fail to consult God. Why not turn stones to bread? He had the power. He had the opportunity. Continue reading “Logically right but spiritually wrong”

Dark side of humility

Scripture commands us to be humble but that doesn’t mean everyone is doing it properly. Let’s see how we’re hurting ourselves spiritually by misunderstanding what God intended.

Humility brings wisdom and honor (Proverbs 11:2; 18:12). It’s the foundation of all Christianity. Righteousness can’t occur without it. But how is humility being manifested in the lives of Christians? Continue reading “Dark side of humility”

When someone comes forward

I think there are times when someone comes forward after a sermon that we think: “Oh he must be a sinner, he must have done something bad.”

Let me remind you that there are sinners who go forward … and there are sinners (that would be the rest of us) who do not.

In reality, who responds to the Gospel call? The spiritually sensitive, the soft- hearted, the ones who deeply desire to serve God better. Who does not come forward? Often the proud, the ones who fail to look in their own hearts, the ones who think they never make mistakes. Continue reading “When someone comes forward”