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Pride and Humility

Humility:Chambers

“The greatest characteristic of a saint is humility.” ~ Oswald Chambers

What is the first RECORDED sin mentioned in the Bible? Many of us might think of Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden. Yes, original sin did take place in paradise and was committed by the very first children of God. However, Satan committed the first sin RECORDED in the Word of God and Pride was his downfall. Shortly after his sin of pride, rebellion was added to his long list of transgressions.

“ ‘I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’ ”  Isaiah 14:14 (NKJV)

“You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones. You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, till iniquity was found in you.” Ezekiel 28:14-15 (NKJV)

Unfortunately, mankind is NOT immune to the sin of pride. Although sin is sin, and all sin leads to death, pride is often the root cause of many other sins. Pride wars against Christian humility, a virtue highly valued by God. In addition, remember what happened to Satan when God took offense to his pride. He fell…. And he fell hard!

“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”  Proverbs 16:18 (NKJV)

Before destruction the heart of a man is haughty, and before honor is humility.”   Proverbs 18:12 (NKJV)

Jesus, in absolute humility, stepped down from heaven and lived among man. He could have called upon a legion of angels to take out His enemies and at any time He could have returned to His Father’s throne room. However, with a love we cannot fully understand, He died for us and was humiliated by those whom He Himself created! Spit on and whipped, bruised for our transgressions, Jesus lived and died in humility and rose again. He conquered the grave and Satan knows it.

God was looking for obedience in His son, and Jesus was obedient to that which He was called. Selfless and humble, Christ regarded others above Himself. Take a minute to consider that measure of humility….. God, our creator, put us ahead of His needs and wants. Did He not take on the role of a servant? Did He not wash the feet of His disciples? Was He not born in a stable?

“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.”   2 Corinthians 8:9 (NKJV)

We are told what is good and what the Lord requires of us.

“He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you? But to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?”           Micah6: 8 (NKJV)

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves” Philippians 2:3 (NASB)

With pride in our hearts, we can’t see beyond ourselves. Pride repels the call to love others because, with it, we are caught up in our own self-love. Pride takes our focus off God. We forget that our Creator is the one who has given us everything: our looks and gifts, our talents and ideas, our intellect and successes in life.

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.”               James 1:17 (NKJV)

In no uncertain terms, God expects His children to walk with humility. The fruit produced from a humble life is the attainment of wisdom. Proverbs 8:11 is just one scripture that speaks of wisdom’s value.

“For wisdom is better than rubies, and all the things one may desire cannot be compared with her.”

When pride comes, then comes shame, But with the humble is wisdom.”   Proverbs 11:2 (NKJV)

Furthermore, a promise is given to those who walk in humility…. Honor.

“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time.”    1 Peter 5:6 (NKJV)

Wisdom’s instruction is to fear the Lord, and humility comes before honor.”  Proverbs 15:33 (NKJV)

“Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord and He will lift you up.”  James 4:10 (NKJV)

May we all take some time today to consider our ways and root out any pride that has taken root in our hearts. Let us avoid a fall like the one Satan suffered. Let us all ask if we have been claiming the glory that really belongs to God.

If we win a talent contest… are we remembering who gave us the talent in the first place? Are we using our gifts to bless God and the Body of Christ? Has pride given way to self-love and caused us to ignore those in need? Let us be completely humble, and ask God to remove the shame of pride and replace it with humility and grace. Then, let us walk as children of light and servants of the Most High.

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” Ephesians 4:2 (NKJV)

Good and upright is the Lord; Therefore He teaches sinners in the way. The humble He guides in justice, and the humble He teaches His way.” Psalm 25:8-9 (NKJV)

The Humility Found In Christmas

Xmas

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14 (NKJV)

And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” Luke 2:9-12 (NKJV)

Wisdom’s instruction is to fear the Lord, and humility comes before honor.” Proverbs 15:33 (NIV)

Amazing!

Jesus left His home in heaven, His eternal fellowship with Father God, and became man for the sake of all mankind. He dwelt among us! Because our transgressions had separated us from God, we needed a Redeemer. Yes, we needed somebody who would stand in the gap and mediate on our behalf. Only through the death and resurrection of His only Son could God call us His adopted children, and once again offer us the hand of fellowship. Oh, PRAISE the holy name of Jesus! 

God planned the birth of Christ even before Adman and Eve were created and placed in the Garden of Eden. He knew they would be tempted and deceived by the serpent. I am sure God’s heart broke when sin was birthed in the paradise He had created for them. 

The humble emergence of baby Jesus, often remembered at Christmas, gives us insight into the heart of God. He did not pick a wealthy couple of immeasurable means to care for His son. He did not pick a mighty man of power or a famous and prominent woman to raise His son. Instead He saw the quiet and sincere faith of both Joseph and Mary and selected them for the honor. An honor that was both costly and painful. But because of their humility, they were also to become special examples of God’s grace.

“ But He gives more grace. Therefore He says:

“God resists the proud,
 but gives grace to the humble.”” James 4:6 (NKJV)

Humility is important to God. Take note of Christ’s place of birth, a stable. God provides for all our needs, so Mary was not forced to give birth to the Son of man in the wilderness. No, a warm stable that was out of the elements was God’s provision. This humble environment was the place God chose for our Deliverer to enter the world…. But why? There must be a reason! 

When we are in need, there is a greater urge to call upon God and rely on His provisions. Because Mary accepted the honor of being the Mother of Jesus, she faced much ridicule and doubt from her community….even from her betrothed. She fell upon the grace of God and in her humility He smiled and provided.

When God’s son was about to enter the world, He again saw Mary’s needs and provided a warm and safe place for the birth. He did not provide a wealthy establishment or mansion. It was to rural shepherds that angels appeared and announced our Savior’s birth. This act shows God’s concern for His people, regardless of social class and vocation. We all matter to our heavenly Father.

Jesus came into the world to save sinners, yet there are both rich and poor sinners. Again I ask, why did God give Jesus such a humble birth and life, especially since leaving heaven was already a sacrifice of humility beyond our comprehension?

We find the answer in Scripture. 

By reading Philippians 2:3-9 we see the importance of putting others first, esteeming them better than ourselves. God wants us to be concerned with the needs of others. This is one way to grow in love. In addition, we are told to have a mind like Christ. Jesus was humble and therefore, we too should walk in humility for it pleases our Creator. Jesus humbled himself by becoming the Son of man, taking on even the appearance of man. Because of His humble obedience at the cross, God has rewarded Him with a name above all others.

Humility gives God glory. He created us for fellowship but also so that we might glorify His name. When we live humble lives, whether we are rich or poor, we honor God. By putting the needs of others before our own, we are demonstrating the true love of God. This love is the light within us that should not be hidden under a bushel. The reason Christ came into this world was so that all men/women would be saved. We could not ask for a better role model.  The humility of Christ is wondrous. http://www.biblegateway.com/resources/commentaries/IVP-NT/Luke/Birth-Jesus

For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.” John 6:38 (NKJV)

Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. 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” Philippians 2:3-9 (NKJV)

For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.” Romans 12:3 (NKJV) 

Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:15-16 (NKJV)

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