SERVING THE LORD WITH ALL HUMILITY OF MIND

 

serving the lord with all humility of mind

Acts 20:19 Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews.

 

The Apostle Paul’s inner attitude in his ministry and in the face of dealing with plots against him by the religious people of his day was that of humility of mind. He was a humble leader of God’s people as he endeavored to preach and teach the Word of God’s grace. The greatest opposition he faced was from the religious Judaizers, for religion has always been the greatest persecutor of grace.

 

As Christians we are not only saved by grace through faith but we are to have our lifestyle in this world by the grace of God 2 Corinthians 1:12. God gives this grace in response to two things: faith Ephesians 2:7-9; and humility James 4:6. This makes both faith and humility extremely important for every believer to learn how to walk in them. We are exhorted to be clothed with humility (clothes can be seen, have to be put on, have to fit; they protect, warm, and attract) 1 Peter 5:5.

 

What is humility of mind?

 

  1. THINKING SOBERLY, NOT MORE HIGHLY OR MORE LOWLY OF OURSELVES THAN WHAT THE WORD SAYS WE ARE.

Romans 12:3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

 

  1. ACKNOWLEDGING THAT ALL THAT WE HAVE AND ARE CAME FROM HIM.

1 Corinthians 4:7 For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?

 

  1. TOTALLY TRUSTING IN GOD AS THE SOURCE OF OUR SUFFICIENCY.

2 Corinthians 3:4 And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward.  5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;

 

  1. IT IS THE MIND OF CHRIST THAT SURRENDERS ITS’ RIGHTS, SEEKS NO RECOGNITION, MAKES ITSELF OF NO REPUTATION.

Philippians 2:4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. 5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

 

  1. IT IS SUBMITTING AND RELEASING THE CARE OF OUR LIFE TO GOD.

1 Peter 5:5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. 6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: 7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

 

  1. IT IS GLORYING IN GOD ALONE.

1 Peter 4:10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

 

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HUMILITY FROM HEAVEN CAME DOWN

the humility of heaven

 

Matthew 20:25 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. 26 But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; 27 And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: 28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

 

Jesus Christ came to Earth to pay the ransom price for the sin of the world and restore mankind to a relationship with God. He was also our example of the way to live on Earth under the rule of God’s Kingdom. Humility led Jesus to leave Heaven to give His life for our redemption and give us an example of the life of the humility. He is the only one from there who could know how to live it here in a fallen world before man was redeemed. Jesus demonstrated by His life example that the way up is to go down. As a result of humbling Himself God exalted Him and gave Him a name which is above every name.

 

The perversion of this is seen in the pride of Lucifer who cast out of Heaven who sought rule for himself at the expense of all others Isaiah 14:12-15. The contrast is clear: humility serves while pride seeks to be served. More certain than Lucifer’s pride causing the Fall, Jesus’ humility delivers us from the power of the nature that caused the Fall.

 

The Scriptures tells us to, “Let this mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus Philippians 2:5.” The mind of Jesus’ humility is clearly revealed in Scripture:

 

John 5:19 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.

John 5:30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.

John 5:41 I receive not honour from men.

John 6:38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.

John 7:16 Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.

John 7:28 Then cried Jesus in the temple as he taught, saying, Ye both know me, and ye know whence I am: and I am not come of myself, but he that sent me is true, whom ye know not.

John 8:42 Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.

John 8:50 And I seek not mine own glory: there is one that seeketh and judgeth.

John 14:10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.

John 14:24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.

 

Humility is the noble spirit of the Kingdom of Heaven displayed by the King of glory, Jesus Christ. His humble surrender to His Father allowed the Father to do in and through Him all that He had planned. Jesus was exalted and is seated at the right hand of the Father in Heaven because He humbled Himself. THERE ARE NO PROUD BEINGS IN HEAVEN.

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UNITY THROUGH HUMILITY

 

04-Unity-Through-Humility

1 Peter 5:5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. 6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: 7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

 

When we look at the Church in Acts, we see a display of God like we see in Jesus’ ministry in the Gospels.  Why was there such a display of God manifesting His power?  Power flows where unity is. One important ingredient they had was unity or being in one accord, “And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart Acts 2:46,” (See also Acts 1:14; 2:1, 4:24; 5:12; 8:6; 15:25).  In the New Testament this word means to be of one mind, purpose, impulse; or oneness. If you remember Jesus prayed for this oneness or unity (John 17:21, 22, 27).

 

One of the main and basic causes of disunity is pride/selfishness.  We can see this in the upper room at the Last Supper, where some of the disciples wanted a position of authority over others.  They were unwilling to serve others.  Their root problem was pride/selfishness.  In a time when the disciples should have been in unity, pride brought division among them.

 

When dealing with disunity and unity in the local churches, the Apostle Paul pinpointed pride/ selfishness as the cause and advocated humility as the cure.  We’re to be clothed by humility (1 Peter 5:5), meaning it can be SEEN. What we are clothed with changes what other people see.

  1. Humility is SEEN BY NOT THINKING MORE HIGHLY OF OURSELVES THAN WE OUGHT.

Romans 12:3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. (Not diminishing ourselves either)

2. Humility is SEEN BY VALUING/HONORING OTHERS ABOVE OURSELVES.

Romans 12:10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;

1 Corinthians 12:20 But now are they many members, yet but one body. 21 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. 22 Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: 23 And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. 24 For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: 25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. 26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.

3. Humility is SEEN BY BEING SUBJECT TO, LONG-SUFFERING WITH, AND FORBEARING WITH ONE ANOTHER.

Ephesians 4:2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; 3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

4. Humility is SEEN BY CONSIDERING (ESTEEMING) OTHERS BETTER (EXCELLING) THAN THEMSELVES.

Philippians 2:3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than themselves.

5. Humility is SEEN BY LOOKING OUT FOR OTHERS INTERESTS.

Philippians 2:4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.

6. Humility is SEEN BY SERVING AND BEING OBEDIENT.

Philippians 2:7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

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WE ARE ABLE YET DEPENDENT

We Are Able Yet Dependent
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

John 5:19 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise… 30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.

 

               One of the surest ways to destroy the flow of the blessing of God on our lives is to become proud. God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble James 4:6. He resists proud men, women, boys, and girls.  He resists proud husbands, proud wives, proud, employers, and proud employees. He resists proud politicians, proud businessman, and proud preachers. He gives grace (heaven’s, help, strength, and enabling power) to the humble.

 

The Apostle Paul definitely knew who he was in Christ and made bold statements about what he could do like “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me Philippians 4:13.” He also understood the balance of that and his dependency upon the Lord revealed in statements like, “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves: but our sufficiency is of God 2 Corinthians 4:5.” All the positive truths of who we are in Christ should not make us arrogantly independent but rather humbly dependent. All of the positive affirmations of faith we make about what we can do in Christ presupposes that we realize that without Him we can do nothing. Jesus Himself realized His dependency on His Father (John 5:19, 30).

 

I know some believers who in making their professions of who they are in Christ will not say anything whatsoever that sounds like they are acknowledging their humanity and recognizing who they are in the natural.  I’ve heard them quote 1 Corinthians 15: 10 which says who they are by the grace of God, “But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.” Yes and amen to that but did you ever notice what he said before that in (v.9)?  He said, “For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God 1 Corinthians 15:9.” He acknowledged who he was in Christ but he also recognized who he was in himself, or in the natural. He realized he had all the treasures of God but that he was still in an earthen vessel that the excellency of the power may be of God and not of us (2 Corinthians 4:7). Truths about our abilities in Christ should not make us arrogant and independent but humble and more dependent.

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DAD’S: FOLLOW GOD’S INSTRUCTIONS INSTEAD OF YOUR OWN IDEAS

Fathers Follow God's Instructions

 

I thank God for every father that wants to be a godly man and live the way God would have him to live. While I realize there are no perfect fathers and that we can all be better fathers, most are trying to do what is right toward their family. Being a good and godly father isn’t that difficult if you will submit to this: Follow God’s instructions instead of your own ideas. Noah is an example of this and he saved his whole family from the judgment of the flood. He followed all of the Lord’s instructions on how to build the ark in every detail and not his own ideas of how it should be done, “THUS DID NOAH; ACCORDING TO ALL THAT GOD HAD COMMANDED HIM, SO DID HE. 7:1 And the Lord said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation ,” Genesis 6:22-7:1).

 

Fathers, lay aside your preconceived ideas of what you might think is a good father and follow God’s instructions.

 

7 Biblical Instructions on our Roles as a Godly Father

 

  1. Male – Genesis 1:26-28 (Be a man, not a girly man; masculine traits).
  2. Leader/Example – Genesis 18:19; 1 Timothy 3:4, 5.
  3. Teacher – Deuteronomy 6:1-8
  4. Protector – Genesis 35:2, 3.
  5. Lover – Ephesians 5:25, 28, 33.
  6. Nurturer/Discipliner – Ephesus 6:4; Colossians 3:21.
  7. Provider – 1 Timothy 5:8

 

HAPPY FATHERS DAY

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WE ARE SOMEBODY BY THE GRACE OF GOD

we are somebody by the grace of god

 

1 Corinthians 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

 

We as human beings have a tendency to look for affirmation in different areas of our lives to extract a sense of security, identity of who we are, as well as our value and worth. We often look to EXTERNALS such as: our physical traits (size, shape, appearance…); experiences, training, and education; responsibilities we perform; positions and titles we hold; our family’s treatment of us; what people say about us; the place we live, clothes we wear, car we drive, and money we have. The problem with these external things is that they are always changing.

 

The place we should look at and extract our sense of security, identity, value, and worth from is INTERNAL: who we are IN CHRIST by the grace of God; our born again identity; who God says we are, what we have, and what we can do. We may look at all the external areas of your life and feel that we don’t amount to anything or that we don’t have anything going for us but look again at the grace of God. We are somebody by the grace of God. That is what the Apostle Paul had discovered in contrast to his past behavior, performance, and people’s opinion of him.

 

His identity by the grace of God also empowered and enabled him to labor more abundantly. Grace empowered his work for the Lord. This is only possible when we understand who we are by the grace of God and that God wants nothing empowered by us. Philippians 2:3 says, “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.” One translation says let nothing be done through rivalry, contention, or selfish ambition. We are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus that good works would result but those works are to be empowered and enabled by the grace of God.

 

All of the truths that unveil who we are by grace, who we are IN CHRIST, are concealed (hid) with Christ in God. It is not hidden from us but for us. It is available for our discovery only by growing in the knowledge of the word of his grace. “And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified Acts 20:32.” I like what John Newton (1725-1807), author of the hymn “Amazing Grace said, “I am not what I ought to be, I am not what I want to be, I am not what I hope to be in another world; but still I am not what I once used to be, and by the grace of God I am what I am”

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IS THE PAST PROCLAIMING OUR FUTURE?

is the past pproclaiming our future

 

1 Timothy 2:1-4 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; 2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

 

(From an address delivered by Dr. Jess C. Moody when he was Senior Minister of the First Baptist Church of West Palm Beach, Florida).

 

Most students of history use Gibbon’s THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE to strike a parallel of the Roman world and present-day America.

The nation that ignores the movement of history does so in peril of its life. It is my purpose to appeal for mankind to do that which, at present, he least wants to do: look to the past for a clue to the future.

Evidence that man does not desire an honest look into the past is very simple to find. Comedians make fun of “dinosaur minds” that look back.  Politicians who stand to lose position if an examination of history’s grim lessons are revealed, deride such a quest as returning to horse and buggy philosophies. The masses subconsciously resent it due to a fear of being called back to austerity when their commitment is to materialism.

 

Couple this resistance to history’s warnings with the fact that man now possesses atomic power, and the result is chaos. Man has never heeded the signs of decay in all of the records of the birth, life, and death of nations. If he makes the mistake just one more time, he will become extinct. There is nothing more important than that man understand the stake he has in a serious reappraisal of his course.

 

 

There are several reasons the Roman Empire fell. Nation after nation has fallen for these or lesser causes. The Christian of tomorrow must be aware of these seeds of defeat.

 

 

  1. THE DECLINE OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE’ BEGAN DURING A PERIOD OF PROSPERITY AND PLENTY.

“If,” wrote Gibbon in his DECLINE AND FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE, “a man were called upon to fix the period in the history of the world when the condition of the human race was most happy and prosperous, he would…name that which elapsed from the death of Domitian to the accession of Commodus.” This immediately preceded the decline.

 

 

  1. THE PEOPLE BECAME APATHETIC TO APPEALS FOR CORRECTION.

Voices of concern and prophecy were silenced by assurances that conditions were conducive to still greater economic success than had been attained. There was extreme impatience with calls to conservatism.

 

 

  1. THE CITIES (STATES) SPENT THEMSELVES HOPELESSLY IN DEBT.

Massive public works programs were undertaken, chiefly born out of political rivalry and governmental corruption.

 

 

  1. RELIGION AND THE STATE WERE MERGED INTO ONE.

Public tax money was used to support religious worship. Temples of worship were built and maintained by tax monies.

 

 

  1. THE WEALTHY WERE HEAVILY TAXED TO CARE FOR THE POOR.

The taxation cut so far into the profits of the wealthy that indifference to creating more wealth became quite common. As a result, cities lost their means of support and became bankrupt. They were in turn taken over by the national government.

 

 

  1. THE PEOPLE WERE INDIFFERENT TO THE NATIONAL TAKEOVER.

From the time of Hadrian the people seemed not to care about local government. They were willing to allow the govern­ment to care for the problems of the cities and their own problems as well.

 

 

  1. THERE WAS A STARTLING RISE IN THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE EMPLOYED BY THE GOVERNMENT.

As W. G. Hardy, in his THE GREEK AND ROMAN WORLD, says, “each bureau expanded its field and new bureaus were constantly being created. By the time of Antonius Pius, who ruled from 138 to 161 A.D., the Roman Bureaucracy was as all embracing as that of modern times. Naturally, too, as benevolent paternalism and bureaucracy took over, personal freedom tended to disappear.”

 

 

  1. PUBLIC OFFICIALS WERE SO VILIFIED THAT COMPULSION HAD TO BE USED TO FILL VACANCIES.

So much public hatred was generated by the economic failures of the cities, that municipal leaders received the blame for the bankruptcies.

 

 

  1. INCOME TAX EVASION BECAME ALMOST UNIVERSALLY PRACTICED.

Thousands of gov­ernment workers were employed to spy out examples of dishonest reporting.

 

 

  1. STRIKES INCREASED IN NUMBER AND INTENSITY.

The government was required to employ still more personnel to stop attempted strikes.

 

  1. THE ROMAN GOVERNMENT BEGAN A PROGRAM TO ELIMINATE POVERTY.

“By the time of Marcus Aurelius, there was a daily distribution of pork, oil, and bread to the proletariat.” (A social class of Roman citizens owning little or no property).

 

  1. EXCESSIVE AMOUNTS OF ROMAN MONEY WERE SPENT OUTSIDE THE COUNTRY FOR LUXURIES. Seneca referred to the extreme imbalance of foreign trade during the time of Nero.

 

  1. OVERSPENDING BECAME GOVERNMENT POLICY.

Marcus Aurelius led such over­spending as to lead the country to the brink of depression.

 

  1. MONEY WAS DEPRECIATED AND CREEPING INFLATION CREPT IN.

“In the reign of Augustus it (the Roman denarius) was worth twenty cents. By the time of Diocletian it was stabilized at about two cents. (Hardy)

 

  1. THE MASSES DEMANDED MORE AND MORE SPECTACLES OF BRUTALITY.

The throngs at the amphitheatre and the circus maximums demanded ever increasing brutality, of man to man—very much like modern television and the movies.

 

  1. THE COST OF LIVING CONTINUED TO RISE.

Ham cost 20 cents a pound; butter cost 16; and eggs were 9 cents a dozen. This was excessive back then and only the rich could afford these items.”Unskilled labor was paid 18 cents a day and bricklayers 36 cents.” Wages were insufficient.

 

  1. THERE WAS GOVERNMENT REGIMENTATION OF BUSINESS.

Strict government control of farmers, labor, artisans, traders and merchants became permanent policy.

 

 

These are facts concerning a civilization the glory of which died sixteen hundred years ago. Can this be happening in America? Yes, it is already happening but the question should be can this decline be turned around? Yes, but it will take a church on fire with God’s love and passion for truth to stand up, speak up, and demonstrate the power of God’s Kingdom in order to awaken the courage of every American and proclaim the saving Gospel to them.

The preacher and the people have much to do with the outcome.

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