And the haughtiness of man shall be humbled,
and the lofty pride of men shall be brought low,
and the Lord alone will be exalted in that day.
Stop regarding manIsaiah 2:17,22 ESV
in whose nostrils is breath,
for of what account is he?
Since the tower of Babel (and before), man has worked hard to prove himself. Expending energy to fashion something visibly impressive. The tallest building, the fastest record, the greatest talent, the mightiest empire, the most recognized name.
One day, all of that will be stripped away. Then we will realize fully that everything is the Lord’s. Every blessing comes from Him. If we have even a crust of bread and a thread of clothing, He deserves the credit for it.
Let the nations know that they are but men!Psalm 9:20 b ESV
One day this prayer will be fully answered. When I look at my human accolades in light of His glory, I realize that it is nothing. Comparing my life work to what He has spoken into being with a single word, I recognize my humanity.
Tell the righteous that it shall be well with them,Isaiah 3:10 ESV
for they shall eat the fruit of their deeds.
In the in between, when we know the outcome, but have not yet seen it materialize, we can find hope and purpose. What I accomplish in life might not win me a title or world-wide recognition, but the eternal gift is fruit enough. It is hope for the journey, a vision for the future.
37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”Matthew 22:37-40 ESV
We might wonder what the law has to do with us today, but this passage smooths the apparent hiccups between old and new. We are still human with cravings and ambitions, and I need that reminder to put love of God above all else. My love for God will naturally overflow in my love for others. Not love of self or the world. Love is the constant. Not superficial love, or self-serving love, but complete love for God which will drive us to relentlessly love others as well.
I have at times gotten hung up on the “as yourself” part of this command. Some days I do not love myself very much. I can be very hard on myself. However, a sermon illustration once has stuck with me. You know how when you are hungry, you seek out food? When you are cold, you put on a jacket or grab another blanket? Without even thinking we seek to care for our own comfort. We don’t ignore our need because it is inconvenient or trivial. We respond immediately to fix the situation and fill our bellies or warm or bodies.
That is how I should love others. Without thought, without complaint, spontaneously, completely. Love God, love others.
Lord, don’t let my eyes ever stray to other attractions. Wipe away any want that encroaches on my love for and worship of You. I want to give you all I have and am. And, as my love for You grows, may it not hesitate to overflow to those around me. May I meet the needs of others with joy as I provide encouragement, hope, and physical care. I love you, Lord. In Jesus name, amen.