Tag Archives: humility

I Corinthians 12; Psalm 140

Psalm 40:12-13 “I know that the Lord will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and justice for the poor. Surely the righteous shall give thanks to Your name; the upright shall dwell in Your presence.”

I love speaking encouragement to others. Especially at work, I can see that pointing out their strengths and how God is working in the lives of my co-workers and the people I serve often births new hope, comfort, and an openness to God’s presence. I am not always that person, however. For it is also in my control to speak the opposite about or to all those who are in my circle of influence. That is, I can talk down to or negatively about someone which results in alienation or worse – harm to that person’s character or self-esteem.

Psalm 40:11 “Let not a slanderer be established in the earth.” That’s the power of words. And God’s gifts to me focus on speaking words.

I Corinthians 12:24-26 “…But God composed the body, having greater honor to that part which lacks it, that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it, and if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.”

I prayed early in my Christian walk that God would give me one or more of the spiritual gifts that Paul described to the Corinthians. I wanted them all! But as I prayed, the Holy Spirit convicted me of the smallness of my love for others. I saw my need to have God’s love for others – a supernatural love superior to any human love I had experienced. No words can be uttered that describe or works performed by man that demonstrate His godly love. Yet, I wanted so much to be among those righteous ones, to be concerned about the poor and the afflicted. Now, I tell myself that I received the gift of love because I work with so many people who need mercy and support. Yet, has my life’s work become a badge of honor? Am I satisfied when others pat me on the back? The Book of James says, “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (James 4:6) I have a nagging suspicion that I get complacent and lack fervor for the things of God, especially outside of my workplace. It’s like I lose that energy and compassion by the time I get home. Just ask my family…

I do not believe in ‘beating up oneself,’ knowing that doing so causes shame, self-blame, and depression. This is false humility. But I do see the value of reflecting on the purpose and meaning of what I say and do. I do not really trust myself to handle the Lord’s gifts without some selfish reason to do so. In fact, my motives for asking God for spiritual gifts are often a source of concern to me. Am I focusing on man’s accolades? I hope not. What I really want is to be like King David. He was said to be someone who God sought for Himself, “a man after His own heart.” (I Samuel 13:14)

Dear Lord God, I know how to resolve my concerns about motive when asking for and receiving Your gifts by the Holy Spirit. Submit to You; be humble in Your sight; resist any temptation to speak evil of another; and most importantly, draw near to You. And there is confidence in knowing that as I do these things, God, You will draw near to me. Then, I can confidently operate in Your will and know Your purpose for using spiritual gifts at work, at church, and at home with family and friends. Let the words of my mouth be as “apples of gold in settings of silver.” (Proverbs 25:11) Holy are You. How gracious are Your words to me.



1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Numbers 12-14; Acts 17; Psalm 27

We aren’t really all that different from those that lived in the ancient world.

Many misconceptions about God infiltrate the current world’s thinking and linger in the minds of many believers as well. Reading Paul’s words I am reminded of my need to flush out this thinking and saturate my mind in the truth about God.

Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man.

Acts 17:29 ESV

I do not know many people that have created an actual idol to worship or that they think is a replica or fair representation of God, but there is still the pull to create God according to our own thinking and expectation. How often do I hear when wrestling with a challenging truth of scripture that “God couldn’t mean that”? However, just as he is not made of gold or silver, nor is he to be made according to any of my imaginings or reasoning.

25 nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything

Acts 17:25 ESV

The age old need to feel necessary also distorts my faith. I crave to bring God something he needs, to feel I have somehow earned or paid back all he has done for me. That’s really laughable when I read that in print. What could the creator of the universe need? What could I offer that he does not already have a million times over, a billion times over? He gave me life and breath and everything! There is no way to begin to repay even just the physical blessings he has given not to speak of the spiritual gifts of eternal life and salvation.

When I try to default to a man-made view of God I fall into foolish thinking, just like Israel did with Moses.

27 “How long shall this wicked congregation grumble against me? I have heard the grumblings of the people of Israel, which they grumble against me.

Numbers 14:26 ESV

I, too, grumble that my life is hard.

the people mourned greatly. 40 And they rose early in the morning and went up to the heights of the hill country, saying, “Here we are. We will go up to the place that the Lord has promised, for we have sinned.”

Numbers 14:39b-40 ESV

I, too, feel human regret and scramble to make things right.

I am not all that different from the ancient Israelites and must constantly guard against that thinking and bring my heart back in line with God’s in humility and surrender.

Instead of seeking my own gain or following my own thinking, when I take the time to soak in the truth of God’s power and worth, then the praise overflows. Then my heart beats in unison with the psalmist.

For he will hide me in his shelter
    in the day of trouble;
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;
    he will lift me high upon a rock.
And now my head shall be lifted up
    above my enemies all around me,
and I will offer in his tent
    sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make melody to the Lord.
Wait for the Lord;
    be strong, and let your heart take courage;
    wait for the Lord!

Psalm 27: 5,6, 14 ESV

Trusting. Gratitude. Learning everyday anew to give thanks and trust, fully.

1 Comment

Filed under Acts, Numbers, Psalms, Uncategorized

Leviticus 26-27; Numbers 1; Acts 13

Leviticus 27:29 “No person under the ban, who may become doomed to destruction among men, shall be redeemed, but shall surely be put to death.” Commentary by Barnes: “Therefore the application of the word חרם chērem to man is made exclusively in reference to one rightly doomed to death and, in that sense alone, given up to Yahweh. The man who, in a right spirit, either carries out a sentence of just doom on an offender, or who, with a single eye to duty, slays an enemy in battle, must regard himself as God’s servant rendering up a life to the claim of the divine justice …” https://biblehub.com/commentaries/leviticus/27-29.htm

Before I accepted Christ as my savior, I was a person under the ban. That thought occurred to me as I read the law in Leviticus. Yet even though doomed to death, Jesus, my Lord, had my name on His lips to redeem and save me from eternal judgment. I can never fully understand nor forget the immensity of my salvation.

Therefore, I pray for those that I love who have not accepted God’s salvation yet. I am speaking specifically of the family that bears my DNA. As recounted in detail the names of the twelve tribes of Israel and their brethren (Numbers 1), God knows every head of household and all whom He created from my people, the grandparents, parents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Of them all, there are few who talk and walk with God. How my heart hurts to think that I have family who still do not accept Christ as Lord and are figuratively under the ban. Not by man’s hand nor Levitical law, but each is standing on a spring-loaded deathtrap. Reasons for avoiding salvation are many – ignorance, trauma, hypocrisy by Christians, busyness, selfish desires, and shame.

But when I pray for them, whom I love, to come to Christ for redemption, I must ponder my own attitudes and behaviors. Am I willing to pray God’s forgiveness over them? Have I forgiven them? Am I willing to pray for mercy over them? Have I desired judgment instead? Am I willing to pray favor over them? Have I laid down my competitive nature?

There was a book written several years ago by Paul Moots, Becoming Barnabas, The Ministry of Encouragement. Though written for church leaders and laymen in building up of the church congregation, the call to become an encourager spoke to my heart. Moots described several character traits of an encourager. Humility is foundational to the encourager and best defined as knowing one’s spiritual gifts and accepting one’s limitations. Barnabas’ example of humility can be found in how he spoke up for Paul to the apostles in Jerusalem and later his willingness to stand aside in the light of Paul’s greater ministry. Encouragers also should be able to handle conflict. Encouraging others to use their gifts can mean changing my own perspective and that can make me uncomfortable or argumentative especially if I miss how the Holy Spirit is moving in another’s life. Recognizing my faults leads to another character trait of an encourager – vulnerability. I must face my own limitations, fears, challenges, and mistakes and be willing to honestly reflect on why the criticism and resistance. In a way, being vulnerable reminds me of my work as a counselor. We, in the counseling field, have been trained in techniques dubbed motivational interventions. One of my favorites is ‘rolling with resistance.’ By doing this, I do not have to lock horns with anyone even if I disagree or do not have the same understanding. For whom am I to set myself up as the standard or the expert? The pillar underlying all that I do to encourage others should be integrity. No matter what the situation, who the person is, and what our family history has said, I must trust in prayer and the Holy Spirit. Only then will my family see me as trustworthy. Flying off at the handle with a sister or gossiping about a distant cousin will not open the door of anyone’s heart to the divine love of God. Staying focused on the one with whom I am speaking, encouraging them in their God-given gifts (even if they cannot see how God has gifted them), and remaining humbled by the work of the Holy Spirit will settle my nerves. Yes, I am the one who is frantic to get my family saved and my unruly behavior or unrighteous attitude may just be the barrier to that happening.

Dear Lord God, I repent of being a know-it-all, and even of taking on the burden of saving others. Forgive me for laying out a plan of salvation for my family that does not include You and the redemptive work of Jesus Christ. Reveal to me that which I have said, not said, done or not done that has interfered with Your work in their lives. Let my speech be that of an encourager. Help me to be authentic in becoming humble, vulnerable, able to handle conflict, and demonstrating integrity in all that I do for You and for my family. I love that You love us and have called us to You. Thank You and praise You. Amen.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

John 2:12-4:38

“God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.” John 3:1921 NLT

Jesus brought the Samaritan women’s sins into the light. Not to expose her and make her feel shame, but to restore her and break her free from her bondage…

“Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Please give me a drink.” The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans. She said to Jesus, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?” Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.” John 4:7-10 NLT

Jesus initiated the conversation with the Samaritan woman. He was more concerned with her healing than how she would respond. He saw into her heart and spoke identity and love over her. She was so moved by his compassion towards her that she wanted to tell everyone.

The woman left her water jar beside the well, and ran back to the village, telling everyone, “Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could he possibly be the Messiah?” John 4:28&29 NLT

Dear Father, Thank you that you see me. That you pursue me. Thank you for your mercy and for calling me your Beloved. Forgive me for the times that I’ve let fear hold me back from telling others about you. I praise you for who you are. Amen.

He must become greater, and I must become less and less.” John 3:30 NLT


1 Comment

Filed under 66 Books, John

Hosea 4-9

“Come, let us return to the Lord. He has torn us to pieces; now he will heal us. He has injured us; now he will bandage our wounds. In just a short time he will restore us, so that we may live in his presence. Oh, that we might know the Lord! Let us press on to know him. He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn or the coming of rains in early spring.” Hosea 6:1-3 NLT

When I first read these passages I thought that Israel was making a true change to return to the Lord. But, Israel wanted God to fix their problems, without turning from their wicked ways. Their repentance wasn’t genuine. They were more interested in the material benefits God could provide. Their hearts were not right before him and he knew it. When have I done the same thing?

I want to show love, not offer sacrifices. I want you to know me more than I want burnt offerings.” Hosea 6:6 NLT

I want to heal Israel, but it’s sins are too great. Samaria is filled with liars.” Hosea 7:1 NLT

God didn’t want their sacrifices or rituals, he wanted their hearts. What is the motive behind my worship?

What sorrow awaits those who have deserted me! Let them die, for they have rebelled against me. I wanted to redeem them, but they have told lies about me. They do not cry out with sincere hearts.” Hosea 7:13&14 NLT

Dear Father, Forgive me for when my heart is not right before you. Thank you for your patience with me. For not giving up on me. For your grace & mercy. Amen.

They look everywhere except to the Most High. They are as useless as a crooked bow.” Hosea 7:16 NLT


Leave a comment

Filed under Hosea