Inclusion and Unity

Image result for the unity of the church"

Years ago I remember wanting to get into a Bible study desperately. I needed God’s Word. I wanted to know God’s revealed Will. I was in my 20’s and trying to pursue the Lord and what he wanted for my life. When I texted one of the people leading the Bible study, they said it was “exclusive.” He was young. I think this person had good intentions. I think he started a Bible study and just wanted to keep the group small. So why am I writing about this today?

Some groups of young people I’ve witnessed throughout the years keep to themselves and divorce themselves from other generations and people who are different in the church. They want homogenous groups of people that are like them in looks, personality, and maturity levels.

I’m guilty of this. You are probably guilty of this. We need to get back to loving other people well for the sake of the Gospel and the truth that we proclaim to follow. What do true disciples do?

  • True disciples love others, even their enemies.
  •  True disciples strive to obey the principles of the Bible and produce fruit

The Reality of Sin in the Church

Sin. It’s in the church. And it always will be. According to one statistic, around 60% of men in the church look at porn. That’s just one statistic. Believers in the church desperately need God’s Word and relationships with others who are striving for the same thing. We are all at different stages of maturity. We need each other. We need models of God’s love.

Who needs God’s Word?

Everyone. Believers. Unbelievers. Sinners. Unbelievers need the only message that can save. Believers need to be edified by the truths of the Gospel. Young people need older generations to speak truth into their lives. We all need the humility to be corrected toward following the principles and truths of the Word.

Is there a such thing as an Exclusive Bible Study?

Sure. I can see members of the same sex going through a study on purity and excluding other members. That’s totally appropriate. Generally, I’d say no. At the heart of Bible Study is studying the truths and principles proclaimed in the Bible and loving others well. Again, a young adult Bible study needs older leaders to speak truth into their lives; seasoned adults who know God’s Word and how to apply it to their life. They need models, sound teaching, correction, and discipleship.

What is the impact of exclusion?

Excluding people is a direct contrast to the love believers are called to. It’s a poor representation of the Gospel and doesn’t emulate the unity of the universal church.

A call to loving well

Loving well is thinking the best about a person. A lot of sin starts in the mind. Loving well is genuinely interacting with people because you want to talk to them; not because you have to. Loving well is inviting someone to take a seat next to you. Loving well is being open to talking to different kinds of people. Loving well helps people feel encouraged in their faith when they enter and leave the conversation. Loving well invites people to Bible Study because you care about them, the truth, and their salvation. Loving well speaks well of others. When people see love, they should see a love that no one else can provide except for God. It’s a love that’s different and transformative. A love that you can’t get by yourself. Only God can provide it.

Conclusion

People need the truth. People need relationships. People need models of the Gospel. We are sinners and can’t do this by ourselves. Love others well In thought and conduct because that’s who you are. Because its your identity. Because there’s a lot at stake. Christianity isn’t an exclusive religion. It’s inclusive and demonstrates love to everyone only by the power of the Holy Spirt. Represent the Gospel through inclusion and unity. Let your love demonstrate your testimony and changed heart for God and for people. There is no alternative.

(Below are six reasons for Gospel-centered unity pulled form the below website)

https://ftc.co/resource-library/blog-entries/6-marks-of-gospel-centered-unity

Gospel-centered unity showcases Christ.

Gospel-centered unity elevates the cross. 

Gospel-centered unity conveys humbleness. 

Gospel-centered unity demonstrates spiritual maturity

Gospel-centered unity reflects submission to God

Gospel-centered unity comes from treasuring God’s promises. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What it means to be man

“When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways” (1 Cor. 13:11).

Emotional health and spiritual maturity cannot be separated. It is impossible to be spiritually mature while remaining emotionally immature. – Peter Scazzero

becoming a man

Abandoning Childish Ways

In 1 Corinthians 13:11, we are called toward abandoning our childish ways. We move on the spectrum of love from an immature love toward a mature love that emulates Christ. Our love is tested most when we go through trials. When we don’t get when we want. When someone offends us. It is in these circumstances that we navigate conflict resolution and have the opportunity to exemplify the agape, sacrificial love we are called to live out. And that’s wisdom. Wisdom is skillfully living out the principles of the Bible in daily living. We are not perfect, and we never will be. But we can move right on the spectrum of mature love and influence others as we emulate the principles we have learned.

english long bowman

Proverb 127:4 Like Arrows

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
    the fruit of the womb a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
    are the children[a] of one’s youth.
Blessed is the man
    who fills his quiver with them!
He shall not be put to shame
    when he speaks with his enemies in the gate

How does this passage relate to 1 Corinthians:11? We have partly been shaped by our parents. They are the archers and we are the arrows. However, even if they aim right at the target, they have to have a good arrow for the target to be hit. One writer described the parts of the arrow like this:

Shaft- Identity

Feathers/fletching- Character

Nook- Relationships

Point-Mission

It is only through God’s grace that we can achieve the instrumental parts of the arrow to hit the target. The arrow needs to be released at some point with full force so that it can reach it’s full potential. It is when the arrow (maybe around age 18) that we move from dependence on parents to independence and more dependence on God. It is the start of adulthood physically but the real test of manhood and womanhood has just begun. True men and women have embraced the love their parents have taught them and live it out. They have gone from an immature love to a mature love that is sacrificial and thinks of others first. As the arrow swiftly flies through air, the goal becomes closer and closer. The shaft, fletching, nook, and point will determine where the arrow will land.

When does a boy become a man?

Interesting question. A person can be a man physically but spiritually and emotionally be a boy. Albert M. Gives a good description of when a boy becomes a man in these areas. The link is below.

http://equip.sbts.edu/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/boy-to-man.pdf

 

 

 

Faith, love, and the task set before us

Sources: Ligonier.org, https://www.focusonthefamily.com, Macarthur Hebrews Commentary

Run For Your Life

Hebrews 12:1-2 wrong

1Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Lay Aside every weight

4 Laps. 1 Race. 1 chance to go to the CIF southern section. I vividly remember that day. A few years of intense training. The race was the 1600m district Final. The best 7 runners in 5 high schools for the mile race; slightly less than a mile which is 1607m. The gun went off. Top 3 runners make it. Lap after lap went by fast. Last 100m- I can see the finish line. It looks like I’m going to make it. 50m- I get passed but am still making it in 3rd place. At the line- confusion. The race was so close I had to lean my chest forward to increase my chances of placing; that’s how they measure it; by the chest. Miraculously, I was passed at the line and lost by one tenth of a second. 4th place. So close, but no cigar.

I write this not because I want to tell you about my race but because I think it’s a good way of thinking how we should run the race of faith. MacArthur points out that there are those who haven’t entered; unbelievers that need to get into the race. What a blessing it can be to evangelize and take people with us on this race of faith! It takes love. It takes care. Ultimately, it takes God to give them grace through faith to believe. We can love others by encouraging people to race the race with us. Sometimes that requires running at their pace so they can catch up. But it’s worth it because true love understands and slows down so others can get to where you are. I’m not saying pursue Christ less, but I am saying doing the basics with someone can be a blessing to someone who doesn’t know much at all.

Christians are running the race, but at different paces. There is a wide spectrum of Christians who compete with intensity and those who are merely jogging. So it goes with running cross country and track. The guys that didn’t care were on the team but didn’t really seem to care about doing well; they ended up kind of coasting through the year with no progress. And then there were those on the team who I looked up to. The runners who would run even on the weekends because they wanted to do well. Running is agonizing. Interestingly, the Greek word is the passage for race is agon from which we get agony. The race set before us is going to be tough. It’ll require discipline, perseverance, tenacity, and commitment. But ultimately, to run well, you need love. The love that is mentioned as the first of the fruits in Galatians:5. The love that is greater than faith and hope in 1 Corinthians 13:13. “13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” It’s the love quoted from Deuteronomy:6 in the shema that contains the Greatest commandments: Love your God and Love your neighbor. Are we running the race with an intensity that puts aside every weight (sin) and loves others that emulates the love of Christ who died for us? He died for sinners. People who had no hope, and no faith. In the same way, we can die to ourself and exhibit the agape sacrificial love that puts our desires last and other people’s needs first. It’s a love that can only come from God. God is love. The true test of a Christian is one who loves others.

Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked. (1 John 2:4-6)

Race well. Strive well. Bring others with you. Run to win the Prize. Running well requires love. A sacrificial love that only God can implant in your heart. The gun has fired. We are rounding the corner and the finish line is in sight. Finish well by loving well in light of the hope set before us. See you at the finish line.

Loving Well II

Sources: Ligonier.org

truth-in-love

Love and Evil

It does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth” (1 Cor. 13:6).

Rejoicing at wrongdoing

Rejoicing of other people’s sins

Nowadays we can be quick to point out other peoples faults and fail to look at the log in our own eye. We love to use our tongues as a fire for gossip that perpetuates the sins of others that assumes the motivations and hearts of others without clear evidence. The tongue is powerful. It has started wars and caused great strife. It also builds brothers and sisters up in Christ. It’s a double edged sword.

True love

True love thinks the best of others. Without clear evidence, only God know the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Note: This is different from seeing clear indications of sin.)

Accountability

What is accountability? Accountability helps those around us walk in a manner worthy of our calling. Ultimately, it’s walking in a manner worthy that loves God and loves other people. Usually, it’s our close friends that can help us keep us accountable along with the leadership and elders of the church. Accountability provides protection and requires humility to accept.

Loving through accountability

Sometimes people think accountability is unloving. That people should be able to go their own way and do whatever they want. Confronting sin is important and should be done in specific circumstances. Ideally, guys should holding guys accountable and girls holding girls accountable. Through accountability, we effectively love God more because we are taking off the weights of sin and putting on righteousness. We are living out our calling by mutual discipleship. Proverbs 27:17, “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens the face his neighbor,”

I hope that through an understanding of what God’s word calls us to do, I can rejoice with the truth, believe the best about people when there aren’t any clear indications of sin, and have an accountability to live out the calling. True joy comes from delighting in God and living out the will He has for us on our lives.

 

 

Loving Well

Christian Love.png

Sources: Ligonier.com

1 Corinthians: 13

Priority of Love

“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal” (1 Cor. 13:1).

Love is everything. Without love, we are nothing. Christians are defined by love. It is out of love that we are saved, for God loved us so much that he sent His son. Christ loved the Father to the point of death and obedience. He came here to do the Father’s will even when it cost him his life. Without love, we are nothing. In all aspects of life, in deed, conduct, speech, thoughts, we are to love others out of a thankfulness of the heart. Out of a new desire brought about by the love of the Father. When we learn to love well, we witness to the world of the message that has changed us. Everything flows from love including obedience and prayer. It is out of a love for God, love for people, and love of the Word that we grow in our spiritual walk. God is love, Christians love. When we love well, we live out our calling set before us.

1 Corinthians 13 Love

Selfless Love

“Love is patient and kind … it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful” (1Cor. 13:4-5).

Four aspects of love stand out here. Love is:

Patient and kind, not arrogant or rude, does not insist on its own way, is not irritable or resentful.

  1. Is patient and kind

-True love is generous, thinking of others first. It’s sacrificially giving to others what we want to hold on to. How often do we tend to think of ourselves first and not the good of others?

2. Is not arrogant or rude

Love understands that all of our abilities come from God. We can love others by truly trying to understand someone’s perspective. Respecting others with our thoughts and conduct can go a long way. How quickly do we tend to want to cut people off because we have something more important to say? It’s a love of respect.

3. Does not insist on its own way

Love thinks of others first isn’t demanding in doing things one particular way. Love is open to communication and talking things through.

4. Is not irritable or resentful

Love is not emotionally out of control. A person who loves is able to control his emotions well.

Questions to think through:

How do we go from  selfishness to a selfless love?

Which of these areas am I doing well in and which can I work on?

Knowing how to love is helpful. A lot of times I feel like I just read the word love and not know how to start. I’m glad there is direction in this chapter on how to love well. Love is the essence of the Christian life and the virtue that propels us most toward Godliness.  We are God’s instruments that can be used for his purposes and his Glory. We effectively make deposits in people’s lives day in and day out because we love Him. To live well is to love well. Every day. Because without love we are nothing. But with love we are something. In the eyes of God.

 

 

Loving Well….Put Off

loving as a way of life

 

Are we loving others well? In my own life I’ve experienced a wide range of Christians that love well and others that don’t. Sometimes unbelievers can love others better than the Christians around us. Its sad. 1 Corinthians 13 provides an outline of how to love. However I wanted to start out with situations I’ve encountered in my own life because it’s what we should put off. We put off the unloving actions,  thoughts, attitudes, renew our mind, conform more to the love that only God can give us. Once we know what to put off, we can renew our minds and put on the love of Christ.

Put Off unloving actions.

Cliques

-People have cliques. They want to stick to their group and talk to no one else. Relationships are good. Best friends are great. But we need to be talking to people who come across our path. The homeless person. The person with no friends. The socially awkward person. The person that doesn’t have anything to offer us. People are relational beings. They need our friendship and sometimes just someone to talk to. Love is sacrificial and we won’t always want to talk to these people. What kind of love do we have if we only love those that we get a benefit from? It’s healthy to reach out to those who are outside our age range as we do life together. I’m not saying be good friends with them, but we can get to know those around us who don’t exactly fit the mold. We choose our friends and who to do life with but we also choose who to love as we cross paths with the people around us. And that’s all I’m saying. Love those who you cross paths with. Love them well and learn from them.

Assuming People’s heart motivations, intentions

-Most people are guilty of this. I’ve been guilty of this. It’s funny that the people who know you the least end up assuming the worst of you. Assuming the worst is a catalyst for gossip and brings about a tense environment. We need to be encouraging people toward love and good deeds, assuming the best of them. Ultimately, its the Word that judges the thoughts and intents of the heart. We need to get back to a unity that is centered on the Gospel, encouraging each other toward our calling of love and good deeds as a witness to the world. Most of the time we don’t know people’s hearts. And we may never know. But we will all give an account one day and in the mean time we are called to love well.

Wanting to control people’s lives

-I’ve seen friendships torn over this. People disagree with someone’s actions and the friendship becomes torn. The actions aren’t even sin. People don’t want to hang out with certain people because of x, y, and z. There is a lack of forgiveness in the heart. Because of the above, they don’t want them at church or will avoid them. It seems immature. And it is. But I’ve seen it happen so I’m bringing it up. We can’t control what people do. But we can encourage them toward love and good deeds and be happy that they are at church. Everyone needs to be at church. Unbelievers need to be at church so they can hear the only message that gives them hope. Believers need to be at church for edification and learning how to live their life by the Word of God. The list goes on. There are many more situations. But its helpful to think of things not to do so we can more fully embrace what we should do.

Loving as a way of life.

God is love. Christians are called to love. Loving God is a mark of a true believer. Sometimes I don’t do it well. But we strive to drink from the pure milk of the word and become mature in our faith and love others well. Time is of the essence. We don’t become mature over night. It’s a process of continual examination, and being directed by the Word of God. And it’s practice as a way of life. It’s like anything else. As we continually practice loving others well, we become someone who loves as a way of life. It’s becomes what we are known for. It becomes who we are. It’s what Christians do. It’s the love of Christ emulated.

 

 

The Foundation of Love

Sources: Ligonier.org, desiringgod.org, logos bible Software

love-one-another

Why blog about love?

Love. The Epitome of the Christian life and the first fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5.

It the greatest commandment stated in the New Testament to Love God and to Love

your neighbor. (Mark 12:30-31) It is the Shema quoted in Deuteronomy 6. Love is

important. God is love (1 John 4:8) And we are to emulate God and his attributes out

of the desire of our new hearts. I want to love God and love others well. I want to

spur others toward love and good deeds.

Christ loved us First..and we should want to emulate it

1 John 4:10 New International Version (NIV)

10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

Because Christ loved us first, we can be thankful and live out the love he showed us to begin with.

Romans 5:8 New International Version (NIV)

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Love as a Mark of a Christian

“the one who loves has been born of God and knows God”

(1 John 4:7)

“We know that we have passed out of death into life because we love the brethren” (1 John 3:14)

Faith

Piper said it well….

“Thus, we conclude that faith, when understood as deep contentment in the promises of God, always works through love. Therefore, the way to become a loving person s to set our hope more fully on God and delight more fully in the confidence that whatever is encountered  the path of obedience is for our good.”

Love starts with being a new creation in Christ. It is emulated because Christ first loved us. And love is a mark of a true Christian, made possible by the fruit of the Spirit. These are the foundations of true love. What makes love possible. Why we should love. And is the essence of the Christian walk. Loving God, Loving People. Loving the Word. Loving the hope set before us and living in light of that reality. Love. God is love. Christians love. Sometimes the final apologetic to a world that needs the only message that saves. Love well.

Summary Measure of a Man

fight_the_good_fight

Sources: The Measure of a Man by Gene Getz

I need this book

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged. And that’s ok. We all go through seasons of life and adjust our time schedules toward goals and productivity. One question I’ve been thinking through is how do you measure the character of a person? How can someone that seems so nice commit violent acts like Chris Watts? How do two beautiful teenage girls murder there best friend Skylar Neese? Sometimes our personalities and outward actions can cover up what’s really going on inside the heart. Righteousness and evil can be present in anyone regardless of attractiveness, occupations, wealth, friends, works, etc. What is it about? The heart. Physically, it’s what keeps us alive. Spiritually, our heart informs our beliefs, desires, actions, habits, and sows a character that makes up a person. I’m by no means a person that has this all figured out. I’m just trying to learn and blog so I can continually remind myself of the truths contained in scripture.

How do you go about making a decision?

We make decisions every day. We have choices to serve ourselves or serve others. The thinking process behind how we go about our day relating to others, giving to others, and serving others is a reflection of our heart, beliefs, and convictions. Here is a brief list of choices we could make:

Time issues

Playing video games/ helping around the house                (Pleasure vs thinking of others)

Watching TV for hours/achieving goals                            (Spending time vs investing time)

Spending- wasting time away/ Investing- going toward a goal

Relating to others                                      (Valuing your phone vs Initiative to talk to others)

Dating an unbeliever vs Waiting for God’s timing (Own desires vs trusting God)

Thankfulness vs bitterness                          (Thankful Patterns regardless of circumstances)

Spending money vs saving money             (Being a good steward of God’s resources)

Praying                                                             (Conviction that we need to pray daily)

In the word                 (Desire to be in the Word so we know God’s plan for our life and conform to his image through sanctification)

So what are all of these? Choices. This is by no means a checklist but good choices one can make based on the Word of God. It’s a desire of the new heart and what God has planned for us. It’s the Holy Spirit in us that directs us and illuminates the Word of God for direction in our lives. Below are some quotes from the book on how we are to walk.

“The degree to which we live holy lives depends upon the extent to which we keep In step with the Holy Spirit and His plan for our lives. Writing to the Galatians, Paul made this point very specific: ‘But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. (5:16)’ ”

“When we choose to yield to God, we choose to walk by the Spirit and draw upon His strength and power in order to live holy and righteous lives. ”

“When we walk by the spirit, we will reflect the fruit of the Spirit outlined in Galatians 5:22 or choose our own desires and do the deeds of the flesh outlined in Galatians 5:19)”

How do we walk in the Spirit?

The Spirit works through the Word of God and illuminates it to us. The Bible is God’s plan for our lives. He enables us to live out the truths contained in the Bible. Paul encourages believers to renew their minds in Romans 12 and not to be conformed to the world.

Maturity Profiles

1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9 outlines the maturity profiles of a Godly man. Specifically, these are for deacons and leaders in the church I believe. However, anyone aspiring to be a Godly man can implement these characteristics into his life. So what are these 19 spiritual qualifications outlined in the book?

*Above reproach (A man of good reputation)

*The husband of one wife (Morally pure)

*Temperate (Balanced in words and actions)

*Prudent (Wise and humble)

*Respectable (Good role model)

*Hospitable (Unselfish and generous)

*Able to teach (Communicates sensitively in a nonthreatening manner)

*Not addicted to wine (Or other substances)

*Not self willed (Not self-centered and controlling)

*Not quick tempered (Void of anger)

*Nott pugnacious (Not abusive)

*Gentle (Sensitive, loving, kind)

*Peaceable (non argumentative and nondivisive)

*Free from the love of money (Nonmaterialistic)

*Manages his own household well (a good husband and father)

*Loving what is good (Pursues godly activities)

*Just (wise, discerning, nonprejudiced, and fair)

*Devout (holy, devoted to God)

*Self controlled (Disciplined)

Man what a list. It feels overwhelming to measure up to this type of person. I know I’m failing in so many areas. But that’s what discipleship is for. That’s what the word of God is for. The journey is a process of sanctification and growth that never ends. I know a lot of things. But sometimes fail to apply them. I’m glad I have this list and know what an optimal man of God should look like. I don’t just want to finish my own race faithfully as John Piper says. Below is a short post from Piper because frankly, I don’t think I can say it better:

Disciple Faithful Men- Piper

Paul says in 2 Timothy 1:14, “Guard the good deposit entrusted to you.” Then, a few verses later, picking up some of that same language, he tells Timothy, as part of his “guarding,” to “entrust to faithful men” what has been entrusted to him, and part of that “entrusting” is teaching them to pass the same thing on to others (2 Timothy 2:2).

Paul is telling Timothy that an essential part of faithful gospel ministry is this investment in the next generation. It is not some optional add-on. In other words, when Paul tells Timothy to “guard” the gospel, he is not just calling Timothy to protect the integrity of the gospel from the effects of false teaching. He is also calling Timothy to fight to preserve the continuation of the gospel against the effects of erosion over time, even beyond Timothy’s time.

This really should give us a different perspective on learning. It’s not just for ourselves. It’s for the next generation and the generation to come. The challenge is applying these truths to our lives and making wise decisions every day in accordance with our identity. I’m so glad I have some friends that exemplify this type of man more than I think I ever will. They are great guys and I need their example. Hopefully I can become more like them as they emulate Christ and his Character. Running the race to the very end and passing the baton on to the next generation.

 

 

 

 

 

Humility

humility21.png

Sources:

Wayne Mack humility, Logos Bible Software, Stuart Scott, South East Christian Church

                                      Humility

The virtues of all virtues. The epitome of emulating Christ and mortifying sin. The virtue required to recognize sin, repent, believe, and come to Christ. The virtue that is the crown jewel of all the jewels. The virtue that changes the trajectory of one’s life. Humility. Without it, we stay stagnant in our sin. With it, we become more like Christ and emulate him. It’s a rare quality to find. To find a Christian that exemplifies the humility of Christ well is rare indeed. True humility is a gift. A gift that when opens the door toward Christlike character, an intuitive understanding of His word, and a life well spent.

                                What is Humility?

Humility is a gift. With the Spirit’s help, we can exemplify true humility. It takes humility to have humility. Humility encompasses many things. It’s the mindset of Christ, focusing on God and others, pursuing the recognition and exaltation of God, and desiring to please and glorify him in all things.

It’s a mindset.  (Theocentric mindset centered on God and not self)

Philippians 2:3-8″Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 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.”

Even Christ Had to humble himself to the point of death. When we recognize God’s sovereignty in our lives, we are humbled. Our humble perspective is knowing that he has sovereign rule over our lives and we respond. We respond by obeying his heart for our lives contained in the Bible. Humility, sovereignty, and obedience are interconnected in this way and are truly part of the pathway toward Christ-likeness.

It’s putting other’s first

It’s an attitude of recognizing our unworthiness before God. It’s having a servant’s mindset and putting other’s first.

Manifestations of Humility:

  1. An attitude of thankfulness
  2. Praying (shows our total dependence on Him.)
  3. Recognize and trust God’s Character
  4. Recognizing his Sovereignty
  5. focus on Christ
  6. Being overwhelmed with God’s undeserved grace- we deserve hell. And we are totally thankful
  7. Gentle and patient- not focused on what I want. Willing to wait.
  8. Seeing yourself and no better than others- Understands own sinfulness
  9. Having an accurate view of gifts and abilities- Not bemoaning that you aren’t as gifted as others or exaggerating your own abilities
  10. Being a good listener- (Valuing what others have to say as more important than what you have to say.)
  11. Talking well of others
  12. Gladly submissive and obedient to those in authority including God himself.
  13. Preferring others over yourself- Willing to put others before self
  14. Thankful for criticism or reproof
  15. Teachable spirit- Realization that I don’t know everything. Willing to consider that I may be wrong
  16. Always seeking to build others up- Encouraging others. Never cut others down or be critical.
  17. Serving-On the lookout for ways to assist others.
  18. Being able to admit you are wrong- No problem admitting wrongdoing for the sake of improving character and conforming to Christ.
  19. Quickness in granting and asking for forgiveness
  20. Repenting of sin as a way of life- Ask God daily for forgiveness and works toward change.
  21. Being genuinely glad for others- Rejoice when good things happen to others. Trust God for what I don’t have.
  22. Minimizing other’s sins in comparison to my own- Thinks about my own sin more than anyone else’s.
  23. Being honest in areas that I need growth- Ask for help and accountability
  24. Possess close relationships- Humble people generally have close relationships because they are always thinking about other people’s needs before their own.

Great Implications of manifesting true Humility

What do you value?

What we value most is affected by our experiences, who we hang out with, what we read, and our beliefs. Everyone makes determinations of what they value most everyday whether they realize it or not. If I spend my time playing video games rather than spending time with my family, I’m saying I value video games more than my family at that moment. If I am on my phone while talking to another person, I’m saying that I value what’s on my phone more than giving you my full undivided attention. Value judgments. Sometimes we aren’t willing to give what we are so dearly holding on to. Maybe we really want to watch that movie instead of spending time with a friend who needs us. Maybe we would rather hold on to our money than give to the church. Maybe we would rather just stick to our friends than reach out to the people in our church that need friends.

Emulating Christ

Jesus associated with the lowly. He was in the world but his citizenship is in heaven. Part of Humility is giving up what we value; being sacrificial for a greater cause that is truly valuable. It’s being a light in a world that is truly dark. What do you value? What are you holding on to? As Christians, each action we take is a demonstration of what we value. It is a life long process of putting off pride and putting on humility. Our money can be gone tomorrow but the eternal things of God and heaven last forever. We are commanded to clothe ourselves with humility; we have the mind of Christ. Christ is in us!

The Challenge

As Christians, we need to know our position in Christ (Saved) and our Union with Christ (he is in us. Galatians 2:20). In light of this and the redemptive framework of salvation, we live out God’s heart for our lives contained in His word. In regards to humility, we can ask ourselves several questions. We will never attain this list. Only Christ was perfectly humble and didn’t sin. However, we can try to live out humility by the power of the Spirit, prayer, being in His word, renewing our mind, putting off pride, and putting on humility.

Are you thankful for what God has provided or do you dwell with envy on what others have that you don’t?
Are you a good listener or are you just taking in what people say not really listening so you can say what you want to say?

Are you constantly thinking of ways to serve others or do you just take what people give you because you think you are entitled to it?

Do you stick to just your friends or do you let people into the circle demonstrating Christian love and Humility (there is wisdom in choosing friends if someone’s trajectory of life is not in accordance with the Word of God)

Are you gentle and patient? Or do you get impatient because people are infringing upon your time and desires?

Do you give sacrificially?

Do you recognize God’s sovereign rule over your life and respond in humble obedience?

This life is a journey. We will never be perfect. As Christians, part of our lives will be in line with what we are called to do. But we still sin. And the ship’s rudder needs to be turned so we start heading in line with who we are in Christ. There are so many ways in which I don’t measure up to these standards. But I think it’s good to think about these things so we can be on the right path. One day we will have to give an account. What a blessing it will be to be able to give an account of a life that demonstrates humility, Christ-likeness, and love for others.