If there is one attribute of Jesus Christ that He epitomized and which we are to aspire to it is humility.
There is no way that any person can or will be able to enter the kingdom of God unless they are humble. Not a presence of humility, but humble through and through to the very core of their being.
This verse in Romans 12:3 as I read it screams out humility to me, defining and describing in some way what it means to be humble. Here we see how a person ought to think and behave if they are to show the true humility without which no one will see God.
What Do You Think
In my last post I looked at The transformation that must take place in each Christian if they are to see God. The essence of that transformation is the renewal of the mind. By changing the way you think so that you do what is right because it is right, you change the way you act and behave.
This is the work of the Holy Spirit in us, who is empowered through faith in Jesus Christ and enabled by the grace of God. It is the holy spirt who does the work of transformation in our hearts and minds.
Now this scripture continues on from that post for it now talks about how we should think, especially how we think about ourselves. Note these words well.
For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. (Romans 12:3)
Paul here is telling us about humility. He is saying that we should not think more of ourselves than we ought to think.
What does that mean?
It is the way of the world to seek the highest positions, to seek power, to seek prestige and to seek to be looked up to as someone important.
In the world self-promotion is considered normal and expressions like, “If you don't blow your own trumpet no-one else will.”
But that is not the way of the Lord. In the example set by Jesus Christ as He walked and taught on this earth we saw a humble man. Although He was the Son of God and had all the power of God available to Him, He emptied Himself of all that power and glory to be born the son of a working man, in a manger, without any fanfare and to become a man of the people.
He did not seek adulation. He did not seek attention. He did not seek praise or worship or power. He sought only one thing…to do the will of the Father. He sought what the Father wanted, which was to provide a pathway to life for the rest of mankind.
And in His coming we have the finest example of all to emulate.
If Christ did not seek all of the praise, adulation, power, and glory of the world, neither should we. We need to consider who and what we are and so think and so act accordingly.
When it comes to the gifts of God and the things He has taught us, what do we have that we were not given by Him? Which things of the spirit do we have that we can say, “I did that?”
Well, everything we have as Christians God has given to us. And if it was given as a gift, then we should not be proud or haughty or lord it over someone else who does not have these things. We should share what we have with each other so that all can benefit from the blessings of God.
Worst of all we should never, NEVER seek to make a profit from the free gifts from God. It is our duty to aid and assist our brethren when and if we can. We are to encourage and build them up, not for shameful profit but for the joy of seeing them strengthened and maturing in Jesus Christ.
We are called in this scripture to think with sober judgment. You are no better than your brother or sister in Christ. The Lord may have shown you something, a teaching, or given you a ministry that they do not have. But that does not make you better than them.mthat is,nothing to gloat about or be proud and arrogant over.
Instead you should consider yourself entrusted with a sacred mission to teach, strengthen and encourage your brethren, because a time will certainly come when you need their encouragement, strength or ministry.
Be sober in your thinking. Don't blow your own worth up to be something greater than you are. Remember that as you are a child of God, so too are your brothers and sisters in the Lord.
Do they belong to a different church or a different denomination than you? That does not mean they know nothing or are not beloved by God. Yes they may not know what you have learned, but it is equally possible they have learned something you need to know. A Presbyterian knows something a Baptist does not. A Pentecostal knows something a seventh day Adventist does not. And the reverse applies for these and any other example you may wish to add.
Do not seek your own wisdom but listen to what they have to offer. Search the scriptures diligently and pary, asking the Lord for insight. You may learn more than you realize. And most important, don't argue if they have a different viewpoint. Test what they say and provide your own position. Who knows, one of you may learn something valuable, even if it is only that you can love your brother or sister even though there are still points of difference.
Without humility you cannot learn. The proud person believes they know it all. But the humble person says, “I am listening. Tell me what you have to say.”
The humble person after listening then weighs what is said, testing it against the word of the truth to determine whether this is valuable insight or error. The humble person also gently corrects when there is error in the other person's position by showing them from the scripture where the truth lies.
The humble person does not throw up walls between themselves and others, but breaks down markers so that dialogue can occur. The proud man says, “Your a fool for believing that rubbish!” And then they wonder why the other person refuses to listen and just argues back.
The only path to learning is to listen with humility, and the only way to receive the gifts of God and entry into His kingdom is to find the path of humility. Seek it out and walk it. Consider how you think about yourself and about others and truly test yourself to ensure you are operating from a position of humility or not.
Some have great ministries given to them by God or do great things. This is in accordance with the measure of faith they have. Others do small things and work gently with those around them, never seen, never noticed, but indispensable.
As an example I often think about the twelve apostles chosen by the Lord. Of the twelve we really only know about a handful of them and what they did from the bible. There is rumor and stories and conjecture about where the rest of the twelve ended up and what their ministries may have been, but nothing is recorded about the in the bible.
And yet every one of them was assigned a role and had a work to do in the ministry of the early church. Every one of the did a work and spread the gospel and administered the early church for Jesus Christ himself selected them to do this work. Given the spread of Christianity today, they did not fail. They simply did their work and spread the word in humility, emulating the walk of their friend, Saviour and Lord, Jesus Christ.
Let us seek the same humility. Let us be emissaries of good, of truth and be examples of humility to a world desperately in need of a Saviour.
(Photo sourced from freeimages.com provided by Agnes Eperjesy)
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