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Clothed in Humility

Today’s culture is all about “me.” We even see this a lot in churches today. Many pastors buy into the notion that you must be popular, a big name, growing in fame and acclaim, and have a large presence on social media etc. Yet, at the root of some of these people (not all) is pride. In 1 Peter 5:5 Peter addresses this issue (something not only happening today) and actually quotes his fellow disciple James (referencing James 4:6-7) when he states that “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” What does that mean and look like? How does God oppose the proud and give grace to the humble? Is Peter simply discussing salvific themes here or is there more going on?

 

When we take a look at vs. 6, we get a more full picture. “Therefore, humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God and at the proper time, He may exalt you.” When you put the two together, as well as remember the previous verses- we can deduce the meaning. God opposes those who are proud, He even resists them, but He gives grace to those who are humble. Because of that, humble yourselves before the Lord and He will exalt you when it is the right time. So what does that mean for you? Well, it doesn’t definitely, without a doubt, mean that you get the promotion you have been waiting for if you simply become humbler. What Peter is focusing on here is the heart of the believer towards not only their own lives but towards the lives of others. Humble people do not mind if others succeed and they do not. Humble people rejoice when God is glorified in someone else’s plenty because they know how to glorify God within their want. You would not want a leader of your church (one of the elders) to be more concerned with themselves and their ego right? Of course not!

 

Yet, in our lives, we live as if that if the goal. Peter exhorts us to “clothe” ourselves in humility, not to simply sprinkle it in various aspects of our lives. Rather, humility should be the foundation upon which we build and grow. If God wants to bless us, we should strive to not simply add humility afterward. We must look to the greatest example of humility to ever have lived- Christ. Philippians 2:5-11 shows us that our very Savior, who IS God, did not use that as a way to avoid dying in our place. Christ saw fit to be humbled and take upon himself the full wrath of God- the same wrath you to which you and I were to be subjected.

 

So be like Christ this week. Consider others more important than you this week. Clothe yourself with humility by remembering that you would still owe God payment for your sins at the end of this life, yet Christ saved you from that by accomplishing that on the cross. Our greatest need was to be redeemed and it was met in Christ’s death alone. We were once doomed to die, and are now justified- that should be humbling.

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Come Hell or High Water (Part 2)

Matthew 28:18-20

Last week we discussed Hell and for the discussion on Evangelism today, I want us to view Hell as the foundation for a house. Hell is the foundation and evangelism is the remainder of the house- one is incomplete without the other. Let me explain- as a stated last week, if I am a Christian and I choose not to evangelize, then I am like a doctor who does not warn my patient of their heart disease. Or think of it within the arena of construction, I’ve built the foundation, but never finished the house- no can live there, right? The same is said for a Christian who does not evangelize, we are only partly obeying God. But what about evangelizing without a notion of hell? I’m glad you asked! If I evangelize but have no mention of hell or thought of eternal damnation in my mind, why am I evangelizing? To spread the Good News? Well, how can that news be good if there is no bad?

            In Matthew 28:18-20 Jesus commissions his disciples to “go.” To go and make disciples, to baptize them, to teach them to obey His commands and to take heart knowing that Christ is with them even to the end of the age. How lackluster is the evangelism that comes from a Christian who cares little of hell!The reality of Hell- as Pastor Shaun stated this past Sunday- is the eternal separation from the presence of God’s grace and the eternal union to the presence of God’s wrath. Simply put, the worst place in which one could spend eternity in is Hell and last week what we read in Luke made it very clear that all those who find themselves there will know where they are. So here we are, doctors who continue to practice medicine but refuse to warn of the impending doom and I am fairly certain that all of us would agree of such practice is wrong. Yet, we live as if it were right. We let the fear of man keep us from fulfilling the great commission. 

What would happen if we built the whole house in our lives- evangelizing our friends, families, neighbors, coworkers etc. out of an urgency that comes from knowing where they will spend eternity. How can we give gifts for birthday’s and holidays, send cards when they are sick, but not share the greatest gift and reveal the only cure? I would say the reason for that is that we have more urgency when we accidentally send a text to the wrong person than for the saving of the lost. We care more about not appearing weird or “super Christian” by always talking about God and asking people about their faith. However, we must be careful so as not to be lukewarm Christians. For Rev 3:16 clearly states that God will spit those people out of his mouth. Come Hell or High Water, everyone who is lost is going to Hell, but do we care? If we do, let us show it in our actions and words! How wonderful would it be if we said with Charles Spurgeon“If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to Hell over our dead bodies. And if they perish, let them perish with our arms wrapped about their knees, imploring them to stay.” How many souls would be saved from an eternity of torment if we simply said: “come Hell or high water, I will do whatever it takes to see the souls of the lost saved.”

 

      

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