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Paul J. Bucknell
"Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God..." (1 Peter 5:6).
It is like standing on a cliff looking across the valley far below and hearing God tell us to keep going. The valley was made for us to cross it, but it is such a long way down!
Most people decide not to cross.
They, like Nebuchadnezzar, refuse to listen to God's warning and choose to persist in their pride instead. For Nebuchadnezzar, it was only twelve months later when God confronted him and tossed him from earth's highest cliff to its lowest abyss. For seven years, he went across the fields as a beast (Daniel 4).
Numerous leaders, fathers, mothers and an endless stream of children have fallen into adulterous and materialistic sins.
God has warned each one of them to humble themselves. But each one of them stubbornly resists to take the steps down to humility. They think far too much of their position in life, their self-gratification of desires and confidence in their wealth. They only need time before they fall over the cliff. That is a hard way to meet humility.
Only the brave and discerning ones dare to look at their lives from God's perspective. The steps down are steep, but one can carefully descend. We all know the quick way down, but, by God's grace, have assessed that the damage would exceed the time saved! Humbling oneself is much like the careful manipulation of one's feet so he does not plunge down into the steep canyon.
'Humble, not Proud,If we choose to humble ourselves with God's help, we can carefully descend. But if we harden ourselves, the scriptures say that the path of the proud ends in a fall. So why push God to send us over a cliff?
Why not deliberately humble ourselves and go down that valley on our own?! This is what the scriptures exhort us to do.
Throughout this series on ' we see the reasons a person should choose humility. This is, afterall, the path of Christ Jesus. The most high and excellent One came to earth and died a death for the sake of others in obedience to His Father.
Humility, though neglected, stands as one of the foundational teachings for having a growing and fruitful Christian life. In a real sense humility holds the secret for growth, wisdom, perseverance, blessing, salvation, and wonderful relationships.
I am literally humbled by the way I have lived so long as a Christian and heard so little emphasis placed on the importance humility plays in our Christian lives. Jesus placed great emphasis on humility.
Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven (Mat 18:4).
We do not naturally seek the path of humility. But if we seek to be successful or great, then our training must include a number of hikes on the trail of humility. God does not take a man to great heights without first walking him through the darkness of the valley. Our pathway has been beautifully carved out by the glorious and gracious Lord Jesus Christ.
We have encouraged many people to grow in Christ but rarely, if at all, have we ever heard anyone teach that we should pursue humility. For the first time, I heard a pastor, last year, sharing a list on ways to pursue humility. I encourage each one of you to pursue humility that we might be more like Christ.
Not only will we study some of the scriptures' greatest passages in this series, but some of the greatest men like Moses and, of course, our Savior Jesus Christ.
FUNCTIONAL DEFINITION OF HUMILITYHumility is accepting our selves as we really are before God.
That we may bring the greatest amount of glory to God as possible;
That we may joyfully serve our fellow man with all diligence.
That we may keep from stumbling because of pride
That we may have the greatest joy in serving God.
Humble, not Proud: A Biblical series on Humility
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Scriptures typically quoted from the New American Standard Bible unless noted:
(C) Copyright The Lockman Foundation 1988