Matthew 5:25: Make friends quickly with your opponent at law while you are with him on the way, so that your opponent may not hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the officer, and you be thrown into prison.
Just as pride comes before the fall, humility comes before honor. There is no honor without humility first. Humility dictates that a person demands to be judged and reckoned by others. If outward humility is not the result of inward humility, it is very dangerous because it becomes an outward display of deception. To put it another way: the outward expression of humility must always be a result of inward grace at work. Humility is the direct nature of God therefore we are advised to take advantage of every opportunity of humility.
Jesus was humility made manifest in the earth. We all know that if we are accused of something for which we are guilty, we must confess, apologize and make it right – and that’s difficult enough! If we are wrongfully accused, what then? Do we have the right to jump into a debate with someone, yelling (or calmly stating) how wrong they are about us? Absolutely not! Rather, instead of arguing, we should respond by apologizing to them for having given them the impression that we did or said what they think we did or said. Ask how we can make it right. When your opponent is faced with your humility, how can they successfully come against you? This is walking in a perpetual condition of forgiveness before someone offends.
We need to get it in our spirit-man that our Defender is far greater than the offender (Satan). We are never to defend ourselves. Walk away if you must, but don’t get into a showdown of words trying to convince someone they are wrong. When has that ever accomplished anything good? When someone thinks something in their heart, no amount of words you speak can turn them away from their opinion. Only God can change a heart. Don’t waste time and energy, and for heaven’s sake, don’t jeopardize your personal walk with God because someone thinks something incorrectly about you. It isn’t worth it.
God will prove them wrong in time; you needn’t concern yourself with such petty matters because truth will always surface in due season. Keep integrity intact and it will protect you in the long run.
Peace and blessings,
Alexys V. Wolf
By Neil Anderson
By Neil Anderson
“…thus says the Lord God, ‘Remove the turban and take off the crown; this will no longer be the same. Exalt that which is low and abase that which is high (Ezekiel 21:26, NAS).”
“Take My yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls (Matthew 11:29, KJV).”
“I dwell on a high and holy place, and also with the contrite and lowly of spirit… (Isaiah 57:15, NAS).”
“For though the Lord is exalted, yet He regards the lowly, but the haughty He knows from afar (Psalm 138:6, NAS).”
We who are within the Body of Christ are not here to be served, but to serve. Those who desire to be great will be brought down. Christ states that those who serve are the greatest among His people. Those who purpose in the name of Christ Jesus to serve the Body will be highly exalted in due season. Many misunderstand, but there is a huge difference between a slave and a servant. A slave is in bondage to his master and has no choice, therefore becomes easily embittered. A servant, on the other hand, is employed by choice by his superior. He serves with diligence because his payment is eminent.
A bondservant is a person who is released from slavery by their master, yet chooses to stay from a heart of dedication and love. Therefore this person is willing to do anything they are asked without hesitation or grudge. God’s bondservants who serve with a grateful heart will be rewarded by the Kingdom of heaven. The lower we humble ourselves before Christ and His people, the higher we are moved toward Christ. We lend more service as time goes by, not less. This honors God.
Our only purpose in this life is to glorify the Father. When we are focused on ourselves, we take the focus from God. Pride can be very subtle. Remember what I said about those most at risk? It is very easy to find ourselves out of spiritual sync with God because we forget whom we serve and the One who gives all ability to do what we do. We can easily allow the praises we receive from those around us to puff us internally.
When we are in a place of servitude, we must remember that there is no good but God, as. Therefore, if there is good coming from us, it is not us. We can tend to look down in judgment on those not doing what we are or how we are. To be judgmental comes from a spirit of pride. We all pass judgment. The key is being so aware of it that we don’t allow it to remain and take root. We must be quick to repent of a judgmental spirit and remove that foothold of the enemy. Keep in mind that we as the Body of Christ are to judge things according to the Spirit of God; this is righteous judgment – discernment. That differs greatly from being judgmental (viewing ourselves as better than another).
We, God’s holy people, also need to be careful about starting a testimony wanting to exalt God yet talk endlessly about ourselves and what we did or said in a certain situation. Human nature is to glorify self and get people to be in awe over how humble and selfless we seem to be.
Obviously, according to the Word, pride is an issue everyone somehow, somewhere, needs to deal with. Pride takes constant pruning. It grows like weeds and spreads itself as fast and as far as it can. It is unrelenting! It cannot be assumed that, once we have dealt with pride, it is never to be faced again. Our hearts require constant supervision. The fleshly nature is driven by pride; therefore, we all need to be alert to it on a regular basis.
I hope you’ll come back next week as we continue to explore the subject of humility. If you’re interested in reading more on this subject, please go to my website and check out my books.
Peace and blessings,
Alexys V. Wolf
I practically live for inspiring moments—nuggets of motivation that propel me forward each day. In fact, I just concluded my lunch hour, in which I wrapped up an episode of The Biggest Loser. I save episodes such as this for moments requiring a pseudo Red Bull, providing a little extra “oomph” of momentum to carry me through the remainder of an exhausting day. Of course, I cried like a baby (which is typical) … but boy was I ready to jump back into my work when it was over. After all, if those contestants can push themselves through grueling weeks of physical turmoil, I can certainly mark some items off my to-do list.
There isn’t a science to inspiration. I think we all hope to inspire or be inspired in some way, but may not have a clear route toward the execution. In an attempt to provide a little extra jolt of encouragement for you today, I’d like to share a short video of our treasured Valerie Harper (actress legendary for the Mary Tyler Moore Show, among other things).
Valerie, a recent contestant on Dancing with the Stars, shared thoughts on video of her brain cancer diagnosis and her decision to join this year’s DWTS cast: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQs71f9FYJc
Valerie asked herself upon receiving her prognosis (given an “expiration date” from doctors): “’Why this? Why me?’ And then I said, ‘Why not you? You’re 73. You’ve had a great life. Look at the career you’ve had. The husband you’ve had. The daughter. Stop complaining and let’s attack it.’”
I know there have been instances in my life where I’ve asked, “Why me?” But what makes me so special that it can’t be me? And if not me, then who? None of us are perfect. No one is above another simply because of who they are or what they have accomplished. So why would anyone else deserve to be faced with a hurdle and not me?
It’s not a question of whether or not we will each be presented with a struggle or whether or not that struggle is deserved. It’s His will that matters, not our own. Battles are inevitable. But it’s how we “attack it.” It’s how we renew our minds. It’s what we make of ourselves.
“Strength doesn’t come from what you can do.
It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn’t.”
~ Rikki Rogers
Valerie is a perfect example of life’s circumstances controlling our conditions, but not our attitude. Not our faith. Not our persistence. So why let our situation determine the outcome? How we live each day is still within our realm of control.
Cheers to Valerie! And cheers to you, for having the courage and determination to continue to dance through life, pummeling your road-blocks, while striving toward a positive mind-set.
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
Romans 12:2 (KJV)
HAPPY EARLY THANKSGIVING, EVERYONE!
I was reading through Numbers the other day and came upon these verses:
“If the Lord delights in us, he will bring us into this land and give it to us, a land that flows with milk and honey.9 Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not fear the people of the land, for they are bread for us. Their protection is removed from them, and the Lord is with us; do not fear them.”10 Then all the congregation said to stone them with stones. But the glory of the Lord appeared at the tent of meeting to all the people of Israel. (Numbers 14:8-10 ESV)
The Lord only asked of two things from the Israelites. He asked,
- 1. Do not rebel
- 2. Do not fear
Why was it so hard for them? I think it was because they were tired. They were tired slaves begging for relief. It took forever for Pharaoh to finally let them go. Then he chased them. Then they crossed over into a new land. They had no food. They had no water. They were exposed to the elements. And they were tired so they complained.
It didn’t stop there. If they wanted the land God had promised, they had to fight. One battle after another they entered against some pretty fierce competition. Can you hear the groans? They were tired. They were sick of fighting for what was promised to them. Their reaction was one of grumbling and complaining.
Life can be tiring. Every day we wake up and essentially fight the same battles. We fight our way through traffic to get to work. Then there is a situation or a person who grates on us all day long. We come home only to be hurried out the door to this or that activity with the kids. It’s endless and we get tired.
If we are born again, we have heaven to look forward to. One day, we will meet our Savior face to face. We will live in glory praising our Savior. But until then, we are on this journey called life. It can be overwhelming at times. It can be frustrating. And it can be scary. But we are never alone. We have the Lord who goes with us. He rides along in the traffic. Talk to Him. He knows our frustrations at work. Ask for guidance. He knows how busy the kids are. Use those opportunities to share Christ with other parents.
This life can be more pleasant if we simply focus on God rather than the negative. He walks with us through thick and thin. We can be filled with joy even during the mundane events of our day. Ask God to give you opportunities to serve someone else or share His love. There won’t be any more room for complaining; only praising.
Alicia Smith: I swear this giraffe was trying to eat us.
Like * Comment * Share
Have you done any of these recently?
- Checked to see how many “likes” you received on a picture, comment, or article?
- Tuned into Facebook, Twitter, or another social media to see how many friends/followers you’ve acquired?
- How about doing analysis on your website/blog to see how many new visitors/subscribers you’ve obtained?
- Then there are sites like Klout.com, providing a number for how much online “influence” we have. Ever taken a peek?
I’m not going to pretend I haven’t done one or more of these.
Many of us are passionate about our careers and aspirations. In our evolving world of technology, social media, and advanced/accelerated communication, gaining supporters and clients becomes more accessible than it ever has before. Building a platform, brand, or fan-base, can literally be at our fingertips. The internet has the possibility of not only extending the reach of our work/passions, but validating them all in the same swoop.
Sharing ourselves with others can be exciting. We want to help others. We want to share our knowledge. We want to hear a client’s feedback. And we appreciate the same in return. Unfortunately, this can be consuming, though, we may do our darndest to avoid it.
Finding your voice, your creativity, your “influence” takes risks. It can be intimidating, scary, and ultimately, silencing. We’re putting ourselves out there for the world to judge. Even if our internet influence is strictly social, that doesn’t mean it lacks vulnerability. After all, every time actress Amanda Seyfried posts a photo of her dog with a duck perched on his head or reading the newspaper with his morning coffee (http://www.buzzfeed.com/lyapalater/amanda-seyfrieds-dog-is-americas-hidden-treasure), she’s inviting others to love it or leave it. (I’m loving it, by the way.)
As a by-product, there is this possible trap—falling into the landslide of life revolving around gaining “likes,” “friends,” “followers,” and the like. Those numbers that pop up on our phones (indicating a message, “like,” etc.) can sometimes taunt us until we finally bite, pressing our finger upon the shouting app to take a look.
Or what about beyond the internet and social media—those moments when we worry about what others may think before we move forward with what we believe is right? Again, there is value in the validation of others appreciating a part of us that takes courage to share. However, what happens when validation crosses over into a tad-bit obsessive?
Then one day it hit me. The answer was so simple. I only need one fan. I mean that with one hundred percent of my being. We only need one fan. We need our Lord to be a fan of our actions, our work, our pictures, and our posts. And here’s the beauty of it: if He’s a fan, there’ll be thousands more where that came from.
“What, then, shall we say in response to these things?
If God is for us, who can be against us?”
Originally appeared on Vine of Life News
2 Corinthians 6:14-18
14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? 16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people.” 17 Therefore “Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you.” 18 “I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the Lord Almighty.”
- The Church (holdingforthhisword.wordpress.com)
- 2 Corinthians 6 (campgilgaleast.wordpress.com)
- Are You a Christian? Do You Study Bible Prophecy? Are You a Fanatic? (lynleahz.com)
- Are You a Son/Daughter of God? (carmelinag.wordpress.com)
Originally posted on Vine of Life News by Lyn Leahz
©By Lyn Leahz | 7-20-2013
When Noah was building the ark, no one had ever seen or heard of rain. The earth was watered from a mist that came up from the ground. So you can imagine that while Noah built the ark, people, probably even his own family, thought he had lost his mind. Yet, Noah obeyed God and worked diligently for many, many years (that’s a long time) building the ark.
You would think after a few weeks, a few months, a year even, he would have grown weary. Would you spend years of your life working hard for something if you did not know positively what would happen? I mean, Noah could have had thoughts, “What if this is in my head? What if I build this thing and nothing happens? What will my family say?” Still, Noah obeyed. Scholars agree that it would have taken Noah approximately 55-75 years to build the ark. Would you work that hard, for that many years, without any evidence that there was a purpose to your labor?
Noah and his sons had to chop down trees, cut and manipulate the wood to various sizes, lengths, shapes, etc. They had to haul wood to the building site, and much more. I can imagine they, at times, questioned their father and complained. It’s even possible that near the end, they doubted Noah and became angry with him.
And, let’s not forget Jericho. Oh, but wait! Many of you probably don’t know the archaeological history of it, do you?
When God told Joshua to tell thousands of men to march around the walls of Jericho for seven days, and for the thousands of men to shout, blow the trumpet and stomp their feet all at the same time, I can imagine it sounded pretty silly. They had no clue why they had to do it. Little did they know, they were marching, stomping and shouting right on top of a fault line. By doing this, exactly the way God instructed (because He’s God, and He knows just what to do), they caused the plates beneath the ground to shift, thus causing an earthquake, which knocked down the wall. According to archaeologists, the wall fell down around the same time Bible history claims, by way of an earthquake. So God took the natural and used it in a supernatural way.
Imagine if your pastor came to you and told you to march around your neighborhood for seven days, and on the seventh day to give a shout, blow a trumpet and stomp your feet…and, if you did this exactly as he instructed, the strip club being built up the street from you would crumble into fine powder dust, along with every abortion clinic in the USA (of course, with no people inside when it happened). Would you believe him? And, would you do it?
What would have happened had Noah and Joshua not obeyed God? It’s hard to imagine.
Is God telling you to do anything, and you’re not doing it because it just seems too hard and impossible? Or maybe you just don’t know how to do it. If so, take a step of faith and start to do whatever it is while you’re praying for more direction. If a tornado was coming down the street, and you didn’t know where to go in your house that would be safe, would just sit there perfectly still and watch it coming your way? Or would you get up and frantically scurry around your house seeking out the best place, while praying, “Father, show me the best place to take myself and my family”?
Are you a Noah or a Jonah? Will you stand up today, trust God, and do what God has called you to do, even though it’s a lot of work and makes no sense? Or, will you continue trying to run from God? Because you can run, but you can’t hide.
The storm is coming. There isn’t much time. How many souls will be lost to hell for eternity because you are not doing your part for the Kingdom of God? You will be mocked, you might be ridiculed and laughed at. However, by the end of it all, the people pounding on the door of Noah’s ark were no longer making fun of him! They were begging for him to let them in, probably frantically apologizing, and admitting he was right!
When you first plant a seed, it takes time for it to grow. Some seeds sprout quicker than others, true…but it still doesn’t happen instantly. When you witness, for example, you may get turned down and rejected, but it’s okay. How do you know that a few months down the road, or even a year or two later, something in that person’s life you witnessed to will not happen? And, when it does, how do you know they aren’t going to be reminded of what you shared with them previously? That seed is going to sprout, take root, and grow up into a big, beautiful, healthy plant!
There could be a number of things God is telling you to do. Maybe it’s quitting smoking, getting out of an unhealthy relationship with someone, or reducing your pride and apologizing for something… only you know what it is God is speaking to your heart. I hope you’ll make the right decision, obey His voice, and do it today! You are not alone. If He wants you to do something, He will lead you and guide you every single step of the way.
2 Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
Phil Driscoll-Amazing Grace