humility

I'M NOT IN CONTROL, BUT GOD IS

God continually works good things in our lives through the dark days and the bright days.

God continually works good things in our lives through the dark days and the bright days.

A couple of times each year I sense as starting points for the days and months ahead. One of those dates comes around on my birthday and the other on New Years Day. Do you get that fresh start vision at such times, or like many people, do you find yourself sliding in the direction of discouragement, or even depression. Just in the past couple of days I’ve heard well-meaning people in the media repeating New Year’s mantras such as “I’m a winner,” “I can do anything,” and “I’m in control.” Observation of life over the past 71 years convinces me that this kind of self-talk brings great discouragement sooner or later because they are not true of people, only of God. This is what I find to be so encouraging and uplifting in my life! God is in control, He can do anything, and He is a winner.

Recognizing God as my loving heavenly Father who loves me, directs my steps (through His Word) and perfectly cares for me through the hard and easy days of life gives me great peace, joy, and anticipation of the year ahead. I specifically said “hard” days of life because those days trip us up the quickest. But, “hard” days benefit us in countless ways that “easy” days cannot. Particularly, the difficult days should cause us to realize our need to lean hard on God and be dependent on Him, not ourselves, for everything. “Everything” includes all that pertains to our daily life now and forever.

As I have been reading the Bible in the past week, God’s call for us to be humble has really stood out to me. Isn’t this the real answer to living life fully? “Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience,” (Colossians 3:12)

Beginning on January 10th at 9:30 a second study on Psalms will begin. You may pick up your study book in the foyer this coming Sunday morning. Please plan to have the first 3 days of Lesson 1 completed for the 10th. If you would like to be encouraged as the New Year begins, please plan to be part of this great study of Psalms.

HOW NEAR IS GOD TO YOU?

 

If God is omnipresent, that is near to everyone all the time, why does He seem faraway to most people?  Is it not because of our own willfulness to live life as we please rather than humbling ourselves before God and falling on His abundant mercy and grace? I’m loving meditating on these concepts and trying to grasp how this really works not only in the life of those who have no care for God, but, for believers who weaken the sense of God’s nearness by selfishness and distraction.

Consider a parallel in the life of a little child and the distance he feels from a parent that although physically near is giving instructions that oppose his own immature and selfish desires. Oh that we would grow beyond listening to ourselves and recognize God always knows best and He is always near. No life can be better than one that is lived in awareness of God’s nearness because of agreement and harmony with Him.  Let’s gather on Thursday morning to encourage one another to live with abandon for the Lord.

HUMILITY BEFORE MERCY AND GRACE

As I have been studying God's mercy and grace, one fact has stood out to me;  God pours out these qualities upon the humble of heart.  Consider these two verses.

Psalm 103:17  "the steadfast love (mercy) of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children's children,..."   Isaiah 57:15  "For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: 'I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite.'"  In our society permeated with individual pride concerning everything in our daily lives, the whole idea of humility, or being contrite seems from a different world.  But, to truly know God's blessings it is essential we lower our opinion of ourselves and raise our view of God very high (in fact we can't raise it too high.)  This has nothing to do with a bowed head and stooped shoulders, but, rather a sensible understanding of our natural selfishness that God wants to wash away and replace with His goodness.  God's mercy and grace are our only hope for vibrant life now and life everlasting when this life is done.

Join me this Thursday for a deeper look at God's amazing mercy and grace.