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It Starts with Humility

22 Apr

No verse.

 

Dear God, I want to talk tonight about a Christian life that is dry. Mine certainly has been at times. So when are the times when my spiritual life has not felt dry?

  1. When I am in deep need or despair.
  2. When I have been to a retreat or a revival.
  3. When I have been teaching others and leaning into you for wisdom (like I am right now)
  4. When a friend is in trouble and needs counsel (I can help them, but that can sometimes come out of my ego, not you)
  5. When I consciously remind and discipline myself to pray, repent, and worship.
  6. When I give of myself (money, materials, and/or time) out of inspiration from #5.

 

It’s interesting. As I look back and try to find the thread to these six things, the common denominator seems to be humility, loving the Lord my God with all my heart, mind, and strength, and loving my neighbor as myself. But I think even the parts about loving you and loving others can’t happen unless I first get over myself and lead with humility.

So what are the parts of humility?

  1. Admitting that I make mistakes.
  2. Accepting that my wellbeing is not more important than someone else’s wellbeing.
  3. Serving with no expectation of recognition.
  4. Loving others without feeling the need to judge them as inferior to me.
  5. Extending forgiveness when it is not deserved or sought.

 

And what is going on when my life is dry. When are those times?

  1. When I feel hurt and sorry for myself.
  2. When things are going well and I forget to consciously choose to humble myself before you.
  3. Sometimes when I’m depressed and I let myself fall into lethargy. I don’t discipline myself into discipleship or to even take care of myself in any area of my life.
  4. When I decide it’s time to treat myself and allow myself to be a little selfish (this is tangential to #1, but not quite the same)

 

So I’m giving a sermon tomorrow and the pastor asked that I speak on serving others, but I feel like I will be doing a disservice to the congregation if I just talk about the need. This sermon needs to be more like the giving sermons that I loved at our church in Waco. Those sermons made it about how giving is important because it is part of the giver’s working out their faith and relationship with you with fear and trembling.

All week, I’ve been playing with the Chuck Colson quote at the beginning of Steven Curtis Chapman’s song “Heaven in the Real World:”

Where is the hope? I meet millions who tell me they feel demoralized by the decay around us. Where is the hope? The hope that each of us has isn’t in who governs us or what great things we do as a nation. Our hope is found in the power of God working through the hearts of people. That’s where our hope is in this country. That’s where our hope is in life.

 

Well, how do we make sure it’s God’s (your) power working through us and not our own power and ego driving a personal agenda? I think that’s where the humility and self-discipline to disciple come in.

In Jesus’ name I pray,

Amen

 

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