I’m #1! I’m #1!

Pr. 27:2:  “Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips”

We sometimes want to brag on ourselves for a number of reasons, but man, isn’t it so much better when some random person brags on us?  It really is.  (Although I do occasionally tell people when I complete I’ve been putting off and tell them, point-blank, to be proud of me. 😛 )

I’d also rather brag on someone than to hear them go on and on about their own accomplishments.  ha!  It may surprise some of those people to hear that, but when you are doing a good job of something it usually doesn’t go unnoticed.

I was helping in a 6th-8th grade cooking class this year and there was a student that was constantly looking for ways to be helpful.  Honestly, you couldn’t have stopped her if you tried.  She went out of her way to be helpful; even staying longer than the other students to make sure everything was cleaned up.  She also had a smile on her face and was just a delight to be around.

I praised her several weeks in a row.  Then, one week, as I was drying the dishes she was washing, I asked her about her helpfulness.  She told me that her New Years Resolution for 2018 was to be more helpful.  Well, she was definitely nailing that one!  What a lovely resolution.

I was reading Eph. 5 this morning that said that we should be imitators of God.  Jesus said that He came to serve and that we should do the same.  This young lady had resolved to imitate the greatest Servant I know, and I know that I’m not the only one who noticed.  Her obedience to His Word will earn her a reward from the Father.

Jesus said, “So the last will be first, and the first last,” and “He who humbles himself will be exalted.”  (Mt. 20:16, Mt. 23:11)  Not only has she learned and chosen to humble herself, but she wasn’t shouting it from the rooftops for everyone to know.  It was only after I praised her and asked her why she was choosing to act so differently that she confided in me that she had made that resolution.

I was more than happy to praise this helpful young lady!  She had no need to brag.  I guess that’s the thing with being obedient to God’s Word.  When we are truly doing what it says, it works out just as it says it will.  Amazing, huh!?

This 8th grader can teach us a lot today.  Let’s learn from her example and start humbling ourselves the way Jesus told us to.  God will reward us, whether on this side of eternity or on the next.  You can count on it!

On the flip side, when we see someone doing just that, let’s make sure we say thanks!

jamie

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Better than treasure

Pr. 16:9:  “Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.”

In Hebrews, the faith of Moses is mentioned.  It says how rather than enjoying the privileged life that comes with being the son of Pharaoh, he chose to suffer affliction with the people of God.  “Moses esteemed the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.”  Heb. 11:26

God heard the cries of the Israelites from their bondage in Egypt, and remembered His covenant with Abraham, Issac, and Jacob.  He sought Moses to lead His children out of their slavery in Egypt.  Moses was certain God was making a mistake in choosing him; however, God’s strength is made perfect in our weaknesses.  The Lord assured Moses that He would certainly be with him.  And so He was.

Moses chose to be obedient to the God of his fathers.  He spent the last 40 years of his life in the wilderness leading the people of God who were being punished for their disobedience.  At any point, he could have chosen a different life; however, he had seen the faithfulness of I AM.  In the song he sang before he died, he was still declaring the glory of God:

“For I proclaim the name of the Lord:  Ascribe greatness to our God.  He is the Rock, His work is perfect; for all His ways are justice, a God of truth and without injustice; righteous and upright is He.”

His last words to the children of Israel were spoken to encourage them to continue to trust in God.  He blessed the tribes of Israel and reminded them of His excellence.  This encouragement was coming from a man who had so humbled himself before the Lord, that the Lord counted him worthy to see His glory.  His face shone as a result.  He saw miracle after miracle, provision after provision, and the unending faithfulness of God.

Moses’s life is a true testimony to this proverb.  Truly his life proves how much better it is to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.  Lord, help us surrender our pride, and our lives to You.  Help us to take you at Your word, humbling ourselves before a faithful and mighty God.

Learning from Moses,

jamie

No shame in Christ

Pr. 11: 2:  “When pride comes, then comes shame; but with the humble is wisdom.”

Ps. 43:3:  “Oh, send out Your light and Your truth!  Let them lead me; let them bring me to Your holy hill and to Your tabernacle.”

The only real truth that we need to seek out, and upon which we should rely, is the truth from the Lord.  If we ask the Lord to send out His light and His truth, to open our eyes and ears to His Word, He will be faithful to do so.

In Gal. 1:10, Paul speaks about the truth behind his ministry.  He received his truth from heaven, from God, and was not concerned about the opinions or disapproval of man.  He did not serve the Lord for wages, status, approval, or prestige.  He said, “For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.”

Serving Christ was not something he did, nor could do, in his own strength.  Paul trusted in and relied on the Lord and His grace.  Paul lived by faith and gave up His life for the cause of Christ, for the salvation of others.

When we humble ourselves and submit to the Lord, He can use us to complete the work He began in us.  Allowing Him to do the work in our lives causes us to become a vessel for Him to use for the salvation, encouragement, provision, and education of others.  Trusting Him for our needs allows others to see the gift of faith in action.

We become wise in His presence, sitting at His feet, listening to the Word, and being open to learning more about Him.  There is always more to learn about God.  His Word always has a new truth that He will reveal to us  if we’re willing to take the time to seek Him.  When our understanding comes from the Word of God, and our strength is in Him, we are equipped for all things.

Humbling ourselves before the One who will lift us up will never cause us shame.

Enjoy His presence today,

jamie