14 May 2001

"And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross"-Philippians 2:8 Of all the Christian graces that are pleasing to our heavenly Father, humility would be found at the top of the list. Much is written about the subject in scripture, yet it is the grace that is hardest for us to attain. The Lord Jesus Christ is the ultimate example of humility. During this great time of distress in our nation I am sure that President Bush has looked at the figures of Lincoln and Washington and pondered the question, "What would they do now". In the simple affairs of every day life the Christian looks at the captain of their salvation and weighs every thought and action with "What would He do now". Humility is Not Weakness To the Greeks and the Romans humility was a form of weakness, a moral flaw or a glitch in the character of real men and women. Perhaps that is the reason that Jesus gave us so many lessons on humility. When He spoke of John the Baptist, Jesus asked the question, "What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind". Did you go to see a weak man blown about by the world? No, John was not a weakling looking for the applause of men. Jesus gives him this compliment: "Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist". The strongest of characters are humble ones, those with the characteristics of our great example: Christ. OUR NEED TO BE HUMBLED Humility is not a virtue that comes naturally for us. We need to be humbled from time to time. Thankfully, our Father loves us enough to accommodate us. This may be accomplished by tragedy; financial setbacks; sickness; injury; and just plain old embarrassments. We tuck our tail between our legs and crawl off in some corner, lick our wounds until we are ready to show our face again in public. When we do, we are of a much humbler spirit. Surely, this is for our profit and gain. As one of our church members said after preaching on the subject, "People couldn't stand me today if God had not humbled me". WE FORGET THE LESSON As we forget what we read in yesterdays paper, we many times forget the lessons that God has taught us in humility. I have visited in the hospital and counseled people with problems who promised faithfulness to family and church in their hour of greatest need. But when their problem was gone and forgotten, so was God. No true repentance here. Nothing learned, nothing gained from the lesson. OBEDIENCE TO SCRIPTURE IS HUMILITY Though one may seem humble, true humility is discerned by obedience to God's word. From our scripture, we read that Jesus "become obedient". From His own mouth He declared, "I came down from heaven not to do my own will". He was obeying the Father's will. Therefore, humility is not discerned by a particular mournful look, expression, disfigured face or even from one words. It is observed in a willingness to conform to what God has said. WE ARE HUMBLED BY GRACE God's children are most humbled when they learn about His amazing grace. It is then, and only then, that His word is sought out very diligently. A look to the cross at one who did no sin, yet suffered in the place of His elect should bring every heir of heaven to a posture of humility. When we see Jesus as our full atonement we are made to cry out, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" Though the law might condemn us for a while, grace will conquer the heart. It brings true repentance and sets our sins before us as towering mountains ready to fall upon us. It is told that President Roosevelt, when taking in the night air with a friend, enjoyed the beauty of God's vast creation. As he viewed the millions of sparkling stars he made the comment, "I'm small enough now, lets go in". So in God's house. Come and worship with us at Harmony Primitive Baptist Church, in Donaldson, where God is sovereign, and salvation is by His abundant and amazing grace. Visit our web page at www.primitivebaptist.org/donaldson/ Singing begins at 10:30 each Sunday morning followed by preaching at 11:00. By His mercy and grace, Neil Phelan, Jr., Pastor.