Humble Pie

“He mocks those who mock, but gives grace to the humble.” Proverbs 3:34

Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it is thinking of yourself less.

Mocking is putting others down so that you think more of yourself and think of yourself more.

Our new nature (2 Cor. 5:17) in Jesus Christ will think of God and our neighbor before we think of ourselves.  Why?  The new nature is guided by the greatest commands: love God with everything you are and love your neighbor as yourself.

Our old nature, corrupted by sin, always thinks of Self first. Sin always misses the mark because we aim at pleasing ourselves, rather than pleasing our Creator and Savoir and serving Him by serving others.  Notice sIn always has an “I” in the center of it.

So mocking pride is very simple.  It is all about me, mine, myself, and my preferences to which you and the rest of the world ought to give your full attention.

So also, humility is very simple.  it is all about pleasing God and serving others.  It is not thinking less of yourself, it is thinking of yourself less.

Our Father, forgive us our pride that looks at others to mock and put them down in order to push ourselves up.  Fill us with an awareness of how much You love us.  May we be so secure in that awareness that we think of ourselves less and think of You more. May we have a servant’s mindset to love those around us you put into our paths by serving them in Jesus’ name with simple cups of kindness.

Kid in a Candy Store

He is before all things, and by Him all things hold together. He is also the head of the body, the church; He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He might come to have first place in everything. (‭Colossians ‭1‬:‭17-18‬ HCSB)

Before anything existed HE WAS. Everything that exists now is held together BY HIM. Paul is talking about JESUS! Our Father, our Lord Jesus, and our indwelling Holy Spirit were there before the universe was created.

No matter what we face today, Our Savior was there BEFORE it, He is there IN it, and He will be there WHEN IT IS ALL OVER. We BELIEVE this! This is true! It is true whether we are talking about a minor inconvenience in our life today or worldwide persecution of believers bringing misery and death.

For a few years Jesus walked this earth in a human body. He still walks the earth today as the head of the body called the church. He is the head of the worldwide body of believers as well as each local assembly of called-out followers. HE is the head of Balboa Baptist! HE is walking the earth today IN US!

HE is the beginning. JESUS is the beginning of creation. He is the beginning of the church. He is the beginning of our resurrected lives. He is the first to rise from the dead. He is FIRST!

Your life and my life may seem insignificant in this great big world. But if JESUS is allowed to be FIRST, then each life becomes very significant!

I have been like a kid in a candy store. Balboa Baptist Church is such a praying, generous, talented, experienced, educated, gifted group of Jesus-followers. Multiple ministries put the hands and feet of Jesus into so many places! The potential God has given this congregation boggles my mind.

I also have been like a squirrel on the interstate. But the blissful blur I’m in now is all kept in perspective by keeping Jesus FIRST.

Our Father, You have established Your Son Jesus as FIRST in everything. Today, please live in and through us. Give us willing minds that will obey you. Let us not “cop out” by being unwilling to participate in what you are doing. Please give us eyes that SEE what You are doing and the willing mind to “get in on it.”

My Favorite Things

Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men, knowing that you will receive the reward of an inheritance from the Lord. You serve the Lord Christ. (‭Colossians‬ ‭3‬:‭23-24‬ HCSB)

“Rain drops on roses and whiskers on kittens … these are few of my …” You know the Julie Andrews song, right?

What are your favorite things? What do you get enthused about?

Golf. Bridge. Cooking. Eating. Giving. Travel. Grandkids. Something else?

Whatever it is, do it for The Lord with enthusiasm.

Robert was enthused by his joy for giving. He bought frozen apple pies, the deluxe ones, and put them in the freezer at the church kitchen! He spotted visiting families in the worship service each Sunday morning. He baked the pies in the church kitchen while I preached the sermon. He then boxed the hot delicacies and gave them to the guests as they left. He spoke the name of Jesus as he did this.

Teresa loved to sew. She found another lady at the church who loved it too. Monthly they got together and made little stuffed animals. They attached gospel tracts and encouraging notes. They delivered them personally to children in the hospital. They spoke the name of Jesus as they did this.

Joe loved golf. He took a couple of teenage guys to the driving range occasionally. He introduced them to golf and Jesus.

What do you get enthusiastic about? Do IT for The Lord. Make IT your cup of cold water you regularly use to talk about Jesus. Use it “in Jesus’ name.”

When you spend time with people doing your favorite thing, those people will eventually have a crisis of faith, question, difficult circumstance, or diagnosis. Be ready to be enthused!

Enthused? “En” means “in.” Duh! “Thu” comes from “Theos,” the greek word for GOD, as in “theology.” Do it “in God,” “as something done for The Lord.”

So, in a way, you are to be a “theologian” as you do your favorite thing. Everyone has a cup of cold water to give away.

Jesus said:
And whoever gives just a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is a disciple—I assure you: He will never lose his reward! ”Matthew 10:42 (HSCB)

Our Father, we gratefully praise you for our salvation in Jesus Your Son! Remind us everyday to give away what we have so freely received as we do our favorite things.

24/7

These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. (‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭6‬:‭6-7‬ HCSB)

Heart. That amazing muscle marathoning in our chest pumping life throughout our body.

Heart. That palpable passion pulsating in our soul when we are pushed by a great purpose or dream.

Oh well, so much for the alliteration. That was fun.

God’s Word needs to be in our hearts. But really, when is a good time to “get your heart in it?”

Centuries ago God answered that question. He gave us four time-slots that work best: Sitting, Walking, Retiring, Getting Up.

This sounds like we are to put His Word into our hearts pretty often, like all the time, except maybe when we are sleeping. But even while we are sleeping, our mind will continue to work on it.

So, the ole’ 24/7 rule applies here. Choose a verse or passage each day and keep your mind on it all day. Inject it to enter your conversations, thoughts, and actions.

Meditate.
Memorize.
Read.
Think.
APPLY.
Explain.
Illustrate.
Mull.
Soak.
Obey.
Confess.
Claim.
Believe.
Follow.

Have a great day in the Word!

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Now & Forever

But from eternity to eternity the Lord’s faithful love is toward those who fear Him, and His righteousness toward the grandchildren of those who keep His covenant, who remember to observe His precepts. (‭Psalms‬ ‭103‬:‭17-18‬ HCSB)

An eternal perspective is essential to a daily-living-breathing-walking-talking relationship with the Father through His Son Jesus!

WE MUST LIVE IN THE PRESENT WITH AN ETERNAL PERSPECTIVE.

A healthy fear needs to grip us as we live each day. We know every word spoken and deed done will be accountable before God one day soon. We must never deny Him in anything we say or do.

The birth of our children changed our perspective. I immediately began praying for their salvation and walk with the Lord. The birth of our grandchildren changed us again! The telescope view of life increased. Now I pray for their salvation and walk with the Father too.

What a wonderful promise to us when we live our lives for The Lord! Did you see it? God’s love and righteousness will extend to our grandchildren! My heart leaps knowing this! I will impact for eternity my grandchildren’s lives by the way I live now.

God limits the impact of the sins of the fathers on their descendants to three or four generations. This is heartbreaking when you see the pattern of sin carried on to multiple generations. BUT, our Father will extend the blessings of the righteous to a thousand generations!!! God is good, yet just! (Exodus 20:5-6)

God limits the effect of sin to only four generations, but extends the blessing to the righteous for a thousand generations. God is good. God is merciful.

Thank-you Lord for graciously extending my grandfathers’ prayers and righteous lives to me! Please walk with me today so that I impact future generations.

Who Would’ve Thought!

But as it is written: What eye did not see and ear did not hear, and what never entered the human mind – God prepared this for those who love Him.  I Corinthians 2:9

In the Roman world of Paul’s day, oratory was of extreme importance.  The white collar parents who aspired for their son to move up to great political power placed their sons under the tutelage of the greatest orators they could afford.  Political leaders demonstrated their power through the charismatic appeal and verbal ability to make moving, persuasive  speeches.
Paul himself trained as a Pharisee.  His Jewish tradition had placed him in high regard.  His discipline would have easily earned a PhD. or M.D. today.  His intelligence, zeal, and discipline made him a Pharisee of the Pharisees!
Yet in verses 1-8 leading up to verse 9, Paul makes clear he did not come with persuasive speech.  The people of Corinth often heard the Roman politicians or Jewish élite make their speeches.
But Paul came in weakness, fear, and much trembling (verse 3). He did not come with persuasive words or men’s wisdom (verses 4-5). He did not use the wisdom of this age used by the rulers of this age (verse 6).
What did he do?  He demonstrated the Spirit (verse 4).  He spoke with wisdom for the mature believers (verse 6).  He revealed God’s hidden wisdom in a mystery (verse 7).
 Verse 9, our focal verse, reflects on Isaiah 52.15 and 64:4.
Kings will shut their mouths because of Him, For they will see what had not been told them, and they will understand what they had not heard.  Isaiah 52:15
From ancient times no one has heard, no one has listened, no eye has seen any God except You, who acts on behalf of the one who waits for Him. Isaiah 64:4
The “mystery” of the Messiah could not have been fully understood even though hundreds of predictions and prophecies filled the Old Testament!  No one of great education, political savvy, or spiritual wisdom could have predicted exactly how God was going to reveal the Messiah, His Son.  It was beyond comprehension or imagination that God would send His Son to DIE.  No one dreamed that God would fulfill the prophecies with someone who was not a political and military leader like King David!
So why did God send His Son in the way He did?  Look closely again at verse 9.  He prepared all of this for those “WHO LOVE HIM!”  The Jesus who lives in you and the Bible you hold in your lap is all about having a LOVE RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR CREATOR!  Think of it!  A walking, talking, living, breathing, daily relationship with God Himself based purely on love!
Father, thank-you for coming to us in Your Son Jesus so we may truly know you and love you!