Almost Grown-Up

I couldn’t wait to grow up. I dreamed of turning 16 so I could get my driver’s license and drive a car like a “grown-up.” As a grade school boy, I drank coffee because my Dad drank coffee and I wanted to feel “grown-up.”

May Dad went hunting a lot while I was growing up.  Many times I watched him put on his Carhartt overalls, headlamp, pistol, and load up his registered black and tan coon hounds in the truck and drive off into the night. I asked to go with him because I wanted to feel what he felt. I didn’t know what that feeling was, but it must have been a good feeling since he did it so often.

One night he let me go. I didn’t have the Carhartt overalls, just some thin pants of some kind. We marched through the dark woods following the whine of the hounds as they trailed by scent. My little flashlight was no match for the darkness. We often encountered brier patches. The briers went right through my thin pants. The only feeling I remembered that night was pain!

It was a humbling and miserable night.

In 1 Peter 5:1-4, the apostle gives instructions to those who are mature to take care of the flock of God, the church. He gives great advice for any church leader whether you are a pastor, deacon, Sunday School teacher, youth or children’s leader, etc.

But then he says to the younger, more inexperienced ones who are watching and wanting to feel “grown-up”:

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:6-7 ESV

We all get “destination disease” from time to time. We think that the next “experience” or “destination” will make us happy. So this verse is great advice for all of us regardless of our age or experience.

I am looking forward to 2015 as pastor of the congregation called Balboa Baptist Church. Many new experiences are on our horizon. So let us as a body of believers enter this new year by daily applying this truth to our lives.

On the one hand, I can’t wait to feel “grown-up” by reaching some lofty goals we have set for ourselves. On the other hand, these goals make me anxious at times. So, I’m committing to obeying Peter’s instruction. will you  join me?

Our Father, thank-you that you care for us! Thank-you that your hand is mighty! We humble ourselves before you and cast all our cares upon you. Please work mightily through Balboa Baptist Church in 2015 to accomplish Your will!

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.