The First Step of Humility

Today’s reading is 1 Timothy 6.

Do you, like I do, need more humility? We find the very first step of humility in today’s reading. Paul says if we disagree with the words of Jesus, we are puffed up. There it is. The first step of humility is to agree with Jesus. Anything else is arrogance. Anything else is an unhealthy craving for controversy. Anything else is lifting ourselves above our Lord. Of course, we all like to think we agree with Jesus. Let’s be careful to actually agree with Him and not just to agree with the culturally acceptable picture of Him. Let’s dig deep into humility. Let’s agree with Jesus.

Tomorrow’s reading is 2 Timothy 1.

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Don’t Wait for Strength

Today’s reading is 2 Corinthians 12.

When it comes to spreading the gospel, many of us are waiting around until we are strong enough, smart enough, good enough. Don’t! We are strongest when we are content with our weakness. Don’t misunderstand, if you don’t know what the gospel is or means, don’t try to share it with someone. But the heart of the gospel is that we are not strong enough, therefore we need Jesus. Why then would we wait around until we are strong enough to teach the gospel to teach it? Step out in faith. Step out in reliance upon God. Sure, you’ll make mistakes. Sure, there will be embarrassing moments. But you’ll never be strong enough to convert people, so why wait around for that. Recognize how weak you are and step out onto the gospel battlefield with your faith in the Lord. It is His gospel that is powerful enough to save, not your strengths or smarts.

Tomorrow’s reading is 2 Corinthians 13.

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God is Enough

Today’s reading is 2 Corinthians 3.

Can I challenge a common idea floating around our culture today? I know why it gets said. And in some ways, I appreciate it. I don’t want people feeling shame merely because they aren’t the same as someone else either in looks, size, or ability. But I fear the constant repetition of this idea loses sight of the ultimate truth. Again and again and again, I’m told that I need to see and say, “I am enough.” That is, “I am sufficient.” I want to challenge that. I’m not enough. I’m not sufficient. God is. My sufficiency doesn’t come from inside me. It comes from God. I’m not sufficient merely because I’m me. I’m sufficient because God is with me. And so, as much as our culture will scoff and ridicule this, if you are without Jesus Christ, if you are without His Holy Spirit, if you are without God–you aren’t enough. You aren’t sufficient. Oh, don’t get me wrong, people should still treat you with respect and be nice to you. But sufficiency comes from God. Sufficiency doesn’t come from changing yourself to look or be like someone else, but neither does it just well up inside you merely because you exist. Sufficiency comes from God through Jesus Christ. God is enough. Turn to Him today.

Tomorrow’s reading is 2 Corinthians 4.

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Humble Exiles

Today’s reading is 1 Peter 5.

Christ’s exiles are holy and honorable, but we must also be humble. In other words, we don’t get all uppity about our holiness or our honorableness. We recognize Satan is on the prowl. He is looking to destroy our holiness and our honorableness. And we are not so holy or honorable that we can’t fall prey. We must humble ourselves before God and one another. We must walk in humility in order to be exalted by God. We must walk in humility to have victory. Thank God for the victories of holiness and honorableness He has granted in our lives, but let’s not get lax. Keep up your guard. Keep up your humility.

Tomorrow’s reading is 2 Peter 1.

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Today’s reading is Luke 18.

Do you see the thread of trust throughout the stories in today’s reading? In the first, we can trust that God will deliver His elect. Perhaps not in our time, but in His. It will happen, so hang on to Him. But don’t trust in yourself and in your own personal righteousness. Honestly, you simply cannot be righteous enough to deliver yourself. Don’t trust in riches. They will not buy your way into the kingdom no matter what else they will buy for you. Don’t trust in the crowds, they will steer you wrong. Keep calling out for Jesus. You can trust Him. And smack in the middle of these stories, the little children. The little children who don’t know any better than to trust their Father. The little children who humbly depend on their Father no matter what. That is to be us. We know that for some children of human fathers, that trust can lead to terrible tragedy, but never with our Father. We can be like little children. He cares for us. He knows the way. He is the way. Trust Him no matter what.

Tomorrow’s reading is Luke 19.

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Who Will Respond to the Gospel?

Today’s reading is Luke 14.

Do you realize Jesus is not really talking about feasts and banquets? He is talking about feasting on the gospel. He is talking about banqueting at His table of salvation. And through this story, He explains the only people who will actually respond. Folks who think they can feed themselves if they miss out on the proposed banquet usually back out. In the story, these are the guys who have enough money to buy a field, purchase oxen to plow his fields, pay the bride price in order to get married. However, the folks who understand they won’t eat apart from the proposed banquet never come up with excuses. They show up no matter how much it costs them to get there or how hard it is. They are desperate to eat and they know this is the only option they have because they can’t get it done themselves. The sad part is, regarding God’s proposed banquet, no matter what anyone thinks, there is only one place they can eat. No one can actually feed themselves. But it is only those who realize it who will heed the gospel invitation no matter what it costs; everyone else will come up with excuses.

Tomorrow’s reading is Luke 15.

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The True Power

Today’s reading is Luke 1.

What is the great divide between those saved by the gospel of Jesus Christ and those not? An understanding about the true power behind the gospel. The rich will be sent away empty. The proud will be scattered. The mighty will be be brought down. However, the humble will be exalted. Those who realize the true power in the gospel is God will be saved. Those who keep thinking somehow we will pull off something by our own power will be disappointed. I do not have to be ashamed of my humble estate because my God is powerful, mighty, and awesome. He will lift me up. However, that will only happen if I recognize how much lifting I really need. Not because He can’t lift me up, but because as long as I think I can pull myself up, I will continue to keep Him at arm’s length and swat His lifting arm away. He will not exalt me against my will. This is the beginning of the gospel, the good news for us. God is the power. Praise the Lord!

Tomorrow’s reading is Luke 2.

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