Keep It Humble Part 8: Don’t End up Grazing

 “Be of the same mind toward one
another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do
not be wise in your own opinion.” Romans 12:16 NKJV
Today we’re finishing our
series on humility according to the passage here in Romans. I hope it’s
benefited you and you’ve applied it in your own life.
When the new year rolls
around, I’m sure we’ll talk more about humility and pride. It’s something everyone
wrestles with.
To be of the same mind, according to the Greek word, means to be
of the same mind i.e. agreed together, cherish the same views, be harmonious
Spend time with those who
cherish the Lord as you do and are of low esteem—humble. Not 
too big for their
You become who you spend time
It’s true.
Why do you think God wants your
time so badly? So you’ll become more like him.
Do not be wise in your own
opinion. In the KJV it says, “Be not wise in your own conceits.”
Conceits…conceited. The Message
says, “Get along with each other; don’t be stuck-up. Make friends with
nobodies; don’t be the great somebody.”
The truth is, without Christ,
we are nothing. We can do nothing. We need his grace. His mercy. His
People who live this lifestyle,
they are the ones we should be spending time with. Associating with. You and I?
We don’t have it all together. We don’t know it all. And the moment we think we
do, we could end up growing hair all over our bodies while our nails shoot out
like claws and we settle for grazing in pastures!
Remember, King Neb? From the
book of Daniel?
“But when his heart was lifted up, and his spirit was
hardened in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took his
glory from him. Then he was driven from the sons of men, his heart was made
like the beasts, and his dwelling was with the wild donkeys. They fed him with
grass like oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till he knew that
the Most High God rules in the kingdom of men, and appoints over it whomever He
chooses.” Daniel 5:20-21
I’d kinda like to get a handle on pride now, as I’m not a
fan of pastures or dew. Or grass—of any kind.
“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God,
that He may exalt you in due time.” 1 Peter 5:6
I’d much rather God raise me up than to do it myself and
have Him bring me low. Amen?
Spend some time asking God to search your heart
and help you to see if you think you might be too big for your britches.
Evaluate your friendships/networkings and ask God to reveal to you your motives
behind them. If it’s about what they can do for you, how they make you look, if
it’s about the value they bring to you based solely on who they are…you might
want to pray through that. Who do associate with?


Prayer: God,
we ask for a clear picture of our motives. Bring light to areas that are
darkened by deceit and denial. Help us to learn to humble ourselves through
your word—by being more than hearers but doers—so that we don’t have to be brought
low through hard experiences. Give us grace when do have to. Teach us your
ways. Guide us into truth. Let it illuminate each step we take. For your glory,
In Jesus’ name, amen.
“Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for
dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love
deeply; practice playing second fiddle. Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled
and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit
in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in
hospitality. Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath. Laugh with your
happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down. Get along with
each other; don’t be stuck-up. Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great
somebody. Romans 12:9-16 MSG”
Have you ever been humbled by God? What did you learn from that experience?

Keep it Humble Part 5: A Little Something Called the Love Factor

So let me ask you: Have you been
using the life applications each week and trying to keep it humble with each
verse we’ve traveled through? How hard has it been? Has it been a piece of
cake? Yes? Then you aren’t doing it. Ha!
This week, we’re camping on verse
13, but let’s recap.
“9 Let love be without
hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.10 Be kindly
affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to
one another;11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in
spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, patient
in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer;” Romans 12:9-12 NKJV
Check it in the Message version. I love it.
“Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for
dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love
deeply; practice playing second fiddle.  Don’t burn out;
keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully
expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder.” Romans 12:9-12
If you want to catch up on the series so far, you can here:
Today, let’s jump into verse
13: “distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.” NKJV and
here it is in the Message: “Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.”
Remember, this passage is about believers and how we treat
other Christians. I loved Monday’s YouTube video by Christy Nockels. They
(unbelievers) will know us (believers) by our love. Our love for who? Them but…
Jesus said in John 13, “Let me give you a new command: Love
one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how
everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you
have for each other.” (verses 34-35 MSG)
If we can’t love one another and be hospitable to our brothers
and sisters in Christ, how does that make us any different than any
non-believer in Christ? And I don’t just mean in our local body—I mean even
those who don’t agree with all your doctrine and say you are of the devil. Or
those who you think are of the devil lol! Can’t we all simply love Jesus and
get along?
But this isn’t about doctrine today. It’s about hospitality.
We have wonderful examples in the Old and New Testament. People
brought strangers into their homes and fed them, sometimes not realizing they
were entertaining angels. Now, I’m not saying drag every stranger in your home,
we have to use discernment and be safe. But I think we need to be open to the
leading of the Holy Spirit, in case he does have us pull over on the side of
the road or do the unusual.
The word hospitality in the Greek is philoxenia and it means love to strangers,
It comes from the root word philoxenos which means hospitable,
generous to guests
So maybe you don’t pull in every
person off the street, but does that mean you can’t pay for a stranger’s coffee
in front of you? Buy the meal for the table next to yours? The Message version
says, “be inventive in
How can
you get inventive?
What does it mean to distribute to the needs of the saints?
Well, who are the saints? Saints mean most holy thing.
Have you ever thought of yourself as a “most holy thing?”
Neither have I.
But if you believe in Christ, you are indeed a saint. A “most
holy thing” to the Lord. “ A most holy man or woman. I have a hard time looking
at myself as God does. He sees me through the pure and holy blood of Christ. I
see me as simply me. Flesh. Rags. A vapor in the wind. A struggler in so many
But I
am a saint. Most holy to God. Set apart. Precious. Worth dying for. Beloved. Beautiful.
And so
are you.
Funny but when we read the word “distribute” we think of
giving. However that Greek word is koinōneō and it doesn’t mean giving in the sense you may think it does. It means
to enter into fellowship, join one’s self to an associate, make one’s self a
sharer or partner
And to be given to it. Given,
meaning to pursue it eagerly. Ever heard of a small group? Church events that
are surrounded around fellowship and food? Spend time with other believers. It’s
important! We need each other.
“Now all who believed were
together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods,
and divided them among all, as anyone had need.”  Acts 2:44-45
Preachers should stop hammering tithing and teach
They didn’t give a tenth. They
gave all they had and used the money to help each other according to their
“So continuing daily with one
accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their
food with gladness and simplicity of heart,  praising
God and having favor with all the people.” Acts 2: 46-47
They ate together, laughed
together. Based on their common thread. A scarlet thread. Jesus 
Christ. Out of
gladness and joy. With praise.
They had favor with all people.
What was the result of this
unity? Of humbling themselves, giving of themselves sacrificially, centered by
the love of Christ?
“And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being
saved.” Acts 2:47
And they will know us by our love
for one another. Like the video sang this past Monday. The whole point of this life called Christianity is to glorify
God, to snatch souls from the fire and to show the world his love.
Hard to do when we’re at each
other’s throats and slinging messages of hate through the venue of freedom of
speech. I’ve seen saints more hateful on facebook than anywhere else. 
And I’ve
seen non-believers scoff and unfriend us. On facebook. And in their hearts.
I’ve known Christians who are the
stingiest, self-absorbed people on the planet.
I’ve been that Christian, too.
Wanna be humble? Love the saints.
Give to the saints. Give to the scoffers. Be eager to do it. 
Love with all you
got. Because at the end of the day, you aren’t taking a thing with you. And you
will stand before the King.
“For the Son of Man will come in
the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according
to his works.” Matthew 16:27
Our only goal is to please God whether we live here
or there, because we must all stand before Christ to be
judged. Each of us will receive what we should get—good or bad—for the things
we did in the earthly body. 2 Corinthians 5:9-10
Life Application: This week make it your mission to do one thing to show hospitality to a saint. And then do one thing to show your love to an unbeliever. 
Prayer: Lord, thank you that we are holy to you. Set apart to bring you glory and honor. Give us the strength and supernatural ability to love, to be hospitable, to give. Open our hands to let it go so that you can fill it with every good thing spiritually. Let us reap our good deeds in the spiritual bank, in our hearts. In our relationship with you. Fill us with all joy. In Jesus’ name. Amen


Let’s get inventive together. How can we show
others our love? Let the creativity and ideas begin!

Keep it Humble Part 4: I Like to Move it!

did your last week’s challenge/life application go? Did you give honor to those
in high rank i.e. every believer? Was it difficult? I’d love for you to share
about that in the comments or email me privately.
week, we’re moving on. With two challenges under our belt, it’s time to step it
up. Literally. But if you’d like to catch up:
Keep it Humble Part 3
look at Romans 12:11 “…not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit,
serving the Lord;” NKJV
verse before that is about showing genuine affection to our brothers and
sisters in Christ.
want to look at this verse in the KJV because I like the wording. Here it is:
slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;”
does this apply to us in the context of humility, in keeping it classy i.e.
break down the words in the Greek and then put them together for richer meaning
and application:
at the Greek word for slothful. Oknēros. It means, sluggish,
slothful, backward.
Oknēros comes from the root word: okneō to
delay, hesitate
Bible has several things to say about being sluggish and slothful. Let’s peek
at just a few scriptures.
they said, Arise, that we may go up against them: for we have seen the land,
and, behold, it is very good: and are ye still? be not slothful
to go, and to enter to possess the land.” Judges 18:9
verse comes right off the end of the twelve spies getting a good look at the
land God promised to them. Promised Land. It was a place that flowed with
abundance and it was a gift God wanted them to have. They had work to do to get
it. They had to partner with God. Trust Him to go before and fight their
battles, but they were going to have to do a little sword raising themselves. We too have to raise our swords–the Word of God–to fight, but Jesus Christ has
gone before us!
two out of the twelve wanted to go in. Joshua and Caleb. “Let us not
hesitate! Let us not delay! Let us not move backward, but go in and take what
rightfully belongs to us.”
and I have “land” to possess. Dreams to fulfill. Promises given to us
by God. Family members who need saved, reconciliation, freedom from sin,
weakness and addictions. Don’t delay. Don’t hesitate! Go in. Raise your
“sword” and possess what God has already given. ALREADY.
what does that word business mean? In the KJV, the word is diligence.
Not lagging in diligence.
 That word (business/diligence) in the Greek is
spoudē and it means earnestness in accomplishing, promoting, or
striving after anything; to give all diligence, interest one’s self most
comes from the root word speudō which is probably strengthened by this
Greek word: pous, pronounced pooce, meaning a foot, both of men or
beast; often in the orient, one put his foot on vanquished; of disciples
listening to their teacher’s instruction are said to be at his feet
minute I read this phonetically and read the definition, I made a connection.
Have you?
essence, Stop pussy-footing around!

Donna Pyle, I think this is your cat! For real. 
 The definition of pussyfoot is “to
refrain from committing oneself; to avoid making a definite decision or stating
a definite opinion because of fear, doubt, etc.
that exactly what the Israelites did? Pussyfooted around and never got to see
their Promised Land, never had the chance to live out the God-given promise.
Fear. Doubt. Uh, yeah, giants lived in the land. But God is much bigger than a
giant. And He had already promised them. He is faithful to keep His word.
often have you missed out on God’s promises and blessing because of
pussyfooting around?
look at one more example of being slothful/sluggish and then we’ll connect it
to staying humble, if you haven’t already.
much slothfulness the building decayeth; and through idleness of
the hands the house droppeth through.” Ecclesiastes 10:18 KJV
it is in an easier translation:
of laziness the building decays, and through idleness of hands
the house leaks.” NKJV
 Obviously if you don’t keep maintenance on
your home, it’s going to leak and decay.
what about your spiritual home? “Or do you not know that your body is the
temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not
your own?” NKJV 1 Corinthians 6:19
happens when you become slothful with that? Same thing. Prepare to decay and
leak if you aren’t caring daily for your home. Feed it. Part of maintaining a
healthy functioning home is renewing daily in the Word. We learn to imitate
Christ through His Word. We learn humility through knowing Him.
let’s go one step further and finish out Romans 12:11.
in spirit, serving the LORD.”
back to loving with zeal what is good. Remember the first part of this passage,
“abhor what is evil; cling to what is good.” Fervent means to
love with zeal what is good and serving the LORD, it means in a good sense, to
yield obedience; to be a slave, serve, do service; devoted to another to the
disregard of one’s own interests
we, as His disciples, sit at His feet (studying His Word), bank on Him asking
us to serve. Sometimes, it may seem like too much. Too hard. Too exhausting.
Too big. Giant-sized. We may entertain the idea of pussyfooting around, thanks
to fear and doubt and etc.
we are commanded to not be lazy, hesitant or to delay. We are to serve with
fervor–with zeal and love for what is good (and what God asks of us is always
good) and we are to serve the LORD in this manner. To yield to obedience,
devoted to Him and not our own interests. To think of others first.
this, my friends, will humble us. The fact that God wants us to fulfill our
destinies–that He’s even mapped out a wonderful destiny for each of us alone
should drop us to our knees in humility–He wants us to do incredible things
for others. It’s humbling.
 Love without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil and
cling to what is good. Give honor to those who have been bought with a price
and see them through the blood of Christ. And stop pussyfooting around, raise
your sword, slay giants. Don’t hesitate.
it! Move it!
the Lord your God has set the land before you; go up and possess it, as the
Lord God of your fathers has spoken to you; do not fear or be
discouraged.’” Deuteronomy 1:21
the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not
leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:8
Life Application: This week I challenge you to find ways to serve in your local body, to serve another believer in Christ. And I challenge you to spend time daily in your Word, in order to maintain your spiritual home. If God has been nudging you to obey in a certain area…move it! This week! Today!
Prayer: God, we love you. We thank you for gracing us daily with the opportunity to sit merciful at your feet to learn, to be filled with Holy Spirit as we search your treasure trove of scriptures and as he guides us into all truth. It is a privelege to daily serve you. Give us the strength, help us to cast off all fear and doubt–to settle into the peace of knowing that you go before us. You are faithful to accomplish everything that concerns us. You never leave us or forsake us. We are more than conquerors through Jesus Christ. May our hands never be idle, never lazy. But alert. Full of zeal, passion, and gratitude. And may we be humbled as we serve you wholly. In Jesus’ name, amen! 
do you think serving others promotes humility?

PS I’m over at the amazing Married…with fiction blog today talking about my critiquing services and common mistakes I see. Come on over and say hi! And if you need someone to partner with you, see my critiquing/editing page!


Keep It Humble Part 3: All in the Family

Remember that old show All in the Family? Didn’t you just want to slap Archie Bunker half the time? Talk about lack of respect toward, well…anyone! 
We’re working on
keeping it classy, i.e. humble. Last week, you were challenged to spend one
week, just one, abhorring what is evil and clinging to what is good.
Did you do it? Did
you have to give anything up that didn’t line up with God’s thoughts? I did.
Did you meditate on
the scriptures I included with the post? Any particular one stick out to you?
(You can share that in the comments believe if you want.) You can read the last
two parts in the series, just click on them.
It feels good to
please the Lord, doesn’t it?
We’re unpacking
Romans 12:9-21 over the next few weeks. Today we’re going to camp on verse 10.
“Be kindly affectionate
to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one
another;” NKJV
note, this verse is talking about how believers should interact with other
The Greek
word for “Be kindly affectionate” is philostorgos
which means prone to love, affection of parents/children, but it comes
from a root word that will help us give the meaning a deeper richness.
Philostorgos comes from the root word, philos. You may recognize this word from a
Bible study or from your pastor’s preaching in regard to phileo love. Friendly
affection; one of the bridegroom’s friends who on his behalf asked the hand of
the bride and rendered him various services in closing the marriage and
celebrating the nuptials.
BFF kind
of love. Think about who you chose as your maid/matron of honor or who you/your
husband chose as a best man.
I like to
call friends who are like family, fremily.
This word
means to cherish one’s kindred.
What makes
us family, fremily, kindred?




Like our
biological siblings, we don’t choose who becomes part of our family. But we do
love them.
And how we
treat them, means a lot to our Father. A lot to our Bridegroom, who chose each
one before the foundation of the world. He put copious amounts of thought into
each member of our family, including you. Including me. And He expects us to
get along. And not just get along…
honor giving preference to one another.”
break down each one of these words to grasp the whole meaning. Otherwise we
can’t apply it, and if we aren’t going to apply God’s Word to our lives, why
even read it in the first place? We’re wasting our time. No?
The Greek
word for honor is timē and it means a
couple of things. And the first will seem odd, but we’re going to see it in a
Ready for
a valuing by which the price is fixed; of the price paid or received for a person or thing bought
or sold
This is
where we say, “Um…????”
It also
means, honour which belongs or is shown to one;
of the honour which one has by reason of rank and state of office which he
holds; deference, reverence
This Greek
word, timē, is found 43 times in the
Greek concordance of the KJV. I’d think we should pay attention to it, yes?
Let’s look
at a few of them to pull these two definitions together. I want you to get this
way down deep!
the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put
them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood.” Matthew 27:6 KJV
ye are bought with a price:
therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
1 Corinthians 6:20 KJV
those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we
bestow more abundant
honour;  and our uncomely parts
have more abundant comeliness.” 1 Corinthians 12:23
our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having
given more abundant honour
to that part which lacked:” 1 Corinthians 12:24
We are to
love our brothers and sisters in Christ and revere them. Each of them. Even the
ones that you don’t connect with well. The ones who at the last meeting still
have questions that make no sense and you just want to get home. The ones who
buck and kick at every single change the leadership makes. The ones who spread
rumors about you, slander your name, intentionally try to hurt you. The ones in
the limelight and over 400 ministries and love everyone to know it. The ones
who struggle. The ones who seem to always need one more prayer, one more word
of encouragement. The ones who suck the life out of you.
The ones
who are easy for you to slip by because they’re quiet and fade into the
background. The ones who will talk your ear off if you don’t hide or pretend to
be engrossed in a conversation with someone else. The ones who will nag the
stew out of you to volunteer for a program/ministry you do not feel you should
do (but they never care because if it’s important to them it should be on
everyone’s top priority). The ones who remind the whole world how important
they are and how much they tithe.
The ones
you pour into regularly and ignore your counsel. The ones who never call you by
the right name and you’ve known them ten years. The ones that reject you, let
you down, ignore your heart, overlook you, pass you by, call you only when they
need a favor or for you to lead a ministry, take credit when you’ve done all
the work, make decisions you know are wrong, never make you feel welcome or a
part of the team, forget you…
The ones
who aren’t quite easy to love.
Because they hold a high rank. Based on the price paid for them by the
precious blood of Christ.
And when
you can see them through the blood of Christ, through the price paid for them
to be in the family, then you can humble yourself to love them, to revere them,
to hold them in the high honor they deserve.
expect it to be easy.
But expect
it to be attainable.


preference to one another.”
The Greek
word for preference is proēgeomai and it
means, one going before and showing the way as
an example of deference
What does
deference mean?
submission and respect.”
We can’t
wait for the uneasy to love and show us some respect. We can’t play the ‘I’ll
withhold from you if you withhold from me’ card.
We are to
lead each other by example, showing respect and humbly submitting.
I wonder
if we loved without hypocrisy and showed our fremily respect simply based on
the high rank they hold through the price Jesus paid–His blood–if that
wouldn’t do something inside us.
If maybe
that wouldn’t humble us? Just to show them respect is humbling, don’t you
Life Application: This week, add to your
clinging to what is good, respecting and honoring believers who are uneasy to
honor and love. Find one thing that you can do to show reverence to on of your
God-given fremily. Maybe send them a note of encouragement (pray about who and
what scripture you need to write). Maybe you need to suck it up and ask
forgiveness for your uncomely behavior this week. Eeek! Could you offer to
watch a couple of bratty kids so the woman who rarely speaks to you can have a
few hours to herself? Can you take someone who flaunts their money to lunch and
pay for it? Figure it out. Find a way to show respect. Cling to what is good.
Love without hypocrisy. And I will too.
Prayer: Sweet One, we love you and adore you.
Humble us. Cut away our pride–whatever it may be. Remove our selfishness.
Remind us of your selflessness–all the times you lost sleep to minister to
multitudes and even in your sleep was awakened to comfort and calm fears. How
exhausted, Jesus, you must have been if you could sleep through storms. Never
really having a place to lay your head. This week, help us to be selfless and
see the needs of those who are simply hard for us to honor, respect, and love.
Give us spiritual eyes to see the price paid for them, to see their worth. Show
us this week what we can do to love and who we can bless and then keep
distractions from getting in the way of humbling ourselves and following
through. We seek to honor you. For your glory. For a kingdom that never ends.
In your precious name, Jesus, we ask this. Amen.


Let’s get some dialogue going: Did you do last week’s challenge? Did
you give something up? You don’t have to say what it was, but a simple
“yes” will do, and share how it did or didn’t change your

Keep It Humble Part 2

Do you struggle with
pride? It comes in many forms. Week before last we started a series on how to
keep it humble. You can read the first part: Keep It Humble: Part 1
Turn to Romans 12 or
click it.
We’re going to look
at the middle of a humble pie. The first layer is the crust: Romans 12:2
“And do not be
conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that
you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
If you are not in
your Word, and I don’t mean the kind where you read out of obligation or skim
or forget to chew on and understand what you’re reading, then you can not renew
your mind. And if you want to know the acceptable and perfect will of God, you
have to have a renewing. Enough said. Let’s move on.
 Paul goes on to talk about using spiritual
gifts. But we’re going to pick up in verse 9. It’s too much meat to try to chew
and swallow down in one bite (refer to above statement about
chewing/understanding), so we’re going to pick it apart and savor it over the
next few weeks.
Scripture in small
bites, goes down not necessarily easier but more manageably. And isn’t that
what we want? To digest it so we can let it spread to all the parts of our
body, fueling it for service i.e. application.
Learn it. Love it.
Live it.
How can we keep it
love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.”
This is the first
applicable step. We have to renew our mind–check up from the neck up. But we
renew our mind through the Word.
So here it is.
Love without
In the words of
Shakira from the Voice, “This is toughie one.”
do you think loving without hypocrisy means? What does it look like in action?
The KJV translation
says, “Let love be without dissimilation.” The Greek word for this is
“anypokritos” meaning undisguised,
Think over all your
relationships. Are you loving with total sincerity and no ulterior motives?
Really examine yourself!
So many times we
hear things like: I won’t go to church. They’re nothing but hypocrites. I can’t
serve in ministry, I feel like a
hypocrite. I really shouldn’t even be here.
Can I just say there
is a difference between knowing what is wrong and willfully doing it then
acting “religious” and working hard to do what is right, while
struggling with sin, weaknesses, and bad habits. The latter doesn’t make you a
hypocrite. It doesn’t make the church hypocrites. It makes us human. Flawed.
Far from perfect. It means we’re progress with lots of potential.
Are there hypocrites
in the church? Absolutely. But I believe there are far more Christians trying
to live this thing out called life and it won’t come without a few slips
ups…and even some big ones. Note* Take responsibility for them and apologize.
Never try to act like you have it all together. Even Paul made a point to say
he wasn’t an expert in all this, but he was looking toward the goal–Jesus–and
running forward, not looking back.
how do we love with sincerity? Free from ulterior motives? And how will that
humble us?
 If we cut our “self” out of the
equation by axing ulterior motives and insincerity, we’ve really just abolished
pride. Selfish pride. But how do we even do that? By nature, we are selfish. We
are prideful. We are looking for motives that benefit us.
We first: Abhor what
is evil.
A woman I love
dearly prayed over a women’s meeting and she said this, “Lord, let us love
what you love and hate what you hate.” Not WHO–what.
It’s easy to abhor
child molestation, physical abuse, torture, rape and murder.
What about adultery,
fornication and drunkenness in the forms of our favorite TV shows?
What about dropping
F bombs and taking the Lord’s name in vain in movies with the disguise of,
“Well, that’s life. It’s realistic.” Should it be entertaining?
That’s up to you and
your convictions. I’m not saying don’t watch it. I’m just tossing out some
questions for all of us, myself included.
How do we abhor
evil? Especially the evil that has become our normal? Our entertainment? Our
reality. When we’ve been desensitized through media outlets?
“Cling to what
is good.”
Cement yourself,
glue yourself, join with, fasten.
How do we know what
is good? Below are some scriptures to help us line up with good. To renew our
minds. Recalibrate.
Check up from the
neck up.
Life Application: This week, I challenge you
and myself to meditate on these scriptures. Examine our hearts and see where we
fall short. Where do we not line up with God? And then take the ax to what is
evil. Cling to what is good. Whatever you may decide to give up, fill it with
something good. Or it’ll just remain empty. Empty is not good. 😉 Do this for
one week. Just one. And see if your love becomes more sincere, less selfish.
See if the Holy Spirit sensitizes us to what is evil.
I’ll be honest,
there are things I’m going to have to give up that I find entertaining, but
they don’t bring glory to God nor line up with scripture. And I’ll be even more
honest, I don’t (at this second) really want to do it–ax it. Isn’t that sad?
But I will.
Because I want more
of Him. And less of me.
Because in the end,
I can’t take that entertainment with me.
Because this life is
all about bringing God glory.
And when I cut out
myself…that’s really what I want.
do you want? Will you take the weekly challenge to abhor evil and cling to what
is good? Let’s get focused.
Prayer: Lord,
we love you. We want to love what you love and hate what you hate. Open our
spiritual eyes to see what has become our normal that does not line up with
Your Word, Your goodness, and Your holiness. Give us the strength to turn away
from evil, to ax out things in our life that do not belong. And show us how to
fill our idle time with goodness. Convict us, Lord. Break our hearts for our
sin. For You are close to those with broken hearts. Mend us, heal us, fill us.
Let Your precious Word become a joy to us as we seek to understand Who You are
and your perfect will. Teach us, Holy Spirit, as we study and meditate on the
scriptures. Apply them to our lives, root them deep in our hearts so that we
may not turn from You. And Lord, daily remind us to go low, so that You remain
high. For Your glory, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
scriptures to meditate on:
has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But
to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?”  Micah 6:8
“And God saw the light, that it was good;
and God divided the light from the darkness.” Genesis 1:4
Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it
day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in
it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good
success.” Joshua 1:8
“O my
soul, you have said to the Lord, “You are my Lord, My goodness is nothing apart
from You.” Psalm 16:2
from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it.” Psalm 34:14
one of them has turned aside; They have together become corrupt; There is none
who does good, No, not one.” Psalm 53:3
it is good for me to draw near to God; I have put my trust in the Lord GOD,
That I may declare all Your works.” Psalm 73:28
good man deals graciously and lends; He will guide his affairs with
discretion.” Psalm 112:5
are good, and do good; Teach me Your statutes.” Psalm 119:68
is good that one should hope and wait quietly For the salvation of the
Lord.” Lamentations 3:26
your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify
your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16
I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those
who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute
you…” Matthew 5:44
“The lamp
of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be
full of light.” Matthew 6:22
good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.”
Matthew 7:18
the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.” Romans 7:12
your obedience has become known to all. Therefore I am glad on your behalf; but
I want you to be wise in what is good, and simple concerning evil.” Romans
not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.” 1 Corinthians 15:33
Let no
corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary
edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” Ephesians 4:29
all things; hold fast what is good.” 1 Thessalonians 5:21

do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but
he who does evil has not seen God.” 3 John 1:11

A Glance at Humility

Need a lesson in
humility? Know someone who does? If you chose several people and excluded
yourself, dare I say…you do need a lesson! So do I. The next few weeks we’ll be
searching scripture and finding practical ways to help us keep it classy i.e.
Today, read through
the following scriptures and let them sink deep into your heart. When I come
back to blogging–yes, I’m taking another quick break to get ready for the
American Christian Fiction Writers Conference in Indianapolis next week– these
will be the verses we unpack and put a spiritual magnifying glass to.
Romans 12: 9-21 NKJV
Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is
good. 10 Be kindly affectionate to one another
with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; 11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in
spirit, serving the Lord;12 rejoicing
in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; 13 distributing to the needs of the
saints, given to hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless
and do not curse.15 Rejoice with
those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your
mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own
17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard
for good things in the sight of all men. 18 If
it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves,
but rather give place to
wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine,
I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 Therefore
“If your
enemy is hungry, feed him;
If he is
thirsty, give him a drink;
For in
so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.”
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but
overcome evil with good.
And here it is in
the NCV.
9 Your love must be real. Hate what is
evil, and hold on to what is good. 10 Love
each other like brothers and sisters. Give each other more honor than you want
for yourselves. 11 Do not be
lazy but work hard, serving the Lord with all your heart. 12 Be joyful because you have hope. Be
patient when trouble comes, and pray at all times. 13 Share with God’s people who need help. Bring strangers in
need into your homes.
14 Wish good for those who harm you; wish
them well and do not curse them. 15 Be
happy with those who are happy, and be sad with those who are sad. 16 Live in peace with each other. Do not
be proud, but make friends with those who seem unimportant. Do not think how
smart you are.
17 If someone does wrong to you, do not
pay him back by doing wrong to him. Try to do what everyone thinks is
right. 18 Do your best to live
in peace with everyone. 19 My
friends, do not try to punish others when they wrong you, but wait for God to
punish them with his anger. It is written: “I will punish those who do wrong; I
will repay them,”says the Lord. 20 But
you should do this:
“If your
enemy is hungry, feed him;
he is thirsty, give him a drink.
Doing this will be like pouring burning coals on his
head.” Proverbs 25:21–22
21 Do not let evil defeat you, but defeat
evil by doing good.
It’s too much to
study at one time, so each Wednesday, we’ll select a few verses at a time, give
it life application, and then practice it for a week before tacking on another
few verses. I hope you’ll come along with me as we learn to go low and raise our
God high.
You can go back, if you missed it and read How to Keep It Humble Part 1 from 2 weeks ago. 
See you back here
Wednesday, September 25th.

When is the last time you did an    
in-depth topical
study and what was the topic? Care to share life lesson from it?

How to Keep It Humble: Part 1

If you’re as old as
I am and have ever been to church camp, I bet you know this song: Humble
yourself in the side of the Lord, and He will lift you up, higher and higher…
It’s scripture, of
course. Sung in a round by the campfire. I now have a sudden urge to slap at
At the moment, I’m
working through a study on the life of David–written by Beth Moore.
Yesterday’s lesson had to do with pride. Beth asked a question, (like how I’m
on first name basis with the woman?)
 “What can you do to stay humble before
the Lord?”
I think it’s a fair
assessment to say that we all battle with pride. It comes in many forms. I also
think it’s fair to say that leaders, teachers, anyone with a position may
struggle even more so.
So how do we stay
humble? The truth is, too-big-for-the-britches thoughts are going to invade our
minds. Accolades and pats on the back for stellar performances are going to
rise like delicious tingles on our skin. No one can escape them. Not me. Not
After reading that
question, I decided to prowl the Word for practical applications. I’d be
willing to guess, they’ll be beneficial to you as well. So I’m going to roll
out a series on How to Stay Humble.
let’s look at 1 Peter 5: 5-11.
How to stay humble
before the Lord:
Let’s look at our
main text first.
humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due
time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”
humbles us?
We do.  It won’t come automatically when we accept
Christ as our Savior. It’s a daily process, sometimes minute by minute.
It will come under
the mighty hand of the Lord. Not above. Not beside as in partnership–there are
things the Lord partners with us in. But when it comes to knowing our place…
below. He’s above.
This passage in
Peter is about submission. And boy isn’t being submissive difficult! We live in
a world where we have the opportunity to be our own gods. We live in a
democracy. We have the right to vote, the right to an opinion, the right to
decide, the right to speak freely regardless of what it is that spews out. We
have more outlets to voice and present our rights than ever before.
Yes, our bodies live in a democracy. But if you are a
child of God, your heart resides in a Monarchy. A place where you bow
before your Majesty, and serve Him. A place where you can freely share your
thoughts, but at the end of the day–His will stands. And it is always right.
Always fair. Even when your fleshly tent that dwells in the land of democracy
says, “That is not fair! I. I. I. I.”
The second half of
that verse is typically quoted on its own in relation to giving your anxieties
and issues to God because He loves you. That is true. But it is tied to
humbling yourself.
Because when we do anything less than give what we
can’t control or even things we can to ourselves and not God–it’s exalting
ourselves. It’s pride. Jesus shoulders our cares. When we try to take
that from Him, we come out from under His mighty hand and lift up ourselves.
We fret about jobs,
finances, dreams, sickness, global warming, war, government offices, our kids,
choices, insert worry or anxiety here ______________.
But if we put it in
the mighty hand who has control. Peace. Mercy. Grace. Love. Perfect will for
our lives, we are humbling ourselves. We are acknowledging who is King and who
is not. We are bowing in submissiveness. When we do this, God will lift us up–in
due time. Not necessarily our time because it’s not about us. It’s about Him
and His glory.
Why do we do this?
Let’s skip up a verse. The word “therefore” links this scripture with
the one above.
1 Peter 5:5 (We’re
moving backwards.)
“God resists
the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (This is not saving grace.
Humbleness is not a requirement of salvation. It’s a free gift of grace.)
 I do not want God opposing me and that is what
that word “resists” means. If I don’t submit, He’ll make sure
eventually I do–one way or another. Generally, it isn’t pleasant. 🙂 I’d
rather grasp it now and humble myself with the help of the Holy Spirit. What
about you?
I think it would be
wise to “therefore humble yourselves under…”
Let’s see the
context in which Peter is sharing this verse. “Likewise, you younger
people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one
another, and be clothed with humility, for…”
“God resists
the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
That word
“submit” in the Hebrew means “to arrange under, to obey, to
yield to one’s admonition or advice.”
Peter is talking
about submission in this passage. He even gives elders their does of medicine
to humble them. 1 Peter 5:1-4 “Shepherd the flock…not for dishonest gain
but eagerly, not as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples
to the flock…”
Wise people seek
good counsel. Foolish people think they know it all. The proud believe they
have all the answers. The humble know they need godly advice and direction.
If you can’t even
submit to godly authority, how will you submit to God? I challenge you to
really think about that. “I do what God says, but no person is going to
tell me what to do.” Is that doing what God says based on this verse?
Could there be a root of pride?
To writers: Do we
really think we can write a book all by ourselves, never seeking other writers
who are godly and wise and can offer suggestions, ideas, and help? Does it make
it less of our book? Does it mean we don’t get all the glory because the plot
twist actually came from someone else? Could I suggest if you’re seeking all
the glory, you have a pride issue to begin with? Let us examine ourselves.
Not just writers.
All of us. Whose hand are we under? Are we under anyone’s? Do we buck godly
leaders? Do we try to take on our own worries, anxieties and cares?
The enemy is waiting
for us to puff up just a little. One hurt he can play off of. One tiny sniff of
cockiness and he pounces. He spots pride easily. It’s how he fell in the first
“Be sober, be
vigilant, because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion,
seeking whom he may devour.” 1 Peter 5:8 The very verse after he instructs
us to humble ourselves, to submit.
Peter knew better
than anyone that a scrap of pride caused a feeding frenzy among the enemy. If
you aren’t paying attention, the enemy will have your flesh between his teeth,
shake you about like a rag doll, devour his fill and leave you a bloody, shredded
carcass on the side of the road.
Maybe that’s you
right now. You’re weak. You feel as though you’ve bled out.
“May the God of
all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have
suffered a while, perfect, establish, and settle you.” 1 Peter 5:10
may feel drained. But the blood of Christ never runs out, never runs dry, never
withholds, never weakens, never waters down, never ever loses its power.
You are not alone.
 “Resist him, steadfast in the faith,
knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the
world.” 1 Peter 5: 9 And sisterhood!
Repent if you’ve
been prideful. If you haven’t submitted to the King in all areas. “For if
you confess your sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to
cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 And that includes pride.
Now that is a King
worth bowing the knee to!
Next week, we’ll
discover another way to keep ourselves humble! Hope you’ll join me. 

you struggle with areas of pride? How do you keep yourself humble?