Keeping it Humble Part 4: Don’t Stop Believing

Hey everyone, today we’re breaking down a tough verse, not
that they haven’t all been tough. Let’s recap what we’ve worked through so far:
“Let love be without
hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly
affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to
one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit,
serving the Lord;” Romans 12:9-11 NKJV
If you’re just joining our series on keeping it humble you
can catch up here:
We’re tacking on verse 12 to our passage.
in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer;”
Let’s dig into each phrase, breaking it down in the Greek for
a richer meaning, then apply it to ourselves in the context of humility.
Rejoicing means to be exceedingly glad and to thrive or do
In hope…what is the hope that we are to be exceedingly glad
about and thrive in?
The Greek word for hope is elpis and it means joyful
and confident expectation of eternal salvation; the author of hope, or he who
is its foundation
You and I have a reason to thrive and do well, we have a reason
to be exceedingly glad. The author of our hope has defeated death, hell, and
the grave. He has rescued us from eternal damnation. Our hope is forever
salvation and all the freedom that it brings. We have a firm foundation to rejoice
upon, it’s Jesus Christ!
And the reason this phrase comes first, I believe, is because
we need to remember first and foremost that we have something and Someone to
hope in.
Tribulations are coming. 
And it will require patience. It’s
during these times we need to remind ourselves to rejoice, to be glad, because
hope is not lost.
The word patient in
the Greek is hypomenō and it means to preserve: under misfortunes and trials
hold fast to one’s faith in Christ; to endure, bear bravely and calmly: ill
I’m reminded of David. He’d been anointed king in private
but instead of ascending to the throne, he served, humbly, a king who came to
despise him through jealous eyes. Many years David ran from Saul. He hid in caves.
He had no rest. And many of his Psalms were written during this time.
In Psalm
25 David pours out his heart: “Turn Yourself to me, and have mercy on me,
For I am
desolate and afflicted. The troubles of my heart have enlarged; Bring me out of
my distresses! Look on my affliction and my pain, And forgive all my sins. Consider
my enemies, for they are many; And they hate me with cruel hatred. Keep my
soul, and deliver me; Let me not be ashamed, for I put my trust in You. Let
integrity and uprightness preserve me, For I wait for You.” Verses 16-21
I see
tribulation. And I also see while he shares his trouble with the Lord, he
trusts Him and ends here with the fact he will wait for God.
Will you?
The phrase
continuing steadfastly in prayer in the Greek is proskartereō and it means, to
persevere and not to faint;
to show one’s self courageous for; to be steadfastly
attentive unto, to give unremitting care to a thing
takes courage, doesn’t it? It means you believe you’re being heard by the
Almighty. It shows vulnerability and trust. Sometimes, we don’t see our prayers
answered right away. Sometimes after five, ten, fifteen years, we have yet to
see the pain taken away, the dreams fulfilled fill-in-the-blank.
And we get
tired. We grow faint. We stop praying. Maybe, just maybe, we stop believing.
Cue Don’t Stop Believing by Journey here. Susan Tuttle, my iTunes hit was just for
We have to
travel back to that first phrase. Rejoice in hope. And you and I both know at
times, rejoicing has to be a choice. Especially when we’re experiencing
We can’t
give up praying.
Again, I’m
reminded of David. After he and Bathsheba committed adultery, their child died.
God had already told David this was going to happen. Yet, David fasted and wept
and prayed because he said in 2 Samuel 12:22, ‘Who can tell whether the Lord will
be gracious to me, that the child may live?’ “
It isn’t
over until it’s over. 
Yes, David’s son still died. And that’s a hard pill to
swallow, but God had just told David after he repented, that his sins would be
inked out. Forgiven. But with sin comes consequences (I am not saying that
children’s deaths are linked to sin. I’m talking about David’s personal case
here) and I like to see this as a picture of grace and mercy. Because that is
Who God is.
For one
man to live, a son had to die.
For you
and I to have the hope we do, a Son had to die.
prayed to the Lord when he was sick. And God gave him fifteen years more on his
We can’t
give up praying. We must persevere and be brave. Stay calm and trust God to do
the right thing, to allow the right things, even when they feel wrong to you and
Prayer is
humbling. Especially when we’re in situations we can’t control. And I think it’s
fair to say we can’t control tribulations. When we rejoice in hope and meditate
on that hope, it is humbling. We can’t save ourselves. We can’t control every
single thing. We must be dependent on Someone else. And we have to be
vulnerable and trust.
continually keeps us low and brings God high. Rightfully where He belongs.
Rightfully where we belong.
beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a
thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack
concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward
us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”
2 Peter 3:8-9
“If you
are trying hard to do good, no one can really hurt you. But even if you suffer
for doing right, you are blessed.
“Don’t be
afraid of what they fear;
    do not dread those things.” (reference: Isaiah
respect Christ as the holy Lord in your hearts. Always be ready to answer
everyone who asks you to explain about the hope you have, but answer in a
gentle way and with respect. Keep a clear conscience so that those who speak
evil of your good life in Christ will be made ashamed.  It is better to suffer for doing good than for
doing wrong if that is what God wants.  Christ himself suffered for sins once. He was
not guilty, but he suffered for those who are guilty to bring you to God. His
body was killed, but he was made alive in the spirit.” 1 Peter 3:13-18 NCV


Life Application: If you have given up praying for something, start again this week. Today! Make a conscious decision
to rejoice and when those around you ask why you can be exceedingly glad when
your life is falling apart at best and at the very least, you have some
annoyances going on, you can answer them and tell them about your hope. About
Who your foundation is built upon. Take time to pour your heart out to the Lord. Be
honest and vulnerable before Him. Trust Him to know best.
Prayer: Lord, we love you, honor you, trust you,
respect you. We rejoice and give thanks for the amazing rescue of our souls.
For taking our place, for becoming our sin and giving us a eternal hope. Thank
you for never leaving us or forsaking us, even when we feel alone and isolated
and destroyed. We know that we are not. We may be struck down, but never
destroyed. Lord, help us to grasp that things really do work together for good
to those who love you. Let us not grow bitter and see that as a platitude with no
power behind it, but as hope for our future. A good one. One that will indeed
prosper us. Lord, forgive us for dropping the ball in prayer regardless of our
reasons. And strengthen us to continue in it because, Lord, we truly never know
when you will show grace and mercy. And it is not over until it’s over. In Your
precious name, Jesus, Amen.
How can I pray for you
and with you? If you want to email me privately, go to my Connect page. Now, what
is one thing you can rejoice about today?

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

Can You Love With…?

…genuine affection, giving honor and respect to one another? Wednesday we’ll continue with Romans 12:10 in our series on humility. I hope you’ll join me because I was super excited to discover some amazing treasure that opened my eyes to see believers in a new way.

But until Wednesday, meditate on this scripture and ask yourself if you take delight in honoring others–not the others you enjoy spending time with and adore. What about those believers you don’t connect with or have hurt you? Ouch! 

The video by Phil Wicka-Wicka-Wickham hints to our Wednesday’s study! I kept the post short and will keep Monday posts short so you can take advantage of the video and have a minute or 2 of worship before you move on to your next blog post. 

What is your definition 
of genuine affection? 

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?