James 4:6 says that God gives grace to the humble yet opposes the proud. Which mindset is guiding your steps this week?
God has a plan for you, whether you have an elite pedigree or humble upbringing. His plans are beyond our wildest imagination! (Isaiah 55:9)
Psalm 51:17 says that a humble heart is what God needs from us. A humble person with a willing heart can do wonders for the Lord!
Do you ever doubt whether God can use you? Some of the biggest champions in the Bible came from humble &/or rough circumstances.
Many years ago, I memorized Micah 6:8 as a song. The version I learned went like this: “He has shown thee, O man, what is good and what the Lord requires of thee: But to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” I had that song in my head this morning, so I looked up the verse again to read it in context.
Micah is considered one of the “minor prophets” of the Old Testament, and the book is tucked between Jonah and Nahum. They may be called “minor,” but there are some major insights within those writings. For example, Micah foretold that the Messiah would come from Bethlehem (see Ch. 5). Micah also called out the people of Judah for being dishonest and worshipping idols. In fact, the heading for the passage quoted above is “The Lord’s Case Against Israel” in the NIV translation. God had a bone to pick with his people.
In the first five verses of Micah 6, the Lord reminds the reader of his many righteous acts. He dares the Israelites to backtalk him with complaints about life’s burdens, after all that God has done for them. Then, in verse 6, Micah poses the question of what gifts would be worthy to bring to the Lord as an apology for our sins. He mentions a variety of offerings before he hits the nail on the head in verse 8: God doesn’t want our sacrifices as much as he wants our hearts.
I like the way The Message paraphrases verse 8 (the same verse from the song that I mentioned up above): “But he’s already made it plain how to live, what to do, what God is looking for in men and women. It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor, be compassionate and loyal in your love, and don’t take yourself too seriously— take God seriously.”
The greatest gift that we can offer to the Lord during this season (or anytime) is ourselves. Romans 12:1 calls this “a living sacrifice” – our everyday lives, devoted to bringing him honor.
Another translation for being humble (Matthew 5:5) is to be content. When you are content, you are not easily swayed by worldly temptations.
Some synonyms of “humble” include: meek, unassuming & modest. Matthew 5:5 says that those characteristics are blessed. Why might that be so?
Have you ever experienced an ugly cry? I don’t mean the kind of crying you do because you hit your thumb with a hammer or the dog ate your favorite shoes. I’m talking about the raw, vulnerable kind that leaves your ribs aching because even after the tears stop flowing, your lungs keep heaving. The kind of weeping that makes your nose runny and your eyes puffy.
It ain’t pretty, but sometimes it’s necessary.
Sometimes, the way to begin healing the broken pieces is to acknowledge the ugliness. I find it interesting how, in Matthew 5, Jesus’ blessing to those who are humble comes right after his blessing to those who mourn (verses 4-5). There is a sense of humility when you experience loss. Life keeps marching on, while a piece of your heart is left behind, buried. That’s humbling. When we come face-to-face with the reality that we are incapable of controlling the world around us, it’s humbling.
The good news, friends, is that when those wretched moments hit, God doesn’t want to leave us in a state of despair. Jesus said that he would comfort us when we mourn. I like the way The Message goes on to explain in v. 5 about being humble: “You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.”
I know what it’s like when the very air around you feels suffocating, and hope seems to have wandered far away. Yet, I also know what God’s inexplicable peace feels like, and I encourage you to not lose sight of hope. Trust and rest in his promises.