Tag Archives: humility

Powerful

Do we really know what the word “power” means?

Sometimes, I wonder if we are so conditioned by shows of weakness that we’ve begun to call moderate strength or even mediocrity, “power.” It seems that those exercising true Spirit-enabled power are often culturally interpreted as arrogant or brash.

power

Could it be that a weak church culture is feeding that misconception? Could it be that we are teaching the world that “Christian” = “weak”? Yes, Jesus is humble. Yes, those who follow Jesus will demonstrate real humility.

But…

Jesus is also powerful & those who follow Him will demonstrate His power! Have you read the book of Acts? Humility & power are NOT mutually exclusive!

Real humility isn’t about projecting a negative or neutral self-image; it’s not about talking yourself down whenever someone gives you a compliment.

As C.S. Lewis so wisely said:

True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.”

So Go ahead, be powerful, think of Jesus more, follow His mission harder, see like He saw, do what He did, & think of what your friends will think WAY less.

Look in the mirror & see someone who is powerfully compassionate, someone who tells the truth even when no one wants to hear it, someone who is powerfully joyful even in the face of painful tragedy. Look in the mirror & see someone so controlled by the Spirit of Christ that he looks a lot like Jesus! Yes, you’ll likely lose yourself in the process, but isn’t it all about Him anyway? Don’t worry, living a powerful life won’t lead you to deny truth, rather you will find yourself discovering greater truth.

Don’t be afraid to be powerful!

Romans 12:1-2

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Article by Brian Norris

@BrianNorris

Articles  |  Bio

Advertisements

Poor in Spirit

beatitudes-1Much has been written and preached about the “Beatitudes.” Some of which will leave you more confused than when you began. God is not the author of confusion, so with the help of the Holy Spirit, I hope to make God’s Word apply to your life.

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
(Matthew 5:3)

I think all of us would agree that we would like to be counted as one who is blessed. God has offered us a life that is full, complete, and happy. Yes, we will have trials, but our trials are not meant to define us. God offers us a blessed life if we follow His conditions.

In order to understand this verse we must look at another verse for contrast. In Revelation 3:17, God was addressing the lukewarm church of the Laodiceans. Here are His Words: “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:” The condition of the Church at Laodicea was not one of “poor in spirit,” but rather rich in spirit. Their earthly blessings had blinded them to their need for heavenly blessing. Unfortunately, many Christians gauge their success – not in the amount of Spiritual blessing – but rather in the amount of earthly accumulations. There is nothing wrong with enjoying the earthly blessings that God has given. When we take God’s blessings as proof that we are okay, and not in need of spiritual things, it makes Him sick. God said of these Christians that He would spew them out. How wicked are we to use God’s blessings on our life as an excuse to not serve God?

Our trials are not meant to define us.

To contrast the Church of Laodicea, we look at a Christian who is poor in spirit. I see the publican who prayed earnestly as opposed to the pharisee who prayed with a prideful heart. The publican knew he was poor in spirit. His heart was not filled up with pride, but empty — waiting for God to fill it. Simply stated: a person who is poor in spirit is one who comes to God empty. Their heart is not rich, increased with goods, and in need of nothing. The poor heart realizes that it is empty and in desperate need of God to fill it. His prayer may go something like this: “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.”  (Psalms 119:18)

 A person who is poor in spirit is one who comes to God empty.

It is very human to be proud and to think that we have it all together. God is there if we get into trouble but – for the most part – we have it. It is contrary to our humanness to humble ourselves before God. This, however, is what God desires of all his sons and daughters. He wants to bless our lives, but He will not put new wine into old bottles. It is our job to keep ourselves malleable, fresh, and new. We can not do this on our own, and we desperately need God’s help. Being poor in spirit does not me we drop to our knees one time and ask God for guidance. The only one time prayer is the prayer for salvation. Being poor in spirit is talking about a lifestyle that is empty before God waiting for Him to fill it.

 How wicked are we to use God’s blessings on our life as an excuse to not serve God?

Lets say you wanted to be healthy. So you ate one healthy meal, and then went back to an unhealthy diet. That one healthy meal would do little to improve your life. We expect to live Godly once or twice a week, and are surprised when we are not blessed. God is talking about a lifestyle change. Daily or even several times a day we must come before him empty asking Him to fill our spirit. These are the Christians who will enjoy the kingdom of heaven. These are the Christians who will live a life that is blessed. It takes work and commitment on our part. It is true that we are not on our own, but we must put forth the effort. The sad thing is most people will not. Some will even read this and be inspired, but only for a short time. Oh that we would open our eyes. Ask yourself this question, “Is God gagging on me right now, and am I okay with that?” 

Article by David Wagner

email

Articles  |  Bio

Who Would Carry You?

It is a sad commentary on Christianity that so many Christians stand opposed to their brothers and sisters in the faith. We have lost sight of the power God has given over our friends. We have allowed the world, flesh, and devil to keep our eyes focused on ourselves and we miss an opportunity to be a blessing.

In Matthew, Mark, and Luke we find a retelling of mighty faith that impressed Jesus. We find a man who was afflicted with palsy. We are not told the severity of his case, but in many cases a person has no ability to move. They are, in effect, paralyzed.

Jesus had come to Capernaum, and there was a great crowd of people who came to hear him. There were so many people there that the doors and windows were packed with people. The crowd pressed to hear Jesus. Into this crowd we see four men carrying a paralyzed man on a cot. We do not know the distance they had traveled, but they were there on a mission: to get the paralyzed man to Jesus.

We know that they tried to get into the house every possible way. They could not get through the door or windows. In desperation, they went to the roof and cut away a hole and lowered this man down.

Can you imagine the dust and debris that rained upon those in the house? This paralyzed man had just made a dramatic entrance. He now laid at the foot of Jesus. In the retelling of the event in four Gospels, we find the same response from Jesus: “When He saw their faith…” Not the faith of the crowd. Not the faith of the religious leaders present. Not the faith of the paralyzed man. When He saw ‘their faith’ He said, “Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.”

Let me stop and say that nowhere in the Bible do I see that my faith in Christ is enough to get someone else to Heaven; however, we cannot overlook the power of the faith in Christ that these four men exercised. The Bible speaks as to the rarity of these men.

Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?  Proverbs 20:6

I think that many times we think that our Christian life is one we must walk alone. We do our best to be a man of faith. We are able to accomplish some things for God, but for some reason we just cannot seem to get where God wants us to be. I believe the key is having friends of faith. A paralyzed man was healed because he had friends of faith. He could not go to Christ. Upon meeting Christ he could probably not speak. The one thing that he had in his favor was four friends of faith. Four friends who did not give up when the task seemed impossible. Four friends who did not quit, in spite of the stare of their peers. For friends who made quite a racket getting their friend to Jesus.

I believe to have friends of faith that we must be a friend of faith.

A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.  Proverbs 18:24

We have many brothers in Christ, but how few friends of faith. I think that this verse may be applying to those friends.

As Christians I think you would agree that we have an obligation to be a man of faith. I think that, that goes further. I believe God would have us be a friend of faith. We should be someone who takes their faith in God and uses it to help others. Do you have a friend that you are there for? Are you willing to take up their cot, and help them in their faith? We all struggle at times in our life, but what would God allow with four friends of faith working with you? How much stronger would our marriages, homes, and churches be if they were filled with men who had four friends of faith? I fear we are in a place where we do not know.

We have not, because we have asked not. 

The power of four friend’s faith was enough for Christ to heal him enough so that withered limbs received strength and he walked. What is God waiting to do for us, but for the lack of friends of faith? Who will carry you?

Article by David Wagner

email

Articles  |  Bio