Tag Archive: humbleness


Mary Had a Little Lamb

June 14, 2012
Mary Had a Little Lamb
Mary Southerland

Today’s Truth
He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young (Isaiah 40:11, NIV).

Friend to Friend
As a little girl, I really did have a little lamb whose fleece was white as snow. I can remember the day my mother showed me the lamb and explained that she did not have a bottle with which to feed the stray lamb. I did. I agreed to let the lamb have my bottle if I could have the lamb. I have been fascinated by the unique relationship between sheep and their shepherd ever since.

Shepherds live with their sheep, finding places for them to eat and drink, providing shelter from the storms and protection from the heat. Sheep must eat the right amount of the right kinds of grass at the right times…or they will die. If the sheep eat too little one day and too much the next day, some of the bacteria that live in the stomach of the sheep will reproduce at abnormal levels, creating toxins which cause sudden death. This problem was even more complicated for the shepherds of the Bible.

The type of shepherding referred to in the Bible is not the farming of fenced pasture lands but nomadic grazing. The shepherd must carefully plan the path and lead the way so the sheep have neither too little nor too much grazing and are able to get to the water hole on time. Pastures are often lost to extreme heat which means the shepherd has to scour the countryside in search of green grass. Several flocks of sheep are gathered together at night in a sheltered place so shepherds can share the watches of the night, protecting the sheep from wild animals and thieves. Good shepherds are always willing to risk their lives to save their flocks from any harm, any enemy and even from themselves.

Sheep are dumb, can never be left alone and often stray, requiring the shepherd to find and rescue them.  A shepherd never pushes his sheep but rather leads his sheep, going before them, making sure they are not walking into danger. The needs of sheep, compared to the needs of other animals, are greater because of their instinct to be afraid and when faced with a fearful situation, to run. Without a shepherd to care for the sheep, they will not last long.

Personally, I definitely fit the profile of a sheep. I can’t count the number of times I have stubbornly stuck to my plan, foolishly thinking that it was better than His plan, only to end up in some pit somewhere, calling for help. Psalm 40:1-3 has become my life maxim – with one exception. I rarely wait patiently! Remember, I am a sheep!

Psalm 40:1-3 “I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.  He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD” (NIV).

I sometimes allow fear to drive me to a place where I am trapped by doubts and darkness…until He rescues me. I try to satisfy my hunger by eating the wrong things found in the wrong places at the wrong times. The result is always the same; my soul remains ravenous for what is good while stuffing my heart and mind with what is bad.

Like every sheep, I don’t like to be pushed. Good shepherds do not push, no matter how great the temptation.  A good shepherd stands in front of his sheep, gently calling their names, leading them to a place where he has already been, positioning himself between danger and his sheep. When I am tired and ready to give up, I tend to withdraw from the other sheep and even from my Shepherd. Many of us have somehow bought into the lie that we can make it on our own or that the rules, the commandments of God, do not necessarily apply to us…just those other sheep. The longer I serve God, the more I realize just how much we need each other and how much we need Him.  When will I learn that I cannot do life on my own – as a sheep or as a shepherd?

A good shepherd is willing to lay down his life for his sheep, just as Jesus Christ laid down His life for you and for me. I am so glad He was willing to lay down His life for every single sheep – the cute, fluffy ones as well as the dirty, broken lambs like me. Maybe it is time for us all to stop, listen for His voice, seek His plan and remember that we are indeed needy sheep who are called to love and lead other needy sheep to the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ.

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Christian Humility

 

 

Christian Humility

 

Many have misunderstood and misapplied the principle of genuine Christian humility. Most have taken it to be a state of weakness and disregard of their gifts and spiritual potential. They believe it to be a state of servility where one does not acknowledge his greatness or his gifts. Others believe it simply to be some sort of self-abnegation in which the believer humbly renounces his position and rights and takes on a lowly lifestyle. Both of these views are erroneous and explain a great deal of the struggles that the contemporary believer faces in a society that is increasingly hostile toward believers and the true Christian way.

 

Genuine Christian humility is simply the mental attitude that all that we are in this life is through the power of God. It is not to denounce our greatness and appointment without regard, but to understand that the appointment and the anointing which sustains it comes from God. Humility is the mindset that creates teachability in the life of the believer. When you acknowledge that you are who you are because of God and not yourself it removes the potential for arrogance.

 

Good and honorable is THE Lord.

Therefore, He instructs sinners in the way.

In justice He guides the humble.

Consequently, He teaches the humble His way. (Ps. 25:8-9)

 

Therefore humility allows one to step from underneath the shadows of arrogance and ignorance so that they may advance to spiritual maturity.

 

Strength of Character and resultant happiness are constructed upon a foundation of humility. Humility is freedom – freedom from subjectivity [thinking from a “me” perspective; the selfish point of view], allowing you to comprehend objective reality, the essence and plan of God. Humility is the basic human virtue of teachability. (R. B. Thieme Jr. [emphasis mine])

 

Any type of self Centeredness is arrogance, delusion, and foolishness and it leads to intractableness. Egocentricity is not the design for your life. It is not about you; you belong to a far greater plan than chasing your selfish desires. A desire becomes selfish (irregardless to what it is) when it has no intrinsic value in fulfilling the plan of God. When it becomes about you and not about God, arrogance, instability and misdirection are the result.

 

The fear [respect] of the Lord is the instruction for wisdom, and before honor comes humility. (Prov. 15:33)

 

When arrogance comes, then comes dishonor, but with the humble is wisdom. (Prov. 11:2)

 

A person’s arrogance will bring him low, but a spirit of humility will attain honor. (Prov. 29:23)

 

Humility is a systematic way of thinking under pressure. It facilitates thinking divine viewpoint in lieu of human view point in the time of adversity and prosperity. If you are one that no one can teach or tell anything, you probably want to examine yourself closely, because the seeds of arrogance has more than likely taken root. If you refuse to be taught because you have all the answers, it is time to examine yourself with your viewpoint being placed juxtaposed to God’s infallible Word. Ask yourself, Is God satisfied with my walk? Is it all about me and I have placed God in the background. When others view my lifestyle does it automatically reveal that I am a believer? Is your life about what God has called you to do or is it about getting everything you want out of it. Take self out of the equation (there is no place for self in this journey) and let the Word of God guide your movement.

 

The wonderful thing about this is that when you humble yourself before God to live as He has called you to live you are exalted and granted your desires, while arrogantly and selfishly seeking your own way leads to God having to humble you so that you can be taught.

 

For everyone who exalts self shall be humbled, and he who humbles himself [living in God’s system] shall be exalted. (Luke 14:11)

 

Take delight [the desire to serve, love and honor] in the LORD,
and he will give you the desires of your heart. (Ps. 37:4)

 

Therefore it is seeking our place in him through genuine humility and teachability that we find our greatest progression and the full actualization of our potential. I encourage to take on a mindset of humility so that you may progress efficaciously toward your destiny.

 

God bless,

 

Bishop Rick Wallace

 

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