It’s Pride Month and I am Proud of the Humble Man

During this Pride Month I am most proud of Jesus Christ, the humble man whose awesome work in me has totally transformed my life. I honesty didn’t know who I was until I really got to know Him and understand His grace. Perhaps you too can relate.

Yes, I grew up in church where I saw pride as a bad thing. And I still believe it’s not good to be proud of yourself – at least, not in an arrogant way. For as the scriptures say, God gives grace to the humble. With the humble there is wisdom. But what is true humility? Is it beating one’s self up or putting one’s self down. Is it saying, “Yeah, I know. I’m worthless. Why would anyone care about me?!!”?

For those who haven’t read the Bible, as well as for those who have, Moses is said to have written the first five books. And for what it’s worth, Moses called himself “the most humble man on earth.” (Numbers 12:3) Now, that doesn’t sound like a very humble statement, at least not in the sense that most people see humility. But there is a quote that someone wrote (I’m not sure who), and it states that “Humility is not thinking of yourself less but thinking less of yourself.” Moses was a man who thought more of God than probably anybody of his time. Whenever he had a problem with the million-plus crowd he had to lead, he looked to God for help.

And think of all the protesters Moses had to deal with. It seems all they ever did sometimes was complain.

Moses was indeed probably the most humble person of his time compared to others, but Jesus Christ showed even more humility. “Who, being in the form of God” became a man. And as a man, he “humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”

Seeing Christ on Tree Despised Plucks Logs From Blind Men’s Eyes

He did this to save ordinary people like me from death and bring us to God. That’s why, during this Pride month I am very proud of Him.

Rejected or Protected From Too Much Popularity?

Protected or rejected? That’s the question.

Once there was a very young prince named Joash (II Kings 11:2). They protected him, but did he feel rejected? After all, he didn’t go out much, if ever. He had zero contact with his peers. In fact, he stayed inside a back room for most of his young life. He had no public voice. As for his activity on social media, who could speak of it?

He wasn’t popular. Few knew about him. For the most part, he got ignored.

Imagine living year after year in the same room, looking at the same four walls, and having to keep very quiet about it.

Every time you want to speak, you hear, “SHHHH!”

Joash stayed hidden in a secret place for six years. Did he understand why? We don’t know. He was a mere babe when the tragedy occurred. What we do know is that popularity has a downside. Fallen leaders becomes targets for attack. So do their children.

Sometimes children shut up inside a room may feel rejected. Have you ever felt isolated or rejected? If you have, perhaps – just perhaps, it’s because God was protecting you.

Who knows how old Josiah was when they told him that his brothers had been killed? Their own grandmother Athaliah had them murdered so that she could rule the land. After her son Ahaziah died, she took over. She must have had a strange mindset to kill her own grandchildren.

Obviously she thought she knew best, but God had other plans.

But wherever she went, silence was sure to follow. All talking must be kept to a whisper, because the moment she found about this king, all would be lost.

Life outside that room was dangerous. Whatever isolation Joash felt inside the bedchamber served to protect him from his wicked grandmother.

Did he ever feel abandoned? If so, he wasn’t alone. He had a caretaker, a nurse who looked after him. We’re never totally in our troubles. Even if everyone else leaves us, God is still there.

“When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up.” Psalm 27:10

 

Prosperity and the Bible: What Does it Mean to Prosper?

I. What is True Biblical Prosperity?

The term “prosperity gospel” has become a magnet for dirty looks. These two words have gleaned a bucket load of  bad reviews – in some cases well-deserved. But it does depend on how you define “prosperity.”

In many people’s minds, the word prosperity evokes images of fancy cars, splendid clothes, mansions, yachts and private airplanes. People think of televangelists raking in big bucks promoting trinkets, books and baubles. Their misgivings are completely justified. I hate merchandising too.

Do you long for Jesus to drive those money-changers from the temple? If so, you’re not alone. Yet we can’t escape the fact that the Bible contains many references to prosperity.

The questions is, was does that word “prosperity” actually mean? Does it have anything to do with worldly wealth?

According to Chaim Bentorah, an online teacher of Biblical Hebrew Studies, “tsalach,” the Hebrew word for prosper, has to do with moving forward and/or making progress – not in a proud way, but through humble reliance on God.

 

II. When God Made Joseph Prosper, What Did That Mean?

Genesis 39:2-3 tells us that God caused all that Joseph did to “prosper in his hand.” In other words, Jacob’s son did well. He had success. It doesn’t tell us that he had a fancy room. Any fancy clothes he had got ripped off. Yes, he got “ripped off” more than once, yet despite that fact he remained faithful to God. The way he prospered blessed his boss. Joseph didn’t need a podium to get the guy’s attention.

That’s because God was with him. God gave him success. Then, in a strange turn of events, Joseph got promoted – to the king’s prison.

Wow- what stylish living! Not. Did this look like the so-called “American dream”? I don’t think so. But even in prison Joseph prospered. That’s because the warden put in charge of the other prisoners. Once again, God caused everything Joseph did to prosper. When the Pharaoh’s chief butler and baker told him their dreams, Joseph  told their meaning – with success. What he predicted, happened. The baker didn’t prosper, but the butler did. Joseph did too.

 

III. God’s Will For Us Equals Salvation Which Equals True Prosperity

But let’s move on and consider the best prosperity of all: when God’s word prospers in our lives.

Isaiah 53:10, a prophecy that Christians believe refers to Jesus Christ, declares that “the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.”

Verse 11 continues. “He shall see the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.”

Jesus caused God’s will to prosper (succeed, move forward). Herein lies true prosperity. What was God’s good pleasure in this case?

Hebrews 2:10 puts it this way: “For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.”

Hebrews 12:2 describes Jesus as, “the author and finisher of our faith,” who for the joy set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Salvation is God’s will for us and it is Christ’s success.

I believe that’s what the psalmist meant in Psalm 118:25 when he wrote, “Save now, I beseech thee, O LORD, I beseech thee, send now prosperity.”

(all verses KJV)

 

Moses: Dying Young, Seeing Christ

I. Seeing Moses Dying Young

 

I see you, Moses, dying young,

A notion which is not far flung,

Because God called you by His grace

That you might seek His awesome face

 

So, youth renewed, you’d choose to chase

God’s glory and His will embrace.

For, His might vested you with strength

Because you went to such great length

 

To seek Him and to know His will.

Therefore He helped you climb the hill

No other human dared to touch

For near that mount they trembled much.

 

But you found grace in Jesus’ sight.

To draw near you He did delight.

A hundred twenty was not old,

For when you died, I’ve heard it told,

 

Your eyes saw clearly. They weren’t dim

Because He kept them set on Him.

So, yes, I see you dying young,

Though some might say, “That’s so far flung!”

 

Methuselah lived much longer though

Upon the earth. How do I know?

I read it in the oldest book

You helped to write. They say it took

 

So many centuries to complete,

With stories, often bittersweet,

Of sheep drawn from the deepest pit

That in God’s presence they might sit.

 

II. Dying Young, Bringing Life

 

Yet from above, by God’s own grace,

You met with Jesus in a place

With somebody who never died

But in a mighty whirlwind ride

 

(By fiery horses he was flown)

Rose up toward God’s heavenly throne.

Then on the mount he did descend,

To join with you (‘twas not pretend)

 

And speak with Jesus of the day

When, dying young, He’d make a way

To save mankind from all their sin,

That all who trust in Him might win

 

And know the resurrection life

Which frees their souls from death and strife

That they might live forever young.

His praises truly you have sung

 

So, we His people now may bring

An offering fitting for our king!

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From Shards of Shattered Homes New Heroes Arise

I. Shattered Homes: Signs of a Villain at Work

His home life: shattered. His peace: stolen. The world as he knows it: blown to bits.

Jesus said, “The thief (meaning Satan the accuser, also known as the devil) comes to steal, kill and destroy.” (John 10:10). The major villain of the story, Satan works behind the scenes, taking every chance he finds to ruin people’s lives. Unfortunately, he often succeeds.

Yet from shards of shattered homes, new heroes arise. This is a common superhero theme. Take the comic book figure Superman, for example, the hero from the exploded planet. He gets torn from his parents and his home gets shattered – literally. But after he lands on earth, he discovers he has superpowers which he uses for the good of all mankind.

Moses is another example. The “thief” in his day, Pharaoh, stole the Hebrews’ joy, killed their male babies, and destroyed their happiness. To save his life, his mother sent him sailing away from home. After he grew up, he led his people – his “shattered home,” if you will – out of bondage. With power from above, he freed them from the evil Pharaoh’s grip. Moses was like the superhero of the story, while Pharaoh played the villain role.

From a Christian viewpoint, the devil was and is the real villain, however. His influence results in many a shattered family. He enjoys ripping homes to shreds, leaving children with no sure place on which to stand. After all, how can they build their lives on sinking sand? Such “houses” always crumble. When storms beat on them, they sink. “And great was the fall of it.” (Matthew 7:27)

II.  Brokenness May Help Provide a Cure

The resulting brokenness,  however, may serve as a vessel to release the new hero into his destiny. That’s because, as he bursts forth from the eggshell that once shielded him, he discovers a new level of freedom. People who “walk on eggshells” no longer step on him. The Spirit of resurrection life he’s found in Christ gives him breath (see John 10:10 and Romans 8:2). He doesn’t have to feed off bland egg white anymore, but feasts freely off kernels of truth he finds inside God’s Word (see Deuteronomy 8:3 and Matthew 4:4).

Moreover, as he grows, he sees he can’t fix windows shattered by idolatrous points of view. But as he gazes at the only Rock worth serving, he gains a new perspective: who he is  and what he’s called to do. As he sees God work bad situations in his life for good,  he learns to trust Him more.

God’s Vineyard: Don’t Sell Out

 

To capture the vineyard he wanted,

Old Ahab knew he must be slick.

So the miser attempted a pay-off

By means of a slippery trick.

 

He smiled. “Forgive the intrusion,

But you have a plot that I love.

Moreover, your vineyard is fertile,

With grapes that drip dew from above.

 

“However, your workers lack money

To pay taxes and cover their rent.

Consequently, your wife can’t buy new clothes,

Because all your money’s been spent.

 

“Therefore, let me propose a solution

Which will, strangely enough, cure those ills:

The finest of healthcare a la Jezebel,

Who cooks up the strongest of pills.

 

“Her potions can kill any virus.

I should know. I have sampled a few.

At any rate, she stirs the cauldron.

Won’t you help me finance her brew?

 

“We can do it by having you sell me

Your vineyard for a vegetable farm

Because it is ripe for a transplant.

But why do your eyes shine with alarm?

 

“The silver and gold are in my hands,

I own cattle on hundreds of hills –

The ones that survived that long famine we had.

To think of that dearth gives me chills.

 

“I hope you don’t blame it on me, though,

For I did what I must to survive.

Plus, my wife is the queen. She deserves it.

Her heart is to see us all thrive.

 

“Bitter herbs are the answer, she tells me,

All her doctors agree. It’s the rage!

Bread and wine aren’t enough. We need healthier stuff.

Our menu requires a new page.

 

“To that end I beg you, dear Naboth,

In lieu of such spiritual fruit

As love, peace and joy (which may tend to annoy),

More practical produce to toot.

 

“Even so, let me purchase your vineyard

And replace it with down-to-earth food,

Like envy and anger that grows like a weed

And puts you in one rotten mood.

 

“I’m just looking out for your welfare.

Your vineyard I’ll gladly replace

With a substitute crop based on following law.

Forget all this teaching on grace.”

 

But the man told him no, he would not compromise.

So, Jezebel continued the chase…

 

Can you relate to Naboth? Does some bully want your good stuff? Have you ever caved in and let them have what they wanted? If they got it, was it ever enough?

https://miracle-times.com/fun/healed-mans-clothes-contagious/

https://miracle-times.com/fruit/miracles-good-fruit-persecution/

 

Even Moses Lived by Grace, not Law

Those of us who embrace Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior understand that we are saved by grace, not law, according to Ephesians 2:8-9.  But did you know that the concept of salvation by God’s grace is nothing new?

Even Moses, who gave the ten commandments, lived by grace. In his conversation with God concerning how to bring His people into the Promised Land, Moses continually asks for grace.

Let’s look at the passage in Exodus 33:12-17 (KJV).

12 “And Moses said unto the LORD, See, thou sayest unto me, Bring up this people: and thou hast not let me know whom thou wilt send with me. Yet thou hast said, I know thee by name, and thou hast also found grace in my sight.

13 Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, show me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people.

14 And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.

15 And he said unto him, If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence.

16 For wherein shall it be known here that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight? Is it not in that thou goest with us? So shall we be separated, I and thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth.

17 And the LORD said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name.

     How does God express His grace to Moses and to Israel?

In verse 14, He says, “My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.”

Moses wanted to know God. He wanted God’s presence.

In John 1:16-17 we read,

16 and of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace.

17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

Is it any wonder then that Jesus spoke with Moses and Elijah upon the Mount of Transfiguration? Moses got a glimpse, in person, of God’s grace when he spoke with Jesus. What a glorious meeting that must have been.

“And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” John 17:3