Wednesday, January 21, 2009
A Study in Humility
“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:11-12). Notice Jesus didn't say "Blessed are those," but "Blessed are you." Jesus takes His teaching on non retaliation to its logical outcome. Not only should we not strike back, but we are to rejoice when we are persecuted. Wow you might say, how do we do that? Well, our trust in God's promise of reward comes into play. The prophets suffered likewise (II Chron. 36:15-16). For you see our role as a disciple of Jesus Christ is greater than that of an Old Testament prophet. I can almost hear you saying lets have some proof of that. All right, take out your Bibles and look up Matthew 10:41-42; 23:34 and 11:9, 11, 13:17 and see for yourself. Thus we can identify with prophetic leaders like Jeremiah, Isaiah and Ezekiel. Here is why we are given a greater honor than being prophets; God summons us to bear the name of His Son the Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 11:27; 20:28). Please note the characteristics of our Savior, He is lowly in heart, mourns over the unrepentant, shows mercy and He is a peacemaker. How much more so must be His disciples who are to imitate His ways. A Christian is a little Christ. Contrast the attitude of a real disciple to those in the world who receive honor among men. I recently heard a pastor say "The church is like an old prize fighter who has lost his punch." We lose our punch when we stop being like Jesus. Our Lord told us "The greatest among you is servant of all." In the Christian life the way up is down. We are told to learn from Jesus who is "Meek and humble of heart." We are never so much like the devil as when we are proud. We learn from James to "Humble ourselves under the mightily hand of God and He will lift us up." We are taught by Peter that "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." This could be a good time to learn a lesson in humility, its a requirement for discipleship. Dr. Ken Copley is available for counseling, conferences, and local church meetings.