humility

Proverbs 18:1-12

Today’s reading is Proverbs 18:1-12.

Within in each of us there is a feeling that we “get” some things. Most of us will admit that there are areas where we know very little or not enough to have an informed opinion. On many things, however, we are very confident that we are right and know the truth. But, has your mind ever changed about something you once thought you knew? Have you ever said something with great boldness, only to have to take it back later when more information came to light?

Here in Proverbs 18:2 we are warned about this kind of thing. The first part of the verse says, “Fools find no pleasure in understanding....” Remember that in Proverbs the “fool” is not a stupid person; rather, a fool is someone who has rejected God and, as a result, has embraced a wicked way of life. Because wickedness is deceptive, fools make bad choices and suffer painful consequences. The warnings Proverbs gives us about fools is designed to protect us from the self-confidence that thinks we can reason or intuit our way to truth. So when Proverbs 18:2a says, “Fools find no pleasure in understanding....” we are to learn that those who have rejected God are not really on a quest for truth. They think they know what is good and bad, right and wrong, wise and unwise. So if you see a fool doing something foolish or saying something foolish and try to instruct him, you will get nowhere. The reason is that they “find no pleasure in understanding.” They don’t want to know the truth because that would require humility. A humble person is a teachable person. He knows that he doesn’t know it all, is susceptible to error, and could learn a thing (or thirty) from someone who is wise, someone who is knowledgable and skillful in areas where the teachable man is ignorant. Fools are too proud to admit that they need help, need knowledge, so they have no real interest in understanding.

Instead of trying to understand a thing, verse 2 tells us that fools “delight in airing their own opinions.” They speak self-confidently about areas where they are ignorant and know nothing. I’ve found that, the more confident a person sounds, the more suspicious I should be about trusting that person’s opinions. Plenty of people bloviate about things they no nothing about. The Bible says this is a characteristic of a fool. He doesn’t really want to understand something; he wants you to understand how great or smart or wise he is. That’s his objective which is why he speaks the way that he does.

Do you have a teachable spirit? When you speak beyond what you really know (which many of us do, myself included), do you have the humility to be corrected by someone who knows better? Most importantly--are you willing to allow Scripture and godly counselors to help you understand things you think you know? In other words, are you humble enough to be corrected when the teaching of God’s word confronts what you believe, or want to believe? Fools are self-confident; they love to tell anyone who will listen what they think. As a result of their self-confidence, they will be led astray. Choose the wisdom of humility. Learn to crave understanding. Don’t be afraid of being exposed as ignorant--everyone is ignorant in many areas. Instead, let the realization of your ignorance become the gateway to understanding by humbling yourself to accept truth and knowledge. This is a wise way to live and will lead you to a life that glorifies God.

Galatians 2

Today we’re scheduled to read Galatians 2.

In our earlier readings from Acts we noted the tensions that began when God saved Gentiles and gave them the same spiritual status as the Jewish believers in Jesus had. Here in the book of Galatians, Paul is urging the churches he started in this region not to succumb to the teaching of the “Judaizers.” This is a name given to a group of people who claimed faith in Jesus but insisted that all Christians conform to Jewish law.

In this chapter Paul recounts his own first hand struggles as a Christian against the idea that Christians must obey the law. Peter recognized Paul as a genuine believer (v. 9b) and Peter and the other apostles also recognized the commission of Christ to Paul to take the gospel to the Gentiles (vv. 7, 9c). Yet Peter himself struggled at times to act “in line with the truth of the gospel.” (v. 14b). Sometimes Peter acted as if his Jewish background didn’t matter and blended right in with the Gentile believers (v. 12a). But when there were Jewish believers around, Peter feared their judgment and segregated himself from the Gentile believers (v. 12b). This was hypocrisy (v. 13a) and Paul spoke to Peter directly about it.

The point of this chapter is to emphasize the implications of the gospel. If Jesus really has fulfilled the law of God and if we are justified simply by believing in him, then it is wrong to add any religious or moral works as requirements for salvation. But a secondary lesson in this passage has to do with Peter’s hypocrisy. Despite how much Jesus loved Peter, taught him, and entrusted to him as an apostle, Peter was still human. He was still subject to fear about the opinions of others and, therefore, still susceptible to hypocrisy. Yet, despite his status as an apostle, Peter had the humility to receive Paul’s correction. Let none of us, then, think that we are above or beyond the correcting power of truth. We remain sinners until Jesus glorifies us finally, so let’s be ready to accept correction and grow from it when we are corrected with the truth.

Luke 20

Today we’re reading Proverbs 9-31.

April fools! Just Proverbs 9.

Speaking of fools, this chapter in Proverbs continues comparing wisdom to a woman and folly is also compared to a woman. You remember from high school, right, that this is a literary device called “personification.” Solomon has already “personified” wisdom as a woman; now folly is also personified as a woman. I will refer to them as “Wendy Wisdom” and “Polly Folly.”

Both of these women call out to people “from the highest point of the city” (v. 3b, 14b). This means that their invitations are broadcast and can be heard from far away.

They both invite people to come in to their homes and eat. Wendy Wisdom offers her own nourishment (vv. 4-5). It is the nourishment of a godly life (v. 10) which results in a disciplined life. Like healthy food, it isn’t always the most tasty, but it is healthy and will extend your life (vv. 6, 11).

By contrast, Polly Folly offers “stolen water... and food eaten in secret” (v. 17). This is a reference to sin. It is immediately enjoyable, even addictive, but like all addictions, it will kill you (v. 18).

In between the contrasts offered by these two women, Solomon talked about correction. There are two kinds of people: those who reject correction (vv. 7a, 8a) and those who accept correction (v. 8b). Those who reject correction will turn and attack the person who tries to give it to them. If you’ve ever tried to show someone a problem in their life and they turn and accuse you of being unloving, unkind, critical, judgmental or the bad guy, this is the kind of person you’re dealing with. Of course, there are people who are unloving, unkind, critical, judgmental, and bad guys. The difference is in the motivation and delivery of the person bringing correction. A loving person cares about you; they want to see you avoid sin or help you get unstuck from a sinful situation, habit, or temptation. They speak up because they want to help you not to hurt you. Those who are unloving, unkind, critical, etc. just want to hurt you. It is the difference between a surgeon who cuts you open with a scalpel and a solder who cuts you open with a sword. Both of them are cutting--which wounds you--but they have very different motivations and

The person who accepts correction is wise (v. 8b) and is on a pathway to greater wisdom (v. 9). On one level he may love the sin you are correcting him for, but as a believer, he will recognize his sin is wrong and that it will bring pain and destruction if he persists in it. So your correction will help him grow and he “will love you” as a result (v. 8b). All of this points again to the importance of humility. The reason that people resist correction is pride but those who are too proud to accept correction will eventually pay a much more painful price than wounded pride. If you want to be wise, you have to start by being humble. Humility calls us to fear the Lord (v. 10) which “is the beginning of wisdom” but we progress down that path by humbly accepting the truth. That truth may come from the correction of God’s word or the correction of another person but if it is true, we should receive it even though it hurts.

Did you receive any correction this week--any criticism from your boss or a complaint about your actions or character? Criticism delivered lovingly is easier to take, but even our harshest critic can still help us onward toward wisdom if we have the humility to accept the criticism and change accordingly.

Luke 18

Luke 18

The major theme of this chapter is humility. That theme comes out more clearly in some of the paragraphs of this chapter than in others. But consider this:

  • In verses 9-14 the tax collector was justified instead of the Pharisee because “those who humble themselves will be exalted” (v. 14c).
  • In verses 15-17 you have to become helpless like a child in order to enter the kingdom. Verse 17: “Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”
  • In verses 18-30 the rich man refused the kingdom of heaven because Jesus told him to sell everything. Selling everything would have humbled him, making him dependent on God.
  • Verses 31-34 doesn’t seem to fit the theme of humility except that Jesus’ death required him to humble himself, so maybe that’s why Luke recorded this passage in this spot.
  • In verses 35-43 the beggar was not too proud to stop calling out to Jesus asking for his sight. His personal dignity and reputation among others were less important to him than receiving this healing from Jesus.

So how does the first story in verses 1-8 fit with this theme of humility? Well, maybe it doesn’t. These chapter divisions are not inspired and were added to the Bible much later than the passages were written.

But, although being in this chapter doesn’t necessarily make verses 1-8 about humility and even though humility is not expressly mentioned in this story, I still think the concept is there. The point of this story according to Luke was, “to show them that they should always pray and not give up.” The woman in this story badgered the unjust judge and eventually won her case because of her badgering (vv. 4-5). Then Jesus said that God will listen to those who “cry out to him day and night” (v. 7). What the story does not address is why we won’t “cry out to him day and night.” Why don’t we persist in prayer?

One answer is weak faith or a lack of faith. Another answer is just that we’re human and humans struggle with various kinds of weaknesses. But I think pride is a reason why we don’t pray persistently. Prayer is an acknowledgment that we cannot control something. It is a response to the knowledge among the faithful that we cannot make something happen on our own so, if it is to happen, God will have to do it. That takes humility! Our default assumption is that we can handle things. We can put up with stuff we don’t like, we can persuade someone to do what we want, we can reason with someone who we have a dispute with, we can change ourselves if we try hard enough for long enough. But prayer causes us to admit that these things may not be true and that only God might be able to make something happen. We might pray once or twice asking God for something but after that, we give up to look for “more productive” ways to attack the problem we’re praying about. And, of course, God is sovereign and will do his will, so he may refuse to answer our prayers with yes because they are outside of his will. All of these are blows to our pride.

So, what do you wish God would do for you? If it is within his moral will, will cause him to be glorified, and is truly righteous and just, don’t let your pride keep you from asking God--continually--for it.

Matthew 23

Happy February 1 and congratulations on completing 1/12th of this reading plant. Today let’s read Matthew 23.

Today’s reading continued to chronicle the life of Christ during the week of the crucifixion. Yesterday the religious leaders took turns trying to discredit Jesus by stumping him with hard questions. Jesus turned every question back on the questioners and made them look foolish. So, Jesus was on defense and refused to allow his opponents to score any points at all. Here in Matthew 23, Jesus went on offense, warning his audience about the hypocrisy of the Pharisees and teachers of the law and urging his audience not to live like these religious leaders.

Jesus was very specific in his complaints about the hypocrisy of these groups. He criticized them for:

  • not practicing what they preach (vv. 1-4).
  • doing everything for show, not from sincerity (vv. 5-12).
  • being an obstacle to God’s kingdom rather than a guide to it (vv. 13-15).
  • finding loopholes in God’s laws to exploit for their own selfish ends (vv. 16-22).
  • being scrupulous about obedience to the technicalities of the law while completely ignoring the moral and ethical commands of the law (vv. 23-24).
  • appearing squeaky-clean on the outside while being morally degenerate on the inside (vv. 25-28).
  • honoring the prophets that their ancestors killed while persecuting the prophets and teachers Jesus sent and was sending to them (vv. 29-36).

Jesus concluded with a lament that the nation he longed to redeem would be fall under his judgment instead because they rejected him in unbelief. This passage is unique among the recorded sayings of Jesus because of how unrelentingly harsh it is and how specific and lengthy it is. Although Jesus acknowledged that these religious leaders had some civil authority that required his disciples to obey them (vv. 2-3), he made it very clear that they were not his servants or subjects of his kingdom.

The portion of this chapter that stands out most to me is contained within verses 5-12. Although the religious men of his culture loved the accolades of great honor that were customarily given to them (v. 7), Jesus commanded his followers not to give titles and honor to our leaders (vv. 8-11). He could not have been clearer that Christian leaders are to be servants who serve in humility (vv. 11-12); consequently, he strictly forbid us from putting titles on each other.

Despite what Jesus clearly said, Christian leaders for centuries have demanded certain titles: Bishop Youknowwho, Pope Grande, Cardinal Soandso, Saint Bernard, and even “Father”-- the very title Jesus said not to use (v. 9). Though the elders here at Calvary felt it was important for me to be called “Pastor,” I’ve always been more comfortable just going by the name my parents gave me. Even though I have an earned doctorate, I never tell anyone to call me Dr. Jones and this passage is the reason why. We call Paul “the Apostle Paul” but he never called himself that.

I do think we should be careful about using titles in light of this passage, but the command here is less about whether you call me “Pastor Brian” or just “Brian” and more about whether I serve the Lord in order to get honor and respect from you. The Pharisees and teachers of the law wanted the social status that came from being a religious leader. They did not view themselves as servants to their disciples but as princes who taught but also demanded much from their followers. We are not immune to this temptation. Some people seek to be elders or deacons or teachers in the church because they want the respect of the people of the church. Jesus called us to remember that spiritual leadership is about service, not about self. May God help all of us to cultivate the servants heart that Jesus commanded and modeled for us, no matter what title people apply to our names or what positions of authority we occupy.

Matthew 19

Today’s reading is Matthew 19.

Compared to doing whatever you want to do and whatever the culture around you allows you to do, following Jesus is hard! If you want to follow Jesus you:

  • shoudn’t get divorced unless your spouse is unfaithful (vv. 1-10).
  • would be better off staying single, but that requires something unusual that isn’t for most people (vv. 11-12).
  • need to be childish in your faith, something that is really difficult to do (vv. 13-15).
  • must follow Jesus absolutely, even if he commands you to give everything you have away (vv. 16-24).
  • have to rely on God because what Jesus requires is impossible apart from his grace (vv. 25-26).

Quite a discouraging list, yes?

But what rewards Christ promised to those who trust him and follow him in obedience (vv. 27-30). This kind of submission to Christ may cause you to fall far behind in the rat race of human life. Human life, however, is over quickly; eternity, ...um..., lasts forever. Jesus promised more than fair compensation to those who follow him in this life. According to verse 29 you will get eternal life and far more, far better stuff in eternity when you actually have the spiritual capacity to enjoy created things without worshipping them.

Following Jesus in this way might make you feel like a loser in this life but expectations for this life are upside down. As verse 30 put it, “But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.”

2 Chronicles 26, Revelation 13, Zechariah 9, John 12

f you’re following the schedule, you should read these chapters today: 2 Chronicles 26, Revelation 13, Zechariah 9, John 12. Click on any of those references to see all the passages in one long page on BibleGateway. If you can’t do all the readings today, read 2 Chronicles 26.

The life story of Uzziah is a sad one. It is about a man with great potential whose reign as king began in spiritual victory but whose life ended in disgrace. Although he became king at the tender age of 16 (v. 1, 3), he was graced with a godly advisor and mentor in the person Zechariah (v. 5). Although Zechariah “instructed him the fear of God” (v. 5b), it was Uzziah’s choice to follow the Lord in obedience or not. Every king in Judah and Israel had the power to do what he wanted. The priests and the prophets and good advisors could speak truth to the king and urge him to obey God’s word, but they had no power to stop an ungodly king from ungodly actions. Uzziah began his reign by listening to Zechariah’s godly advice and using the stewardship of power as king for good. What was the result? “As long as he sought the Lord, God gave him success” (v. 5).

That success was defined by his military wins (vv. 6-7), the voluntary submission of the Ammonites (v. 8a), widespread fame (v. 8b), great building projects (vv. 9-10), and a powerful, well-equipped army (vv. 11-15). What an impressive resume!

Unfortunately, Uzziah read (and believed!) too much of his adoring press coverage. He began to believe that his success was a testament to his skill and wisdom rather than the blessing of God on his obedience. As a result, “his pride led to his downfall. He was unfaithful to the Lord his God” (v. 16b). His pride expressed itself in his attempt to be both priest and king (vv. 17-19a). God brought judgment on his head (literally, v. 19b) for his pride and his once-good spiritual leadership ended in disgrace.

I wish this were only Uzziah’s story but it isn’t. Too many servants of the Lord have gotten high on the success God granted them and believed that it was their own wisdom and skill that achieved that success. God, however, has a way of humbling the proud by letting us follow our own desires and “wisdom” down a path of disobedience that leads to his discipline. As I’ve mentioned before, there are two ways to become wise: (1) learn from your mistakes and (2) learn from someone else’s mistakes and avoid those mistakes before you make them yourself. Let’s guard our hearts, then, against the sin of pride. Let’s remember that it is God’s blessing that causes our lives and ministries to thrive (v. 5) and to continually humble ourselves before him in full dependence throughout our lives.

Now for your thoughts: What stood out in your Bible reading for today? What questions do you have about what you read? What are your thoughts about what I wrote above? Post them in the comments below or on our Facebook page. And, feel free to answer and interact with the questions and comments of others. Have a great day; we’ll talk scripture again tomorrow.

1 Kings 10, Philippians 1, Ezekiel 40, Psalm 91

If you’re following the schedule, you should read these chapters today: 1 Kings 10, Philippians 1, Ezekiel 40, Psalm 91. Click on any of those references to see all the passages in one long page on BibleGateway. If you can’t do all the readings today, read 1 Kings 10.

I had an unusually busy day today, so here’s just a brief thought about today’s reading. At the end of her visit with Solomon, the queen of Sheba said, “How happy your people must be! How happy your officials, who continually stand before you and hear your wisdom! Praise be to the Lord your God, who has delighted in you and placed you on the throne of Israel. Because of the Lord’s eternal love for Israel, he has made you king to maintain justice and righteousness.” She said this because she not only met and talked with Solomon, but she watched him administrate the growing kingdom of Israel. Solomon’s great success, however, had not gone to his head. At this point in his life, he must have been humble, deflecting the credit away from himself and giving glory to God for all the wisdom that God had given him. The result of Solomon’s humility was both that God was glorified and that the people of Israel were happy. Whenever we live to serve rather than be served and give the credit to God instead of taking it for ourselves, the happiness of everyone around us is enhanced because we are leading in the way that God blesses.

Now for your thoughts: What stood out in your Bible reading for today? What questions do you have about what you read? What are your thoughts about what I wrote above? Post them in the comments below or on our Facebook page. And, feel free to answer and interact with the questions and comments of others. Have a great day; we’ll talk scripture again tomorrow.

1 Samuel 10, Romans 8, Jeremiah 47, Psalms 23–24

If you’re following the schedule, you should read these chapters today: 1 Samuel 10, Romans 8, Jeremiah 47, Psalms 23–24. Click on any of those references to see all the passages in one long page on BibleGateway. If you can't do all the readings today, read 1 Samuel 10.

Yesterday’s reading in 1 Samuel 9 began to tell us the story of Saul’s anointing to be king and today’s reading in chapter 10 concluded the story. Although chapter 9 verse 1 told us that Saul’s father Kish was “a man of standing” in the tribe of Benjamin, Saul himself displayed quite a bit of humility about his family. In chapter 9:20 Samuel asked Saul rhetorically, “And to whom is all the desire of Israel turned, if not to you and your whole family line?” Saul’s response in 9:21 was, “But am I not a Benjamite, from the smallest tribe of Israel, and is not my clan the least of all the clans of the tribe of Benjamin? Why do you say such a thing to me?” So, while Kish himself may have been an elder in his town and a man with a good reputation, Saul did not think of his family or himself as particularly noteworthy—not in the nation of Israel or in his tribe. Yet here in chapter 10, we read that Samuel anointed Saul to be king (v. 1), then prophesied about a distinct series of events that would happen to Saul. These events would be unremarkable. Two men Saul knew would meet him and tell him that his father was worried about him (v. 2), three men would greet Saul and give him some bread (vv. 3-4), and “a procession of prophets” would encounter Saul (v. 5). After he met the prophets, the extraordinary thing in this prophecy would happen: Saul himself would receive a powerful work of God’s Holy Spirit and would prophesy and “be changed into a different person” (v. 6). Bible scholars refer to this event as the “theocratic anointing,” meaning that, in this event Saul was receiving God’s power and God’s public confirmation that he was God’s choice to serve as king. 

Samuel referred to these as “signs” (v. 7). They were designed to give a humble rancher like Saul the conviction that God had indeed chosen him to be king. Everything about 1 Samuel 9-10 indicates that Saul had no ambition to be anything more than a rancher like his father Kish. Although Saul was tall and good-looking (9:2), he did no politicking, no self-promotion, not even any military exploits that would indicate that Saul wanted any kind of leadership, much less to become Israel’s king. He was truly a humble man of the people.

After telling Saul he would experience these signs, Samuel told Saul he would have God’s favor in whatever leadership he exerted: “Once these signs are fulfilled, do whatever your hand finds to do, for God is with you” (v. 7). But Saul was to wait in Gilgal for seven days and then he would be unveiled publicly as Israel’s king (v. 8). Every sign that Samuel predicted came true (vv. 9-10) and Saul’s prophesying got the attention of everyone who knew him (vv. 11-13). After an unassuming re-entry to family life (vv. 14-16), Saul was publicly revealed to be the king by Samuel (vv. 17-21). Saul knew he was about to be revealed as Israel’s new king—all of Samuel’s prophesies had come true, after all—so he hid himself to avoid being chosen (vv. 22-24), once again showing the humility with which he entered the office.

The final demonstration of Saul’s humility in this passage was demonstrated in verses 26-27. Some men volunteered because God had given them the desire to serve Saul (v. 26) but others questioned and overtly disrespected Saul (v. 27a). Yet, Saul did not retaliate or insist on being honored as king; instead he remained quiet (v. 27b).

This passage demonstrates once again what God is looking for in a leader. Although Saul had some of the physical characteristics that mark human leaders (9:1, 10:23-24), he was not well-born nor was he ambitious or attention-seeking. The Bible tells us over and over that God opposes those who are proud but is gracious to those who are humble. This is a good quality for anyone who finds himself in leadership or aspires to leadership because leadership is about serving, not about being served. Still, position can corrupt someone who starts out well (as we’ll see later in Saul’s life), so we should never assume that because we started out humble we will have God’s favor for our whole lives. Humility is such an elusive quality; as soon as you feel satisfied the you have it, the odds are good that pride has actually started to take root in your heart. Keep your eyes on God and remember that leading his people is an opportunity that he entrusts to the humble and that the humility that got you chosen for leadership is necessary constantly to keep you serving in the will of God rather than acting like someone who feels he deserves to be served.

Now for your thoughts: What stood out in your Bible reading for today? What questions do you have about what you read? What are your thoughts about what I wrote above? Post them in the comments below or on our Facebook page. And, feel free to answer and interact with the questions and comments of others. Have a great day; we'll talk scripture again tomorrow.

Joshua 4, Psalms 129–131, Isaiah 64, Matthew 12

If you’re following the schedule, you should read these chapters today: Joshua 4, Psalms 129–131, Isaiah 64, Matthew 12. Click on any of those references to see all the passages in one long page on BibleGateway. If you can't do all the readings today, read Psalm 131.

Pride is, perhaps, the most self-damaging attitude a person can have. It is self-damaging on multiple levels. First, if others detect pride in you, it lowers their estimation of you as a person. Have you ever met someone who was obviously in love with their own intellect, enamored with their own talents, and impressed with their own accomplishments? Did his or her pride make you think more of them? Of course not; so the social cost of pride is one way in which it damages us.

Pride also damages us in the sense that it keeps us from learning and growing. You cannot teach a proud person because that person will not believe that they have anything to learn. It takes humility to admit that you are wrong or that you are ignorant. If you’re too proud to do that, you can’t learn. As jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis once said, “The humble improve.” If you’re stuck anywhere in life, you should start getting unstuck by asking yourself if your pride is what is impeding your progress. Chances are, it is.

A third way in which we damage ourselves with pride is that pride prevents us from truly knowing God. Proud people believe that God owes them something; they feel that their moral character or good works entitles them to God’s love and favor. By failing to understand God’s perfection, they fail also to see how far each of us falls short of him and deserves his judgment, not his favor. Repentance is the opposite of pride and sinners can never know God without repenting first of our wickedness and disobedience. Furthermore, the proud believe that they can figure God out; they think that the almighty can be comprehended by mere mortals—maybe not all mortals, but the smart ones at least. This is where Psalm 131 begins; the author describes the state of his heart as a place of humility in verse 1a. He augments that thought by saying that his appearance is not marked by pride either (v. 1b). Nobody outside of him will charge him with pride because, in his heart, is not too proud. The evidence of his humility is described in verses 1c-d: “I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me.” It is not that he never wonders about these things or tries to understand them; rather, he doesn’t allow his inability to understand them to undermine his faith. A proud person would say, I cannot believe in a God I don’t understand; a humble man will realize that if God is worth believing in, his nature, his character, and his ways must be beyond human comprehension. A god that people have figured out is a god that is too small to worship in awe and too dull to fascinate us for eternity. While we are certainly able to understand what God has revealed to us, we can only understand anything about him because God has revealed it to us. It takes humility to realize that everything I know about God I only understand because of his grace, his revelation. 

In verse 2 the Psalmist compares his spiritual status to a contented baby. A baby is incapable of understanding his mother but he finds contact with her comforting. What he knows is that she loves him and will do anything it takes to care for him; when he accepts that truth, he is able to rest in contentment despite what he does not understand. In verse 3, the Psalmist urges Israel to find that same contentment by putting their hope in God. A proud person hopes in himself; those who want to know God, by contrast, receive by faith what God has to give and find their comfort in him.

Are you too proud to really know God or have you humbled yourself so that you can put all your hope in him?

Now for your thoughts: What stood out in your Bible reading for today? What questions do you have about what you read? What are your thoughts about what I wrote above? Post them in the comments below or on our Facebook page. And, feel free to answer and interact with the questions and comments of others. Have a great day; we'll talk scripture again tomorrow.

Exodus 39, John 18, Proverbs 15, Philippians 2

If you’re following the schedule, you should read these chapters today: Exodus 39, John 18, Proverbs 15, Philippians 2. Click on any of those references to see all the passages in one long page on BibleGateway. If you can't do all the readings today, read Philippians 2.

After a great weekend of worship remembering the Lord’s death, burial, and resurrection I invite you to reflect on the amazing humility of Christ. Even though he was entitled to all worship and obedience, he acted with a servant’s heart in order to purchase our redemption. How often do we act entitled when we really aren’t or refuse to give up anything to serve others? Yet one of the marks of Christlikeness is a desire to serve others instead of ourselves (vv. 3-4) without complaining or arguing (v.14). It also means, I might add, serving without resentment about being in the place of the servant. 

Now for your thoughts: What stood out in your Bible reading for today? What questions do you have about what you read? What are your thoughts about what I wrote above? Post them in the comments below or on our Facebook page. And, feel free to answer and interact with the questions and comments of others. Have a great day; we'll talk scripture again tomorrow.