April 1st, 2018

“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” -James 4:10
The world seems to be adrift without any guidance. As you look around there is more chaos than ever before. We seem to be more self centered and not care what others think or feel. It seems we are in a culture that often rewards the proud and even admires and applauds the prideful. In the past the ones who were great always were modest and humble, gracious and mild mannered.
Humility gets God’s attention. In Isaiah 66:2b we read, “These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word.” Humility draws the gaze of our Sovereign God.
What is humility? It’s not timidity, weakness, or being a wimp. NO, humility is standing before God at the cross in all our weakness and failures, and then living life in the shadow and power of the cross.
When our relationship was broken, Jesus humbled Himself at the cross. He lay down His life for ours on a cruel cross, taking our punishment, death (as we read in Romans 6:23 wages for our sin is death) shedding His blood, the price for our disobedience, and restoring our relationship with God. Just like Jesus humbled himself at the cross, we too must humble ourselves at the cross.
+ Humility is born at the cross and grows up in the time of prayer. +Humbled disciples of Jesus Christ are quick to thank others for all the help they receive.
+Humble people recognize the gifts God has given us and our hearts are filled with gratitude. +Humble followers of Christ are willing to ask for help and accept help.
+Humble people are willing to laugh at themselves.
+Humble people are willing to learn from anyone.
+Humble people can accept gratitude and appreciation for a job well done.
Jesus is an amazing teacher. He says in Mark 10:45, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many,” is what humility means. Jesus defines the difference between exemplary life and sacrificing life. He came with the understanding HE must be willing to die for others. Our Christian life should not just reflect the Lord’s example, but it should draw attention to the sacrifice Jesus made for our disobedience and sinfulness. The precious verses of Mark 10:32, “They were on their way up to Jerusalem, with Jesus leading the way, and the disciples were astonished, while those who followed were afraid. Again he took the Twelve aside and told them what was going to happen to him” it shows Jesus leading the way with determination and steadfastness. Jesus is aware of what will happen, betrayed, arrested, accused, condemned, abused, insulted, beaten, humiliated and ultimately executed. There was no hesitation or reluctance in His steps. He was leading the way with confidence. He accepted the fact that without His life of sacrifice, we cannot be redeemed. Someone had to pay the penalty for the sins of mankind. We cannot free ourselves from pride, selfishness, ambition, and our hopelessness. Our greatest foe is pride. We encounter this every minute of everyday.
Our greatest friend should be humility. How do we change what is a practical strategy:
(a) Reflect on the wonder of the cross.
(b) Begin our day acknowledging the need for God.
(c) Begin to express gratitude to God.
(d) Cast your cares on Jesus Christ.
(e) Count your blessings, small and big.
The world should not be our measuring stick but our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 
His blessings are many and God’s promises are true. I love you but most of all God loves you.
In Christ’s steps, Shaker