Be truly humble - 27 March 2019

Neville Turley

" .... all of you must put on the apron of humility, to serve one another; for the scripture says, “God resists the proud, but shows favor to the humble.”  Humble yourselves, then, under God's mighty hand, so that he will lift you up in his own good time." 1 Peter 5:5-6

Christianity is a religion of joy. A joy that becomes ecstatic when we open the book of Revelation and see what a glorious destiny awaits us.

We have every right to be optimistic. Our hopes are not simply wishful thinking but solidly grounded in the Word of God. 

Being assured of our destiny does not mean we should regard ourselves as being a cut above other people. Pride is a deadly sin. In our verse for today Peter says that pride creates a barrier between man and God.

Jesus spoke strongly against pride.  In a parable he told of two men going to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, the other was a tax collector. The Pharisee stood apart from the tax collector and prayed arrogantly.  He thanked God that he was different to everyone else. He was not greedy, dishonest, an adulterer or like the tax collector.  He fasted twice a week and tithed regularly.

The tax collector simply bowed his head and prayed “God have pity on me, a sinner." 

“I tell you,” said Jesus, “the tax collector, and not the Pharisee, was in the right with God when he went home. For those who make themselves great will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be made great.”  (Luke 18:14)

Rev Attie van der Colff (1939-2018) a retired Dutch Reformed Church minister was a man who walked close to God.  A translation of his farewell message to comfort those he was leaving behind is printed hereunder.

When you look for me in heaven one day

you will find me there,

where the humblest and least of his children stay.

Not in the places of honour or foremost chairs

those are reserved for saints and martyrs,

but at the back near her who could

just touch the seam of his cloak.

Ask Legion and those lepers,

or the thief on the cross he saved

They will be able to say where I stay.

For I will be there through grace alone

by those with no merit of their own

There where he has prepared my place

I will sit holding a cup overflowing

with praise, adoration and thanks.

Attie van der Colff (translated from Afrikaans)

Prayer: God grant us grace to be humble, loving and kind as we go along life's way to our heavenly destination. This we pray in Jesus name.  Amen

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