Monday, August 29, 2016

Lessons in Love

      God needs to teach us how He loves so we can better love others, and how much and how complete His love is, for us to have a better understanding of Him and to gain more appreciation that He chose us to be His.  A lesson that gets so ingrained in the heart and mind that it can not be forgotten, is painful, but is also glorious, and, of course, ultimately magnifies the scope and intensifies the depth of the character of God.  Glimpses into God's character is all He wants for his children, so that we can learn and strive to be more like that perfect and glorious character.  Once that first small glimpse is learned, the next glimpse appears, which is often a more difficult lesson, and that cycle continues all our life.  More often, these lessons get more painful, overwhelming, and heart-wrenching, especially when they are about Christ's love.  After these harsh love lessons, the reality becomes more real that we need to love all our brothers and sisters in Christ and people in the world unashamedly, non descrimanatingly and, as in 1 Corinthians 13, covering all faults.  One indication of pure love is that others will probably not understand how a Christian can love a person so involved in worldliness.  Jesus is the only true example Christians have of how to love and through some harsh lessons, the Lord gives a small glimpse of what it's like to have such a love for someone, and for reasons inexplicable other than exemplifying the love of God.
           These lessons are harsh, however the Lord first needs to humble us to a place of teachableness and a willingness to be transformed into His image. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

CHARACTERISTICS OF PRIDE VERSES HUMILITY

Pride:

"The first is that prideful people are not very thankful, after all, they deserve it, don't they? They deserve the good things anyway and so, of course, they don't have to give thanks because they deserve all of the good things

Prideful people have outbursts of anger because, “Around here there's really only one way and that's mine. There's really only one schedule and that's mine. There's only one set of expectations and that's mine. So, if you mess with my way, you mess with my schedule, you mess with my expectations, then you will feel my wrath.” That's pride and people who are full of pride have outbursts of anger.

Prideful people are perfectionistic. That doesn't mean we can't strive for excellence but perfectionistic people think that their work, their stuff and their accomplishments are perfect
because, after all, they're the only ones who know how to do things right and that is the only thing that satisfies them.

Prideful people hate accountability. They hate accountability and they don't want to listen to anyone. They don't want to be under anyone's authority. They think they're entirely self-sufficient and so they don't want accountability. “Forget that. Being accountable for my responses and my actions? Are you kidding me? I don't need accountability. Why? Because I do it all right anyway.” That's a person who is full of pride.

Prideful people are consumed with what others might think of them, though they hide it, being man-pleasers. Praise is addicting to them and so they become very self-righteous about how wonderful they are and how, well, not so wonderful others are.....or when they get criticized, they launch into self-pity because, “It feels like everybody is coming down on me.” “Oh, I can't handle it.”  Those are actually expressions of pride. And they cannot imagine someone actually asking them to take a step of faith in anything and when they do, they get upset, they distance relationships, they stop hanging out or talking with those people anymore because, “You're messing with me and my plans and my way.”

Prideful people are defensive. They're defensive. You can't really teach them something, they're defensive. They have an answer to everything, because they know everything all ready.  They don't have the attitude to learn. 

Humility:

There's thankfulness. Jesus died. I mean, sometimes you have to tell yourself that a lot, over and over and over again to see the significance of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus and that without it we would have no hope of eternal life.

There's regular and constant prayer because humble people know where their strength comes from and they recognize that if the Lord wanted to do a Nebuchadnezzar to us, he is fully capable of doing that. If he wanted us to walk in humiliation, he could. You see, humble people just say, “I know I don't have enough strength. I know I don't have enough skills. I know I don't have enough wisdom. I need your help, Lord, and I’m asking you to do your work first of all in my heart and also heart of others.” They are actively serving others including those who have nothing to offer in return. You see, they are willing to serve simply because they want to serve Jesus and they don't have to have the rescuer or the savior mentality to the service.

They have a learner's attitude. They recognize that every time the word of God is opened, there is something there for them. There is some area of growth, some way in which they need to take a step and so they're coming asking the Lord for help every single time.

They pursue integrity. They don't just wait for people to catch them in their sin, they
pursue integrity.  Oftentimes people have a little part of their life that is just hidden over here, nobody knows about it, just kind of their own little thing and it's not until thats exposed that they will even begin to admit it and yet, what the humble person does is pursues integrity, doesn't want any of those little areas floating in their life.

They encourage others, they don't say, “There's me and then there's you,” they say, “There's you and then me.” It just doesn't make sense, does it? But that's where we need the strength of Christ to constantly come alongside so that the emphasis can be on the you rather than on the me."

It takes a lot of humility, not pride to speak kindly.
It takes a lot of humility, not pride to love others.
It takes a lot of humility, not pride to have an attitude of learning.
It takes a lot of humility, not pride to serve others and not yourself.
It takes a lot of humility, not pride to accept Christ's gift of eternal life.
It takes a lot of humility, not pride to serve a risen savior.

Quoted section from Rob Green's message: The Characteristics of Love.