Tag Archives: Appearance

From “Day-by-Day By Grace” by Bob Hoekstra

Jesus, the Ultimate Example of Humility

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a servant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. (Phi_2:5-8)
In order to live daily by the grace of God, we must be willing to walk in humility. “God . . . gives grace to the humble” (1Pe_5:5). The word of God offers extensive teaching concerning a life of humility. Moreover, in all of the scriptures we will find no greater insight than that which pertains to Jesus, the ultimate example of humility.

Before He came to earth as a man, Jesus had existed throughout eternity past as deity, the eternal Son of God. “Bethlehem . . . out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be ruler in Israel, whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting” (Micah 5:2). Since He was God, claiming deity was not an inappropriate intrusion into another’s domain: “who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God.” Although He would of necessity exist endlessly as God (even during His pilgrimage as a man), He did not go about independently exercising His Godhood: “but made Himself of no reputation.” Instead of manifesting all of His innate glory, He functioned as any human slave would: “taking the form of a servant, and coming in the likeness of men.” During His earthly ministry, He Himself would emphasize His servanthood role. “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Mat_20:28).

In His majestic salvation mission, Jesus, the Son of God, would voluntarily accept the path of humility. “He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.” This humility involved a yielding to the Father that was so extensive He would even embrace the most abhorrent death of all, a sin-atoning crucifixion. In spiritual agony, He would pray, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will” (Mat_26:39). This humble surrender to the Father’s will is the path that our Lord calls us to walk. “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.”

Dear heavenly Father, my heart is humbled as I consider the humbling You accepted in coming to this sinful planet. As God, You deserved all honor and glory. Yet, in order to please the Father and to save sinners,You were willing to become a lowly, human servant. Unlike Your example, I am easily tempted to resist humility, even though I deserve to be totally humiliated. Lord, please work in me a humble heart like You, in Your holy name, Amen.

From “Daily Meditation” by Rev. Geo. Bowen

Give this some thought…

” He that covereth his sins shall not prosper.” – Pro_28:13.

Almost all men are intent upon appearing better than they really are. If a man cannot be what he ought to be, he attempts at least to appear so. His days are spent in a fraudulent attempt to pass himself off as something better than he is. The same amount of energy devoted to the purification of his character, might result in something good. What watchfulness! What circumspection! What attention to circumstances! What study of men’s characters! What perseverance! What self-command! Were these qualities and habits devoted to the legitimate end of appearing well in the sight of God, what magnificent results would be witnessed. These are the very things that God requires of us: watchfulness, carefulness, perseverance, self-control. Man shows that he is capable of these things; but he exercises them in seeking not the essence, but a fiction; not the favor of God, but that of man.’

The habit is so inveterate that few are conscious of it. They suppose they are acting naturally, and have no conception of the measure of their insincerity. I speak not of the hypocrite, commonly so styled; but of all. The man who says, ” I thank God, I make no profession to be better than others;” he. too, is playing a role, though he cheats himself with the contrary idea.

Insincerity in religion, the endeavor to obtain and perpetuate a reputation for piety, is something exceedingly offensive. There is something monstrous about the idea of offering prayer in such a way as to secure the commendation of man.

He that covereth his sins shall not prosper; for while he covers them he cannot possibly get rid of them; and their presence will vitiate all prosperity. Let us endure the shame of confessing them, that we may have the abiding glory of being delivered from them. Let us act out our true characters, and take our true place; then we may expect to make progress of the most desirable kind. If man deride, no matter; we have something that they have not. Our position is a more promising one than theirs; for truth is now on our side.

A Thought on Being a “Christian.”

I recently read an article about how one could be assured of their salvation, in other words, how one could be sure that he were a “Christian.”  You know it’s not uncommon to hear people say that they are a “Christian,” but saying does not make it so.  A. W. Tozer once said, “Tens of thousands, perhaps millions, have come into some kind of religious experience by accepting Christ, and they have not been saved.”  When you read that how does it make you feel?  Have you ever doubted whether you’re a “Christian” or not?  I confess that when I read that quote, it made me stop and consider.  I don’t think anyone who’s honest can say that they haven’t ever asked the question of themselves.  To be honest, I’d be worried about you if the thought had never gone through your mind.  If you really love Christ, I believe you’re going to be concerned about whether you know Him or not, and if your life is pleasing to Him.

We live in a country where many proclaim “Christianity” but, as we all know, just because someone says something doesn’t make it so.  Who of us hasn’t ever claimed to be something we weren’t?  A lot of people lay claim to families, wives, children, houses, cars, and  businesses, but just because we claim them doesn’t mean we own them, that they belong to us.  In fact, how do we know that what someone says is true, that what they claim actually belongs to them?

I know you’re thinking that’s a dumb question, but is it really?  How many of us have thought we knew someone, and what they were about only to find out that we didn’t know them at all?  We live in a world where “misrepresentation” is the norm, where “appearance” is everything.  From the President on down, we all know people who have made claims, made promises, that they had no right to make.  Now how do you and I know that?  Do we have a secret decoder ring?  Did we call 1-800-I can tell you?  Did we watch it on the news, or read it in the paper, or get it off the internet?  A lot of us get our sources of information from these places, and I submit to you that’s a part of the problem.

Truth is that most of us know when we’re being deceived, when we’re being lied to, and most of us know when somebody has made a false claim.  Most of the time the reason we know a false claim when we see one is because the evidence doesn’t support the claim.  There’s an old saying that goes, “The proof is in the pudding.”  You know what I’m saying.  Nobody in this world has to be a genius to figure out when they’re being lied to, misled, and manipulated.  All of  us have personal experience with having done all these things, and so recognizing the signs isn’t all that hard.  Perhaps you don’t like being lumped in with everyone else, but truth is truth, so if you’ve never heard this before it’s time you knew.

Now getting back to the question of being sure that you are indeed a “Christian.”  It’s not as hard as you may think.  First of all, the “Word Of God” gives us that assurance.  Did you know that?  If so, do you know where to find it?  If not, then perhaps that’s why you’re having some trouble.  You’re going to have to take my word for it when I tell you that I know where it is because I’m not going to tell you.  You want assurance look it up.  If you’re looking to anyone or anything other than “God’s Holy Word” the Bible to provide it then you’re looking to the wrong thing.  It’s just that simple.  This is an opportune time to ask yourself a few questions, “Do I have an interest in the Word of God?”  “Do I have a hunger for the Word of God?” “How often do I read and turn to God’s Word when I need guidance?”  I’ll let your answers stand for themselves.

You know I’ve often heard that the problem with “Christianity” is “Christians.”  Do you think that’s true?  If so, I’ve got news for you.  It’s not!    The problem with “Christianity” is people who claim to be “Christians.”  You have a misconception about “Christianity” if you think it’s about claiming Christ.  “Christianity” is about Christ claiming us.  That’s where too many of us have a problem, including yours truly,and that’s why so many “Christians” struggle.  It’s because we’re trying to maintain the claim, we’re trying to work the claim.  We want the power.  We want to claim “Christ,” and He is not ours to claim.

Too many “Christians” in this country and the world over live with the attitude that we’ve done “Christ” a favor by letting Him die for us.    What a privilege it must have been for you, God, to send your son to die for me.  Let me tell you something you will never experience the light and love of Christ and the grace He offers until you understand that “Christ” gave himself for you.  He willingly took your sin upon himself and died for you.  At the moment He died, He laid claim to your life, so stop living like He belongs to you, instead of the other way around.

Too many people go around living their lives like God is a little puppy following them around so thrilled to belong to them, and just wanting them to love Him.  You claim Christ?  Good for you.  A lot of people do and they feel wonderful about it, and they’re so happy.  They go around living their lives paying no attention to the pain and needs of others, building monuments to themselves, entertaining themselves, and thinking God loves me so whatever I do is okay.  Get This….it’s not!

You want to know if you’re a Christian.  Ask yourself not how much of a claim you have on Him, but how much He has a claim on you…