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Awaken 2019: A Humble Heart

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“Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, but humility goes before honor.”- Proverbs 18:12

 When addressing the topic of humility in the life of a follower of Jesus, Charles Spurgeon said, “Every Christian has a choice between being humble or being humbled.”

The defining mark of Jesus’ life during His earthly ministry was humility. Because He now lives in us by the Holy Spirit, humility should define us as well. But how does that become a reality? How do we heed the warning of today’s verse from Proverbs 18:12 and demonstrate a humble heart and not a prideful one?

If humility is to mark our lives, there are two important facets that must be embraced. First, we must humble ourselves before God. There is only one way for humility to fill our hearts – we must spend time in the presence of God. This sounds very simple, but unfortunately it is not easy. The tendency of our flesh is to attempt to microwave spiritual maturity, but a heart of humility is produced in no other way than time alone with God. The bi-product of time spent in God’s presence is humility! Here is why: the closer we walk with God, the more miserable things we find inside of us. And when we see the darkness of our own hearts, we are humbled by the grace and mercy God has shown us. 

Second, we must humble ourselves before others. In his book, The Calvary Road, Roy Hession said, “Our humility before God has no value, but as it prepares us to reveal the humility of Jesus to our fellow-men.” As we once again look to the life of Jesus, we see a servant leader who humbled Himself before people regardless if they had anything to offer Him in return. Humility before God and others is interconnected. One flows from the other. Imagine the Gospel-impact we would have if every time people were around us, they were around someone who had been around God.

May Christ in us lead us to resist the tendency of our flesh to be filled with pride. May we reflect His life and demonstrate a heart and life of humility.  

In conclusion, take some time to read and reflect on the following questions:

  • Are you prioritizing unhurried time alone with God on a daily basis?  See Psalm 46:10
  • Does your confidence rest in who Christ is in you or in your own abilities?  See Galatians 6:14, 2 Corinthians 5:17
  • Does the word “humble” describe how you relate to other people?  See Philippians 2:5

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Awaken 2019: A Wise Heart

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“My son, if your heart is wise, my own heart also will be glad; and my inmost being will rejoice when your lips speak what is right.” - Proverbs 23:15-16

The Bible reveals to us numerous characteristics that shape our perspective of God—Provider, Healer, Friend, Comforter — but the most personal of them all is Father. When Jesus taught His disciples to pray in the Gospel of Matthew, He astounded them by sharing that they could address God as Father (Matthew 6:9).  The writer of Romans, Paul, said this to the believers in Rome: 

“For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, ‘Abba! Father!’” - Romans 8:15

This is an unbelievable reality! There is nothing like the heart a loving father has for his child, and that is the relationship we have with God. One of the books in the Old Testament, the book of Proverbs, is arranged as words of wisdom from a loving father to his son. We can read this book of the Bible as a letter from our Heavenly Father to us as His children. Today’s verses address this father’s desire for his child to possess a heart of wisdom (v. 15). 

Contrary to the perspective of our culture, wisdom does not begin with books, degrees, or experience. True wisdom begins with God – The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 9:10). A life of wisdom cannot be detached from God. Everything He says is wise. All His plans are perfect. His commands are right. His design for living is best. When we are living with wisdom, we are seeing life from God’s perspective. John Macarthur summarizes this reality by saying,

“Wisdom begins with the fear of the Lord and continues by acknowledging His truth and ways. Turning from foolishness to wisdom is turning from self to God.” 

There are two ways a person can live: foolish or wise. A life of foolishness comes natural to us, but wisdom can only come from God. In Proverbs 23, the father’s desire for his child and in turn God’s desire for us is that we live according to the way He designed us to live. In 2019, may we pursue a heart of wisdom and heed the warning of Ephesians 5 which says,

“Be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.” - Ephesians 5:15-16                   

In conclusion, take some time to read and reflect on the following questions:

  • Do you have a biblical perspective on the source of wisdom? See James 1:5
  • Are you seeking wisdom through a passionate pursuit of intimacy with God? See Jeremiah 29:13
  • Have you been walking in foolishness rather than wisdom? See Hebrews 12:1-3

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