Humble Before Others

     The second difference this should make in our lives is that it should keep us humble before others.  How can we look down on anyone when we realize that the only reason we have what we have is because of God’s love?  The only difference between the most wicked unbeliever and the most righteous among us is what the Lord has done.  We have done nothing to make any difference.

     Well, again, we have worked hard, haven’t we?  We have given up some of the pleasures of this world.  We have worked toward building certain disciplines into our lives.  We have struggled to make our lives better than others.   How could we help but draw a distinction between ourselves and a murderer or a child-molester? 

     Yet, the Scripture is clear that there is no difference between the most corrupt molester and you and me… except for what Jesus has done in us.  Apart from Him, without Him, we would be equal with the worst.  This is what Paul and Barnabas understood as they saw the attitude of the people.

 

(Acts 14:11-18 NKJV)  Now when the people saw what Paul had done, they raised their voices, saying in the Lycaonian language, “The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!” {12} And Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul, Hermes, because he was the chief speaker. {13} Then the priest of Zeus, whose temple was in front of their city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates, intending to sacrifice with the multitudes. {14} But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard this, they tore their clothes and ran in among the multitude, crying out {15} and saying, “Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men with the same nature as you, and preach to you that you should turn from these useless things to the living God, who made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and all things that are in them, {16} “who in bygone generations allowed all nations to walk in their own ways. {17} “Nevertheless He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good, gave us rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.” {18} And with these sayings they could scarcely restrain the multitudes from sacrificing to them.

     Are Christians better than others?  Of course not.  Jesus is better than others, better than anyone and anything, but you and I have value only because of Him.  There is no place for us to think more highly of ourselves than we ought.  If it were not for the grace of God in our lives, we would have the same lack of purpose and hope that unbelievers have.  We are, as Paul says, people of “like passions” as unbelievers, people of the “same nature” as the New King James says. 

     When you and I think of ourselves, when we think of those things that are considered our accomplishments or our virtues, we must remember the calling grace of God in our lives.  Were it not for His intervention in our lives, however that it explained by the scholars, we would be as lost as anyone.  The state of our lives would be hopeless.

     Humility and brokenness.  That should be the continual state of the Christian heart.  Humble because of the knowledge of our complete and permanent dependence on our Lord.  Were it not for the grace of God, we would still be in our sins, still without hope, still enemies of God.  The only reason we are saved is because He loved us and called us to Himself.  Praise the Lord!

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