Hearing and Understanding the Gospel

‘But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty (Matthew 13:23).’

I have a great grandson who was born with impaired hearing. In fact he was almost deaf at birth. This affected his understanding of the world around him, particularly in the first couple years of his life. In his formative years he found difficulty in acquiring a basic vocabulary. Communicating by speech was hard for him. Pronouncing words and stringing them together to form sentences was challenging. But with the addition of a bespoke hearing aid and the help of a speech therapist he progressed, and his confidence grew. Instead of being reluctant to play with other children he interacted well with them. By the time he started school, cognitively he was behind his peers, but only marginally. In terms of motor ability, i.e., using his limbs, walking and running, he was ‘normal’. Nursery school was good for him. His interest in the world around him rapidly grew, and he had a healthy curiosity wanting to understand how things work. Three-Dimensional puzzle toys with multiple components requiring assembling and dissembling were his delight. Lego was a favourite. He would play with it for hours.

I’m pleased to say that he continues to make progress, and he has settled well into his junior school.

Hearing and Understanding

Now, what is the connection between the experiences of my great grandson and the gospel of Jesus Christ? Directly, none; but indirectly there is a connection that is crucial. First of all, the gospel has to be heard. People who receive the gospel must first hear the word from preachers who are called (Romans 1:1), equipped and sent for the task (2 Timothy 3:16, 17).

Romans 10:15-17 sums it up nicely:

And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!” But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “LORD, who has believed our report?” So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

Essentially, without hearing there can be no faith. That’s an absolute fact confirmed by God’s Word, and without faith (Ephesians 2:8) there is no salvation.

As with my great grandson, unless people ‘hear’ what is being said to them, there is no way they can understand what the speaker wishes to communicate. Hearing is essential for understanding the gospel of Jesus Christ (Mark 1:1). Hearing alone is insufficient; there must be understanding (Matthew 13:19, 23), and this is not just head knowledge. It is an inner, heart-felt, real, meaningful experience – a conviction of the truth (John 14:6). Believers are convicted of their sin and the righteousness of Jesus (John 16:8). They believe for sure what He has done for them. He has saved them from death (James 5:20) and He has given them life by His Spirit (John 3:3-8).

Taking in the gospel in this way affects the ‘heart’ and the ‘soul’ (Matthew 22:37). It deeply affects one’s inner being. That is ‘saving faith’ – believing with the heart (Romans 10:9, 10; Acts 8:37), i.e., the regeneration of the soul by the Holy Spirit (John 3:3-8).

The One who is to be heard is Jesus the Prophet: ’ For Moses truly said to the fathers,’The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your brethren. Him you shall hear in all things, whatever He says to you. And it shall be that every soul who will not hear the Prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people (Acts 3:22, 23)’.

‘And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son. Hear Him (Luke 9:35)!”’

‘By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which were visible (Hebrews 11:3).”

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Happiness and Joy

‘For His anger is but for a moment, His favour is for life; weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning (Psalm 30:5).’

Happiness is fleeting; joy is lasting (Isaiah 35:!0; 51:11; John 15:11).

Happiness and joy are not the same.

Ken Dodd is famous for his ditty, ’Happiness’. In a *YouTube video we can see him with an enormous smile as he sings and rhythmically sways from side to side. He engages his audience, and they willingly enter into the spirit of the moment. Yes, he looks happy, and he brings smiles to many lips. Indeed, he may derive a moment of happiness from performing before an audience. Best of all, with his lilting voice he thanks the Lord for his ‘share of happiness’. [Lyrics at bottom of page.]

Happiness

Happiness and wellbeing often come together. I remember a time when I was sailing my small yacht at the entrance of the Thames estuary, north of the Kent coast. I was returning from a long summer **cruise to the Scilly Isles from my home waters of the River Crouch. I couldn’t have been happier. I was as-fit-as-a-fiddle, and at that particular moment I stood on the side deck holding one of the mast shrouds. From there I could survey ‘my world’. [I wasn’t a Christian at the time, and I didn’t appreciate it was God’s world (Colossians 1:16), as He had created it.] The sun shone, the tide was with me, and the boat was being steered by a wind vane that worked the rudder. For me, it was perfection. I had not a care in the world – it was sheer bliss, but my happiness was only for a brief moment.

The Lord blessed me many times with moments like that, but I was unaware of His blessings, and that I was being held in His everlasting arms (Deuteronomy 33:27). Now, as a Christian, I can look back, and I’m so very grateful for His steadfast love, care and protection. His providence brings me great joy (Luke 2:10). He provides me with all I need, and He gives me a life of abundance (John 10:10) in spiritual riches. I know He has so much more in store for me, none of which I deserve, because of my past rebellion and sinfulness. Even now, in my new life (2 Corinthians 5:17), I recognise I don’t deserve His forgiveness; yet He has rescued me from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2). He has given me power (2 Corinthians 13:4) and freedom (John 8:36) to obey the law of the Spirit of Christ (Romans 8:2; Galatians 6:2). In this salvation I have great and lasting joy (Psalm 35:9).

Joy

***Joy is everlasting (Isaiah 35:10; 51:11), and It is God-given. It is found in Christ Himself (John 15:11; Hebrews 12:2). Paradoxically, those who are joyful in Him may experience testing times; for example, when they are being persecuted for their faith (1 Thessalonians 1:6; James 1:2, 3; 1 Peter 4:13, 14), or when suffering from ill health (Habakkuk 3:16-18). Under such circumstances their joy remains. Indeed, their joy may increase because of the testing of their faith (1 Peter 1:7, 8). The psalmist tells us of his joy after coming under attack from his foes (Psalm 30:1-3; 8-10). The Lord rescued Him, and the Spirit inspired him to write ‘joy comes in the morning (v 5),and to thank the Lord ‘forever’ (v12).

The source of all real joy is Jesus Christ (Matthew 25:21) who gives joy to those whom He forgives (1 Peter 1:8, 9). They confess their sins (1 John 1:9) and seek righteousness in Him (Psalm 32:5, 11). When they keep His commandments they ‘abide’ in His love which brings joy to their hearts: ‘“If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, Just as I’ve kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full (John 15:10, 11).”’

‘Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you righteous; and shout for joy, all you upright in heart (Psalm 32:11)!’

Those whom the Lord forgives are His joyous people (Isaiah 65:17-19).

*’Happiness’ – Ken Dodd’s Ditty

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIHQIPS68ws

**Some of My Cruising Logs

http://bills-log.blogspot.com/p/cruising-logs.html

***Joy

https://thebiblicalway.blog/2018/02/19/joy/

Lyrics to Ken Dodd’s ‘Happiness’ Ditty

Happiness, happiness, the greatest gift that I possess

I thank the Lord I’ve been blessed

With more than my share of happiness

To me this world is a wonderful place

And I’m the luckiest human in the whole human race

I’ve got no silver and I’ve got no gold

But I’ve got happiness in my soul

Happiness to me is an ocean tide

Or a sunset fading on a mountain side

A big old heaven full of stars up above

When I’m in the arms of the one I love

Happiness, happiness, the greatest gift that I possess

I thank the Lord that I’ve been blessed

With more than my share of happiness

Happiness is a field of grain

Turning its face to the falling rain

I can see it in the sunshine, I breathe it in the air

Happiness happiness everywhere

A wise old man told me one time

Happiness is a frame of mind

When you go to measuring my success

Don’t count my money count my happiness

Happiness, happiness, the greatest gift that I possess

I thank the Lord I’ve been blessed

With more than my share of happiness

Happiness, happiness, the greatest gift that I possess

I thank the Lord I’ve been blessed

With more than my share of happiness

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Worry

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble (Matthew 6:34).”’

We have a relative who stayed with us overnight, and he did not sleep at all well. He reckoned he managed to get about four hours of fitful rest. I asked him why he had not slept soundly, and he said he was anxious about a deal he was in the course of negotiating. It had been on his mind for weeks, and he was uncertain if he was doing the right thing. There would be repercussions if it worked out badly. Other people were involved, and he cared for them. He didn’t want them to suffer in any way. In fact, one of the reasons for making the deal was to help them! And, if all went well, he and they would benefit.

This is a classic example of what can happen to any of us. We can become so worried about the things of the world (Matthew 13:22; cf. Matthew 6:33; Mark 4:16-18) – our possessions, dealings and responsibilities – they can weigh us down – even causing us to become overwhelmed and perhaps depressed (Proverbs 12:25).

Thereafter, a possible scenario could be that our health fails; we tire and we become irritable. We no longer function well at work. We take time off to recuperate. Then we are told we have been made redundant, because our employer has lost custom and revenue as a result of our absenteeism. From there on, we find ourselves engulfed in a downward spiral of gloom into a dark chasm, with no apparent escape. Satan has us in his chains of bondage (Psalm 107:14; cf. Luke 13:16). We are lost, and we need a Saviour (Luke 2:11; 1 John 4:14) who will rescue us and bring us into the light (John 12:46)?

Jesus is the Saviour

Jesus assures people who are ‘heavy laden’ that He can help them by giving them ‘rest’ (Matthew 11:28). They simply need to ‘come’ to Him and to trust Him (John 14:1; cf Proverbs 3:5, 6). Then He will deliver them from their deepest fears (Luke 12:32). He promises He will give them rest: ‘“Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden light (Matthew 11:29, 30).”’

They just have to take Him at His word: ‘“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?

“So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God clothes the grass of the fields, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear? For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you (Matthew 6:25-33).”’

Why the Words of Jesus are so Important to Me

I am one of the world’s worst worriers, having always been anxious about many things and situations. I put it down to the fact that my mother was anxious by nature, and I have inherited her genes, but there’s more to it than that:

I was a youngster during the second world war when the whole nation was anxious. We were concerned that Hitler’s invasion forces would land on nearby beaches. Almost every night Luftwaffe bombers flew overhead to South Wales where they would drop their deadly cargo before returning to base. I shudder now, as I recall the wailing of the warning sirens before the welcome all-clear note of reprieve..

We listened to the news on every occasion, and we were ready to leave our home at a moment’s notice. It’s no wonder we were anxious. Even now, although I am a believer in Christ, I have to constantly remind myself that my life is in Him (John 17:20-23). I am safe (Proverbs 18:10). I have nothing to fear and nothing to be anxious about (Romans 8:28).

I can take to heart My Lord’s words of comfort,‘“Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s pleasure to give you the kingdom (Luke 12:32).”’

And meanwhile, as I wait until the time of His coming again (Matthew 16:27), His words as spoken through Paul the Apostle comfort me: ‘Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6, 7).’

The Spirit moved  the Psalmist to write:‘In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul (Psalm 94:19).’

Therefore, let us who believe, be comforted (2 Corinthians 1:3); for our rest and security is in Him (Isaiah 32:18; Hebrews 4:1-10).

Amen.

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God’s Creation

‘In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1).’

The first verse of the Bible is mind-blowing. Just think about it. God brought into being a universe that had previously never existed. He created matter, space, time and life – all of them intimately and inextricably bound together. Furthermore, the pinnacle of His Creation are the descendants of Adam and Eve, who are made in His own image (Genesis 1:27), and every one of them has a soul that never dies (Isaiah 55:3).

Interpreting Genesis

According to scholastic Biblical timelines, about three-thousand or so years after the Creation, God came to the earth and met with Moses (Exodus 19:3, 9, 20). He told Him to write His Law (Exodus 34:27), the Torah, which was to be obeyed by His chosen people (Deuteronomy 7:6), the Israelites. Genesis, the first book of the Torah, endeavours to explain the miraculous creation of the world, mankind and the creatures that inhabit it. For centuries God’s saints have struggled to arrive at a unified understanding of what Moses wrote, particularly the time it took God to create the world! The struggle for understanding this minuscule part of God’s Word continues today. Sadly, rifts and factions have divided God’s people, because of their different views.

Fortunately, knowing and believing the ‘time’ He took to create His universe is not a prerequisite for our salvation – just as knowing the timing and nature of the dissolution of the world is not necessary (Mark 13:32, 33; Acts 1:7). Yes, Christians may be divided about these things, but if they trust Jesus for their salvation, they are united in Him. He is their Father and they are His adopted sons [daughters] (Galatians 4:5; Ephesians 1:5). He loves them, and they love Him. They rest in Him, as He rested after creating the world (Hebrews 4:1-10).

Apparent Ambiguity

So why would God inspire Moses to write the account of His Creation? Furthermore, why would Moses write it with apparent ambiguity?

The sort of questions that arise are: “Did God actually bring the physical world into being over a literal timespan of six twenty-four hour periods?” And: “Did He afterwards rest for a literal period of twenty-four hours?”

Although the Bible declares it took six periods of twenty-four hours for God to create the world and all that He created, could these periods in fact have been much longer? – even thousands of years (1 Peter 3:8)? – perhaps millions?

As far as I can gather, Christians have come up with as many as *nine different interpretations of the Creation account. Clearly, only God knows if any of them are correct. His Word is true. He cannot lie, and yet He leaves us with this quandary. However, it’s obvious He wants us to know that He created the world, and why He did it. Therefore He has given us the Bible which provides answers to those questions we need to know. It also leaves us with some unanswered questions, but none of them are necessary for our salvation.

He wants us to know that He created the world as a temporary abode for men and women, some of whom He has predestined (Romans 8:29, 30; Ephesians 1:5, 11) to be a people for Himself who will live with Him forever in a new world that He will create (Revelation 21:1). He wants these ‘chosen people (1 Peter 2:9)’ to have Him as their King (John 18:37). He wants them to be recipients of His love, and for them to have an everlasting and perfect loving relationship with Him (John 14:21).

So, without **revealing Himself as their Creator, how could they have any understanding (Ephesians 1:18) of His desires and plans He has for them? Therefore He reveals Himself through His Creation, and through His Word the Bible, and particularly through His Son, Jesus, who came to the earth to save them from everlasting hell. The Holy Spirit opens their ears (Isaiah 35:5) for them to hear and He gives them understanding (Matthew 13:23). God draws (John 6:44) them to Himself and sets them apart from the world. He makes them holy, as He is holy (1 Peter 1:15, 16). He makes them spotless, as His Son is spotless; He purifies and cleanses them from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).

Science [man’s knowledge and the application of that knowledge] plays no part in their salvation, which is a gift received from God (Ephesians 2:8, 9). Likewise the work of men plays no part in their salvation (v 9). ‘Knowing’ Jesus, and having a relationship with Him is ALL of God. He reveals Himself and draws (John 6:44) His own to Himself. Thus God’s will of desire and will of decree are fulfilled.

His Creation is just the beginning. There’s so much more to come!

‘In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1).’

‘Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband (Revelation 21:2).’

*Nine Views of Creation

https://www.blueletterbible.org/faq/creation.cfm

**The Mystery of God’s Progressive Revelation

https://thebiblicalway.blog/2019/03/13/the-mystery-of-gods-progressive-revelation/

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Truth

If we are to live morally upright lives we must abide in the Truth. The problem arises, “What is truth?’”

A prevailing world view is that there is no absolute truth upon which hangs all that is true. Without truth, how do we know what is morally right? That question is the same today as it was in the time of Moses, and the fundamental sinful nature of men and women has not changed. As in those days, God abhors their sinful conduct (Leviticus 18:22; 20:13; Romans 1: 26, 27).

For the Christian there is only one Truth. Jesus said He is ‘the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6). His Word is the truth (John 17:17), and He is the Word (John 1:1). His disciples adhere and cling to Him because they love the Truth. The only true morality is found in Him. The only valid way of living is in Him by His Spirit, which is impossible for those who have not been born of the Spirit (John 3:5, 6). Only then can they know the Truth (John 7:28, 29) and live morally upright lives.

Truth in Our Times

In these times of instant communication via the Internet we hear a lot about ‘fake’ news. It’s difficult to determine what is true and what is false. There is a saying that, ‘If it’s too good to be true, then it is too good to be true!’ So we should not be taken in by false promises.

Unbelievers may therefore be sceptical when Christians tell them they can get into heaven simply by believing and trusting Jesus, and that’s the only ‘work’ (John 6:29) they are required to do. They say that is too good to be true! But the Scriptures confirm it: ‘“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).”’

On the same premise of being too good to be true, unbelievers reason that the ‘free gift’ (Romans 5:15, 17, 18) of salvation from hell and sin can’t be true.

“How can that possibly be true?” they ask, but the Bible confirms it: ‘For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8).’

“Do you mean to say I don’t have to do anything to get into heaven other than believe in Jesus?” the sceptic asks. “Surely, that can’t be true!”

“And as for believing that Jesus suffered on the cross in my place for the forgiveness of my sins – that must be fake news!”

So what is Truth?

As disciples of Christ we thank Him for the price He paid by giving Himself as a ransom (Matthew 20:28) for our deliverance from hell, sin and the power of sin. Our salvation is free and without cost, but we are aware that in serving Him, we can expect to be recipients of discrimination and persecution (2 Timothy 3:12) because of our faith in Him. This is the cross we gladly bear (Matthew 10:38) with rejoicing (James 1:3).

Jesus is the Truth (John 14:6). We live in truth when we abide in Him (1 John 2:24). When we love as He has commanded us (John 15:12), we are vehicles of His truth; We are in Him and He is in us (1 John 4:12-16). That is Truth!

In John 18:37, 38 Jesus told Pilate He had come into the world ‘to bear witness to the truth’. He went on to say, “Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”

The Scriptures tell us, ‘faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17).’

‘Lord, May we be channels of Your truth for Your name’s sake. Open the ears of many for them to hear Your truth and to believe in Your Son. Amen.’

Links to Related Articles

Faithfulness (Truth and Sin)

https://thebiblicalway.blog/2018/03/04/faithfulness-truth-and-sin/

Believing the Truth

https://thebiblicalway.blog/2019/02/15/believing-the-truth/

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My Favourite Memory Verses

‘But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD; I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people (Jeremiah 31:33).’

It’s good to commit to memory certain verses from the Bible, and I’ll tell you why.

God’s Word is your staple diet that nourishes (1 Timothy 4:6), *energises, strengthens, **comforts (2 Corinthians 1:3-5)  and gives direction (Psalm 119:105) to your life. When you are out and about, there may be pressing times. You may find yourself in a sticky situation, or you may have an opportunity to present the Gospel – it’s then you need your Bible to hand.

These days, many people have access to online Bibles through their mobile phone apps; but knowing key verses could make all the difference. If Scriptures flow spontaneously from your heart (Jeremiah 31:3), and you pray to God, He may bring about your desired outcome, according to His will (Luke 11:2; 1 John 5:14).

Anyway, I’m sure a number of you have your own favourite Bible verses that you commit to memory. Here are mine:

Psalm 23:1-3 ‘The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.’

Psalm 46:10 ‘Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!’

Psalm 119:105 ‘Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.’

Proverbs 3:5, 6 ‘Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.’

Matthew 11:28 ‘“Come to Me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”’

Matthew 22:37, 38 ‘Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’’

Matthew 28:19, 20 ‘“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

John 1:1, 2 ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.’

John 3;16 ‘For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.’

John 15:12 ‘“This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”’

Romans 3:23 ‘for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.’

Romans 8:28 ‘And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.’

2 Corinthians 5:21 ‘For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.’

Galatians 2:20 ‘I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.’

Galatians 5:22 ‘But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.’

Galatians 6:2 ‘Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.’

Ephesians 2:8, 9 ‘For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.’

Philippians 1:21 ‘For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.’

Philippians 4:6, 7 ‘Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplications, with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God; and the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’

Philippians 4:13 ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’

Colossians 3:11 ‘ ……. Christ is all and in all.’

Colossians 3:16 ‘Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.’

1 Thessalonians 5:21 ‘Test all things; hold fast what is good.’

Note

There are many more beautiful verses for committing to memory, but of all verses in the Bible, John 3:16 must be the most up-lifting and the most quoted. [See above]

*God’s Energy

https://thebiblicalway.blog/2018/10/21/gods-energy/

**The ‘God of All Comfort’

https://thebiblicalway.blog/2018/09/18/the-god-of-all-comfort/

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Humility

‘(Now the man Moses was very humble, more than all men who were on the face of the earth [Numbers 12:3]).’

Humility is a characteristic that God loves to see in His people. He has pleasure in those who are humble: ‘For the LORD takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the humble with salvation (Psalm 149:4).’

God is not pleased with those who are haughty, arrogant, disdainful and proud (Ezekiel 25:6, 7). He loves the meek (Matthew 5:5), the humble (Psalm 37:11; Isaiah 11:4), and those who are submissive (Hebrews 13:17) and loving (Luke 6:35).

The Humility of Jesus

Moses was indeed, ‘very humble’ (Numbers 12:3), but his humility was nothing by comparison to that of Jesus. To put things into perspective, Jesus created the world (John 1:3) and the people in it, and yet He humbled Himself by becoming a servant (Matthew 20:28) to those whom He created.

Paul the Apostle wrote of Him and His followers:

‘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 to be of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, 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 (Philippians 2:5-8).’

At His birth Jesus was laid in an animal’s feeding trough (Luke 2:7), the lowest of all places. His whole life was a testimony to His humility. He never once considered Himself before others, and He was totally obedient to His Father (John 5:30). He voluntarily submitted Himself in obedience to Him – even to death on a cross (Philippians 2:8)! His mission was to save sinners (John 12:47; 1 Timothy 1:15), serve the undeserving (Mark 10:45), and ultimately to exalt the humble (1 Peter 5:5, 6). He, Himself, after his resurrection was exalted (Acts 5:31; Philippians 2:9) above the whole earth (Psalm 97:9; Isaiah 52:13) and He sits at the right hand of His Father (Acts 2:33).

The suffering Servant (Isaiah 42:1; 53:1-12) set an example of humility to all mankind, and with all authority He said, “Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 18:4), and, “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted (Matthew 23:12).”’ Justifiably, His Father exalted Him (Philippians 2:9).

Exhortations for God’s People to be Humble

His Word, the Bible, particularly the New Testament, exhorts God’s people to put on humility. Here are some relevant texts:

Romans 12:16 ‘……….. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in you own opinion.’

Colossians 3:12 ‘Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering.’

2 Timothy 2:24, 25 ‘And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth.’

Titus 3:1, 2 ‘Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, but to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men.’

James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.’

1 Peter 5:5 ‘Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”’

‘Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time (1 Peter 5:6).’

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