Wednesday, August 22, 2007

August 22, 2007

"I will look favorably on this kind of person: one who is humble, submissive in spirit, and who trembles at My word." Is. 66:2

I certainly want God to look favorably on me, don't you? Here it is spelled out for us what God requires of us. We are to be humble. Christ was the epitome of humility. Phil. 2: 8 tells us "and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." Christ was the Son of God, a member of the Godhead, yet He was humble! So what have WE got to be haughty or proud about? Yet we get to thinking how valuable we are to God, how lucky He is to have us on his team! We look around at those we see every day and compare ourselves to them, thinking that "at least we aren't as bad as so-and-so". But all we need do is put Jesus up beside us and let Him be our standard and we will quickly see how far short we fall. God wants our availability. He wants us to yield to Him and allow HIM to live His life out through us. If we will do that, HE will be the one who gets the credit for anything we do...NOT us! We must recognize that anything we do in and of ourselves is just garbage or as He puts it "filthy rags"!

Secondly, we must be submissive in spirit. Again we are challenged to YIELD. Why is that so hard for us? We are a society of controllers. We all like to be in control. We are constantly told about our "rights" and what we are entitled to. Courts are full of cases where people are asserting their rights. Yet Jesus constantly tells us to forego our rights on the behalf of others... "whosoever shall smite thee on your right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away they coat, let him have your cloak also..." Matt. 5: 39.40 This sort of goes against the grain, doesn't it? When we think of "submit" we usually think of the Ephesians passage where wives are commanded to submit to their husbands, but BEFORE that verse, Jesus tells us "submit yourselves one to another" Eph. 5: 21. We are to yield to each other, to seek the other's good above our own...on the job, in our marriages, with friends at church. If you think of it, submission is just an expression of humility. You cannot submit to anyone without a measure of humility.

Do we really "tremble at God's word" today? I think not. We have become so complacent about the Bible. Most of us have several copies...different translations, different styles, different colors. But, unfortunately, we don't read it as we should. We have never been in a place where we would be risking our lives to have a copy, let alone to read it. I don't think we treasure God's word like we should, so it is doubtful that we "tremble at [it]". We have taken it for granted. It's always been there, and we assume it always will be. But....just suppose for a moment that something terrible happened. Suppose that our government was overtaken, and all Bibles were confiscated. The only Bible you had was the one you could recall from memory. How much of it would you have?

Have you ever read a passage that just seemed to leap off the page at if God just inserted that yesterday and in the margin He wrote YOUR name? I have. And I confess, that has made me tremble! I have wondered how I could have missed it before. It seemed so pertinent to where I was in my walk or my circumstances. It has made me realize that God's book is truly is His God-breathed words to us. As John tells us "in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God."
It has the power to convict us, to comfort us, to conform us, to save us, to teach us, to correct us. No other book on earth since the beginning of time has had that effect on mankind. We should RUN to read it each day. We should hold it close to our heart and say a prayer of thanks to God each time we pick it up that it is available to us at no cost. May we never take that for granted!!!!!!!!! May we treasure it and tremble at the awesome book we hold in our hands.

So these three things...humility, submissiveness and reverence for God's word can give us favor with Him. Once again we see that IT IS NOT ABOUT US!! May we learn to take our eyes off of our selves, submit to Him, and seek Him with all our hearts, souls and minds as we immerse ourselves in His word so that we may KNOW Him and serve Him and reflect Him and honor Him in all that we do.

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