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FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
 

FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL

OUR THEME FOR 2018
(Part 43)

HUMILITY IN GREATNESS

March 10, 2018
Today’s gospel: Luke 18:9-14


Today we have the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector, two men at prayer in the same temple addressing the one God (v.10), but with two very different dispositions. One was proud and the other was humble.

The postures of the two are markedly in contrast.

Even as we love and serve God, how might we take the posture of the Pharisee?

  • When we become self-righteous. Jesus “addressed this parable to those who were convinced of their own righteousness” (v.9a). We must never forget that we are sinners and that before God, apart from His grace and mercy, we are nothing.
  • When we become triumphalistic. Jesus addressed those who “despised everyone else.” (v.9b). This happens when we boast of our accomplishments for the Lord and look down on others who seem not to do as much. We must never forget that apart from God we can do nothing, and that God accomplishes things in spite of us.
  • When we consider ourselves more of a leader, looking to its trappings (power, position, prominence), rather than a servant. We must never forget that there is only one Master, and we are all his lowly and unprofitable servants.
  • When we justify ourselves before God, rather than acknowledging our falling short. We must never forget that only God judges the justness and righteousness of our life and deeds. Indeed, with regard to the Pharisee and the tax collector, “the latter went home justified, not the former” (v.14a).

Here then is God’s eternal principle: “for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” (v.14b). One who exalts himself will ultimately be cut down by God, for his own good. But the one who humbles himself before God and before his fellowmen, he it is who can be used by God and will be raised up by Him to greatness.

Destined for greatness? Yes, according to God’s will. But it is up to us to lay the foundation. Avoid being selfist, self-focused, selfish, self-righteous, self-exalting, self-promoting, self-satisfying and self-serving. Bow down low before God, take the last place with regards to others, and serve wholeheartedly without counting the cost.

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