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Humility – February 2017

Dear Peddie Church Family,

My greatest desire for you and me is that God would be glorified as we put on the character of Christ and be the light of Christ in our homes, schools, and workplaces. More than any other prayer concerns, I pray that we might know Christ personally and be transformed into the likeness of Christ.

Though the entire Bible reveals the character of our Lord Jesus, I find it illuminating that Jesus describes Himself as “gentle and humble in heart” (Mat. 11:29). However, the gentleness and humility of Christ revealed in the Gospels do not fit into the stereotypical image. While being gentle and humble in heart, He was also fearless in proclaiming the Gospel and rebuking those who opposed the work of God.

What then is humility? How do we become humble?

First of all, we must distinguish true humility from its counterfeits. Humility is not self-condemnation, for there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus (Rom. 8:1). It is not self-degradation, for we are created in the glorious image of God. It is not timidity, for God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline (2Tim 1:7).

Humility cannot be attained by trying hard to be humble. It is not something to be attained by looking inward into our heart. It comes from outside us as we fix our eyes on the One who is infinitely greater than we are. In essence, humility is acknowledging who we are before God’s infinite greatness, majesty, and splendor, and bowing down in submission to Him.

Those of you who enjoy hiking know this intimately. When we are standing far away from the mountain, we don’t realize its magnitude and grandeur. But as we move closer and closer, the mountain looms larger and larger, and we by comparison become smaller and smaller. If a mountain, a mere speck of dust in the scale of the universe, looms so large, how much more our God does as we draw nearer to Him!

Our humility grows only by contemplating on who God is. Even if we have the eyes to see, we cannot behold the majesty of God, for it is too marvelous for us. When we are overwhelmed by the greatness of His majesty, beauty, grandeur, and holiness, we will know our proper position as creatures and yield ourselves completely to Him. That’s the nature of true humility.

During the season of Lent, I earnestly encourage you to contemplate on God who is the most exalted, the most humble, the most holy, and the most merciful. In the presence of such Greatness, we can only confess, “I can do nothing on my own.”

In the service of Christ,

– Pastor James