Summary: There is no way to become a mature Christian unless we learn to be humble.
Clothed in Robes of Humbleness
When asked what were the three most important Christian virtues, Augustine replied, "Humility, humility, and humility." Yet, this great virtue is in rather short supply in our culture.
Topic: There is no way to become a mature Christian unless we learn to be humble.
Colossians 3:12, “…as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
The importance of Humility - God uses broken things.
It takes broken soil to produce a crop,
Broken clouds to produce rain,
Broken grain to give bread and
Broken bread to give strength.
It is the broken alabaster box that gives forth perfume.
It is the broken Peter, weeping bitterly, who returns to greater power than ever.
1. Biblical humility is grounded in the character of God.
A. The Father stoops down to help the poor and needy; the Son displayed humility from the manger to the cross.
B. Before the birth of Christ, no royalty would ever show their humility. That would be too human, too common. Kings have parades & entourages to draw the focus toward them. When Queen Elizabeth last visited America, she brought with her the following items • 4000 pounds of luggage – 4 outfits for everyday she was in America • 40 pints of plasma • Her own hairdresser • Two valets • An official photographer • Two personal secretaries • THE COST OF HER TRIP TO AMERICA WAS 20 MILLION DOLLARS
In meek contrast, God’s visit to earth took place in an animal stable, no attendants were present, there was no place for the baby to lay down except in a feeding trough known as a manger.
In fact, the event, which divided history and our calendars, went by unnoticed except for a few shepherds who came by for a visit.
2. Humility is the defining characteristic of an unpretentious and modest person, someone who does not think that he or she is better or more important than others
• Shane Claiborne, who spent a summer in the slums of Calcutta with Mother Teresa, wrote about her experience there. She said, “People often ask me what Mother Teresa was like. Sometimes it’s like they wonder if she glowed in the dark or had a halo. She was short, wrinkled, and precious, maybe even a little ornery — like a beautiful, wise old granny. But there is one thing I will never forget — her feet. Her feet were deformed. Each morning in Mass, I would stare at them. I wondered if she had contracted leprosy. But I wasn’t going to ask, of course. ‘Hey Mother, what’s wrong with your feet?’ One day a sister said to us, ‘Have you noticed her feet?’ We nodded, curious. She said: ‘Her feet are deformed because we get just enough donated shoes for everyone, and Mother does not want anyone to get stuck with the worst pair, so she digs through and finds them. And years of doing that have deformed her feet.’ Years of loving her neighbor as herself deformed her feet.” Humility means that our focus is away from ourselves and not on ourselves. The Scripture says,
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3-4).
3. "True humility is not an abject, groveling, self-despising spirit; it is but a right estimate of ourselves as God sees us."
• Humility “not thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less.”
• Humility is quite simply, truthfulness--self-honesty.
• A well-known Christian businessman who was visiting a church was asked to give his testimony. He said, "I have a fine family, a large house, a successful business, and a good reputation. I have plenty of money so I can support some Christian ministries very generously. Many organizations want me on their board of directors. I have good health and almost unlimited opportunities. What more could I ask from God?" As he paused for effect, a voice shouted from the back of the auditorium, "How about asking Him for a good dose of humility?"
4. Humility is a freedom from arrogance that grows out of the recognition that all we have and are comes from God.
“The axe cannot boast of the trees it has cut down. IT could do nothing but for the woodsman. He made it, he sharpened it, he used it. The moment he throws it aside, it becomes only old iron. O that I may never lose sight of this.”
5. Humility is The way we approach God
Humility or lack of humility demonstrates the spirit in which we come. Is it willingly or do we begrudge the time out of our lives? If we go to visit in a friend’s house, we don’t go in our gardening clothes! We know very well that it’s not the clothes that matter to our friend. It’s simply a matter of respect that we should present ourselves as neatly as we can. The fact that we prepare ourselves to go there is the way in which we outwardly show our affection and our esteem for our friend. So it is with God’s house. The parable has nothing to do with the actual clothes in which we go to church; it has everything to do with the spirit in which we go to God’s house. Of course we want to be reasonably clothed out of respect for our Lord but He’s not expecting a fashion parade! What He’s looking for is a garment of the mind and the heart. It’s to be clothed with expectation, the garment of humility and penitence, and the robe of faith and reverence. It’s all too easy to go to God’s house without preparation of thought and prayer and self-examination. If I went to my services as carefully prepared as I went to the Palace my worship and ministry would be richer by far.