Summary: As children of God, we are expected to be humble like a child.
I have been crucified!
Matthew 18:1 ‘At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, "Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’
Mathew 18:4 ‘Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.’
I want to open this message with the above statement of Jesus! As children of God, we are expected to be humble like a child! But look around and you can smell arrogance, pride, ego everywhere; right from the pavement to the parliament. How many humbly admit their mistakes? Very, very few. When my writing is not rigged in their favor and when it hits them like bullets, people react with hysteria as their wrongdoings, unethical deals and hidden sins are exposed. No point in chanting ‘Lord, Lord, I am a Christian’, crucifixion is about laying your will, your corrupted life at His feet and accepting His will for your life; be it marriage, business, job, whatever……
I would like to speak on the subject ‘humility’ today, taking the life of Apostle Paul as an example. Acts 9:1’Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest.’
The above scripture is the dramatic entrance of the Apostle Paul in the Bible! Well, the mere mention of his name is enough to draw gasps of admiration, stirs your passion for God and shoves you to go the extra mile for God, the book of Acts is filled with thrilled episodes of this great man of God. He is a powerful character like lightning trapped in a bottle! He is introduced as a rebellious, proud, aggressive, snobbish, murderous, fanatic man; however, God intervened in the life of this man and transformed him wonderfully. Apostle Paul cannot be stuffed into this single devotion, he is a vast subject; let us just look at one single statement of his: Galatians 2:20’I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me…’ This statement kind of brings you to a halt and makes you deeply meditate! It does for me, though. It is no longer I who live! Ah! What a profound statement! I also wonder if I am worthy to write on this subject! Let me try…………..
While reading about the famous ghazal singer Jagjit Singh who had passed away recently in India, one particular statement of his, mentioned by his friend touched me; when his friend had praised him for his voice and fame, Jagjit had modestly replied: ‘every dog has his day.’ Not many can handle success, being humble at the peak of one’s career sure needs grace and character! John the Baptist at the peek of his ministry, while he had kings as audience and people were flocking to hear his word, he turned around to the crowd and told them: Acts 13: 25 'Who do you think I am? I am not He. But behold, there comes One after me, the sandals of whose feet I am not worthy to loose.' John said: ‘who do you think I am’ and went about decreasing himself; but today’s generation use it differently, though. A highly qualified, well-paid Chief Executive of a company flexed his muscles and told his wife, ‘who do you think I am?’ This attitude is the cause of the downfall of many marriages and relationships. We see many marriages breaking due to colossal ego hassles; the more the salary, the more the pride……..this is a dangerous trend like the tsunami wave threatening the society. Beware! The Bible says:
Proverbs 21:4 ‘A haughty look, a proud heart, And the plowing of the wicked are sin.’
Proverbs 21:24 ’A proud and haughty man --- "Scoffer" is his name; He acts with arrogant pride.’
I have been crucified!-Part 2
1 Corinthians 15:31 ‘I affirm, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.’
Having rocked the world for Jesus and preached the Word for 70 years victoriously, when Rev.Billy Graham was interviewed on his 92nd birthday and asked about George W Bush comments in his recent new book that Rev. Graham had helped him change his life, Graham humbly replied: ‘I tried to answer all his questions as best I could, I’m grateful that the Lord worked.’ And to a question about the profound impact he had on the people, he replied, ‘I have not been carrying anointing in my briefcase, it was the work of the Holy Spirit and the hard work of the whole team.’
Apostle Paul said, ‘ I have been crucified,’ can we say that today? He also mentions, “I die daily.” When I talk about this, I remember the statement of Christ that should revolutionize one’s life: “Carry the cross and come behind me daily.” Let me tell you something, if the Words of Christ found in mount sermon does not hit us like missiles then it just means one thing - it has not touched us. The mount sermon should instill fear and terror in our hearts! It did for me. The words of Jesus, ‘I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart’, should permeate deep into our heart. As the Word goes deep into the roots of our life, then fruits of the Holy Spirit shows up on the outside. After reading His Word, how could one continue to watch secular movies and many other programs on TV that is nothing but subtle porn stuff?