January 1, 2020
Dear Praying Friends,
Rachel and I would like to express our deepest thanks to all of you who have stuck with us in prayer for our prodigals and for revival throughout 2019. On this first Wednesday of 2020, we look back with thankfulness to God who has heard all our cries and we look forward with renewed hope to the year before us.
The words that Paul wrote about Jesus to the believers in Philippi are staggering, “Who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Phil. 2:6-8). “He humbled Himself.” What incredible, unfathomable words!
What God did in sending His Son may seem strange and odd to us because of our perspective, but in reality, it was not. What we sometimes forget is that our God is humble in every respect of the word. The word humbled in verse eight is a verb describing the action of stooping to the lowest possible place, but this action is the outworking of who He is in His nature. Never forget, “Our God is Humble.”
This brings me to a subject that has been on my mind for the last few days. While driving through the night on a road trip with my sleeping family around me, I was listening to the audio version of Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. In chapter eight, entitled, The Great Sin, Lewis says:
“There is one vice of which no man in the world is free; which everyone in the world loathes when he sees it in someone else; and which hardly any people, except Christians, ever imagine that they are guilty themselves. I have heard people admit they are bad-tempered, or that they cannot keep their heads about girls or drink, or even that they’re cowards. I do not think I have ever heard anyone who was not a Christian accuse himself of this vice. And at the same time, I have very seldom met anyone, who was not a Christian, who showed the slightest mercy to in others. There is no fault which makes a man more unpopular, and no fault which we are more unconscious of in ourselves. And the more we have it ourselves, the more we dislike it in others.”
I am sure you have guessed that the great sin Lewis is referring to is pride, the opposite of humility. Lewis says:
“According to Christian teachers, the essential vice, the utmost evil, is Pride. Unchastity, anger, greed, drunkenness, and all that, are mere fleabites in comparison: it was through Pride that the devil became the devil: Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind.”
This is why we must continually keep our eyes focused on our Lord Jesus. His step from heaven into time, His lowly birth, His unassuming, unobtrusive life, His focus on the needy, His horrific death of suffering, all speak to the fact that He is a humble God. He filled our hearts when first we trusted in Him for salvation, all pride was gone. And as we live the crucified life, each and every day, the pride that rises will be swept away.
“In God, you come up against something which is in every respect immeasurably superior to yourself. Unless you know God as that—and, therefore, know yourself in comparison—you do not know God at all. As long as you are proud, you cannot know God. A proud man is always looking down on things and people: and, of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you.”
Maybe these few quotes will get you interested in reading the book yourself. Regardless, may each of us seek to be more like our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Love in Christ,
Bryan and Rachel