Barb's Space

Observations about life, family, church...anything else that is on my mind from the perspective that God rules, no matter what

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Location: Indianapolis, IN, United States

I am a 65 year young woman who has changed much in the last few years. I'm single again. I changed jobs twice (learned new skills), had a serious stroke in 2008, "retired" and after getting better started taking up new interests, and am continuing to get more fit. Some things have matured. I've enjoyed watching my three guys grow into men I respect and am proud of. One waited 11 years to have his first birth child. Today I'm a grandma of six (four boys and 2 girls between two families)! I have learned to love Jesus even more, and I have regained my sense of adventure. Someone said, "The best is yet to be."--I believe it, if I keep an open mind and heart and keep growing and walking with God.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Humility-An Elusive but Vital Gift

Recently our pastor spoke on humility, which is one aspect of the culture needed in our body to see God's kingdom come and stay among us. He said it is elusive, because as soon as we think we have it we become proud of it and it's gone.

How true! The more I try to humble myself, the worse I get--more jealous, more competitive, more prideful, more self-pitying, more antagonistic against people when I should be against evil and for people.... My sin is so pervasive that it is wrapped in the very fiber of my being.

But something else is wrapped in the very fiber of my being since I received Jesus, and that something is grace. I was saved by grace (all I could do was receive it as a gift--that's why the song is called Amazing Grace), and I live by grace. Grace is what teaches my heart to fear and honor God and also teaches me not to fear man. Grace teaches me how to focus on God and what He is doing instead of on myself. I still have a lot to learn in this department, and the only way it works is through a moment by moment receiving of imparted grace.

Why do I prefer morality to grace so often? Morality is me improving myself--then I would earn my way to grace and the goodness of God. But the Bible (and my experience if I'll be honest) tells me I can't even obey without grace. Grace is the only thing that can ever keep me out of religion--away from rules that look good and Christian and separate me from people, because by following them that makes me automatically "better" than others.

In our Sunday morning Bible class, we are studying Habakkuk, which is one of the smallest Old Testament books--only three chapters. In Habakkuk, one of the things the Lord does is talk of the evil doings of the nation He is going to use to discipline Israel's sin. He says they are arrogant, that they have stolen the riches of other nations to build their own, and that they have enslaved the people of these nations to do the building for them. He also speaks of their idolatry. To do this kind of evil, the root seems to be pride. They think they are able to define their own gods rather than look to the one true God. They also think they can use things that are not theirs and can abuse people. Pride allowed them to see God, "things" and other people incorrectly.

Pride is also what allows me to have a wrong image of God, people and things that aren't mine. In different ways I use God, and abuse people and th
ings. My sin looks different than that of others, but it's got the same character.

I think my pastor is right. He says that humility is achieved only as a byproduct of understanding, believing and marveling in the grace of God. and that the only way for things to get better is for us to preach the grace of God till humility just starts to grow in us. As we receive God's grace, we won't be able to do anything but share it. I wrote a poem for Christmas one year that goes along with this. I pray God bless it to you in Jesus' name.



God's Reflection(s)
Barbara A. Irwin
©12-13-91, Revised 12-07-01



Love came down to earth one time
In a stable filled with grime.
God's own Son was born one day
The Father's heart to portray
To self-willed humanity
Steeped in its own vanity.



Jesus, fashioned as a man,
Grew into His Father's plan.
Starting as a baby boy,
He filled Father's heart with joy.
Though God, He learned to obey
Father's will throughout each day.



Grown to perfect adulthood,
Jesus, being Man, understood
About trials, hurt, and testing.
He went through life possessing
Love for God's Word, will, and way;
His commitment did not stray.



Jesus' life was a reflection
Of God's love to perfection.
Father's heart He did express
As He helped those in distress.
He was never far away
From hurt people in dismay.



Yes, He cared for those in need,
But there were some He'd not heed.
These thought they had much wisdom,
Which they held to, causing schism.
(Some are found today in church;
They challenge things of much worth.)



To the end, Jesus was true.
He met needs while others stewed.
Though some resisted to the last,
He went to the cross, steadfast,
Resolved to die for man's sin
So man's new life could begin.



The third day saw Jesus rise
Into heaven through the skies.
Now He prays for us from there,
Wants all to know He does care
About them just as before, and
Wants to come in their heart's door.



Once inside someone there's change;
Jesus wants to rearrange
One's priorities in life.
Out go selfishness and strife,
If that one lets Jesus do
Everything that He wants to.



Then that one reflects God's grace;
You'll see God's love on his face.
He will meet another's need,
For others with Father plead.
God's mirror will be looked upon;
Again God's life is passed on.



We're designed specially to be
Reflectors of our God's glory.
Grace, life, and love are from Him--
He's got a plan to bring in
His Kingdom-- our ways are through!
Now we reflect our God's view.

1 Great Ideas:

Blogger Cheri said...

Barb,

Loved your poem!

I like what your pastor shared about humility and think it is the absolute truth!

I look forward to getting to know you more in time to come.

Blessings,
Cheri from Glass House Ministries

January 20, 2010 6:16 PM

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