These are the words of James. He says that if we are poor we should be boosting for God has honored us. There are many ways to take this but I am reminded of Matthew chapter 6 myself. In which Jesus makes it clear that we are not to store up riches here on earth for our reward is in heaven. Jesus also states that those that seek their reward here on earth are receiving the reward here and not in the eternal live to come. This is why those that are rich should be humble.
Then why are so many that are rich not humble? Could it be they do not know or accept Jesus Christ as their Savior? This is a possibility, but it is not my place to say yes or no to that question. Do I have the right to ask the question? By all means yes I do. For when we see those that say they are “Godly” yet their manner and actions bring this into question, then the question needs to be asked.
Jesus stated that we are to be a light unto the world and we are to reflect His life. Jesus was the walking embodiment of the Bible itself. He never sinned. Humans do not have that, so we must ever seek to chip the sin out of our minds, and bodies. Does the fact that someone not being humble when they are rich mean they are not following Christ? The answer is in what else do they do? Do they lie? Do they curse? Do they know the Bible?
These are only three questions, but they are many more that we can get from the Bible and apply to them. Even in the Bible there are many questions asked of us to see if people are working toward the glory of God. Many of these questions are directed straight at us the reader.
As we look at those that do things that are not within the Bible and are in actuality opposite the Bible we can form an opinion. We are even told to use this opinion, to either help this person back to God or even to the point of avoiding them.
Jesus even states that there are those that will be like swine. You cast the love of Christ at their feet like pearls and all they will do is trample them then turn and tear you to pieces.
If people do not follow God, those that do follow God should not follow them. We cannot change them no matter how much we hope we can. They are lost and it is their own doing. The road to hell is wide, but the road to heaven is narrow and difficult. There is no easy way and any that offer an easy way are most likely offering damnation.
So remember when you see a boastful rich person to eye them carefully and do not allow them to lead you away from God.
This is something that the Bible teaches over and over again to avoid.
“I” want this.
“I” want that.
“I” want to have sex because it feels good.
“I” don’t have time for a baby so “I” will abort it.
Selfishness the core to all sin. From the word “I” comes lust. A lust for power, a lust for pleasure, a lust for possessions, a lust to control.
“I” is what we are told time and again to turn from, to avoid. We are told to humble ourselves. To place others needs before our own. To place God first which means to ignore the word “I” when seeking to do God’s works.
The greatest commandments:
1) Love and honor God above all else and all others.
2) To treat our neighbors as we would desire to be treated.
Then the rest of the Ten Commandments follow these two.
The Ten Commandments, the preamble to the laws given unto Moses upon Mt. Sinai. None of which say to place yourself first in anyway shape or form.
We must learn not to please the “I” but to please God. To be truly humble is to never place yourself before anyone or anything for as long as you place the “I” above all else you are guaranteed to fall short of God’s glory.
So remember the next time you say to yourself “I” wish to do this or that it would be best that you didn’t do it at all, most likely.
James 4:6 – But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
James 4:10 – Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
Matthew 23:12 – And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.
re-post —- originally posted in 2/15 and shows reference to then President Obama
The other day I had a discussion with someone and I stated that I believed selfishness to be the ultimate sin. They replied stating no it is pride.
Now I will not argue that in the Bible it does implicate that it is pride, but let’s take a good look at that word.
Pride a high or inordinate opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing, conduct, etc. Per Dictionary.com
This SELF-glorification and believe that you are better then all others. Is this not a selfish, self-serving mentality? Yes it is. So to me there is absolutely no difference between these two words. In fact they seem to complement each other.
In Luke 14 Jesus states this: “For whosoever exalteth (be prideful) himself shall be abased (be brought low); and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. “
Jesus also states that those that wish to lead need to be a servant unto those that you wish to lead (Mark 10:44). This again is humility and the lack of pride and selfishness. Most in some type of leadership roll these days are not humble. They are prideful and many are selfish and self-serving.
We need to seek out leaders that are reluctant to lead, but still capable of doing so. Ones that seeks the true good for all, placing all others before themselves and their own personal agenda.
“But there is no such person!” you shout out. That is a possibility, but still we must seek one out and support such people, for if we do we can fix more than has been fixed in the last decade. Most of this last decade has had a person in the White House that is petty, selfish, self-serving and only wish to place forth ideas and doctrines that have resulted in a nation in crisis.
All because there is no true understanding of the Bible by most of those that live in the United States for they are “too busy” to take the time to learn what is right, what is pure and what is holy. For only some that fully reads and understands the Bible can hope to achieve what is glorious in the sight of God, and they can only accomplish this through humility.
Throughout the Bible and particularly in the New Testament there is an imagery given that being a Christian is to develop a servant type mentality. A fact in point is those who seek to be leaders must consider themselves to be a servant or more accurately a slave to those they wish to lead.
Now this is my own point of view of this, here it is why I see the requirement to strive to be this way. Satan, when he was known as Lucifer, was to have had a servant mentality. However, this is not the reality of the facts. He is willful, self-centered and seeks after his own personal reward and satisfaction. As well as control over all.
These same exact behavioral issues are seen within those that are of the world. Even though sometimes they may not see it themselves this way. They are blind to their true nature and attitude. Many even see themselves as righteous.
We are to use this temporal life to come into an acceptance that we are to serve God. We do this through following the teachings of Christ His Son and the apostles, with the books of the New Testament, supported by the Old Testament.
When you truly humble yourself and love God above all else this is a simple task to fulfill. However, since we are human we will never reach perfection as long as we live in these corrupt bodies. As we come closer to Christ and accept the life He Himself lived by becoming a human. We see the flaws within ourselves and seek to end our sin.
The further away from Jesus they are they sin more for they are blind to their sins. Thus evidence that this life is a trail to see if we can learn to become humble. For be being humble we easily adjust to our eternal life in service to the Creator of the universe. These years in this temporal existence are designed to cause those willing to understand that to center their lives upon themselves results in sorrow and misery. However, if we accept that God is to be our focal point, placing the cares and concerns of our fellow human beings above our own desires. From employer to those that hate us. We come to a point of joy that even in torture and death we will be welcomed in the warm embrace of the One who created us.
“To those that hate us?” someone in shock says aloud.
Yes. Even those that hate us to the point of killing us. For this life is like a blink of an eye compared to our eternal life yet to come. A life filled in service to God. Seeing the wonders and the beauties of the entire universe. Or an eternity in pain and unending agony. Which is it you wish to live?
What are the goals that you seek to accomplish in this time you have upon this earth?
Well look at these goals from a Biblical point of view.
So you desire to be rich.
Biblically the more you desire riches the harder it is to get into to heaven. So on a scale of “one” being poor biblically and “ten” being rich biblically, becoming rich is a “one.”
Matthew 19:23 – Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is very hard for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. 24 I’ll say it again—it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!”
Now if all you sought was that which allows you to get your daily bread. That is a “ten.” In fact it is part of the Lord’s Prayer.
Okay seeking fame. Most that become famous become haughty. That then again becomes a “one.”
Proverbs 16: 18 Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall.
God desires us to be humble. That is a “ten.”
1 Peter 5:5 – In the same way, you who are younger must accept the authority of the elders. And all of you, dress yourselves in humility as you relate to one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” 6 So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor.
So a low score gets you into the pit of fire. A high score heads you in the right direction.
So for becoming rich and famous the score is “two.”
So being content with your daily bread and humbling yourself that is a score of “twenty.”
Personally I do not want rewards of this temporal plain of existence. For they will be eaten by moths and rust away. I seek after the eternal rewards that will be with me for billions upon billions upon billions of years.
Matthew 6:19 – “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be. 22 “Your eye is like a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is filled with light. 23 But when your eye is unhealthy, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is! 24 “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money. 25 “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? 27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? 28 “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, 29 yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 30 And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? 31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. 34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.
People speed about going faster than the speed limit. People yell at the baggage claims person standing outside in the cool fearing their luggage will not make it on to the plane in time. Why? Because they waited to the last minute to get to the airport. These are examples of things I have actually witnessed in my life. Whose timing are these people following? Is it God? The answer is obvious to that. No, they are not.
When people say they are turning over their lives to God they seem to forget little important aspects of their lives.
You see the first two commandants given to us by Jesus Christ Himself cover a LOT of territory when it comes to a Godly relationship. The First being to love God with all your heart, mind and soul. Simply place God first in EVERY thing you do. From getting to work, appointments, to personal interaction with people you encounter every day.
The second commandant is to treat everyone as you would treat yourself. Simply the golden rule: “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” This actually means to be kind to all. For would you treat yourself unkindly? No you would not. So go to bed sooner, leave earlier, arrive on time or before time, but do it in a way that allows you to work within the confines of human interaction. Simply go the speed limit, share the road. Open a door for someone. Say please and thank you. Smile.
What causes people not to do these things is one thing. Themselves. They are selfish and self-serving, which is counter to the Bible. For we are to humble ourselves and place others before us. We don’t need to be first. We do not need to win. We do not speed to endanger others because we feel they are an inconvenience, because they are blocking us, because they are in front of you.
So whose timing do most people follow? Their own. Does this make them right with God? Very doubtful. As long as people continue to not follow the Bible the doubt grows, their place in the eternal life to come becomes suspect. The need to stand before God in the Great White Throne Judgement guaranteed.
In one of my other posts, I mentioned two great commandments given to us by Jesus. To love God with all your heart and all the time. The other was to love your neighbor as you love yourself. These two things Christ stated was above the Ten Commandments and yet if you look at it they are part of the Ten Commandments.
Like the Ten Commandments it is something that is ignored by most, be they non-Christian or even Christian. This is a sad statement when you ponder upon it some, but true. Could it be the times we live in? Possibly, but it does not need to be this way.
Also as I have stated in other posts is the need to be truly humble.
Per Merriam-Webster Dictionary: Humble is: not proud: not thinking of yourself as better than other people;: given or said in a way that shows you do not think you are better than other people;: showing that you do not think of yourself as better than other people
This is the building blocks on which loving your neighbor as you would yourself is built upon. In love of God first, placing Him first in all you do and being a humble person. Placing the actions and feelings of all others before yourself allows you to love them like yourself.
In Christianity there are many groups. All think that their vision of God is better than the other persons version. In reality the only vision we have of God is found within the entire Bible. It shows God is all knowing. It shows God as creator and Father. Yet many that call themselves Christian think of Him as some magical genie that will grant their wishes to become rich, a celebrity, important.
This is not what the Bible teaches and the mere fact that there are people that believe otherwise shows they have not truly read the Bible and understand it. As a result, they find it impossible to follow the two greatest commandments.
A recurring theme throughout my life has been the desire to respect others. Sure, some parts of my personality can be a thorn to some, but who amongst us can say that is not true for any person. In my early teens, I allowed my peers to turn my heart to hardness. This lasted until I was in my mid-twenties. One thing that I know marked these years was the mere fact that I had become selfish and self-serving.
When I became born again at twenty-six the man, what I should have been came back into existence. A man that God knew and recognized. (See my post “Overwhelming sin” to understand what I meant by this statement). The man returned to what the boy I had been before I allowed my peers to turn me into what I had become in the dark years.
I learned to give into my desires and wants in those years. I allowed myself to listen to only myself. Not caring if I hurt people. Many of these people were girls and women, especially when I turned eighteen.
Regret is one thing that has crossed my mind more than once over the last quarter of a century plus. Sometimes this regret causes me to do things that help others. Then there are times this regret has made me avoid situations out of fear they may be a repeat of something from my past that I do not wish to go through again. I feel these regrets are due to me trying to think of others before myself.
Too many times in the Bible we are told be humble, placing others before ourselves. The emphasis is too poignant that true faith requires humility, thus selflessness. When you are selfish, you are not acting for God. When thinking of your own desires no matter how little or big you have placed yourself before others.
I really think it is in all of us to be humble. I know I was humble when I was a child and had forgotten it due to pain and humiliation. How I returned to it is where free-will comes into play. I felt wrong from my behavior. I felt more guilt as I became more selfish. I do not know if others experience this and hide it, but it allowed me to face myself and realize this is not what God wanted for me or us for that matter. So I chose through the act of free-will to return to what I was taught in my youth.
I know I am not perfect. No human can ever be perfect. I know I have overcome sins that would have turned me into someone other then what I am. I know not only that it was God, but an inner strength that has allowed me to grow into the man I am today. Where did I get this inner strength? From my trials I have face throughout my life. Without these trials, I feel I would in no way be the man I am today.
All I do know is that the man that types these words today is in fact someone who deserves to be call a man, since there is a difference between being male and being a man. It is by God and for God that I am here, and I praise Him for that.