God comes to us in humility. Christ as the head of the church shows us what leadership and love look like when he as a wounded healer and a suffering leader bend down to us and speaks to us in kindness. Consider the immoral, foreign woman at the well. Look at how Jesus spoke to her and ask yourself, “Is this how I treat and speak to those who I think are immoral?” Practice this virtue like breathing in clean mountain air.
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. – Philippians 2:3 CEB
Pride – What is it that fuels your arrogance? Your sense of entitlement and superiority are rooted somewhere deep within your desire to play God. Today is a good day to let the Holy Spirit do his job. Consider repenting of pride in the following ways:
- Stop fishing for compliments.
- Reflect Christ not your own glory.
- Listen to understand rather than listening to then speak.
- Look for the image of God in others rather than their flaws.
- Ask others about their journey instead of dropping your roadmap on them.
- Pray for your enemies
If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care—then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand. – Philippians 2:1-4 The Message
Power – We hear these words from Paul in 2 Corinthians, the Lord says: “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me…. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
King Jesus was not and is not the king the world expected or wants — and yet, he is the King we so desperately need. He takes what it means to have power and completely flips it on its head. He shows us that in our weakness, in our meekness, in our humility, in our lack of strength and worldly power…it is in those places that the power of Christ works and shines. What has power over you right now? Pray the prayer, “Where I am weak, Lord you are strong! Make me an instrument of humble peace. Lead beside still waters that I may bear the image of a King that is all powerful and yet is slow to anger, listens perfectly, speaks tenderly, and loves first. Amen”
Truth – Jesus reinstated and restored Peter after he denied him three times. God knows the true condition of our hearts. Like Peter, we must face the realities of anger and disappointments as well. Our attempts to bring healing flows from our restoration in God’s grace. In the process of being restored we experience healing and transformation. As we allow God’s truth to change us, we can engage our friends in political conversations out of genuine love and respect. This weekend make it your goal to set aside your political affiliation in order to convey your love for those you disagree with.
God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits,
to the woman who diligently seeks.
It’s a good thing to quietly hope,
quietly hope for help from God.
It’s a good thing when you’re young
to stick it out through the hard times.
When life is heavy and hard to take,
go off by yourself. Enter the silence.
Bow in prayer. Don’t ask questions:
Wait for hope to appear.
Don’t run from trouble. Take it full-face. The “worst” is never the worst.
Then Jesus said to the person who had invited him, “When you host a lunch or dinner, don’t invite your friends, your brothers and sisters, your relatives, or rich neighbors. If you do, they will invite you in return and that will be your reward. Instead, when you give a banquet, invite the poor, crippled, lame, and blind. And you will be blessed because they can’t repay you. Instead, you will be repaid when the just are resurrected.” – Luke 14:12-14
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Dear Heavenly Father, we come to you this day, convicted of the true condition of our hearts. We are full of ugly pride and arrogance, and these things too often are the motivating factors behind our words and actions. As we look around at the conditions of our world, anger, bitterness, and hatred for who we see as “the other” fill our souls. Help us to let go of these things, Lord. Help us see even “them” as your children. Transform our hearts, humble us, and clothe us in your truth. For we are in this world, but not of the world, and for that we give you praise. We must decrease, and you must increase. May your faithful love rest on us, Yahweh, for we put our hope in you, and in you alone. In Jesus’ name, Amen.