Truth

Finding Joy in Humility

You can find joy by focusing more on Jesus and less on yourself.

Humility is not something that we do well. Often, even our humility is done in order to make people think more highly of us: we desire recognition and to have ourselves lifted up above everyone else. The problem is, this kind of attitude makes it impossible to have lasting unity as the Church. Fortunately, Jesus has given us the ultimate example of humility, and because of him we have hope of great things in the future for which we can be joyful. Additionally, when we learn to humble ourselves to Jesus, we can begin to put him first rather than ourselves.

This whole series through the book of Philippians in the Bible has focused on the fact that When your focus is on yourself, happiness is dictated by your situation. When your focus is on Christ, joy is found in every situation. This principle doesn't change here either.

Text to read: Philippians 2:1-11 NLT

Paul points out that unity in the Church is of special importance. In fact, in our first week, we talked about finding joy in a true and healthy Christian community! The problem is, if the most important thing to each of us is ourselves and looking good and feeling good and being better than others and being recognized for being good, eventually something will happen that goes against those things and our unity will break down. This is why humility is so important!

Jesus calls you to true humility.

When your focus is on yourself, happiness is dictated by your situation. When your focus is on Christ, joy is found in every situation.

Humility is a huge biblical principle. Time and time again, Jesus said we have to be less to be greater, last to be first, and have to die to ourselves to live for Christ.

Remember what we've said is necessary for joy over and over again: less of yourself and more of Jesus. This means you've got to humble yourself first to Christ and second to others!

Too often, you make your humility all about you.

This is false humility. It is filtered through how others will perceive you. You don't want to seem prideful, so you deflect complements and give heartless platitudes that give others credit without being genuine.

Your humility probably--unconsciously or otherwise--focuses on the questions: "What can I get out of this," and "How will this impact how people see me?"

I won a medal for being the most humble man. They took it away a day later ‘cause I wore it.
— Unknown

Jesus gave the world's single greatest example of humility and in so doing, the world's single greatest hope.

God becoming human is the biggest act of humility possible. And he didn't just become any kind of human: he was born to a carpenter's family, in the backwater community of Galilee (a future disciple would remark, "can anything good come out of Galilee?"), in the smallest country, under another nation's rule. He could have come as a ruler, but came as a servant.

Through this act of humility, Jesus took our sin (rebellion against God and missing the mark on what we were made to be) on himself and provided a way for us to be forgiven of our sin and reunited in a life-giving relationship with God.

There's no need to try to get ahead of others in life, because everyone has been made equal through Jesus.

In the end, Jesus will return and everyone will recognize that he is Lord and will bow the knee to him. The question is, will you be there in fear and trembling as an enemy combatant, or will you be there in awe and wonder as you are ushered in as a son or daughter of God?

Action Step:

  • Ask the Holy Spirit to show you one way you can be humble; do it, and keep it a secret!

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Do I have to share my faith in Jesus?

We can witness boldly with the Holy Spirit of God.

Lately, a prosperity-gospel tele-evangelist named Jesse Duplantis has been in the news because he wants to raise money to buy a fourth luxury private jet for $54 million. In fact, he says Jesus told him to buy it. Needless to say, a lot of people are skeptical. It just doesn't seem like the kind of thing Jesus would direct someone to do.

There is another issue at stake here: this is a classic example of not putting first-things first. Mr. Duplantis' main mission as a Christian and as an evangelist should be telling people the Good News of Jesus--that they can have a life-giving relationship with God because of Jesus' death and resurrection on the cross, if only they will believe in Jesus and follow him. Yet, prosperity gospel preachers like Duplantis consistently make faith in Jesus more about what cool toys a person can get than about living a life fully connected to God.

At the same time, getting our priorities mixed up is something every follower of Jesus does on a regular basis.

What are the "first-things" of Christian faith? Love and follow Jesus, and love and share Jesus with others! But when Jesus-followers fail to do these things, we live disobediently, we are paralyzed by fear, and the world is disgusted by our hypocrisy and selfishness.

Read This: Acts 11:19-24 (NLT)

In this text, there are a few points of interest.

  1. Everywhere the early Christians went, they told people about Jesus--even though they were exiles running from persecution because of their beliefs!
  2. The early Christians had to learn that there is no one off-limits when it comes to sharing the Good News of Jesus.
  3. Antioch was a big city, and it was renowned for its lack of morality. All kinds of sin was on display, yet the Christians obediently shared their faith, and soon Antioch became an important centre of Christian missionary activity!
  4. As the sinful people of Antioch came to know Jesus, they soon realized the important fact that Jesus changes everything.

For the Christ-follower, sharing your faith isn't optional.

If it wasn't optional for the early Christians when they faced great danger by doing so, it is definitely not optional for you as a Westerner!

Sharing your faith isn't optional, but it's also not something you have to do alone.

Christian faith has never been about what you can do. In fact, it centres on what you couldn't do. Humanity couldn't stay faithful to their loving Creator. Humanity couldn't repair their relationship with God. Israel couldn't keep God's Law. So what did God do? He took matters in his own hands and from the beginning had laid out a plan for his own Son, Jesus Christ, to be born, live a sinless life, to teach us, to be wrongfully convicted and killed, and to rise again. In this act of perfect self-sacrifice, God bridged the gap between us and him for us. He righted our wrongs, and all we have to do is say "Yes," to Jesus and turn and follow him!

Furthermore, because of Jesus, you can tell others about him with the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus-followers are encouraged to be Spirit-filled, Spirit-led, and Spirit-empowered believers in Jesus.

Yes, we're going to mess things up at times, and not everything is going to turn out the way we hope. However, we have to remember that it is our Spirit-obedience that matters, not the results we see. As we are obedient to the Spirit's leading, we can rest easy knowing that he will do the rest.

Here at Abundant Springs, it is our hope that two years from now, when any of us sits down with the people from our community we will begin to hear them share how they know that Jesus is welcoming them, that he cares for them, and that he loves them because of what they've seen this congregation doing and because of the spiritual conversations they've had with us.

For this, we must share our faith, going forth full of God's Holy Spirit. Yes, we'll likely still experience fear, but we must allow that fear to push us to rely on the Holy Spirit.

Action Steps:

  1. Repent of your disobedience.
  2. Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you and empower you.
  3. Pray the witness' prayer each morning:

"God, give me today an opportunity to speak with someone about Jesus; the wisdom to see it; and the courage to take it." --Alvin Reid, Sharing Jesus Without Freaking Out.


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What would you give up for the ones you love?

What would you give up for the ones you love?

Have you ever given up something important to you to help someone you love? Perhaps you gave your money or your time; perhaps you gave up comfort or a possession you really loved. It is amazing the lengths that we will go to in order to help a loved one. In fact, a few years ago over 70 000 people were surveyed for the book, The Normal Bar. Survey participants were asked, “Have you given up an important part of yourself to keep your relationship together?” Of those married for 21 years or longer, 49% affirmed ...

Love & Truth - Truth Matters

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Follow along with sermon notes in Youversion.

Our apologies for the audio quality, we were dealing with a lot of interference on Sunday. If the audio is too difficult to hear, a transcription will be available after March 31

Pastor Stephen concludes this series on John's second letter in the Bible by talking about the importance of being familiar with God's Truth.

We want to hear from you...yes, you! Leave your thoughts and questions in the comments!