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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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OBEDIENCE REQUIRES HUMILITY

And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (Philippians 2:8 ESV)

In the verse above, we see that Jesus left His glory in heaven to become a human man. He came in the form of a servant; not a ruler. He was a man like other men, but He did not sin. Yet, He humbled Himself in obedience to die on the cross. Such a death was considered the most degrading and most humiliating kind of death. This was the penalty for the most wretched of slaves and the wickedest of criminals who were considered cursed by God.

Continue reading

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HOPE

One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple. (Psalm 27:4 ESV)

Reading The BibleSeek for His Wisdom and you will also find hope for the future.

THE CURSE OF PRIDE

Thus Joseph, who was also called by the apostles Barnabas (which means son of encouragement), a Levite, a native of Cyprus, sold a field that belonged to him and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet. (Acts 4:36-37 ESV)

But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, and with his wife’s knowledge he kept back for himself some of the proceeds and brought only a part of it and laid it at the apostles’ feet. (Acts 5:1-2 ESV)

Samuel A CainI am sure that Barnabas was praised for giving money to the apostles for the poor. Ananias and Sapphira must have envied him very much. Perhaps they made a vow to the apostles promising to give the same. They sold the piece of property and kept some of the money. They agreed, however, to tell the apostles they were giving all the money they had received for the sale.

Keep in mind that Ananias and Sapphira were not required to sell the property or give the money to the apostles for the poor. Yet, their desire for undeserved admiration led them to lie to their friends, the apostles, and – most importantly – they attempted to lie to God. They were seeking to glorify themselves – not God. Therefore, because of pride’s evil curse their motivation was all wrong. Do not touch or defile God’s glory.

FAITH, HUMILITY, AND WORKS

Samuel A CainIsrael who pursued a law that would lead to righteousness did not succeed in reaching that law. Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were based on works. They have stumbled over the stumbling stone … (Romans 9:31-33 ESV)

Human nature and pride often lead people to think that it is by their own good efforts that they will finally win the approval of God. Such an attitude leads us to believe that God owes us something because we have accumulated good deeds in our “salvation bank”. However, self-righteousness destroys the doctrine of faith as it is taught in the Scriptures.

We must be born again to enter into the kingdom of God. Faith is the means and gift of the Holy Spirit. “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9, ESV) Continue reading

THE HUMBLE PERSON

J.C.-RyleJ.C. Ryle:

“‎A humble and prayerful person will find a thousand things in the Bible, which the proud student will utterly fail to discern.”

A HUMBLE DESIRE

Charles H. SpurgeonCharles H. Spurgeon:

“A humble desire is one which leaves everything in God’s hands. The man who has it, says, ‘Now, though I desire this, it may be it is not a right desire. Lord, I desire only to desire what I ought to desire! My desire is that Your desire should be written on my heart, that I may desire what You desire.’ Your will be done in my soul, in my body, in my circumstances and in me, in all respects.” (1894, Sermon #2342)

THE MEASURE OF ALL THINGS

Sinclair B. FergusonSinclair Ferguson:

“When man became the measure of all things what was lost was man.”

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