I was but a pen in God’s hands, and what praise is due to a pen?
A wretched, poor and helpless worm, on Thy kind arms I fall.
There were earnest longings that all God’s people might be clothed with humility and meekness, like the Lamb of God, and feel nothing in their hearts but love and compassion to all mankind; and great grief when anything to the contrary appeared in any of the children of God, as bitterness, fierceness of zeal, censoriousness, or reflecting uncharitably on others, or disputing with any appearance of heat of spirit.
Men that have their spirits heated and enraged and rising in bitter resentment when they are injured act as if they thought some strange thing had happened to them. Whereas they are very foolish in so thinking for it is no strange thing at all but only what was to be expected in a world like this. They therefore do not act wisely that allow their spirits to be ruffled by the injuries they suffer.
When the corn is nearly ripe it bows the head and stoops lower than when it was green. When the people of God are near ripe for heaven, they grow more humble and self-denying… Paul had one foot in heaven when he called himself the chiefest of sinners and least of saints.
To see a man humble under prosperity is one of the greatest rarities in the world.
Mary’s act of pouring it on Christ’s feet was an act of utter humility. It was an extreme act of worship from an undivided heart. Holding nothing back, as if pouring forth her very soul, Mary poured it all out, an entire pint of it. She said nothing. No words would have sufficed to express her feelings.
The one thing we do know is that we don’t even know what we don’t know.
The essence of gospel-humility is not thinking more of myself or thinking less of myself, it is thinking of myself less… True gospel-humility means I stop connecting every experience, every conversation, with myself. In fact, I stop thinking about myself. The freedom of self-forgetfulness. The blessed rest that only self-forgetfulness brings.
A truly gospel-humble person is not a self-hating person or a self-loving person, but a gospel-humble person. The truly gospel-humble person is a self-forgetful person whose ego is just like his or her toes. It just works. It does not draw attention to itself. The toes just work; the ego just works. Neither draws attention to itself.
The way to exultation is always through humiliation. If that principle was true for the Son of God, how much more is it true for His followers?
There are many of us that are willing to do great things for the Lord, but few of us are willing to do little things.
And I am afraid there are Calvinists, who, while they account it a proof of their humility that they are willing in words to debase the creature, and to give all the glory of salvation to the Lord, yet know not what manner of spirit they are of. Whatever it be that makes us trust in ourselves that we are comparatively wise or good, so as to treat those with contempt who do not subscribe to our doctrines, or follow our party, is a proof and fruit of a self-righteous spirit. Self-righteousness can feed upon doctrines, as well as upon works; and a man may have the heart of a Pharisee, while his head is stored with orthodox notions of the unworthiness of the creature and the riches of free grace.
Humility listens. Humility cultivates courtesy and restraint in speech and manner. Humility looks for win-win outcomes. Humility watches the other guy’s back. Humility values self-awareness and is open to gentle correction. Humility esteems others highly and looks for their strengths and talks them up warmly and sincerely. Where gospel humility is, God is.
Look at Him – this amazing Jesus! He is helping Joseph make a yoke in that little carpenter’s shop at Nazareth. This is the One who, apart from His self-emptying, could far more easily make a solar system or a galaxy of systems. Look at Him again! Dressed like a slave, with towel and basin for His menial equipment, He is bathing the feet of some friends of His who, but for their quarrelsomeness, should have been washing His feet.… “He humbled himself!” “Don’t forget this,” cries Paul to these dear friends of his at Philippi. “Don’t forget this when the slightest impulse arises to become self-assertive and self-seeking, and so to break the bond of your fellowship with one another”(Paul Rees).
It is, in fact, a law of the spiritual life that the further you go, the more you are aware of the distance still to be covered. Your growing desire for God makes you increasingly conscious, not so much of where you are in your relationship with Him as of where as yet you are not.
As God then sees all hearts, and knows every movement of pride, whether we see it or not, His purpose is to humble us! When I look back upon my life, and see all my sins, all my follies, all my slips, all my falls, my conscience testifies of the many things I have thought, said, and done, which grieve my soul, make me hang my head before God, put my mouth in the dust, and confess my sins unto Him. When I contrast my own exceeding sinfulness with God’s greatness, God’s majesty, God’s holiness, and God’s purity… I fall down, humbly and meekly before Him, I put my mouth in the dust, I acknowledge I am vile. “I am nothing but dust and ashes.” (Abraham) “Behold, I am vile!” (Job) “Woe to me! I am ruined!” (Isaiah) “I am a sinful man!” (Peter)
Humility…see[s] more evil in [one’s] own heart than in any other in the world.
Ask someone who knows you well if they believe you are humble. You have nothing to lose except your pride.
Hell or Heaven? Do we plead for God’s reward as a result of our actions or do we plead for God’s mercy as a result of his actions?
He stripped off first one robe of honor and then another until, naked, He was fastened to the cross. There He emptied His inmost self, pouring out His lifeblood, giving Himself for all of us. Finally, they laid Him in a borrowed grave. How low was our dear Redeemer brought! How then, can we be proud? Stand at the foot of the cross and count the scarlet drops by which you have been cleansed. See the thorny crown and His scourged shoulders still gushing with the crimson flow of blood. See His hands and feet given up to the rough iron, and His whole self mocked and scorned. See the bitterness, the pangs, and the throes of inward grief show themselves in His outward frame. Hear the chilling shriek, “My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46). If you are not humbled in the presence of Jesus, you do not know Him. You were so lost that nothing could save you but the sacrifice of God’s only begotten Son. As Jesus stooped for you, bow in humility at His feet. A realization of Christ’s amazing love has a greater tendency to humble us than even a consciousness of our own guilt. Pride cannot live beneath the cross. Let us sit there and learn our lesson. Then let us rise and carry it into practice.
Do not desire to be the principal man in the church. Be lowly. Be humble. The best man in the church is the man who is willing to be a doormat for all to wipe their boots on, the brother who does not mind what happens to him at all, so long as God is glorified.
And seldom if ever do I leave the pulpit without a sense of partial failure, a mood of penitence, a cry to God for forgiveness, and a resolve to look to Him for grace to do better in the future.
I can only assume that God looked down from heaven to find the smallest and most insignificant creature and seeing me, He took me up and used me.
It takes more grace than I can tell to play the second fiddle well.
Youth is the time when all seems to be within the grasp of the careful student. I have left that time behind. “I don’t know” is on my lips more often now. But so also is “God knows!” – not as a thoughtless expression in conversation, but as the conviction of my heart.
When I was young I was sure of everything; in a few years, having been mistaken a thousand times, I was not half so sure of most things as I was before; at present, I am hardly sure of anything but what God has revealed to me.
Can you serve your boss and others at work, helping them to succeed and be happy, even when they are promoted and you are overlooked? Can you work to make others look good without envy filling your heart? Can you minister to the needs of those whom God exalts and men honor when you yourself are neglected? Can you pray for the ministry of others to prosper when it would cast yours in the shadows?