God said, “If those who are entrusted with the new covenant take the word ‘humility’ to heart, the gospel of God will greatly prosper.” From the prophets to the new comers, let’s think of humility and be gospel workers bearing that virtue.
Have Christ’s attitude of humility
Php 2:1-8 … but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-even death on a cross!
Jesus Christ showed us an example of humility. The mind of Christ is humility itself. God Himself, Lord of lords and King of kings, came into this earth, but people didn’t recognize Him and even did to Him everything they wished. Christ was ridiculed, despised and injured by the sinners. For our salvation, however, He endured silently, being always humble. “He humbled Himself and became obedient to death.” This word shows how greatly Christ humbled Himself. If we are God’s children, we should resemble God’s humble character. Character is important in seeking our lost family. The goal of our faith is the salvation of our souls (1 Pe 1:9). Sal-vation comes from repentance, and repentance from humility. So, salvation can be founded on humility. If we do not humble ourselves, there will be dispute, jealousy, hate and quarreling. He who is humble makes no enemies. Down through Biblical history, we can see that God has not chosen those who claim to be wise and intelligent, nor those who claim to be superior to others. Those people do not devote themselves to establishing God’s kingdom, but their own. They do not work for the gospel according to God’s word and His way, but according to their own methods; eventually they oppose God’s purposed plan. That’s why God does not need them. God chose Peter, John and James. The reason He chose them was because they didn’t exalt themselves or think they did something by themselves. They would not establish their own kingdom. They just thought, “I can do nothing, so I’ll do as God directs me.” God needs such humble ones. To be used by God, we must be humble, so that we can become noble vessels for God’s purpose. As followers of God’s truthful teachings, we should have a humble attitude just as God has asked us to.
1 Co 1:26-29 Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things-and the things that are not-to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.
God chooses humble ones. He does not use those who claim to be intelligent. After doing something, such people think-“I myself did it.” They reveal their own righteousness rather than God’s. One of our brothers said, “If a pastor is too proficient in preaching sermons, I can hardly focus on God.” I was deeply impressed by him. I do not mean it is good to preach poor sermons. What I want to say is that we are to focus our heart on God, hearing one’s sermon; if we come to think of a pastor first instead of God, it is greatly undesirable. We should just play the role of a mirror reflecting God. Do not hold a pastor in high regard; he just delivers God’s word. If you do, from now on please turn your focus to God from the pastor. If he plays more than the role of a mirror, he may be in danger spiritually. Why doesn’t God choose those who are more educated, intelligent and famous in the world? If such persons are chosen, God will be invisible behind their fame. They will just intend to win their own fame ultimately through God, instead of trying to implant God’s name in people’s hearts. We ought to reflect God’s glory like a mirror. It is our whole duty to fear God and display His glory. We must not forget who we are. We are nothing but sinners. We have come to this day because God has taken pity on us and shown kindness to us. Some of us are given duties of leaders in the church. When we lead our spiritual family, we must humble ourselves and be compassionate to them and encourage them.
Nebuchadnezzar became humble, realizing God’s power
Da 4:30-37 … “Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?” The words were still on his lips when a voice came from heaven, “This is what is decreed for you, King Nebuchadnezzar: Your royal authority has been taken from you. You will be driven away from people and will live with the animals; you will eat grass like cattle. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes.” Immediately what had been said about Nebuchadbezzar was fulfilled. He was driven away from people and ate grass like cattle. His body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair grew like the feathers of an eagle and his nails like the claws of a bird. At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored. Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever. … At the same time that my sanity was restored, my honor and splendor were returned to me for the glory of my kingdom. My advisers and nobles sought me out, and I was restored to my throne and became even greater than before. Now, I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble.
Though Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon was a Gentile, God showed him many wonders so that he might perceive God. Through what happened to Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, God made him realize His existence. However, when he became proud, a voice came from heaven-“Your royal authority has been taken from you,” and he was driven away. Afterward he became humble again, then God restored his sanity and gave him wisdom again. At the moment that Nebuchadnezzar thought-‘By my mighty power I built the great kingdom and conquered many neighbor countries,’ God gave him the mind of an animal. Due to his arrogance-‘I myself did it,’ he was driven from the throne and was brought down; he ate grass like cattle and his body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair grew like the feathers of an eagle and his nails like the claws of a bird. Then he realized the importance of humility. The Bible says that Nebuchadnezzar praised God the King of heaven, when he completely realized that ‘God humbles those who walk in pride.’
Humility is a great part of the truth not only in the Old Testament times, but also in this age. Salvation begins with humility. When we carry out the gospel work, we should be careful not to be proud and think, ‘I did it all by myself.“ If we think so, we are totally mistaken. God can work through whomever He wishes. We are merely designated by God to fulfill His work. Whomever God calls, He gives him abilities to perform his duty as a pastor or elder or deacon.
Let’s do the gospel work with a humble heart
We ask God for wisdom or ask Him to allow us to bear much fruit. We should first try to be humble. God has called us sinners by His grace and has led us to this glorious place. If we really thank God, we shall willingly serve our brothers and sisters in accordance with God’s command. If we preach the gospel with a humble heart, we will receive blessing and glory in Zion. Apostle Paul also had an attitude of great humility when he preached the gospel.
Ac 20:17-19 From Miletus, Paul sent to Ephesus for the elders of the church. When they arrived, he said to them: “You know how I lived the whole time I was with you, from the first day I came into the province of Asia. I served the Lord with great humility and with tears, although I was severely tested by the plots of the Jews.”
1 Co 9:19 Though I [Paul] am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible.
Apostle Paul was born a Roman citizen. Roman citizenship was used to confer special rights in those days. He was educated and had complete knowledge of the law. Briefly speaking, Paul had an excellent background so that he might feel proud of himself. However, he did not boast of such worldly things. He humbled himself, even making himself a slave to everyone. That was why he became the greatest apostle who was given God’s grace, after he was converted from an enemy of God to a child of God.
1 Pe 5:5-6 Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.
Pride is enmity against God. If we become proud, we will be completely cut off from all the help and blessing that God is trying to give us-our wisdom will perish and we will no longer bear fruit. God opposes the proud, but gives more grace to the humble.
Jas 4:5-6 … But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
According to whether we are humble or not, we may become those who oppose God or the ones who are worthy to receive God’s grace. If we want to ask God’s favor, let’s obey God in the little things and have a humble faith. When we preach the gospel with the attitude of Christ-humility, Zion will be filled with God’s grace. If we want to be greatly loved by God and to be given more wisdom and understanding, and if we hope to bear much fruit, we must be humble. Then, God will lift us up in due time. All things we do for the sake of the gospel are equally valuable. As for a very small matter or a tough work, if the work is for our heavenly family, it is so important. Though it is a very tiny and unnoticeable thing, God takes it into account. Those who willingly do such unnoticeable and unpleasant things, God gives more attention to such persons and gives them more fruit and greater power to preach.
As we follow the way of the gospel, we should walk the same path God walked. That is the best and shortest way to heaven. We can not accomplish the gospel mission by our self-willed effort; we can carry it out when we put into practice all teachings of God. Only he who obeys God’s word and puts it into practice can receive His blessings. As God has told us to be humble, we are to have the attitude of humility. Then all the gospel work will prosper. Our Father and Mother personally set us an example of humility. We, too, should follow the example and teaching of our Father and Mother. God has promised we will bear much fruit if we humble ourselves. Believing God’s promise, we are to obey God in humility.
Only those who become like children will enter the kingdom of heaven
Even Job, one of our forefathers, was required by God to be humble.
Job 22:29 When men are brought low and you say, ‘Lift them up!’ then he will save the downcast.
Through this word, we can clearly understand that salvation comes with humility. Concerning this, Jesus taught us as follows:
Mt 18:1-4 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
No authority is found in children. They always feel weak and obey their parents. Children depend on their parents. Whatever they do, they always need their parents’ help. Wherever they go, they beg their parents to take them. Like little children, we need God; we should always cry out to God. Instead of thinking, ‘I can do well without any help,’ we should think this way, ‘Though I can do this, if God gives me wisdom and a better way to do it, I will attain a more favorable result than I expect. I’d rather ask God first.’ This is a childlike heart. Jesus says unless we become like little children, we will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Asking God first and taking action-this is a favorable act that comes from the humble. God needs those who are humble. Whatever we do, we should first ask God for it, considering humility as the greatest virtue. Then we will receive God’s abundant blessing. I hope all our brothers and sisters will be greatly loved by God and abundantly bear beautiful fruit, by humbling ourselves to obey God’s word and being faithful to the gospel work.