Jump to Prayer FocusBible Passage for Meditation: Matthew 18:1-5
Key Verse: “Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:4
Christ tells us, “Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3). This was a statement of profound meaning in Christ’s day. It was also a shock to Christ’s disciples and all those listening, for it was the reverse of what their culture taught. And yet Christ continued, “Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:4).
Consider the following questions about proud people versus humble people. As you do, ask God to search your heart and reveal the pride that only He can remove.
Proud, Self-filled People versus Humble, Self-less People:
Do you desire to be a success so others will see, or do you desire to be faithful so that God’s glory may be seen?
Do you see all the good you do and feel worthy of salvation, or do you believe that only through Christ’s blood and merit can you gain salvation?
Do you feel confident and proud of how much you know, or do you feel humbled by how much you have yet to learn?
Do you find yourself defensive and easily offended when criticized, or are you able to receive criticism with a humble, open heart as you seek to grow?
Do you tend to cast blame on others for problems, or do you accept personal responsibility for these problems?
Do you have difficulty saying, “I was wrong, will you forgive me?” or are you quick to say, “I’m sorry, let’s work this out”?
Do you feel that “Everything must be my way!” or are you willing to surrender control, desiring that God’s will and way be accomplished?
Do you have to prove you are right or save face even when wrong, or are you willing to yield the “right to be right,” even at times when you are right?
Do you find yourself too busy with important business to notice or care about the “small people” in your life, or do you seek to serve and minister to “small people,” even the “least of these”?
Do you find yourself protective of personal space, time, and reputation, or are you giving and generous, allowing God to protect space, time, and your reputation?
Do you find yourself always thinking about all the things you could do for God if given an opportunity, or do you realize that without God, you can do nothing, and that your good efforts are actually only filthy rags?
Do you desire to be recognized, appreciated, and honored for your work, or are you content to go unnoticed as long as God gets the glory and honor?
Do you find yourself concerned with your profile and what others think of you, or are you more concerned with purity of heart and what God thinks of you?
Do you feel that you are fine, while your church and everyone around you needs revival, or are you the first to acknowledge that you need continual daily revival?
“It is easy to think we humble ourselves before God: but humility towards men will be the only sufficient proof that our humility before God is real. The humble man feels no jealousy or envy. He can praise God when others are preferred and blessed before him. . . . He can bear to hear others praised and himself forgotten, because in God’s presence he has learned to say with Paul, ‘I am nothing.’ He has received the spirit of Jesus, who pleased not himself, and sought not his own honor, as the spirit of his life” (Andrew Murray, Humility and Absolute Surrender, pp. 25, 27).
True humility, a humility that will not take pride in itself or its strength, is a rare gift and one that only God can give. But it is this Christ-centered humility we desperately need.
Heart Prayer Challenge:
Dear Heavenly Father, we cannot gain true humility in our own strength. It’s a work that only You can do. Please help us, Father, to see ourselves as You see us, to be unmasked of our pride, self-sufficiency, and arrogance. Take us to a new, deeper level in our walk with You. Change us from the inside out, we pray! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
[To review the entire list of Pride versus Humility, please click here. Every time I go through this document, I’m convicted again of how much pride is still within me. Also, if you didn’t see the note yesterday after Kat’s blog, I encourage you to prayerfully read “Removing the Breaches: Heart Evaluation” by clicking here. I pray these resources will convict and inspire you as they have all of us —Mel]