Lessons from Luke

When we humble ourselves, Jesus taught that we will be exalted

Humble Yourself – Part II

Scripture Reading: Luke 18:9-14

Key Verse: Luke 18:14b

“… For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

From yesterday’s devotion we learned that it is essential to humble ourselves before the Lord. Today, I want to focus on the last part of that verse that tells us that when we can humble ourselves, we will be exalted.

The question I posed in yesterday’s devotion was: how to can we humble ourselves and not have a motivation to be exalted?

Before we go too deep, it is good to remember that God understands our human tendencies and has mercy on us when we cave to them. Our failures in any areas of our Christian life are forgiven as we humbly acknowledge our failure and ask God to forgive us in Jesus’s Name. However, God does expect us to put forth our best effort to live life as Jesus taught us. With that in mind, let’s study how to guard against selfish motivations.

When we humble ourselves, Jesus taught us that we will be exalted. We normally won’t know how God makes this happen nor when we will be exalted. We must determine that we will do the work of humbling ourselves even if we are never exalted in the way that our flesh may hope. We are not terrible Christians when our thoughts go to hoping God will exalt us, but we must state our determination that we will keep being obedient to Jesus’s teachings no matter the outcome.

I’ll let you in on a secret. Every pastor hopes that his sermons are hailed as masterpieces and that everyone is thrilled with them. Of course, we pastors also know that those thoughts are not appropriate and would never say them out loud.

I have tried to practice always reminding myself that if no one says anything good about my sermons, I will continue to preach as God gives me direction. I will also admit, that if no one gave me any encouragement over the years, it would be a difficult task to get up in front of people and deliver a message. I feel that God, in His merciful ways, allows us to be encouraged by a few positive comments from people around us.

Someone once said to me that God’s easiest job was to keep us humble. I think that is true. We can relax and do our best to humble ourselves, believing that God will indeed help us stay humble when we stay in step with His Spirit within us.

If you are someone that relates more to the Pharisee in Jesus’s story and have great confidence in your own righteousness, then heed this story and work hard to humble yourself. Know that we all fall short of the glory of God and desperately need His mercy and forgiveness (Romans 3:23).

Father, despite my fleshly desires to be exalted, I will do the work of humbling myself, knowing how much I need your mercy. In Jesus’s Name I pray, amen.

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