Friday, August 11, 2017

Secret works...walk humbly

In Secret Works and Sounding Trumpets, we looked at doing our works in secret and shouting from the rooftops the good and chartable works we do.  We had several comments on the discussion questions, so I thought we would explore a couple of them further. 

If anyone had a reason to proclaim His own great works and wonders it would have been Jesus.  He made Lazarus rise from the dead.  He cleansed lepers.  He made blind men see.  He healed the woman with the issue of blood.  He made the mute to speak.  Why wouldn't He want to "sound a trumpet" and say, "Look what I have done!  I am the Almighty God!"  

But that isn't what He did.  In Matthew 8:1-3 a leper came to Jesus and began worshiping Him.  The leper said if Jesus was willing, He could make the leper clean.  Jesus said that He was willing and He cleansed Him of the Leprosy the word says Immediately.  Then in verse 4, Jesus says to the leper:

Matthew 8:4  And Jesus said to him, See that you tell no one; but go, show yourself to the priest. And offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony to them.

Jesus told the leper to tell no one, but take himself to the priest and give the offering as Moses commanded.  Jesus didn't tell the leper, "Make sure everyone knows what I did because I am so important."  He didn't want the attention, He just wanted to heal the leper and cleanse him of his disease.  

In Mark 7, Jesus not only told them not to tell after he healed a deaf mute (Mark 7:31-37), He commanded them "that they should tell no one." In fact, look what happened in verse 36:

Mark 7:36  And He commanded them, that they should tell no one. But the more He commanded them, so much the more they proclaimed it.

The more Jesus said "don't tell", the more the people proclaimed what He had done.  The same is true for us, isn't it?  When we tell one person the good deed we did, these things generally spread like wildfire...and even more so today than in Jesus' time because of social media. Just like Jesus, we can't control the actions of others.  What we can control is our need to self-emulate.  We can control our need to build our pride and puff ourselves up.  All we have to do is be quiet.  Allow the Lord to cultivate the Fruit of the Spirit within us.  Let His love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness...and even His grace and mercy flow through us to those around us.  

Micah 6:8  He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does Jehovah require of you but to do justice and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God?

How can we walk humbly with God if we are looking for every possible moment we can to take the glory from God and soak it up ourselves?

James 4:5-7  Do you think that the Scripture says in vain, The spirit that dwells in us yearns to envy?  (6)  But He gives more grace. Therefore He says, God resists the proud, but He gives grace to the humble.  (7)  Therefore submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Can we submit to God without being humble?  Can we submit to God and let Him rule and reign in our lives as the King of Kings He is?  How do we submit to God while bringing the attention to ourselves of the good deeds we have done?  How do we resist the devil when we are self-serving and out of focus with what is important?  

In this age of selfies, the nearly instant connection internet and digital devices give us, it can be so simple to keep the focus on ourselves.  We are guilty of it from time to time.  What we do with the platforms we have before us helps to determine who gets the glory, honor, and praise.  

Lord, we thank you for the technology available to us to reach out to others. We ask that you would search our hearts for anything that would prevent You receiving the full glory and honor in our lives.  We know without You we are nothing...we can do nothing apart from You.  Thank You for love and mercy. Thank You for Your grace.  We ask that You use us today in a manner that brings You glory.  Show us where we lose focus so that we can refocus on what is important.  In the name of Jesus, Amen.

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