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Text Sermons : Erlo Stegen : Be clothed with humility (part 2)

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1Pet 5:5-7, Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”
6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time,
7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

Rom 12:3, For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.

1) Be clothed with humility

Women are expert at dressing smartly. But there is no better garment to clothe yourself with than to be clothed with humility. A humble person is a child of God; but a proud and haughty person is the child of satan.

The devil was an angel of God (and perhaps the highest of the angels) before he fell. He became the devil and satan because of pride. He wanted to become equal with God and so God cast him down because of his pride.

The story is told of a father who went to see the teacher of his son at school. The teacher told the father that the son excels at maths, is very diligent and is liked at school. The father felt very proud and answered that all those traits he got from him. But then the teacher said that although the son was so brilliant, he is very proud, cannot accept advise and is very rebellious. The father didn't know what to say and eventually answered, "that trait he got from his mother". This father was not clothed with humility but with pride.

Humility is critically important. You will recognise a genuine Christian through his humility. God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6). If you humble yourself under God's hand, He will lift you up.

2) What is humility? Not to think more of yourself than you ought to.

A certain German minister had a woman in his congregation who was diligent in keeping her life clean. She regularly went to speak to her pastor whenever there was something which troubled her in her life. However, whenever she addressed him she got the German wrong and in stead of saying, "your honourable minister" she would say, "your unworthy minister". But he always kept quiet and reminded himself that he indeed was unworthy. It was only God's grace that kept him day by day. This carried on for more than twenty years and then the woman died. At her funeral the minister related the matter and said how he appreciated her, for she always reminded him that he was unworthy and kept him humble.

The apostle Paul persecuted the church of God before he became converted. And he always reminded himself of his unworthiness as a minister of God because he persecuted the church of God.

It is good to humble yourself. Someone who humbles himself will have a consistent walk with God, but when pride comes in it will take you off God's way.

Pride is terrible. Such a person easily gets upset. He expects to be treated better and when he doesn't receive the treatment he thinks he deserves, he gets upset. Pride is displayed in irritibility and anger. Pride destroys unity amongst the brethren.

Pride should not be a problem to us, for according to God's Word even our own righteousness is as filthy rags (Is 64:6).

Consider yourself whether there is any trace of pride in your life, where you look down and regard yourself as better than another.

Pride comes before a fall. It cannot be separated from a fall. When pride enters that person is sure to fall and it will be accompanied with a lot of disgrace.

3) If you are clothed with humility you will receive grace - that grace which overcomes sin.

Nobody knows grace unless he has humbled himself. You might speak about grace, but it will only be like a parrot speaking; only what you've heard from others.

Grace has got to do with sin. When you receive grace you are delivered and saved from your sins. God works mightily in your life and removes your sin problem. Therefore if you say that you have received grace but are still living in sin, you are a liar. God's grace makes an end of sin. Where sin is bountiful there the grace of God abounds much more (Rom 5:20).

If you speak about grace but sin is still in your life you speak as a fool. God's grace saves and delivers you from your sin. If the same sin keeps on returning in your life, you're in the devil's circle.

You will only receive mercy and grace from God to overcome that sin if you humble yourself under His mighty hand.

God's hand is mighty and great. The Bible says that God measures the universe (with its billions of galaxies each containing millions of stars, many of which are much brighter and bigger than our sun) in the span of His hand (Is 40:12). Just imagine how strong and mighty that Hand must be!

Everything might go your way for weeks, months and even years. But the day will come when God's hand will be upon you and you won't be able to do as you please anymore. In that day you can cry and fight with all your might, yet you won't move that mighty hand at all. Rather bow to Him now while there is still time.

4) If you have humbled yourself under God's mighty hand and received grace, then you can live a life without care, because you cast all your cares upon Him. He cares for you.

There are so many cares in this world. The one person will worry about his debts at the end of the month and the next about his child that is ill. But all those cares we must cast on Him.

A small child has no cares. He isn't worried about what he will eat or wear, because his father and his mother looks after him and cares for him.

If you still look to people to provide in your needs it is a cursed thing, for God says in Jer 17:5, "Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the LORD."

We must work diligently and faithfully but cast all our cares on our Heavenly Father whether the work of our hands will succeed or not. If you don't trust Him you hurt Him.

It is a shame and a sin to worry. If you worry you show that you don't believe God cares for you; neither do you believe that He is your Lord and is above you. Then you are your own boss and your own god.

So remember these points:

Clothe yourself with humility
Do not think more of yourself than what you ought to.
If you are clothed with humility God will give you grace; even the grace to overcome sin in your life.
Then you can also live a care-free life because He cares for you; cast all your cares on God.





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