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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT TUESDAY – HUMILITY.

I am the least of the apostles… For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. - 1 Corinthians 15:9.

I am the very least of all the saints… Although I am less than the least of all the Lord's people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ, - Ephesians 3:8.

I am the foremost of sinners… Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the worst. - 1 Timothy 1:15.

Humility and a passion for praise are a pair of characteristics which together indicate growth in grace. The Bible is full of self-humbling (man bowing down before God) and doxology (man giving praise to God). The healthy heart is one that bows down in humility and rises in praise and adoration. The Psalms strike both these notes again and again.

So too, Paul in his letters both articulates humility and breaks into doxology. Look at his three descriptions of himself quoted above, dating respectively from around A.D. 59, 63, and 64. As the years pass he goes lower; he grows downward! And as his self-esteem sinks, so his rapture of praise and adoration for the God who so wonderfully saved him rises.

Undoubtedly, learning to praise God at all times for all that is good is a mark that we are growing in grace. One of my predecessors in my first parochial appointment died exceedingly painfully of cancer. But between fearful bouts of agony, in which he had to stuff his mouth with bedclothes to avoid biting his tongue, he would say aloud over and over again: "I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth" (Ps. 34:1).

That was a passion for praise asserting itself in the most poignant extremity imaginable. Cultivate humility and a passion for praise if you want to grow in grace. - James Packer, Your Father Loves You.

Loving Father, help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, to be humble in every situation. I ask this in the wonderful and majestic Name of Jesus. Amen.

Be encouraged!
GBYAY

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