Friday, May 13, 2011

The Power of Humility

Today I want to share with you a Psalm that truly touched my heart this week. It brought me a great deal of comfort and spoke to just where I am. I hope that it speaks to you, lifts you up, or soothes your heart this weekend.
Psalm 37 NLT

1Don’t worry about the wicked
      or envy those who do wrong.
 2 For like grass, they soon fade away.
      Like spring flowers, they soon wither.

 3 Trust in the Lord and do good.
      Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.
 4 Take delight in the Lord,
      and he will give you your heart’s desires.

 5 Commit everything you do to the Lord.
      Trust him, and he will help you.
 6 He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn,
      and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.

 7 Be still in the presence of the Lord,
      and wait patiently for him to act.
   Don’t worry about evil people who prosper
      or fret about their wicked schemes.

 8 Stop being angry!
      Turn from your rage!
   Do not lose your temper—
      it only leads to harm.
 9 For the wicked will be destroyed,
      but those who trust in the Lord will possess the land.

 10 Soon the wicked will disappear.
      Though you look for them, they will be gone.
 11 The lowly will possess the land
      and will live in peace and prosperity.

 12 The wicked plot against the godly;
      they snarl at them in defiance.
 13 But the Lord just laughs,
      for he sees their day of judgment coming.

 14 The wicked draw their swords
      and string their bows
   to kill the poor and the oppressed,
      to slaughter those who do right.
 15 But their swords will stab their own hearts,
      and their bows will be broken.

 16 It is better to be godly and have little
      than to be evil and rich.
 17 For the strength of the wicked will be shattered,
      but the Lord takes care of the godly.

 18 Day by day the Lord takes care of the innocent,
      and they will receive an inheritance that lasts forever.
 19 They will not be disgraced in hard times;
      even in famine they will have more than enough.

 20 But the wicked will die.
      The Lord’s enemies are like flowers in a field—
      they will disappear like smoke.

 21 The wicked borrow and never repay,
      but the godly are generous givers.
 22 Those the Lord blesses will possess the land,
      but those he curses will die.

 23 The Lord directs the steps of the godly.
      He delights in every detail of their lives.
 24 Though they stumble, they will never fall,
      for the Lord holds them by the hand.

 25 Once I was young, and now I am old.
      Yet I have never seen the godly abandoned
      or their children begging for bread.
 26 The godly always give generous loans to others,
      and their children are a blessing.

 27 Turn from evil and do good,
      and you will live in the land forever.
 28 For the Lord loves justice,
      and he will never abandon the godly.

   He will keep them safe forever,
      but the children of the wicked will die.
 29 The godly will possess the land
      and will live there forever.

 30 The godly offer good counsel;
      they teach right from wrong.
 31 They have made God’s law their own,
      so they will never slip from his path.

 32 The wicked wait in ambush for the godly,
      looking for an excuse to kill them.
 33 But the Lord will not let the wicked succeed
      or let the godly be condemned when they are put on trial.

 34 Put your hope in the Lord.
      Travel steadily along his path.
   He will honor you by giving you the land.
      You will see the wicked destroyed.

 35 I have seen wicked and ruthless people
      flourishing like a tree in its native soil.
 36 But when I looked again, they were gone!
      Though I searched for them, I could not find them!

 37 Look at those who are honest and good,
      for a wonderful future awaits those who love peace.
 38 But the rebellious will be destroyed;
      they have no future.

 39 The Lord rescues the godly;
      he is their fortress in times of trouble.
 40 The Lord helps them,
      rescuing them from the wicked.
   He saves them,
      and they find shelter in him.

The Power of Humility: Living like JesusThe Power of Humility by R.T. Kendall is a powerful indictment of the popular Christian sin of pride. Kendall, long the pastor of Westminster Chapel in London, England, brings his many years in the pulpit and the Lord's service to this study of how pride affects our faith and hampers our lives. He uses several biblical examples to demonstrate how God punishes those who rely on themselves instead of Him. Kendall even speaks honestly about his own battle with personal pride as well as stories he's witnessed personally. Pride may be the worst sin that keeps us from God, because even Christians can be very guilty of it, often masquerading as false humility. Here's a few of my favorite quotes from the book: You can talk about your failures and disappointments to almost anybody; you can only discuss your successes with a true friend. Pride makes us judge. It is pride that seeks to vindicate ourselves. The apostle Paul had made a huge step forward in this area: he refufsed to clear his name and simply chose to wait for the day God chooses to do it. You will not die by swallowing your pride. This is not always an easy book to read, as readers will often squirm with personal conviction, but it's a vital book to read for deeper faith.

Thank you to Strang for providing me with a copy of this book for review.