Word of the Month

Being humble

October 2004

Whoever acknowledges God's omnipotence in faith will not find it hard to be humble. Such a disposition pleases the Lord: He gives grace to the humble. Peter underlined this when he admonished: "Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time." (1 Peter 5:6). I would like to etch this maxim deeply into every heart: "Through humbleness to greatness!" That is the divine principle.

Humbleness springs from faith and the fear of God. In view of the miracles of the creation - billions of stars follow their courses, each according to its own order, none of the billions of people on earth are alike, etc. - those who fear the Lord will recognise how small and insignificant they are. We are weak and sinful human beings in comparison to the omnipotence of the Creator. And yet at the same time we are loved by God.

It says of Moses that he was a gentle and humble person, more than all the people on earth. (c.f. Numbers 12:3). God chose him to work miracles in His name and to lead the people of God in a most powerful manner.

The greatest example of humbleness was Jesus. In His most difficult hour, the Son of God asked: "O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will." (Matthew 26:39). What humbleness! After His sacrificial death Christ was exalted by the Father - now He sits at the right hand of God.

Loyal, humble children of God have also been promised that they will be exalted "in due time". When is due time? When God is very close to us - in each service, when His congregation gathers around the altar and absorbs the word of the Spirit, receives grace and forgiveness, gathers new peace, strength, and joy, and comes under His blessing. That is the right time. Whoever grasps this will be exalted!

We are also exalted when we overcome. It is a difficult path that leads from the depths to the heights. This too requires humbleness. Let us develop such humbleness within us! Even those who find it difficult to practise humbleness - perhaps because they are quick-tempered, prone to explode, or have anything but a humble nature - can nevertheless change by praying and following God's word. The Lord will help those who are sincere in their efforts.

We will be exalted in the ultimate and most magnificent fashion on the day of Christ's promised return. Then we will be exalted to eternal heights. The day of the Lord will indeed be "due time". Keeping our eyes on this sublime goal should enable all of us to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God.

(From a service by the chief apostle)