Archives For humility

This entire blog is predicated around becoming a disciple of Jesus. But what does discipleship look like? How do we know if we are getting closer to the mark? I would say first, discipleship is a standard to be pursued, not a target to be hit. There will never be a day when you can sit back and exclaim, “Ah! At last I’ve reached discipleship!”

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Being a disciple of Jesus is a process that will consume your entire lifetime. To be a disciple signifies nothing ever will mean more to you than desiring to live a life mirroring the life of Jesus. Discipleship is the total dedication of your life to His calling and purpose. To be a disciple is to be daily engaged in the mission of Christ.

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I recently wrote a blog post about personalizing the armor of God for yourself (see, “The Armor of God”).  During my time of study this morning I was given some new insights which excited me and I hope will prove useful to you as well. The idea came while listening to Bruxy Cavey teach about using the morning ritual of getting dressed as a reminder to pray for certain things.

putting on the armor of God,Ephesians 6:10-18,prayer,triggers,Marshall Goldsmith,humility,love,purpose

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It clicked in my mind we could pray through putting on the armor of God as we actually put on our own clothing. I’m going to walk through this so you can see a practical example of what praying through putting on the armor of God might look like.

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We just completed a season of Advent. The word advent simply means “coming.” More specifically in Christian circles it means the coming of Christ. We celebrate Advent at Christmas time in memory of Christ coming to earth as a baby who would grow up to die for our sins. Now this season has passed, we look forward to a new season of advent.This is the second advent, the second coming of Jesus.

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With Christmas in our rear view mirror, we now turn our focus for the next year to building His Kingdom on earth in preparation for His return. This is the future advent. While we celebrate the Advent of His birth in memory of what He did, we celebrate the Advent of His coming again in honor and praise for what He has yet to do.

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I don’t know when you are reading this, but as I write it, Christmas is less than a week away. That means it’s somewhat obligatory I write a Christmas themed post. I know this because every sermon I’ve listened to for the past month (and I listen to a lot of sermons; call it a job hazard!) have all been around the Christmas story. Therefore, since I am a Christian writer, I apparently need to write about Christmas. But here’s the problem: regular readers of this blog already know all about the Christmas story.

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You’ve heard the same messages I have over the years. If we’re honest, it is rare we hear something in a new way this time of year. So instead of focusing on the Christmas story and trying to find some new twist to illuminate a story that cannot possibly be improved, I’m going to ask you a simple question: What will you do with Christmas?

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Those of you who work retail understand that particular career field has a way of destroying the wonder of Christmas. I’m twenty years removed from more than a decade of retail management, and I confess I think I am only now beginning to fully recover. To all of you in retail I want you to know I truly understand why this time of year may no longer be overly special for you.

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You are more likely pulling your hair out (or fantasizing about pulling out the hair of certain customers!) than you are experiencing the magnificent peace of the season. If you could hit pause for just a couple minutes, I’d like the opportunity to remind you of what an amazing time of year this is, and to hopefully help reorient your focus on the true reason for the season.

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It’s Thanksgiving day in America. While I recognize a good number of readers are not Americans, being thankful is something to which we can all relate. So whether you celebrate Thanksgiving in your culture or not, I suggest we all take some time today to reflect on all our blessings. Even if you are struggling in this season of life, I am confident you can find some things for which to be grateful.

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Something amazing happens when we pray prayers of gratitude. Our attitude changes. Our physical countenance improves. Most of us forget how truly blessed we are and take much of our lives for granted. But today, just for a little while, let’s reorient our focus on simply being thankful for everything God has done for us.

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John 5:44 reads “How can you believe? While accepting glory from one another, you don’t seek the glory that comes from the only God.” Commenting on this verse, A.W. Tozer said, “If I understand this correctly, Christ taught here the alarming doctrine that the desire for honor among men made belief impossible.” Certainly there are a few ways one could read this verse, but Tozer presents an interpretation which is at best sobering and at worst terrifying.

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We spend much of our lives seeking and accepting honor from others. In our Western culture, life is all about moving up and getting ahead. Even a casual look at our Facebook and Instagram feeds proves people are consumed with presenting their best and brightest moments while seeking validation from others.

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One of the most mindboggling facts of living is we were made to enjoy intimacy with God. That’s amazing. The One who created us and everything else in the universe wants to have an intimate relationship with each of us. He doesn’t just want to know us casually, He wants to know us inside out and to be involved in everything we do.

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The fact we so often reject His offer is hard to believe. Imagine if Jesus came to your door wanting to hang out. Would you turn Him away because you were too busy or had better things to do? We do the same thing to God every day and think nothing of it.

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Each one of us gets to decide whether or not we will follow Jesus. But none of us get to decide how we will follow Him. Our freewill ends when we choose to be a disciple. If that is indeed our choice, from that point forward, the way we live is determined by Jesus and not ourselves. It is the pledge we make to Him. Our freewill isn’t taken from us, it I surrendered by us. It’s your choice to follow Jesus.

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You get to decide. However once that decision is made, you are obligated to live life the way Jesus commanded you live it. Freewill is an amazing gift and should not be lightly given away. You must understand the cost. For those willing to count such a cost, the rewards of living life wholly surrendered to Christ are beyond words and incalculable. It’s your choice.

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Each of us is exactly who we want to be in our relationship with God. We know Him exactly as much as we choose to know Him. We love Him exactly as much as we choose to love Him. It’s far easier and more convenient to blame circumstances, surroundings, and our own backgrounds as being limitations for our walk with Christ.

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The truth is we are exactly the kind of disciple we have chosen to be. The only person responsible for how close our walk is to that of Jesus is the person we see in the mirror every day. We are responsible. We make the choices. We choose how close or how far away we are from God.

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