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Scripture: Luke 18:9-14; Isaiah 57:15; Isaiah 66:1...
Track 4 of in the series
Running time: 49 minutes, 34 seconds.
We see humility show up in our relationships to God, to ourselves and to others. We are to be humble toward God and His Word, humble in regard to trials and blessings that come our way or abilities and achievements with which e are blessed. And we are to be humble toward other people. We are to approach every situation in the attitude of humility.

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Mike Nobis Speaker: Mike Nobis
Sunday School Teacher, Former Elder at Madison Park Christian Church. Mike is President of JK Creative Printers & Mailing in Quincy, IL. He is married to Pam and has three children, Tom, Tyler and Jennifer. Mike has three grandchildren: Ryne, Ivy and Alicia.

View all sermons by this speaker.

The Practice of Godliness

Luke 18:9-14 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get. “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Two geese were about to start southward on their annual autumn migration, when they were entreated by a frog to take him with them. On the geese expressing their willingness to do so if a means of conveyance could be devised, the frog produced a long stalk of grass, got the two geese to take it one by each end, while he clung to it by his mouth in the middle. In this manner the three were making their journey when they were noticed from below by some men. The men loudly expressed their admiration for the device and wondered who had been clever enough to discover it. Whereupon the vainglorious frog opened his mouth to say, "It was I," lost his hold, fell to the earth, and was dashed to pieces. Moral: When you have a good thing going, keep your mouth shut!

As I mentioned last week, we are now going to start looking at several of the character traits that make up a godly life. The first one we are going to look at is HUMILITY. I have to be honest; this is a character trait I have not fully developed. Of all of His traits, this is the one I am the most conscience of and seem to struggle the most with. So as I teach today, I will probably be teaching more to myself than you.

Devotion to God is the first aspect of godliness. It consists of a love for God, a fear of God and a desire for God. And from our devotion to God flows the second aspect of godliness, a Godlike character.

True or False: Even the wicked can possess the character trait of humility.

There may be some question about whether or not humility is a Godlike quality since humility is a trait found in people who are not godly. Some think humility can be a character trait one is born with. But there is no question that God commends humility and delights in it in His people.

There are two passages from the book of Isaiah that shows clearly the esteem with which God views the humble person.

Isaiah 57:15 For this is what the high and lofty One says—he who lives forever, whose name is holy: I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.

Isaiah 66:1-2 This is what the LORD says: “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. Where is the house you will build for me? Where will my resting place be? Has not my hand made all these things, and so they came into being?” declares the LORD. “This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word.

Not only does God commend humility in his people; our Lord also displayed it when he was a man on this earth. SLIDE 6: Philippians 2:8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross!

Can you give me some examples of how Jesus displayed humility?

• Went from God to man
• Born in a humble manner
• Was obedient to his earthly parents
• Called humble and lowly people to himself
• Displayed humble character traits
• Did everything for God’s glory, not His
• Chose a humble job
• Lived with lowly people, not the rich and famous

The verses we read in Isaiah show the promises of God toward the truly humble. If you look at them closely, the promises are almost breathtaking. What are the promises?

The reason why we are studying the character trait of humility first is because humility opens the way to all the other Godly characteristics. Humility is the soil on which the other traits of the fruit of the Spirit grow.

We see humility show up in our relationships to God, to ourselves and to others. We are to be humble toward God and His Word, humble in regard to trials and blessings that come our way or abilities and achievements with which e are blessed. And we are to be humble toward other people. We are to approach every situation in the attitude of humility.

Like love, humility defies adequate definition. It can only be described and understood as it is applied to everyday living.

Humility Before God:

Humility before God is very similar to the fear of God. It begins with a high view of God’s person. This is why it is impossible to be humble without devotion for God because one of the aspects of devotion for God is a fear of God. From our devotion to God flow our godlike characteristics. Devotion to God leads to humility

As we see God in his majesty, awesomeness, and holiness, we are humbled before him. In every occasion in the Scriptures in which man was privileged to view God in His glory, he was brought low or humbled in the presence of God.

Revelation 5:6-9, 11-14 (NIV) Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. He came and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne. And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song. Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they sang: Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing: The four living creatures said, "Amen," and the elders fell down and worshiped.

To be humble in every area of life, in every relationship with other people, it all begins with a right concept of God as the one who is infinite and eternal in his majesty and holiness. This humility to God is basic to all our relationships in life. We cannot begin to experience humility in our relationships until we experience a deep and profound humility in our attitude toward God.

How do you think our correct concept of God affects our humility towards others and ourselves? What happens to it if we have the wrong concept?

Submission, Service, and Honor; Humility Before Others:

When a believer is truly humble before God, he is also humble before others. He is humble about his own gifts, his abilities, and his attainments. He realizes and acknowledges that all that he has and all that he is is because of what God has done for him. In reality, all of this awareness begins with our personal understanding of our own salvation. Because of what Jesus did for me on the cross, I am alive and well today.

A humble person before God is also a humble person before other people.

What does it mean to submit to one another? Does it mean to always give in to other’s demands and opinions? No it means to submit to instruction, as well as correction from other believers; to be teachable or to be humble enough to admit we have erred when other believers correct us.

What do you think would have happened if Apollos was not humble and wouldn't listen to Aquila and Priscilla on the issue of baptism? What about Peter when dealing with Cornelius and allowing Gentiles into Christianity?

Romans 12:10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.

Philippians 2:3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.

What do you think these two verses are saying to the church about humility?

I think it is real important to note here that we must work out our humility in our daily relationships with others. We must learn to submit to one another, to serve one another and to prefer or honor one another. Remember, the Holy Spirit does not make us humble but enables us to be humble. We have to practice this characteristic of Godliness.

So how do we go about practicing humility? Where do we start?

1. Begin by renewing our minds. The best way is to memorize one or more passages of scripture that deals with humility.
2. After we have memorized these scriptures, then start meditating on them.
3. Confess prideful ways, as the Holy Spirit convicts you and pray for sensitivity to see yourself as God does.
4. Take whatever steps necessary in order to obey God’s direction to humble yourself. The Bible says we are to humble ourselves before God. The word humble is an action verb. We are to do something.