How beautiful do you think you are? How rich do you think you are? How big do you think you are? How powerful do you think you are? How much better do you think you are than others?
Don’t allow it to build pride! Don’t allow it to make your head grow so big it won’t fit thru the door! Stay humble! Be a humble servant! Serve others in humility! Be a good and faithful steward of all that God has given you!
Pride comes before the fall! Be humble so you won’t need to be humbled or humiliated! How do you want people to think of you? How do you want God to think of you? How will you want to be remembered? Do you want to leave a legacy of hope and of love? Do you want to leave a legacy of pain and despair?
Beware the risk of not aligning with God! Beware allowing pride and selfishness to be your guides! Beware allowing pride to make you forget the true source and the right way!
Why not live out your life with truth, humility, and justice?
Why not live out your life loving righteousness and hating wickedness?
Why not allow the joy of the Lord be your strength?
Why not seek wisdom from God?
Why not fill your mind daily with God’s Word so that you live a life that is different from others? Why not think God’s way? Why not do it God’s way?
Let’s take a moment to reflect on something we hear from Paul in Philippians 4:
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I say, rejoice! 5 Let everyone see your gentleness. The Lord is near! 6 Do not be anxious about anything. Instead, in every situation, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, tell your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of respect, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if something is excellent or praiseworthy, think about these things. 9 And what you learned and received and heard and saw in me, do these things. And the God of peace will be with you.
We see how Paul tells us how to live and how to think. Imagine if the only things we put into our minds were: whatever is true, whatever is worthy of respect, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if something is excellent or praiseworthy! Imagine if we lived in alignment with what we have learned and received and heard through the Bible! Imagine being able to live with a peace that goes beyond all understanding! Being firm and at peace no matter what is going on around you! It will be craziness to the people around you! Could you even explain to them how you are able to be at peace and have them really understand it? They will want to know more so be prepared to share it with them in humility and love! Lead with love as you share the truth with them! God’s Word is now available to everyone! Jews and non-Jews (gentiles) both have the opportunity to have a relationship with God!
Today’s reading continues into the New Testament, let’s read it together here…
Godʼs Marvelous Plan for the Gentiles
1For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles—
2Surely you have heard about the administration of Godʼs grace that was given to me for you, 3that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. 4In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5which was not made known to people in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to Godʼs holy apostles and prophets. 6This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.
7I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of Godʼs grace given me through the working of his power. 8Although I am less than the least of all the Lordʼs people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ, 9and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. 10His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, 11according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. 13I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory.
A Prayer for the Ephesians
14For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18may have power, together with all the Lordʼs holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
20Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
and we conclude with 1 Thessalonians 4…
Living to Please God
1As for other matters, brothers and sisters, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more. 2For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.
3It is Godʼs will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; 4that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, 5not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God; 6and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister. The Lord will punish all those who commit such sins, as we told you and warned you before. 7For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. 8Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit.
9Now about your love for one another we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other. 10And in fact, you do love all of Godʼs family throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers and sisters, to do so more and more, 11and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, 12so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.
Believers Who Have Died
13Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15According to the Lordʼs word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18Therefore encourage one another with these words.
–1 Thessalonians 4