Friday, January 28, 2011

Humility Before God

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you.-- James 4:10

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you.-- 1 Peter 5:6

These 2 verses come to mind when I think about being humble before the Lord. Living a life of humility is very though, but nonetheless humility is a vital trait that we as Christians must practice. We more so tend to be prideful in life, and think of ourselves more highly than we ought, which comes from our sinful nature. So for pretty much during our whole time in this life we'll be battling our pride, everyday, from sunrise to sunset.

Humility before God is so much more important than humility before other. Once we are born again we submit ourselves to the Lord, letting Him have our bodies, mind, and lives to use for His glory (for He is worthy of our humble submission to Him). The thing is though, we are not perfect and spot on for doing that daily. We tend to be prideful, and take the wheel of our lives to steer through life often times. In saying this I mean we want to be independent and take control of situations and circumstances that come up, so we can hopefully obtain the outcome we want. It like telling God, "Hey, let me handle this!" or "Step aside, I'll take care of it."
Here's what Jesus says to His disciples when they ask who is the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven in Matthew 18: "Whoever humbles himself like this child is greatest in the kingdom of heaven." What Jesus means by saying this that children are definitely in a sense are dependent. Children rely on their parents for food, shelter, clothing, protection, a good education, and other essentials in life. In the same way, we as God's children are called to to be dependent on our Father for everything we need in the Christian life.
One way I humble myself before the Lord is meditating on the gospel. I remind myself of who I am a dirty, wretched, finite, sinner....saved by grace before an infinitely holy, righteous, just, powerful, all-knowing sovereign God. Then in light of that I remind myself of how I don't deserve anything except death, the Father's wrath, namely eternal damnation. God would be entirely just to rid this earth of me and cast me into hell at this very moment. Although God being rich in love and mercy toward me poured out His grace on me, and saved me from my sin and eternal punishment (which Christ took in my place on the cross). He did so that I may be forgiven, and reconciled to the Father, and......given a new heart with new desires. Which means that I will desire to live a life of humility, long for Christ increase, and myself decrease (John 3:30). Also that I may live to glorify, praise, exalt, and magnify above all things, especially myself.
Meditating and praying about this does help my to humble myself before the Lord. For He is oh so worthy of my sacrifice of my all to Him everyday!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Following Their Example

Dear Friends,

The past few weeks (including last month), have been quite a bit for me. A lot has happened in my life, and in the lives of some dear friends of mine during these past few weeks. I can go on listing out what has happened, but......I won't do that. Although I would see myself possibly sharing some of those things in future blog posts.

The one thing I will share is that God has reminded me of Philippians 3:17; in which Paul says, "Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us." This verse has come to mind when I spent time with some dear friends, brothers and sisters in the faith. This passages and others encourage us as Christians to imitate those who are basically imitating Christ in different areas of the faith. I can't begin to tell you the many ways I've seen my dear friends imitate Christ in many different ways. They have set an example before me to follow. It's such an encouragement for me!

Not only that, but I want to be sure that I set a Christlike example before them, and my family as well. That is my goal for this year. I want my character and conduct to be centered around Christ and the gospel, so that those whom I love friends and family alike can have an example they can follow.

Now I encourage you to aim on doing the same yourself my dear friend. Yea, we won't be perfect at doing so, but as long as our eyes are fixed on Christ, and our hearts rooted so deep in Him, then it can surely happen.

In Christ,
Joshua A. Taylor

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Battle for True Contentment

I'm currently at war against my selfish desires and God's sovereign will. I long for His will to be done. I want to content in His will. Thy way not mine own Lord; however hard, painful, and confusing it may be. Not just for this moment, but for my future; for every area of my life. I want to be like Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane saying "Not as I will, but as you will."

Whether I get married or stay single

Whether I go to college, and perhaps seminary or not

Whether I actually am sent out onto the field or I send others out

Whether I stay in Indy or eventually move to a different state

Whether my voice gets fully restored or it stays gruff & rough

And in every other area of my life. Everything big, small, and inbetween.

I want to be content with Christ, abiding in Him above all else. Not having a care about the fleeting pleasures of sin, this world and my own selfish desires. Chasing after Him, and clinging to Him. This is my prayer. This my battle. If God is for me....then who can be against me? If I delight myself in Him, then He will give me the desires of my heart; namely Himself. I want my life to be all for Christ, and all about Christ. I want to disappear, so that Christ may shine ever so brightly and radiantly. To Him be all power, wisdom, honor, glory, and praise, from everlasting to everlasting! Amen.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Simple At Best

Making a resolution or two when the new year rolls around is just a part of American culture, and has been for some years now; whether it's wanting to stay fit or spending more time with the family, or even give as much as one can financially to good causes and charities. I know that I have made resolutions in the past (although I can't remember any of them). The funny thing is that we may commit ourselves to these resolutions for a good several week to maybe at best, two months into the new years, but then we always quit or end up forgetting about them.
This time around I'm taking it differently. I just wanna make it simple at best. What do I mean by that? Well what I mean is that I just want to keep chasing after Christ. Pretty darn simple right? Yes, it exactly is; yet at the same time isn't . The reason why it isn't simple is that I know for a fact that the Christian life is not an easy one to live. Matthew 7:14 comes to mind when I speak of this, which says; "For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life and those who find it are few." So this verse says that the way is HARD that leads to life; not easy. So despite the fact that I'm excited about 2011 already because I already see God at work in my life, and in the lives of others around me, I do know that there will time of pain, tears, confusion, disappointment, and shame, and it won't be easy and joyful. Just the reminder, though, that God is sovereign over all things is oh so comforting.
So I'm ready for it all. The joy & sorrow, happiness & joy, smiles & tears, laughter & pain, sun & rain. I'm also ready to grow & learn in ways I never have before. Dig deeper in the faith, wrestle with biblical theology and doctrine, seek after God, to grow in the relationships I have with friends, my brothers and sisters in Christ, and savor and treasure Christ and the gospel more.
Aaaah Yeeeeeaaaaaaaa!