Believe

BELIEVE: week thirty: Humility

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“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others.” (Philippians 4:5)

We all know that the person who has a strong self-esteem and feeds their ego through self-promotion, often at the expense of others, is not the poster child for biblical humility. However, biblical humility also isn’t demonstrated through the person who has a low self-esteem, acts humble and shy, and lacks confidence, allowing people to walk all over them. That’s humiliation.

Truly humble people have a strong self-esteem stemming from knowing who they are in Christ. A firm grasp of your eternal position as a child of God gives you confidence that you have nothing to lose. Knowing that your position is not up for grabs affords you the opportunity to put the needs of others above your own.

In Philippians 2:8 Paul cites Jesus as the poster child for humility: “being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death.” Jesus, with a strong sense of who he was, put your needs above his own and suffered so that you could gain a relationship with God. If you want to be like Jesus, take on his brand of humility.

“I choose to esteem others above myself.”

[Excerpt from Believe: 31-Day Devotional by Randy & Roxanne Frazee, pgs. 63-64.]

BELIEVE: week twenty-nine: Gentleness

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“Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.” (Philippians 4:5)

When you study the virtue of gentleness throughout the Bible, it carries three practical ideas:

  • Thoughtfulness—Think before you speak.
  • Consideration—Put yourself in other people’s shoes, and give them room to make mistakes.
  • Calmness—Don’t raise your voice or tense up your facial muscles.

Because we belong to Christ, these qualities should be evident to everyone who comes in contact with us. But why does Paul throw in the next sentence? “The Lord is near.”

This can mean one of two things. One, the Lord’s return to earth is near. When Christ returns we don’t want to be found as harsh, arrogant, uptight, and loud. Two, it could simply mean that the Lord’s presence is near us right now. He is watching everything we are doing all the time.

Bottom line, in all of your encounters with people, imagine Jesus in the room with you, because he is in you, and he might actually show up face-to-face in front of you today. Act accordingly.

“I am thoughtful, considerate, and calm in my dealings with others.”

[Excerpt from Believe: 31-Day Devotional by Randy & Roxanne Frazee, pgs. 61-62.]

BELIEVE: week twenty-eight: Faithfulness

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“Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.” (Proverbs 3:3-4)

The other day I went to a coffee shop for a meeting. As I was getting a refill, a young lady sitting at a nearby table called out my name. Knowing I didn’t recognize her, she introduced herself as Duane Whitfield’s granddaughter.

The first words out of my mouth were. “Anybody connected with Duane Whitfield is a friend of mine.” Why did I say this? Because Duane Whitfield has established a good name with me and has simply won my favor. Over the last seven years I have known this man, he has consistently been an advocate for me. He has never turned down any of my requests and has actively sought to encourage me and stand up for me. He has been a faithful friend.

I can’t speak for God, but my best guess is that Duane has established a good name with God because he faithfully relies on God’s presence in his life. Through Duane’s goo d name, people like me who have been blessed by him extend favor to his offspring. What a wonderful gift to give your children.

Everyone has a name, but not everyone has established a good name. In God’s strength, shoot for a good name.

“I have established a good name with God and others based on my loyalty to those relationships.”

[Excerpt from Believe: 31-Day Devotional by Randy & Roxanne Frazee, pgs. 59-60.]

BELIEVE: week twenty-seven: Kindness/Goodness

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“Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for anyone else.” (1 Thessalonians 5:15)

Words matter, particularly in the Greek language of the New Testament. The Greek word Paul used for “wrong” in the verse above is kata. Now, that is a perfect choice—“make sure that nobody pays back kata for kata.” What an awful way to live.

When Paul countered with a word translated “good,” he could have used the Greek word katos. It refers to outer beauty. When you gaze at a sunset, you might say, “That is so kalos.” If you give a kalos response to someone, you might offer a kind or courteous word on the outside while you are steaming with anger on the inside. But instead using halos, Paul used agathos, which refers to an outward act toward others that is first generated from an inner moral sense of what is right and best for that person. This inward sense rests in our heart, where the key beliefs of Christianity and Christ himself resides. Regardless of what people offer us, we offer Jesus back to them.

The next time someone dishes you up a little kata, don’t repay them with kata or even some nice kalos, Go deep into your heart and pull out a serving of agathos.

“I choose to be kind and good in my relationships with others.”

[Excerpt from Believe: 31-Day Devotional by Randy & Roxanne Frazee, pgs. 57-58.]

BELIEVE: week twenty-six: Patience

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“Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly.” Proverbs 14:29

When you think of the virtue of patience, think of a thermometer. When you are in a situation that pushes your buttons and frustrates you, put a spiritual thermometer under your tongue and monitor how quickly you are burning up with anger.

Developing a resistance and immunity to the bacteria of frustration involves ingesting daily doses of God’s patience toward you. Aren’t you glad that God cuts you some slack and loves you in spite of your foibles and failures? In spite of your missteps and mistakes? As a growing follower of Christ, you long to be like him and offer that same patience to others.

The vision? The next time you are in that same frustrating situation, place the spiritual thermometer under your tongue again and see if it doesn’t take a bit longer for your temperature to rise. If that is indeed the case, you will have tangible evidence that you are growing in the virtue of patience.

“I am slow to anger and endure patiently under the unavoidable pressures of life.”

[Excerpt from Believe: 31-Day Devotional by Randy & Roxanne Frazee, pgs. 55-56.]