07/04/2021 The mystery of humbleness

 The mystery of humbleness

Luke 14:7-11; BCBC/IOUC; 7/4/2021; Rev. Paul Wang

Introduction

What is humbleness? Humbleness is to know who you are, where you are from, where you are going, what is good for you to do under the heavens during the few days of your life. The biggest knowledge of a humble person is to know he is not being humble. Just as Socrates said, the only thing he knows is that he knows nothing. In order to present this, he argued down all the Athenians, and was sentenced to death by them. Therefore, Socrates used his humbleness of thinking and his pride in facing death to finish his life as the founder of philosophy. It’s a little lengthy, right?

Today Jesus through the seat selection in the banquet explains the truth of humbleness. Let’s look at the first point:

Face is given by others

What is a face? Face is how others think about us and it can produce expectation in our heart. The control is in the others’ hands but the desire is in our heart. First, the desire for the places of honor. To pursue the places of honor is our inherent. We were taught to compete for the first place since our childhood, right? To get the first place in our examination, our jobs. Even in eating, we expect that we get the place of honor, right? Or, even if we can not get the first place, we can not lose at the starting line! Satan also said this to our first ancestor: this tree is the first tree in the Garden of Eden! If you eat it, you can be the first! At least, your eyes will be opened like God. Right? Why have we to fight for the first place? Why can’t we be satisfied at the position God arranged for you?

Second, wait patiently.

What is causing trouble in your heart, have you thought about it? Why do people go for the first place when they come up? And they can sit so naturally without any hesitation! Be overweening? Blindly arrogant? Or utterly ignorant? No matter which one, they have sinned in front of God. Why can’t we wait a little bit? What impulsion makes you not able to wait? When Satan puts the virus into the first ancestor, arrogance enters into human beings’ hearts. Arrogant is like a devouring maggot into our lives devouring all of our patience. After we believe in Jesus, we have to restore the original patience given by God in the beginning of the creation to bear the fruits of the Holy Spirit.

Lastly, it may not be waiting for you. How do you know that the first place is for you? The position at the top of the class in the exam is not necessary for you, right? Can you turn your eyes to God and ask him? What to ask? Not necessarily to ask who the first place belongs to but with the mindset to entrust and to bless. Always be with a grateful mind and joyful heart no matter who the first place belongs to, okay? Okay or not is in your heart. The others may not know but you have to submit the account to God. Are you really overcoming the world after you have Lord? A place at the banquet may not be a big deal, but the temptation of the world is big. Do the faces from the others really matter that much? Are they becoming your bind? All of our glories will eventually fade away. Let’s look at the second point:

Humiliation is taken by yourself

Humiliation is when a person’s expectation about face is down to zero and he feels about himself of no value, useless and not being accepted. First, you need to bear the consequences. We have to bear the consequences for our wrong choices! It is not related to our willingness. Wrong is wrong, we have to bear the consequences! Paul said:’For each one should carry their own load. (Galatians 6:5)’ Light load will not be rejected by us but heavy load will be different, right? Especially when the burden is from our wrong choice, it can be heavy and challenging! Having the courage to bear the consequences is the index of a person’s maturity. Do you know, if you are unwilling to bear the consequences, the consequences will pursue you from your back until they catch up with you and bite you! Why can we not turn back and confront it?

Second, you should experience humiliation. Of course, to confront you have to pay the cost. One of them is to face the feeling of humiliation, are you willing to? Nine of ten are unwilling to, but the one who is willing is the victor. Do you know why we have to experience the feeling of humiliation? Because the Lord who loves us has already borne all of our humiliation on the cross. It’s all! Therefore, what we have to bear is the feeling of humiliation. The essence of humiliation has been borne by God and we only feel what the Lord has experienced. Are there any unwillingness? The feeling of humiliation we experienced is only the mark God left after he bore all the humiliation for us, which helped us to grow and motivated us to stand up with courage. Are you willing to?

Lastly, you must bear the responsibility. Realizing that you are sitting at a wrong position, just take the responsibility to step down! If you have extra spiritual life, just say sorry gracefully, is that okay? ’Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place.’ What does it matter? To experience the feeling of humiliation, in essence is to feel the bitterness of our Lord on the cross, are you willing to? Making a mistake but willing to bear the responsibility is the life of a spiritual person, don’t you envy this? This is the charm of repentance! Repentance is the motivation of believers, and is the soft spot of church. Let’s look at the third point:

Humbleness is given by God

A humble person may not choose the places of honor without invitation from the beginning, right? First, you should not think much of glory. If we look into the logic from the story of the Bible verses, it seems like if you are invited to sit in the places of honor, then you have glory in front of the people at the table. Is this correct? Yes, but not necessarily. A person with the Lord, will he still care about the little light of fireflies? Are you satisfied with a Presidential Medal? Will an award puzzled you? Will a title of lead pastor or a false reputation of emeritus pastor make you betray yourself? To believe in Jesus, the fundamental meaning is that you have obtained the best blessing! All the other things can be garbage, do you agree?

Second, those who exalt themselves will be humbled. To exalt yourself can be enjoyable, to be proud is charming, and to boast is addictive. Is there any similarity that from our inner desire we want to sit at the high places or the first place? There is only one first place but with many eyes staring at it. In the meantime, there are many hearts beating with it. How about you? Are you willing to sit in the first place? Do you have a coveted heart in high places? Even if you didn’t say it in your mouth, does your heart move for it? At this moment, God is searching our hearts. The Holy Spirit also executes God’s command through God’s law, to humble those who exalt themselves, including those who did not say anything, but their hearts are moved.

Lastly, those who humble themselves will be exalted. The main difference between a humble person and an arrogant person is that the humble person knows their humbleness but the arrogant person thinks they are humble. I once was invited to preach in a summer camp. During the Q&A part, I asked who among you thought you were a humble person? Immediately, two sisters raised their hands. I asked why? They said they feel that. How about you? Do you think you are a humble person? In fact, when we think we are humble, we are arrogant! Knowing that we are arrogant is imitating the Lord to humble ourselves. God will exalt the humbles and raise them up. In other words, humbleness is only from God and given by God.

Conclusion

Dear brothers and sisters, today’s sermon “the mystery of humbleness” is finished. Are the high position, prestigious position, and the place of honor in the world so important? Even if the prestigious position belongs to youcan you humbly yield itOthers can give you a facehowever, you can choose not to get it, not to fight it, and not to grab it, right? Everyone wants to hide from humiliationbut the man of God like us can experience itin order to understand the price of sacrificing life God paid for us on the cross.

Let us pray……

(Luke14:7 NIV) When he noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, he told them this parable:

(Luke14:8 NIV) “When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited.

(Luke14:9 NIV) If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place.

(Luke14:10 NIV) But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all the other guests.

(Luke14:11 NIV) For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

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