By: Undre Griggs, Jr.
It is becoming more difficult to find TV shows that don’t have a hidden message. Whether that message includes references to evolution, a dig against modesty, or the normalization of sin; there is always something to guard against.
Romans 12:2-3 (ESV): Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.
The apostle Paul warns us that taking part in the world runs of the risk of us conforming to the beliefs of society. It is Paul’s hope that Christian’s diligently study the word of God so that they may be able to transform their mind from the world. We are then immediately warned to humble ourselves so that our judgment can be accurate. Those who are proud and those who conform to the world are not thinking clearly and run the risk of losing their soul.
Romans 12:9-17 (ESV): Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.
To ensure we remain sober and our beliefs are aligned with God’s, Paul gives a list of things we can do. Christians are expected to have a genuine love and affection for each other. They are sickened and hate being in the presence of evil, only finding peace absorbing what is good. They are selfless, meek, and humble with their interactions; and they are devoted to serving the Lord above all things. To follow the will of God is not the easiest thing in a world full of distractions, but it is achievable if we are willing to study and obey His word.
By: Undre Griggs, Jr.
Those who trust in God will find themselves feeling confident and safe. Not confident in themselves per se, but confident in God’s ability to protect them. King David wrote the words found in the thirty-fourth Psalm after he was surrounded by Philistine enemies in the kingdom of Gath. In order to save himself from the hands of the Philistine king, David pretended to be a madman (1 Samuel 21:14).
Psalm 34:1-5 (ESV): I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul makes its boast in the Lord; let the humble hear and be glad. Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together! I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.
Even though David might have had to “embarrass” himself by pretending to be crazy, he was thankful to God for saving his life. David knew that he should have died that day. He fled his home because King Saul was attempting to kill him because God chose David to be the next King. With no where else to go, David found himself at the hands of the people he had been killing for so long. David was known for his fighting prowess as many sang a song about how King Saul killed his thousands, but David his tens of thousands (1 Samuel 18:7). In fact, when the Philistines brought David before their king, they questioned if he was the David from the song.
Psalm 34:6-10 (ESV): This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them. Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack! The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.
A common theme found throughout Scripture is that God exalts the humble. It is God’s will for all to be saved, and the best way to accomplish this feat is to prove God’s existence. By David choosing to change his behavior to that of a crazy person, it is clear to all who hear this story that God delivered him. By choosing to fear (trust and respect) the Lord, David ends up being delivered from danger. If you want to have the same feeling of confidence and safety that David possessed, you only need to humble yourself and he never stop praising the Lord’s name.
By: Undre Griggs, Jr.
How we view the world is directly related to the beliefs we have. Some of our beliefs are based on the country we were born, the region we grew up in, our ethnicity and even the traditions our parents taught us. As a result, we see things differently. We can have the best intentions, but our beliefs can cloud our judgement and impede our decision-making process.
Proverbs 16:1-6 (ESV): The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord. All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirit. Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established. The Lord has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble. Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the Lord; be assured, he will not go unpunished. By steadfast love and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for, and by the fear of the Lord one turns away from evil.
This helps explain why you may have had a disagreement with someone and everyone believes the other person is the one that needs to apologize. As Scripture depicts, each of us sees our actions as pure. That is why it is crucial for us to be humble and unassuming in our interactions. If we are humble and respectful of the desires of others more than our own, we allow ourselves the ability to recognize the possibility that our beliefs are not founded in reality. While it may seem like “overkill” for God to call the arrogant person an “abomination”, it is important to understand the full implications of their arrogance.
Proverbs 16:16-19 (ESV): How much better to get wisdom than gold! To get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver. The highway of the upright turns aside from evil; whoever guards his way preserves his life. Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. It is better to be of a lowly spirit with the poor than to divide the spoil with the proud.
A prideful person who believes their perception of reality is always correct is going to have a misunderstanding of most situations. They will likely find themselves assuming the worst of others, while frequently giving themselves the benefit of the doubt. With an improper understanding, they will entertain evil and make statements that offend others. It will also be near impossible for them to be convinced they are wrong about anything. As a result, a prideful person cannot be helped and their pride will be lead to their downfall. They believe their actions are pure, but they are contradicting the word of God. Each of us must be vigilant and on-guard against the misunderstandings of the heart by always being humble and meek in our interactions. Otherwise, we will find ourselves on the wrong side of the gates of heaven, confused as to where everything went wrong.
By: Undre Griggs, Jr.
Jesus is speaking to His disciples about the significance of His death, and the comforter who will come and bring them peace. While the disciples may not have been able to comprehend how significant of a statement Jesus is making at the time, they realize he spoke enough.
John 14:25-28 (ESV): “These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.”
After Jesus was hung on the cross, His disciples probably felt lost and without purpose. They were meeting behind closed doors and appeared lost without Jesus’ presence. Nonbelievers mocked Jesus and His followers because they believed Jesus’ death confirmed He was not the Son of God. Jesus knew His disciples were going to be in fear for their lives, while simultaneously mourning the loss of their master. This can only be seen as the worst three days of the disciple’s lives, yet Jesus says they will find peace. Jesus understands His death is going to be tough on His disciples, but He also understands the comfort the Holy Spirit provides will aid them immensely.
John 16:33 (ESV): I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.
The peace that Jesus spoke of is evident by the fact that Christianity still exists today. The death, torture, and turmoil that early Christians endured would have broken most. The average person would have calculated the persecution on earth and determined, renouncing Christianity made the most sense. However, because so many witnessed Jesus’ resurrection and believed in His promises, they did not forsake their faith. The followers of Christ were able to find peace in the worst of times, because they knew Jesus promised everlasting life. Jesus’ reward did not have a financial significance like the gifts that the world offers. His rewards endure until the end of time and bring us peace. Let us all find peace knowing that Jesus is sitting at the right hand of the Father speaking on our behalf.
By: Undre Griggs, Jr.
Sometimes we get caught up in our daily lives and lose focus on what is truly important. We allow failures at work, arguments with loved ones, and things not turning out the way we planned to depress us. Throughout the Bible, believers reflect on the promises of God when they find themselves in tough situations.
At times our beliefs and individual experiences make it very difficult for us to understand the situation another is facing. When we attempt to judge others based on our personal expectations, it can lead to trouble. We can form biases, prejudices, and show favoritism towards things that matter to us, but not to God.
1 Samuel 16:6-7 (ESV): When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord's anointed is before him.” But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
God does not see the world as we see it. He is not looking for the strongest or the smartest person, He is looking for the purest heart. God regularly chooses the weakest person by our standards because it is human tendency to glorify the created, instead of the creator. You will see throughout Scripture, God chooses the weakest person to help us not to make this mistake. The problem arises because we are still not humble enough to appreciate God’s almighty power and grace. Even though the situation is difficult to explain, humans tend to credit what they can see before they credit what they cannot.
Philippians 2:3-7 (ESV): Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.
Jesus desires for us to follow His pattern and have a heart of humility. Not looking to exalt our own strengths, but focused on the needs and talents of others. When we count others greater than ourselves and focus on their interests, we are not only humbling ourselves to them, but to God.
James 4:6 (ESV): But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.
God will not elevate the prideful because His will is for all to be saved. Scripture speaks of pride as leading to a fall or destruction. God will not exalt the prideful because He knows that will further the likelihood of them not being humble enough to put on Christ in baptism. In addition, the prideful could lead others astray as they are representing themselves, not God as the answer. We must be humble enough to be a bondservant to Jesus Christ, willing to sacrifice our interests and well-being for the furthering of God’s kingdom. By living a life of selflessness and humility, God will reward us for our service. As Scripture says, the last will become first and the first shall become last.