Sunday, August 14, 2016

The Humility of God

Phillippians 2:2-5, “make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus”.


We must have the same love and joy as each other and join our souls together with the same thinking as one another and not let selfishness be among us.  Let us have the same mind as Jesus.  Jesus has a mind that is not selfish.  If God was selfish, imagine how hard the world would be.  God made everything for us, light, oxygen to breath, trees and it doesn’t say that in heaven there is big garden or moon and suns for Himself but He gave it all for us. 


God created everything on this earth perfect and He said, this is good.  He made it perfect for us, He said it will belong to Tyrone, Bruce, Michelle and Robbie.  He wasn’t selfish and said it is good and let me keep it to myself.  He didn’t decide to give what is a little good and keep the rest.  He didn’t keep a bit for himself, no he gave it 100%.  He wasn’t selfish at all and that is where His humility started.


Every evening God would leave the throne to come down to the Garden of Eden to see Adam and to ask about his day.  He didn’t leave Adam to chase after God and ask, God where are you?  Adam never did that meaning he wasn’t humble as God because Adam was the one waiting for God to come to him.  Adam spent his day doing whatever he wanted but had no time to seek for his God.  Every evening God would come down to Adam, are you all right, how did day go, did you enjoy the light today?


God didn’t create rain during the seven days but later He gave us rain. Every day God was pleasing human beings adding a new thing day after day.  God brought the rainbow later.  Slowly, slowly God increased to prove to us that He is not selfish.


When we think about selfishness, what pops in our mind?  I cannot give this away, I will keep it for myself.  I don’t want him to have it, better for me to possess it.  When people have something small, they will say, this is mine, it is not yours, we can’t share it and I will only share if I want.  As a child, if I had something I liked, I would hide it behind my back and my mum would say to share but I didn’t want to.


When we think it’s mine, God says, I gave it to you freely and I didn’t hold any part of it, why can’t you share with others.  Selfishness is a big mountain that makes many Christians collapse.  It’s one of the biggest challenges in the world today.  Many can preach the Word of God but when you ask them for something, they have to think twice.  For God, it is different, He creates what is perfect and gives it away.


If you want comfort, joy, consolation, compassion, then think about selfishness.  Am I selfish?  Yes, in one way or another we are selfish.  Once my actions project selfishness, God is not happy. That is why He tells us to do things the way Jesus did. 


In the New Testament, this beautiful woman called Mary became pregnant who will give birth to Jesus.  This poor lady who had nothing and Jesus chose to sit in her womb, not the womb of a queen.  Jesus chose to be born in a stable, He didn’t choose a palace so He could become the true king that the world was expecting.  He put that glory aside and was born in a poor family.  Who can expect a king to come from a family that is not royal?  If I said Bruce will become a king, we will laugh because we won’t believe it will happen but for God that is possible to show He is not selfish and hasn’t come for only the royal family but for all humanity.


Jesus who is a king grew up without going to school and started to see people who were sick and started to give them 100% healing.  He healed those who were both physically and spiritually sick and he healed without money receiving money.  Who is that doctor that will heal you for no money?  You are blind, the surgeon heals you and you don’t have to pay, very few surgeons will say that.  What restaurant will feed you for free?  Jesus blessed people without asking for payment.  Not even for a dollar.


Jesus started to show us how He could humble himself.  He slept with us, carried a human body, He was among us and He was walking and teaching and talking as a simple man. 


Now God is humble and humbles himself and every morning he says, “Annette, please wake up baby”.  “Oh I’m tired, let me sleep”.  “Ok, I give you 5 mins”.  When you wake up, God has prepared everything beautiful for you, the sun shining, birds singing, all prepared for you.  How much do you prepare for others?  What do you do for others?  Maybe the first thing is to have breakfast.  Feed myself first because I am selfish. 


I have no time to pray for others.  My problem is me first.  During the day God will guide you and He protects you from danger and we take that for granted to the point that we start to think that God doesn’t exist and we have what we have because it belongs to us forgetting that my body doesn’t even belong to me.


I try to prove to everyone I’m better than you, my children are better than yours, my husband is better than yours, etc and in all of that we don’t say, God has played a role in this. Because God is humble, He continues to provide and provide.


One time I had a silly dream and I walked into my house and in that house, someone said, brother I will come every time here to clean your toilet.  In my dream, that man didn’t show up and the toilet was messy and I complained, why didn’t he come to do his job, to do what he was supposed to do?  The next day, I went to the church and the toilet was a mess and I complained, who was supposed to clean it and in my heart I felt bad because I should clean it myself.


Sometimes we can’t help at church and pretend not to see so we don’t have to take part.  With food, we want to serve ourselves first to get the best food.  Every time we don’t humble ourselves.  To humble ourselves is very important in Kingdom of God because God created man to look like Him.  Would you give that power and capacity to someone you create to be like you.  If I make a chair, it is to satisfy my needs, for me to use it.  Everything we do is for ourselves but God said, let us make human beings to look like us.


He came down, touched the dust.  When was the last time you touched dust to please someone else?  Have you touched the dust to help your neighbour, to clean their garden?  Most of the time we don’t want to work for others. 


God visited people.  How often do I visit people, call them, pray for them, pray for myself and problems and how much do I pray for others?  God created us in His image and wants us to act like him, visit people, speak to them and when we are ready to supply them with what they need.  God wants us to share our power, abilities and skills with others but we are waiting for people to ask before we share.  Yet for God, He created things without human beings asking for them.  He looked at Tyrone and knew what he needed and prepared it.


Selfishness is not a good thing.  According to Proverbs 6, there are seven things God hates and on the top of the list is eyes of pride and God calls them abomination.  Someone looks at the child, oh what child is this.  You can see pride coming through their eyes.  We sometimes become like doctors of pride and judge others, I can’t be like her because she is like this and we do the diagnosis.  Instead of praising God for others, we criticise.  God is looking at us and says, be simple my child.  How often do we talk about others in a negative way and criticise them, friends, family, churches, pastors. 


Remember after Adam sinned, God didn’t cut off the contact but came down.  God asked Adam, “Where are you?” and then He covered his nakedness by sacrificing the life of an animal.  When someone does something wrong, we are like journalists and spread the news.  Why can’t we become close like God and say, it’s alright, that was the past, let us cover it. 


One time, someone went to the doctor and shared all his problems including personal problems.  The next day, the doctor told others. What was a secret, the doctor made it to be like a news story all over the city.  God teaches us simplicity by sacrificing what He can to protect us.  We as human beings focus on one mistake and forget all the good things.  “Because she did that, she is not a Christian anymore”, or “he is a bad guy”.  Why do we focus only on what is wrong.  How often do you focus on the good things too?  How often do you think about the good things others?


In Mark 10: 48, Jesus for the last time is going through Jericho and He saw Bartimaeus and he couldn’t see.  Everybody here, close your eyes.  Tell me what am I doing?  You can’t see what I’m doing but you can hear me.  Open your eyes now.  It makes a difference.  With eyes closed you will see darkness, you might see colours but they are not true colours until you open your eyes.


God did not give this man sight when he was born.  Look at the simpleness of God and see how He brings himself to humility.  I am God, I will make you blind because I am simple and you also can be simple and those who are well, they can take care of you.  Many think that if you are sick, you must be a sinner but that is 100% wrong.  God didn’t create Adam rich and Jesus was not born rich.  The wealth that Jesus focuses on is the spiritual wealth, that is the most important because when you die, you won’t take anything with you, even your clothes will remain.  God focuses on what is inside you, not what is material.


This man heard that Jesus was passing through Jericho.  Do you care that John Key the primeminister of NZ is coming to Hamilton?  I don’t have time to see that.  What would I gain?  No interest for me or my family so I won’t go.  This man decided to be where Jesus would pass and the crowd came with Jesus and people were talking and shouting.  By hearing the noise, Bartimaeus asked, what is happening?  “Jesus is here”.  So the man shouted Jesus, son of David, Jesus!  His voice went over the voices of the crowd to the point that people tried to quiet him down.


He couldn’t be quiet, he shouted again.  Look how simple that man is.  People told him to be quiet but he knew what he was after, he knew he needed Jesus and he shouted to the point that Jesus heard him and stopped.  How often in your life have you made noise so that God will stop?  Because of those around us, we prefer to be quiet, “what will people say if I shout, what will they say, they may judge me” and we are afraid if the judgements.  God is not afraid of the judgements, God who created others with disabilities is not ashamed.  God wants to see how much I will be simple to help others.


Imagine a prince of England travelling in his car being yelled at.  He will not leave his car.  But because of his humility, Jesus stopped.  Bring him here.  Although he has no chance to see, he had legs and walked without seeing where he was going and by only following only the voice of Jesus.  The bible doesn’t say he was led by someone.  He went by himself and Jesus waited for him to come.  Simplicity doesn’t mean you have to be silent or that you can’t express yourself to God.  Sometimes we don’t have time to shout about our problems.  We find it easy to tell God about our material problems but not our spiritual ways, “Lord I’m selfish with my life, I do what I want”.  Instead, we focus on cash, cars, homes.  The best home we have is our body because it holds the Holy Spirit.


Jesus asked Bartimaeus, what do you want me to do for you?  God coming from heaven to earth and asked, “what do you want me to do?”  Solomon wanted wisdom.  What would you ask?  Money, gold, diamonds.  If I were Solomon, I might think that I don’t need wisdom since I have a panel of people who can advise me.  Imagine your son in front of the queen of England and the chid asks for intelligence.  You will feel angry, think about material things, I can’t afford for your studies.  We always think about money, for that reason Jesus said you can’t serve Jesus and money at the same time because money makes us selfish.


When the offering comes around, we choose the smallest bank note.  Some will take the silver coins and leave the gold ones behind.  God who has gave you everything, how selfish can we be?  Offer God some time to pray, to work for Him but we don’t.  Most of us will pray for less than 4 mins and when we do pray, it’s for ourselves.


This man had other parts that worked and God can use your other parts to give you healing of the parts that don’t function.  If you sit down and wait for God to heal you, you won’t find healing.  We have to make an effort.  We have to walk to the Kingdom of God.  Jesus is the way to the Kingdom of God so we have to walk through Jesus and if you don’t have legs, how will you follow that path.  Many say, I’m going to heaven and they sit down thinking that is enough but we have to make our legs work.  We are the ones who have to walk.


Jesus gave Bartimaeus sight and he walked with Jesus.  God is humble and because He is, He gives you everything you have, health, sleep, food, all that you have, hair.  If God is simple and you are created in His image, how can you make yourself image and serve others?  When are you ready to do that?  We are called to be simple which doesn’t mean to be silent but it means to shout to God and ask for help and He will ask you what do you want me to give you?  You have to choose something important not only for you but for the body of Jesus.


Because Bartimaeus accepted sight, he is written in Word of God.  Others were blind spiritually and were telling Bartimaeus to be quiet.  How often do you stop others from going to Kingdom of God?  I’m tired, I won’t go to church today.  You are spiritually blind.


We will all pray to God to help us to be simple so we can please God and so we can go to heaven.