Trinity III Sunday

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Trinity III
1 Peter 5: 5-11 Luke 15: 1-10
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you”

Lesson on Humility

Humility is not a popular human attribute in this world. The reason for this is that humility can only survive in the presence of God.

I remember this story of a King’s son who went out into the world, and he was full of thought and himself. He looked at the sky, which was so beautifully pure and blue. Then he sighed and said, “how well must all be with one up there in heaven!” Then he saw a poor gray-haired man who was coming along the road towards him and he spoke to him and asked, “how can I get to heaven?”  The man answered, “By poverty and humility. Put on my ragged clothes, wander about the world for seven years, and get to know what misery is, take no money, but if you are hungry ask compassionate hearts for a bit of bread; in this way you will reach heaven.”

This story clearly tells us that humility is not a performance of virtue that earns grace but that humility is a confession of emptiness that receives grace. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

The poor in spirit are those who humble themselves like the publicans and the sinners of our gospel; those who have no defense, no protection, no power. The poor in spirit also refer to Lazarus in the Bible but also to the children about whom Jesus said, “let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to those who are like these children.” (Matthew 19:14)

What Jesus is telling here is that He is the foundation of our lives and that there is no solid achievement without leaning on him and on him alone.

A lot of people think that they will be saved by what they do rather than who they are. In our churches today many people are led by an ungodly spirit. They take their involvement in many activities within the church as a highway to heaven. They are some people within the church who look down on others and consider themselves highly lifted up. They are so full of themselves that they want everyone to bow to them, to their views and opinions. They think they are above mistakes and they criticize every little, little short coming of their fellow Christians. Listen, whenever you see someone behaving that way, know that he or she is covering up something; he is hiding an important part of his life. But no matter what you do to hide your human nature, it will surely be revealed and exposed by the spirit of God. 

Augustine of Hippo (354-430) was right when he said this: “Do you wish to be great? Then begin by being. Do you desire to construct a vast and lofty fabric? Think first about the foundations of humility. The higher your structure is to be, the deeper must be its foundation.”

Finally, the humble are those who place themselves under the “mighty hand of God”, those who “cast all care upon him”.

Lesson on care and anxiety

Who can honestly say that his life is without any burdens, concerns, or worries? We all have things we are concerned about to one degree or another. I can even say that the carefree person is most likely covering up a host of cares by his or her carefree behavior. Apostle Paul talked about “daily pressure upon me of concern for all churches” (2 Corinthians 11: 28).

It just may be that we are going through some deep waters right now; that God is seeking to reveal areas where we have been leaning on our own resources or trying to run our own life. It may be that we are trying to find our primary satisfaction in something other than the Lord. The fact is that real satisfaction apart from the Lord as the source of that satisfaction is a mirage or at best, a vapor that is experienced one moment, and gone the next.

God’s promise concerning our cares is that He cares. We are therefore to cast the whole of our care on Him—not just some areas while we seek to run the others ourselves. The fundamental issue is the need for us to humble ourselves, or to allow ourselves to be humbled and thus also transformed, changed by God into the character of His Son. God seeks to move us into greater and greater levels of dependence on Him. He wants to take us out of self-dependent living wherein we seek our joy and happiness, our security, and satisfaction from the details of life rather than from Him.
Note the three key elements of Psalm 37: 5 -6: commit (to cast), trust (a walk by faith), and spiritual transformation.

Let us meditate on these verses: “Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, and He will do it. And He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your judgment as the noonday”.

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.