Posts tagged Humility
What We Crave {DWITW 365}

A man, blind from birth.
A woman, lame for years.
A child, sick with a fever that the parents knew would take his life.

The towns in Jesus time were filled with people like this. The lame, the blind, the sick. It’s safe to say that there was a lot of hopelessness, wondering if there will ever be relief from this oppression. Wondering if there is a cure, a way to find healing and hope.

The gospels are filled with stories of people facing brokenness in their lives. There are many instances of brokenness due to sin or lifestyle choices, but the brokenness that stands out in these stories is the physical brokenness that many were facing. Some of them had lived their entire lives stricken with physical illness, while some had contracted diseases that had no cure. Many were hopeless...beggars sitting at the edges of pools, marketplaces and wealthy homes, hoping that today would be the day that brings a reprieve from their symptoms and pains.

And then along comes Jesus. Walking from town to town, bringing with him a strange group of people, filled with parables and preaching. Most likely, his reputation preceded him and as the townspeople heard he was coming, they waited for him to walk into their towns. Were the rumors really true? Did he really say such strange things? Did he really talk back to Pharisees and Sadducees and religious leaders? Did he really do all those things he said he did? What is this Jesus guy really all about? And, really, when it all comes down to it- is there anything in his message for me? What can he provide me with?

it’s not just about us and the solutions we crave. Instead, it’s about gOD and using our testimony to bring glory to Him.

So, from town to town Jesus and his strange band of men stroll. Jesus brings messages that the people haven’t heard before, he stands up to the religious leaders and often makes spectacles of them. He reprimands the rich young man and tax collectors. I imagine most of the “commoners” standing in the crowd, enjoying the scene. At the same time, the words coming from Jesus’ mouth probably made many uncomfortable. How could it be possible to choose to stay married when divorce was an option? How could one worker be paid the same amount as another worker who did half the work? And really, Jesus, those words are so nice and entertaining, but- what is in it for me?

Throughout the gospels, there is a division of people after Jesus has finished preaching and teaching. There are those who scoff and walk away, there are those who listen and believe, and there are those who listen, believe and obey. Each group seems to answer “What is in it for me?” in a different way. The first group decides that there is nothing in it for them- and walks away. The second group decides that it could be rather beneficial for them to follow this man with the strange words of wisdom. And the third group? They also decide that there is nothing in it for them- that instead of it being about them, it is all about HIM.

Let’s take a closer look at Luke 17:11-19. As Jesus entered a village, ten men with leprosy approached him (vs. 12). They raised their voices, asking Jesus to bring healing to them (vs. 13). They knew who Jesus was and they knew that his reputation- he brought healing to those who were stricken with sickness and disease. They knew that there was a chance that just asking could bring relief from years of pain and living like social outcasts. Jesus’ response to them was simple- “Go and show yourselves to the priests” (vs. 14). All ten men heard what Jesus said and decided that it would be beneficial for them to go and do what Jesus said. All ten men were healed on their way to see the priests! But only one man fully understood the weight of what had happened. Only one of the ten understood that it wasn’t all about him or what was in it for him. He understood that it was about Jesus and giving glory to God (vs. 15-16). He fell face down before Jesus and thanked him, giving glory to God.

Let us also remember this lesson: that when we ask God, we can expect him to bring healing and answers to our problems. But it’s not just about us and the solutions we crave. Instead, it’s about HIM and using our testimony to bring glory to Him. How can we do that today?


Suzanne Hines wants to live in a world where sunflowers bloom in eternal summer, where her children play instead of argue and where her family has an endless budget for travel. When she's not loving her husband, training and teaching her three children, and spreading education on the foster care system, you can find her writing, reading or running outside!

Her favorite Scripture is Romans 12:12 " joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer..." (NIV)

Crawling Off the Altar {Team Journal}

Today’s team journal was written by our Finance Director, Kaitlyn Carl. 

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”
— Romans 12:1

I had always considered myself a pretty selfless person. In high school and college, I remember largely putting the needs of others before my own, sometimes even to my detriment. I even thought highly of myself for thinking so little of myself. Funny how sin can twist even a seemingly right action and mindset and turn it into ugly, life-sucking pride.

Then, I got married. And, oh, how my selfish nature started to truly reveal itself. Now, three kids later, I often feel that I don’t have a self-less bone in my body. Often, I would rather lay in bed than get up and tend to the crying baby; I would rather sit and read a book than play tea party for the 400th time; I would rather order takeout than spend time to make dinner. And the list goes on and on.

“The problem with a living sacrifice is that it keeps crawling off the altar.”
- D.L. Moody

In many ways, I’ve fallen prey to the warning from the very next verse in Romans 12:2a: “Do not be conformed to this world…” I’ve bought into the lie that my life is about me. But it’s just that: a lie. As a believer, I’m called to reflect my Savior, and Jesus did not come to this world as a tiny baby because He was thinking about Himself. Paul reminds us in Philippians that “...though He was in the form of God, [He] did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but He emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, He humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Phi. 2:6-8). And why did Jesus die this death on a cross? It certainly wasn’t for Himself. It was for me and for you. So, how can I sit here and live a single second of my life for myself?

If Jesus willingly emptied Himself and humbled Himself for my sake, how much more should I empty myself and humble myself for the sake of my Lord? Jesus presented His body as a real sacrifice (Hebrews 10:12); I’m called to present my body as a living sacrifice. To do that, I’ve got to tear down the idol of “me.” And that is hard and painful. I’ve been building up this idol my whole life, and it’s strong, large, and well-established. It’s like the house of bricks in the story of The Three Little Pigs -- it’s going to take a lot more than just huffing and puffing to blow this idol down.

Praise God that He is the foreman of this demolition project! He is stronger, bigger, and more established than my self-made idol because He is the One who is not made but always was and is (Psalm 90:2). And God’s orders’ hold more magnitude than that of the Big Bad Wolf, for by the power of His words and His breath He created the world and gave life to Adam (Genesis 1:1-2:7).

But I, I have to let Him work. I have to willingly allow His chisel to chip away at the hard edges of my heart. I have to open myself to be confronted with (and then address) my sins, to give up what I want and embrace what He requires and desires for my life. I have to stop living for the glory of “me” and start living for the glory of God. I know I won’t do it perfectly; I’ll have to continually be drawn back to this place of sacrifice. But you know what? God knows that. And that’s why He sent Jesus. Because He didn’t crawl off of His sacrificial table. And because He didn’t, I can keep crawling back onto mine.

“For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.”
-Romans 11:36

Kaitlyn Carl wants to live in a world where kids always sleep in on the weekends and houses clean themselves. When she's not volunteering in some sort of ministry capacity or taking care of her family, you can find her reading or sleeping.

Her favorite Scripture at the moment is Romans 8:35, 37-39, ESV: "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? ... No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”