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Monday, January 12, 2015

Word of the Year: Humble/Humility

I've thought a lot about my word for this year. I read several devotional passages in the end of 2014 which led me to choose my word: Humility. I also prayed about it, and felt the Lord leading me to ponder what humility is, and how to be more humble in His sight.

Joseph and Mary were humble people (Luke 1:48), did not have much in the world, yet they were chosen as the earthly parents for JESUS! Bethlehem was not a fancy place, nor was the stable where Jesus was born. I felt called to work on my humility in the new year. I want to be humble before God, as I come to Him each day.

His word promises many things involving humility:

He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way. Psalm 25:9

The Lord sustains the humble but casts the wicked to the ground. Psalm 147:6

Has not my hand made all these things, and so they came into being?” declares the Lord. “These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word. Isaiah 66:2

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (spoken by Jesus) Matthew 11:29

For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” Luke 14:11

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Ephesians 4:2

And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! Philippians 2:8

Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position. James 1:9

But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” James 4:6

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. James 4:10

I also researched the meaning of the word humility. The word means meekness, modesty, not proud or arrogant, mildness, lowliness, freedom from pride. I really liked this from Halley's Bible Handbook: "We need to constantly draw nigh unto God, to cleanse our hands, to purify our hearts and to humble ourselves." (p. 660)

The Strong's Accordance discussed factors involved in the sense of humility: sinfulness, unworthiness (Luke 15), limitations (1 Kings 3: 6-14), God's holiness (Isa. 6) and God's righteousness (Phil. 3: 4-7). 

Factors producing humility are : affliction (Deut. 8:3) Impending doom (2 Chron. 12:5-12), submissiveness (Luke 10:39) and Christ's example (Matt 11:29)

Upon reviewing the Greek and Hebrew words for humility, I found definitions meaning: to bring down low, submit or debase self, submit, put down, subdue, lowly. 

Biblical examples of humility are: Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, David, Job, Jeremiah, Daniel, Elizabeth, John the Baptist, Jesus and Paul. 

As Christians, we are exhorted to put on humility (Col. 3:12), be clothed with humility (1 Peter 5:5), to work with humility (Eph. 4:1-2) and avoid false humility (Col. 3:18-23)

I found all of this study simply fascinating. I enjoy learning more about words and their meaning to better understand a concept. I enjoy reading Bible study books which shed new light on the topic for me. I am no Bible scholar by any means, but I enjoy the resources that God has given me. I intend to study humility more this year. I am already memorizing James 4:10. I hope to memorize more of the humility verses above. I appreciate Jesus' example of humility. I know that I have pride that needs to be dealt with, and repented of before God. I may share more of my study in the coming weeks or months ahead. Asking God to humble me is a little daunting... not that I want to be decimated or anything, but shown areas of my life that need changing. God has all of life under control, areas for each of us to grow. I am interested to see what God will do in & through my life this year.

What about you? What is your "word" for the year? Is there something that you are interested in learning more about this year? I'd love to hear about it!

This is a photo that I found online, and I added a verse to it. Then I printed it to place around my home as a memorization tool, and on my phone's wallpaper.

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