Posts Tagged ‘James 4:10’

The way up is the way down

December 3, 2017

James 4--10.png

Logos Bible Software Verse of the Day for December 3, 2017 reveals that “The way up is the way down.”

James 4:10 in the Holman Christian Standard Bible:

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you.

This scripture reminds us that humility is the key to promotion. Of course, the ultimate example to illustrate this paradox is the Lord Jesus Christ. Philippians 2:5-9 in the Amplified Bible offer this reminder:

Let this same attitude and purpose and [humble] mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus: [Let Him be your example in humility:]

Who, although being essentially one with God and in the form of God [possessing the fullness of the attributes which make God God], did not think this equality with God was a thing to be eagerly grasped or retained,

But stripped Himself [of all privileges and [rightful dignity], so as to assume the guise of a servant (slave), in that He became like men and was born a human being.

And after He had appeared in human form, He abased and humbled Himself [still further] and carried His obedience to the extreme of death, even the death of the cross!

Therefore [because He stooped so low] God has highly exalted Him and has freely bestowed on Him the name that is above every name,

This passage was the inspiration for one of the first scripture memory songs I composed more than eighteen years ago:

Let This Mind Be in You

Chorus:

Let this mind be in you

Which was also in Christ Jesus.

Let this mind be in you

Which was also in Christ Jesus.

Let this mind be in you

Which was also in Christ Jesus.

Let this mind . . .

Let this mind . . .

Let this mind be in you.

 

God gets no pleasure

In forcing us to obey.

But He wants us to follow Him

His Spirit leads the way.

 

Let this mind . . .

Let this mind . . .

Let this mind be in you.

 

We say we are waiting,

Waiting on God to move,

But we’re the ones God’s waiting on,

His perfect will to prove.

 

Let this mind . . .

Let this mind . . .

Let this mind be in you.

 

Now don’t keep God waiting.

He wants to reign in you.

Ask yourself what is God waiting

For you to let Him do?

 

Let this mind . . .

Let this mind . . .

Let this mind be in you

Jesus Christ also points to the duality of humility and promotion when he says in Luke 14:11 (NLT):

For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Jesus Christ associates being humble with a child in Matthew 18:4 (Amplified Bible)

Whoever will humble himself therefore and become like this little child [trusting, lowly, loving, forgiving] is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

The same point is made in a different way in Matthew 23:13 (Amplified Bible)

Whoever exalts himself [with haughtiness and empty pride] shall be humbled (brought low), and whoever humbles himself [whoever has a modest opinion of himself and behaves accordingly] shall be raised to honor.

The essence of this discussion of the paradox of humility and promotion is so clearly expressed in the title prayer from a collection edited by Arthur Bennett: The Valley of VisionA Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions.

The Valley of Vision

Lord, high and holy, meek and lowly,
Thou hast brought me to the valley of vision,
where I live in the depths but see Thee in the heights;
hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold Thy glory.

Let me learn by paradox that the way down is the way up
that to be low is to be high,
that the broken heart is the healed heart,
that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,
that the repenting soul is the victorious soul,
that to have nothing is to possess all,
that to bear the cross is to wear the crown,
that to give is to receive, that the valley is the place of vision.

Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from deepest wells,
and the deeper the wells the brighter Thy stars shine;
let me find Thy light in my darkness,
Thy life in my death,
Thy joy in my sorrow,
Thy grace in my sin, Thy riches in my poverty, Thy glory in my valley.

We close with a musical rendering of James 4:6, 10:

Without question, in terms of promotion with God, humility is the key. Indeed, the way down is the way up.

If my people will. . . then I will.. .

May 4, 2017

2 Chronicles 7--14

The entry for the Verse of the Day for May 4, 2017, the National Day of Prayer, was posted a year ago and is re-posted here today.

2 Chronicles 7:14

If my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

This verse has been invoked countless times in conjunction with corporate prayer gatherings, and, indeed, has been the theme verse of the National Day of Prayer and other similar occasions.

While this verse often brings to mind people within a particular geographic location, the actual emphasis is on “my people” who could be the people of God in any place across the globe, wherever two or three or more are gathered. Certainly, this is the will of God for the people of God from around the world.

IF

2 Chronicles 7:14 is in reality an “if . . . then” conditional sentence which opens with a conditional clause, followed by a main clause that expresses the results from meeting the conditions set forth. God specifically sets the conditions for “His” people, those who call upon His name and those whom He designates as belonging to Him, those called by His name. If these individuals will perform certain actions, then God will respond accordingly. He sets the conditions with a series of verbs, each of which is connected to the others by “and.” All of these actions must be performed as part of the conditions:

. . . humble themselves

Followers of God should first of all “humble themselves.” This condition is reinforced with these exhortations

James 4:10 (NLT)

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.

1 Peter 5:6 (NLT)

So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor.

and pray

In addition, believers should also “pray.”

Again, throughout the scriptures God’s people are exhorted to pray:

As the Lord Jesus Christ told his followers, “Men ought always to pray and not to faint,” even as Paul encouraged believers to “Pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks. For this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” We are also reminded in Philippians 4:6 (NLT):

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.

and seek my face

To the three previous conditions, His people are to “seek His face.” Like David, we are to yearn to be in God’s presence:

Psalm 27:8 (AMP):

When You said, “Seek My face [in prayer, require My presence as your greatest need],” my heart said to You, “Your face, O Lord, I will seek [on the authority of Your word].”

and turn from their wicked ways

The final condition that must be met is to “turn from your wicked ways.” God expresses His desire for His people:

Ezekiel 18:23 (NLT):

“Do you think that I like to see wicked people die? says the Sovereign Lord. Of course not! I want them to turn from their wicked ways and live.

Isaiah 55:7 also makes known this:

Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.

If these four conditions are fulfilled on our part, God will do His part, expressed with three distinct actions:

THEN

I will hear from heaven

God will hear from heaven, the place where the ears of God are open. The Verse of the Day is part of Solomon’s prayer at the dedication of the Temple, where he goes on to say:

2 Chronicles 6:21

21 May you hear the humble and earnest requests from me and your people Israel when we pray toward this place. Yes, hear us from heaven where you live, and when you hear, forgive.

We are also reminded that

1 Peter 3:12

“The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right, and his ears are open to their prayers. But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil.”

and forgive their sins

In 1 John 1:9 we find another conditional sentence that relates to the results received: that God forgives our sins if we confess them:

But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.

Psalm 103:3 reiterates this message, in that God “forgives all your iniquities and heals all your diseases.”

Ezekiel 6:33 also proclaims God’s ultimate desire to forgive Israel’s iniquities and restore their land

‘Thus says the Lord God: “On the day that I cleanse you from all your iniquities, I will also enable you to dwell in the cities, and the ruins shall be rebuilt.

and heal their land

This expression of God’s will is revealed in this portion of Solomon’s prayer at the dedication of the Temple in 2 Chronicles 6:24-25

If Your people Israel are defeated before an enemy,
because they have sinned against You,
and they return to You and praise Your name,
and they pray and plead for mercy
before You in this temple,
25 may You hear in heaven
and forgive the sin of Your people Israel.:
May You restore them to the land
You gave them and their ancestors.

Isaiah 49:8 (AMP) reveals also God’s desire to bless the land of Israel:
Amplified Bible

This is what the Lord says, “In a favorable time I have answered You, And in a day of salvation I have helped You; And I will keep watch over You and give You for a covenant of the people, To restore the land [from its present state of ruin] and to apportion and give as inheritances the deserted hereditary lands,

The celebrated verse associated with corporate prayer reminds us once more that God is not a respecter of persons, but He is a respecter of conditions which must be met before God fulfills His terms of the agreement. God, however, is a respecter of conditions. Many times the terms of condition are expressed by the use of “if.” Throughout the Bible we find that God has set up “If . . . then” statements” that reveal promises that He will fulfill if we do our part.

We now close with a musical rendering of this familiar verse:

The way down is the way up

January 26, 2017

james-4-10

Revised and re-posted from a previous blog entry, the Verse of the Day for January 26, 2017 reveals that “The way down is the way up.”

James 4:10 (NIV):

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

This scripture reminds us that humility is the key to promotion. Of course, the ultimate example to illustrate this paradox is the Lord Jesus Christ.

Philippians 2:5-9 in the New King James Version offer this strong exhortation:

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name,

The opening phrase of this passage also brings to mind these lyrics:

Let This Mind Be in You

Let this mind be in you

Which was also in Christ Jesus.

Let this mind be in you

Which was also in Christ Jesus.

Let this mind be in you

Which was also in Christ Jesus.

 

Let this mind . . .

Let this mind . . .

Let this mind be in you.

 

God gets no pleasure

In forcing us to obey.

But He wants us to follow Him

His spirit leads the way.

 

Let this mind . . .

Let this mind . . .

Let this mind be in you.

 

We say we are waiting,

Waiting on God to move,

But we’re the ones God’s waiting on,

His perfect will to prove.

 

Let this mind . . .

Let this mind . . .

Let this mind be in you.

 

Now don’t keep God waiting.

He wants to reign in you.

Ask yourself what is God waiting

For you to let Him do?

 

Let this mind . . .

Let this mind . . .

Let this mind be in you.

Jesus Christ points to the duality of humility and promotion when he says in Luke 14:11:

For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted

Jesus Christ associates being humble with a child in Matthew 18:4 (Amplified Bible)

Whoever will humble himself therefore and become like this little child [trusting, lowly, loving, forgiving] is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

The same point is made in a different way in Matthew 23:13 (Amplified Bible)

Whoever exalts himself [with haughtiness and empty pride] shall be humbled (brought low), and whoever humbles himself [whoever has a modest opinion of himself and behaves accordingly] shall be raised to honor.

The essence of this discussion of the paradox of humility and promotion is so clearly expressed in the title prayer from a collection edited by Arthur Bennett: The Valley of VisionA Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions.

The Valley of Vision

Lord, high and holy, meek and lowly,
Thou hast brought me to the valley of vision,
where I live in the depths but see Thee in the heights;
hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold Thy glory.

Let me learn by paradox that the way down is the way up
that to be low is to be high,
that the broken heart is the healed heart,
that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,
that the repenting soul is the victorious soul,
that to have nothing is to possess all,
that to bear the cross is to wear the crown,
that to give is to receive, that the valley is the place of vision.

Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from deepest wells,
and the deeper the wells the brighter Thy stars shine;
let me find Thy light in my darkness,
Thy life in my death,
Thy joy in my sorrow,
Thy grace in my sin, Thy riches in my poverty, Thy glory in my valley.

James 4:6 and James 4:10 are set to worship music:

Without question, in terms of promotion with God, humility is the key. Indeed, the way down is the way up.

The way down is the way up

January 26, 2016

james-4-10

The Verse of the Day for January 26, 2016 reveals that “The way up is the way down” or more precisely that “The way down is the way up.”:

James 4:10:

Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

This scripture reminds us that humility is the key to promotion. Of course, the ultimate example to illustrate such a paradox is the Lord Jesus Christ.

Philippians 2:5-9 in the Amplified Bible offer this reminder:

5 Let this same attitude and purpose and [humble] mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus: [Let Him be your example in humility:]
6 Who, although being essentially one with God and in the form of God [possessing the fullness of the attributes which make God God], did not think this equality with God was a thing to be eagerly grasped or retained,
7 But stripped Himself [of all privileges and [rightful dignity], so as to assume the guise of a servant (slave), in that He became like men and was born a human being.
8 And after He had appeared in human form, He abased and humbled Himself [still further] and carried His obedience to the extreme of death, even the death of the cross!
9 Therefore [because He stooped so low] God has highly exalted Him and has freely bestowed on Him the name that is above every name,

Jesus Christ points to the duality of humility and promotion when he says in Luke 14:11:

For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted

Jesus Christ associates being humble with a child in Matthew 18:4 (Amplified Bible)

Whoever will humble himself therefore and become like this little child [trusting, lowly, loving, forgiving] is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

The same point is made in a different way in Matthew 23:13 (Amplified Bible)

Whoever exalts himself [with haughtiness and empty pride] shall be humbled (brought low), and whoever humbles himself [whoever has a modest opinion of himself and behaves accordingly] shall be raised to honor.

The essence of this discussion of the paradox of humility and promotion is so clearly expressed in the title prayer from a collection edited by Arthur Bennett: The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions.

The Valley of Vision

Lord, high and holy, meek and lowly,
Thou hast brought me to the valley of vision,
where I live in the depths but see Thee in the heights;
hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold Thy glory.
Let me learn by paradox that the way down is the way up
that to be low is to be high,
that the broken heart is the healed heart,
that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,
that the repenting soul is the victorious soul,
that to have nothing is to possess all,
that to bear the cross is to wear the crown,
that to give is to receive, that the valley is the place of vision.
Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from deepest wells,
and the deeper the wells the brighter Thy stars shine;
let me find Thy light in my darkness,
Thy life in my death,
Thy joy in my sorrow,
Thy grace in my sin, Thy riches in my poverty, Thy glory in my valley.

James 4:6 and James 4:10 are set to music with this reminder that we should  “Humble Yourselves.”

Without question, in terms of promotion with God, humility is the key. Indeed, the way down is the way up.

Humility before honor

January 26, 2015

james-4-10

Taken from James 4:10 (New Living Translation), the Verse of the Day for January 26, 2015 reminds us that that “the way down is the way up”:

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.

In Mark 9:35 Jesus Christ illustrates the same point that those who desire to be first should put themselves last and serve others first.

And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.

Nowhere is this portrait of a true servant of the Lord more vividly revealed than in the account where Jesus washes the feet of the disciples in John 13.

A number of years ago, my wife and I received a special Christmas gift: a statue of Christ washing one of his disciples’ feet with the inscription John chapter 13 embossed on the base. I was deeply moved when I opened the package and discovered such a priceless gift inside.   Here is a replica of the sculpture that we received.

John 13 Statue

I recall a similar experience when I viewed another work of art that evoked a similar response. In a journal entry written in 2003 as I was on my way to Dakar, Senegal, I described the situation where I viewed a work of art and shared a poem based on the same account in John 13:

El Lavatorio (Tintoretto)

As I am enjoying the Vision of Madrid bus tour, I decide to get off at one of the stops—The Prado, the world famous museum housing a number of noteworthy works by such artists as Goya, El Greco, Velasquez, et.al. Some of the most recognized works in the collection are religious themes and portraits based on incidents and individuals portrayed as if they were members of the contemporary society at the time the works were painted. One particular painting, “El Lavatorio” by Tintoretto, deeply moves me in a profound way. The larger than life painting depicts Jesus washing the feet of Peter, as the others have either had their feet washed or are waiting for the experience. Once again I try to envision what the disciples must have thought when Jesus took a towel and a basin and began to wash their feet. What an overwhelming lesson in humility. As I reflect upon the painting which moves me to tears, I thought of this poem:

Let Me Wash Your Feet

As Jesus put off his garments and wrapped a towel

around himself,

So I lay aside my pride with nothing to hide and

expose myself.

As a humble servant I long to wash your feet.

You could yourself

Perform this deed of loving service, but let me

Serve you myself.

To allow me to wash your feet is to bless me,

as Christ, himself

Blessed the Twelve before he departed from this earth.

You have yourself

The key to the door of blessing for you and me:

As Jesus took

Upon himself

The servant’s form

That I, myself

Might freely give

To you, yourself,

So I ask you

As Christ, himself

Still asks of me,

So I ask you to

Let me to wash your feet.

“The Basin and the Towel,” musical composition by Michael Card, also portrays this moving account of John 13 in this video:

The Word of God reminds us once again that those who would be great must first serve others.

Let us pray:

God, our Father, we thank you for the honor and the privilege to carry out Christ’s command that we love one another and give our lives in service, just as he did. As we follow in Christ’s steps, may we also learn the lessons of humility and recognize that if we humble ourselves in your sight, that you will lift us up. In the name of Jesus Christ, our living Lord and Savior, Amen.

The way down is the way up in the Valley of Vision

January 26, 2014

james-4-10

The Verse of the Day for January 26, 2014 from James 4:10 reveals that “The way up is the way down.” This scripture reminds us that humility is the key to promotion. Of course, the ultimate example to illustrate this paradox is the Lord Jesus Christ.

Philippians 2:5-9 in the Amplified Bible offer this reminder:

5Let this same attitude and purpose and [humble] mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus: [Let Him be your example in humility:]

Who, although being essentially one with God and in the form of God [possessing the fullness of the attributes which make God God], did not think this equality with God was a thing to be eagerly grasped or retained,

But stripped Himself [of all privileges and [rightful dignity], so as to assume the guise of a servant (slave), in that He became like men and was born a human being.

And after He had appeared in human form, He abased and humbled Himself [still further] and carried His obedience to the extreme of death, even the death of the cross!

Therefore [because He stooped so low] God has highly exalted Him and has freely bestowed on Him the name that is above every name,

Jesus Christ points to the duality of humility and promotion when he says in Luke 14:11:

For whosoever exalts himself shall be abased; and he that humbles himself shall be exalted

Jesus Christ associates being humble with a child in Matthew 18:4 (Amplified Bible)

Whoever will humble himself therefore and become like this little child [trusting, lowly, loving, forgiving] is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

The same point is made in a different way in Matthew 23:12 (Amplified Bible)

 Whoever exalts himself [with haughtiness and empty pride] shall be humbled (brought low), and whoever humbles himself [whoever has a modest opinion of himself and behaves accordingly] shall be raised to honor.

The essence of this discussion of the paradox of humility and promotion is so clearly expressed in the title prayer from a collection edited by Arthur Bennett: The Valley of VisionA Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions.

The Valley of Vision

Lord, high and holy, meek and lowly,
Thou hast brought me to the valley of vision,
where I live in the depths but see Thee in the heights;
hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold Thy glory.

Let me learn by paradox that the way down is the way up
that to be low is to be high,
that the broken heart is the healed heart,
that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,
that the repenting soul is the victorious soul,
that to have nothing is to possess all,
that to bear the cross is to wear the crown,
that to give is to receive, that the valley is the place of vision.

Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from deepest wells,
and the deeper the wells the brighter Thy stars shine;
let me find Thy light in my darkness,
Thy life in my death,
Thy joy in my sorrow,
Thy grace in my sin, Thy riches in my poverty, Thy glory in my valley.

JD Sebastian offers a worship song and prayer inspired by Phillipians 2:

Without question, in terms of promotion with God, humility is the key. Indeed, the way down is the way up.