Monday, July 21, 2008

greater glory

Llama In Need preached at my church Sunday. He may not be very active in the blogosphere, but he is and will be a person of great significance in the real, live, flesh-and-blood dimension. He is in seminary right now, and some blessed souls will one day call him Pastor.

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Our seminarian gave an exposition of Genesis 11 and 12, highlighting the contrast between the main people in each chapter. The Babylonians, who settled in Shinar, and attempted to build a tower that would reach to God were marked by pride and they were rebellious toward the Lord. Abraham is known as a man of faith and humility. The people of Babel disobeyed and said they would make a name for themselves. Abraham listened and obeyed, but it was God who told Abe that He (the Lord) would make Abraham's name great.

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Soapbox: Everybody has faith in one sense or another. The difference is were we place our faith. Is it in ourselves? In money or resources? When I talk about faith, I am really talking about foundationally placing our belief in the living God who is absolutely trustworthy.

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A question: Faith and humility. How does a person improve in either of these areas?

14 comments:

NaNcY said...

How does a person improve in either of these areas?


abide

lime said...

good word.

how do we improve in faith, we exercise it. in humility, we give god the glory rather than basking int it ourselves. them's my short answers anyway.

Ornery's Wife said...

I think a person improves in humility by submitting their will to God. A person grows in faith by giving Him their trust. Either way, I think it has to do with a very close relationship, and the understanding that God is only good and wants the best for us. When we grasp the depth of the love He has for us, trust (faith) is easy. When we grasp the magnitude of His gift to us, and our worthlessness without Him, it is easy to be humble!
TM
PS- nope, no birthday here. It's in February. But, did you want to send me a card? Then, SURE it's my birthday! :-)

For The People said...

Study and good works! It has been a crazy weekend. But I am back. Have a great day!

Craver Vii said...

Ultra-concise NaNcY. Care to elaborate? I'd love to hear more of what you mean by that. :-)

Any practical examples Lime on what that would look like?

February, huh? Let's just say I'm seven months early (heh, heh). Talk about humbling, TM... ;-)

Welcome back FTP!! Study what? Biographies of people of humility and faith? A word study through the scriptures? Topical books by contemporary writers?

I'm loving the input, folks! I hope you don't mind the wrestling and digging a little farther past the surface. Many would agree that a deeper level of faith and humility are desirable, but I think it gets slippery when we actually make the effort to move in that direction. That's why I'm tapping into y'all to see if we can share some helpful handles on this.

donsands said...

God surely will work in us to will and to do. Jesus promises to never leave us, nor forsake us.

The growing will be difficult at times. Even dark times of deep pain, such as Peter went through as Satan sifted him.
Christ wanted Peter to go through this to become less proud, and more humble. He did. And at the end of his life he was a very humble man of God. It's very evident in his two epistles.

Learning to trust will happen the same way. Through highs and lows of spiritual seasons. Storms, and calms.
But like Nancy says, "Abide". John 15 is the bottom line I think. And it's always grace upon grace that causes us to grow in grace.

The discipline of the Word, (first & foremost), and prayer, (as in Luke 18's parable), worship, (with our hearts, and not just lips), and forgiveness, (70 times 7 kind-of-forgiveness) are essential for growth.

Good post Craver.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Yes! I'll just copy my reply to you from my blog:

Amen, Craver! Abraham is a great case in point of a man who was weak in himself. Yet grew strong in his faith, giving glory to God, as we read in Romans. Being assured that the God who promised, would not fail.

We must continue on in our weakness, that we might know God's strength. Or in our weakness, that it is clear who gets the glory.

Ex-Shammickite said...

I watched the film documentary "Jesus Camp" last night.
Have you seen it?
And if so, what did you think of it?

Dan Leman said...

Thanks for the post Craver. The link to my sermon is now posted on my blog if anyone wants a listen.

Craver Vii said...

There's a lot to chew on there, Sandman. It would seem that there are many ways we might choose to sharpen ourselves in the areas of faith and humility, but I like that you added the option of an outside source. Sometimes a thing can be happening to us that we did not choose, but that God is using to shape us.

That was neat Ted, how our posts overlapped.

No Shammy, I didn't see it. When I saw your comment, I googled "documentary Jesus camp." Based on a perfunctory Web search, I suspect the directors/producers had an axe to grind against the conservative right, and used a handful of Charismatics to do it. Again, I haven't seen it... but I have a hunch that it's too slanted; it shouldn't be regarded as a legitimate documentary, because it's so agenda-driven. I'd be curious to hear opinions from people (especially Christians) who have actually seen it.

I haven't heard the recording yet Dan, but I hope it turned out alright.

L.L. Barkat said...

Times that build humility also build faith, I think. Because it's in humble moments that we are perhaps more drawn to and more grateful for the inexplicably generous love of Jesus.

Craver Vii said...

LL, I think one practical example of humble moments could be in our finances. As the Craver household tries to live within or below our means, it's easy for me not to have cable television or even a cell phone. But I want other stuff. It doesn't do anything at all for humility when I try to "keep up with the Joneses." Impulse buying doesn't stretch my faith, either. If God wants me to have something, He'll provide the means. Right now, that means that I should not be preoccupied with the idea of snagging a flat screen monitor or an external hard drive. I exercise my faith, by practicing contentment with what I have been given.

That practical jump away from the hypothetical and theoretical has humorously been referred to as "meddling." I don't remember exactly where, but I once heard someone say, "Alright Preacher, now you're meddling." Hey, call it what you want... it's where the rubber meets the road.

Martin Stickland said...

Love your cloud photo below, you clever little sausage you!

Hope you are fine and dandy!

Jenn said...

Not particularly enjoyable, but sometimes effective, ways of building faith and humility is when we forget to put our faith in God, start doing things on our own, and royally mess up.

I'm just saying.