J – The Virtue of Humility

///J – The Virtue of Humility
J – The Virtue of Humility2017-03-30T17:07:03+00:00
Study Explanation
Key Scripture
Discussion Guides
Growing Exercises
Recommended Reading

Explanation

This is how you view God and others in relation to yourself.  Do you perceive (perhaps subconsciously) that you do not need God or that you are better than some people?  Humility thrives with a proper understanding of our relationship with God and others.   Do you chafe at the idea that God has a right to hold you accountable?  On the other hand, do you view God with awe, respect and an understanding that He has a right to be God both in your life and in his world?  Humility is different than obedience.  (Although related, humility willingly accepts that God has authority, obedience willingly submits to that authority.  Pride denies God’s authority or our need for God.  Disobedience may accept that God has authority, but rebels against it.)  Pride also manifests in our relationships with others.  Do we feel superior to others or do we recognize that we are all in the same state: fallen, yet loved by a merciful and gracious God?  Do we view others as having intrinsic value and worth as created in God’s image?  Do we see others as objects of love, grace, forgiveness and service?  On the other hand, do we view others as not worthy of our time or attention?  Are we glad that we are not like ‘those’ people?  Do you put on airs?  Are you hyper critical?  Are you a braggart?  Do you have a great ‘me’ complex?  In summary, do you respect and value others?

KEY SCRIPTURES

Key Scriptures

Key Scriptures are designed to give a biblical overview of the topic in question.  They are extremely valuable for gaining an immediate general understanding of what the Bible teaches on a given subject.  Key Scriptures are the first place you should explore when starting a new subject.  They can be discussed individually, in part, or in whole.  Generic inductive Bible study questions are provided to assist you in your discussion.  Key Scriptures are also good for memorizing and reference.

Humility

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

Proverbs 11:2 – When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. NIV

Philippians 2:3-4 – Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. NIV

Colossians 3:12-14 – Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. NIV

Matthew 23:11-12 – The greatest among you will be your servant.  For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. NIV

See also Isiah 66:2, Titus 3: 1-2, & 1 Peter 5:5-6

Pride

Proverbs 11:2 – When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. NIV

Romans 12:16 – Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. NIV

See also Proverbs 16:5; 16:9, 16:18; 21:4 & 29:23, and Isaiah 2:11

Thankfulness and Gratitude

Colossians – 4:2 – Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. NIV

Hebrews 12:28 – Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful. NIV

Colossians 3:16-17 – Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. NIV

Inductive Bible Study Questions

to be used with individual Key Scriptures

  • What is the primary point of this passage?
  • How does this passage challenge us?
  • How does this passage comfort or encourage us?
  • What does this passage teach us about God?
  • What spiritual insights are found in this passage?
  • What are the personal & spiritual implications of this text?
  • What does this passage ask or require of us?

Key Scriptures Bible Study

to be used when studying all Key Scriptures together

  • Did any of the scriptures given surprise you? Explain
  • Did any of the scriptures given confuse you? Explain
  • Did any of the scriptures given comfort or excite you?
  • How would you sum up these scriptures to another?
  • What implications do these scriptures have for our lives?
  • Which of these scriptures would you find it valuable to memorize?

DISCUSSION GUIDES

The Humility of Jesus

J1 – The Humble and Gentle Jesus – Matthew 11:28-30

Key Words: Humility, Gentleness, Service, Spiritual Authority

  1. How does Christ describe himself in this passage?
  2. What does it mean that he is lowly and humble of heart?
  3. How else do we see the humility and gentleness of Christ displayed in scripture?
  4. Who is Christ: what is his place and position in the universe?
  5. Does it surprise you that Christ describes himself in the way he does?
  6. What does this say about Jesus and how he related to people?
  7. What does this reveal about the proper use of power and authority?
  8. What can we learn from Jesus regarding how to relate to others?
  • Approach all scripture prayerfully open
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J2 – The Servant Lord – Philippians 2: 1-11

Key Words: Humility, Service, Spiritual Authority, Lordship

  1. How does the text describe the humility of Christ?
  2. What position does Christ hold in the universe?
  3. Why does Jesus step away from his authority and position?
  4. According to the order of the universe, who should be serving whom?
  5. What does this reveal about authentic spirituality?
  6. In what ways is Christ’s attitude and values different from the attitude and values of the world?
  7. How do we best emulate Jesus in this area?
  8. What would people think if we began to practice this type of humility in our lives?
  • Approach God’s Word with humility, honesty and teachability
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Humility and Spirituality

J3 – The Key to Revival and Blessing – 2 Chronicles 7:14

Key Words: Humility, Prayer, Revival, Power, Pride

  1. What is God’s message to the people in the text?
  2. What is the very first thing he asks them to do?
  3. Why is humility necessary for these other activities to occur?
  4. What does this text indicate about their prior behavior?
  5. How are such attitudes and behaviors common among people?
  6. How do such attitudes and behaviors create dissonance in our relationship with God?
  7. Does humility always precedes a right relationship with God… explain?
  8. What are the rewards of humility in this passage?
  9. In what ways does humility open us to the blessings of God?
  • These questions are only suggestions, allow the Holy Spirit to be your guide
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J4 – False Humility and Spiritual Pride – Colossians 2:18-23

Key Words: Humility, False Spirituality, Spirituality, Pride, Religion

  1. What is false humility?
  2. How does false humility typically manifest itself?
  3. How does the text say false humility manifests itself?
  4. Why is religion (in the negative sense) attractive to us: why does it have the ‘appearance of wisdom?’
  5. What happens when we begin to take pride in our religious accomplishments?
  6. Explain how religion can be the very thing that pulls us away from a true relationship with God?
  7. Explain how some use humility and spirituality as a basis for pride?
  8. How might false humility manifest itself in today’s world or church?
  9. Why would the text refer to people with false humility as unspiritual?
  • These questions are simply a foundation for you to build upon
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J5 – God Guides the Humble – Psalm 25:9

Key Words: Humility, Guidance, Righteousness, Openness

  1. What two verbs are used in this verse to describe God’s activity in the lives of the humble?
  2. What do these two verbs reveal about God’s relationship with his people?
  3. Why is righteousness (literally right relationships) important to God?
  4. Why should it be important to us?
  5. How have you experienced God guiding you towards what is right or righteousness?
  6. What is the way of God?
  7. What is the difference between God’s way and our way?
  8. Why does God only guide and teach the humble?
  9. What is it about the humble that makes them open and teachable?
  10. Why are the proud excluded from this dynamic?
  • Create your own study by adding and subtracting questions as needed
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J6 – Helping the Helpless – Proverbs 15:25

Key Words: Humility, Service, Compassion, Love, Pride, Generosity

  1. What does the widow represent in this proverb?
  2. Why is God so defensive regarding the helpless and needy?
  3. Do you feel this proverb is intended to instruct us regarding our attitude towards the helpless and needy… explain?
  4. What should our attitude be towards such people?
  5. How does the proud man view the widow?
  6. How does the proud man contribute to the widow’s plight?
  7. What is meant by the phrase: ‘Tears down the proud man’s house?’
  8. Why is God adversarial towards the proud?
  9. What is it about the proud that makes them resistant to God?
  10. What is it about the proud that raises God’s ire?
  • Your questions are probably better than mine
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J7 – Humility and Spiritual Understanding – James 3:13-16

Key Words: Humility, Wisdom, Spirituality

  1. Describe the two types of wisdom contrasted by this passage.
  2. It is said that ‘wisdom is proven by her actions,’ what types of actions prove true spiritual wisdom?
  3. What connection does the passage make between wisdom and humility?
  4. Which actions are described as earthly or unspiritual?
  5. Why do such actions seem wise to the world?
  6. Why is James writing this to Christians and what caution is he giving them?
  7. Why are the wise humble and the foolish proud?
  8. What does this teach us about authentic spirituality?
  • Interrogatives are keys that unlock wonderful secrets 
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J8 – The Greatest Idol – Ezekiel 28: 1-10

Key Words: Humility, Idolatry, Self, Pride

  1. What specific grievances does God have against the king of Tyre?
  2. What is God’s primary issue with him?
  3. What does it mean to think and act as if we are a god?
  4. What are the attitudes of someone who acts as if they are a god unto themselves?
  5. Why is such an attitude dangerous and destructive in our relationship with others… with God… and with ourselves?
  6. The Bible speaks of idols and worshipping idols, how is self the greatest idol?
  7. How does this relate to the temptation in the garden: “you shall be as gods?”
  8. Why is it so grievous to worship and serve ourselves rather than the one true God?
  9. How does God respond to those who usurp his place in their hearts?
  10. How do you see this attitude lived out in the lives of people today?
  • Be like a detective who interrogates scripture 
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J9 – God Delights in the Humble – Psalm 149:4

Key Words: Humility, God’s People, Salvation, Pride, Sin, Repentance

  1. Does the psalmist use the term “his people” synonymously with “the humble?”
  2. Why is it appropriate to make that connection?
  3. What is it about the humble that causes God to respond with delight?
  4. Can you recall any time in scripture when God referred to his people as proud in a positive way?
  5. Is pride an impediment to salvation, and if so, why?
  6. How do Christians view salvation (see John 1:12 & Romans 10:9)?
  7. What is the link between humility and salvation?
  8. What heart conditions must exist before a person realizes their need for God?
  9. How do pride, humility, sin and salvation interact?
  • The insight is found in scripture; questions are simply tools to mine the ore
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J11 – Humility and Answered Prayer – Daniel 10

Key Words: Humility, Prayer, Wisdom, Openness

  1. What does verse 12 say about why God is responding to Daniel?
  2. How do verses 1-13 and describe Daniel’s posture towards God?
  3. What does it mean that Daniel sought to gain understanding?
  4. Where did Daniel go for understanding?
  5. How did Daniel demonstrate humility in attitude and action?
  6. What is the relationship between humility and teachability?
  7. How does humility lead to spiritual power and victory?
  8. How does humility lead to answered prayer?
  9. How does humility lead to wisdom and understanding?
  10. Why are blessings found through humility and prayer rather than our wisdom and power?
  11. What areas in your life do you need to take to God in humility and prayer?
  • Group leaders may wish to consult a commentary for background information 
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J12 – The Fear of the Lord – Proverbs 15:33 & 22:4

Key Words: Humility, Fear of God, Wisdom, Pride, Success

  1. Is the psalmist using the terms “fear of the Lord” and “humility” synonymously?
  2. How do fearing God and humility relate to one another?
  3. What does it mean to fear the Lord?
  4. Why is the fear of the Lord a positive term?
  5. Why do some react against this idea, and what are they missing?
  6. Why is it difficult for the proud to fear God?
  7. The text says that the fear of the Lord teaches wisdom… describe this wisdom: what does it look like?
  8. Why does this passage teach that wisdom comes through the fear of the Lord?
  9. How do humility and a fear of God tend to bring honor and success in life?
  10. Is this the type of honor and success our world values and desires, if not, what is the difference?
  • Seek to connect the dots with other scriptures and Bible content 
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Pride

J13 – The Pride of Satan – Ezekiel 28: 11-19

Key Words: Humility, Satan, Pride, Worship, Sin

  1. Many scholars believe this passage is actually talking about the devil… what language in this passage may lead us this conclusion?
  2. What does this passage teach about Satan’s sin: what was it?
  3. What qualities described in this passage may cause Lucifer to become proud?
  4. As beautiful and magnificent a creature as Lucifer is, why should his only posture before God be one of humility and worship?
  5. What are some of the reasons people today become proud?
  6. Why should the gifts and blessings we have received result in humility rather than pride?
  7. Regardless of how accomplished and blessed we are, why should our posture before God be one of humility, service and worship?

How do we avoid Satan’s sin?

  • There are no greater tools for effective Bible study than humility, honesty, and diligence
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J14 – The Dangers of Pride – Genesis 3

Key Words: Humility, God’s People, Faith, The Fall, Pride

  1. Describe what life must have been like in the Garden of Eden.
  2. What was the source of this life?
  3. How did the order in the garden reflect the macro theme of the Bible, ‘I will be your God, you will be my people?’
  4. How are blessing and humility related before the fall?
  5. What role did pride play in the fall of man?
  6. How are pride and doubt connected in the fall?
  7. How did Adam and Eve view God prior to the fall… after the fall?
  8. How did the way they relate to God change after the fall?
  9. What role did humility and pride play in what happened before… during… and after the fall?
  10. How is pride still dangerous in our relationship with God today?
  • You are responsible for your level of engagement
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J15 – Boasting of Sin – 1 Corinthians 5: 1-2

Key Words: Humility, Pride, Sin, Freedom, Church Discipline

  1. What basis did the Corinthians have to be proud?
  2. What convoluted logic may have drawn them to this conclusion?
  3. How may they have been exploiting certain doctrines such as freedom and grace and love?
  4. Do we see this type of thinking in Christian circles today?
  5. What should the Corinthians have felt and why should they have felt this way?
  6. In what two ways does the text say they should have responded to this activity in their midst?
  7. Why and when are such responses necessary?
  8. Why are Christians sometimes reluctant to practice spiritual discipline?
  9. What is the goal of such discipline and why is it an act of love?
  10. What happens when Christians and churches pride themselves on being culturally progressive rather than obedient?
  • Go beyond the obvious by avoiding “Yes” or “No” answers
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J16 – Spiritual Pride – Matthew 26: 20-35

Key Words: Humility, Pride, Sin

  1. Describe the disciple’s perceptions of their hearts and commitment to Jesus.
  2. Describe the reality of the disciple’s hearts and commitment to Jesus.
  3. Did Peter sin in thinking he would never deny Christ and if so, what was his sin?
  4. What is the difference between spiritual enthusiasm and spiritual pride?
  5. How might Peter have expressed his enthusiasm towards Jesus in a more humble way?
  6. Do you believe that we often overestimate our spirituality… explain?
  7. How do such attitudes of pride often come out in our speech and behavior?
  8. What attitudes and behaviors express passion and enthusiasm in a humble way?
  • Sit and think before answering
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J17 – Spiritual Elitism – Matthew 26: 6-13 & Luke 7: 36-48

Key Words: Humility, Pride, False Spirituality, Acceptance, Inclusion, Beauty

  1. Why were the disciples indignant?
  2. Did the disciples perceive themselves to be morally superior to this woman… explain?
  3. Were the disciples more concerned with her reputation, their reputation or Jesus’s reputation… explain?
  4. How do all of these concerns reflect a measure of pride?
  5. Why did Jesus’s acceptance of this woman scandalize nearly everyone present and invite scorn from the Pharisees?
  6. How did their pride blind them to the beauty of this woman’s sacrifice and from the realities of the Kingdom?
  7. How does pride produce separation from the very people Jesus loved and those we should be ministering to?
  • Think before answering

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J18 – Casual with God – 2 Chronicles 26: 16-21

Key Words: Humility, Pride, False Spirituality

  1. How would you describe Uzziah’s attitude and behavior?
  2. Why might he desire to burn incense to the Lord when it was not his place to do so (it is forbidden in the law for any except the priests to enter this part of the temple)?
  3. Read verses 1-15… why might Uzziah feel he was entitled to approach God in this way?
  4. Why does the scripture explicitly state that his actions were the result of pride?
  5. In what specific ways does pride sometimes lead people to be casual with God and/or the things of God?
  6. One could argue that Uzziah was only trying to approach God… is this not a right thing to do?
  7. How did God respond to Uzziah’s pride?
  8. How do we sometimes seek the right things in the wrong way?
  9. What should Christians today learn from Uzziah regarding pride?
  • Thoughtful silence is the soil of epiphany
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J19 – Credit Where Credit is Due – Daniel 5: 18-21

Key Words: Humility, Pride, Gratitude, Blessing, God’s Providence

  1. What was Nebuchadnezzar’s great sin? List Nebuchadnezzar’s blessings and accomplishments in the text?
  2. Why was it easy for Nebuchadnezzar to fall prey to the sin of pride?
  3. How did he view his blessings and accomplishments?
  4. Which of Nebuchadnezzar’s blessings and accomplishments were ultimately from God, and which were from himself?
  5. Why is it important to understand and acknowledge that God is the ultimate source of our blessings and accomplishments?
  6. Why is it often difficult for people to credit God for the various accomplishments and blessings in their lives?
  7. Which blessings in our lives are the result of God’s providence?
  8. In what ways do we often fall prey to the sin of Nebuchadnezzar?
  9. How do we run a great risk by failing to credit God with our blessings in life?
  •  Seek Nuance
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J20 – Remembering the Lord – Deuteronomy 8:10-18

Key Words: Humility, Gratitude, Worship, Giving, Blessings

  1. What does Moses mean when he encourages the Israelites to remember the Lord?
  2. In what ways should people remember the Lord in their lives?
  3. How does remembering the Lord relate to other concepts such as gratitude… worship… giving… obedience… service?
  4. What does it look like when a person or people do not remember the Lord?
  5. Why is such an attitude and behavior an affront to God?
  6. How does God respond to those who forget him and his blessings in their lives?
  7. Do we as a people or culture struggle with this concept of remembering the Lord?
  8. In what ways have we grown proud?
  9. How does pride disconnect us from God and incur his wrath?
  10. What specific steps can we take as individuals, families and churches to remember the Lord?
  • Be sure to explore all the resources for each doctrine, virtue, and practice
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J21 – Overcoming Pride – Psalm 131

Key Words: Humility, Pride, Contentment, Peace

  1. Is David boasting when he says he is not proud?
  2. Describe the tone or mood of this psalm?
  3. What is the connection between David’s humility and his contentment?
  4. Why is peace of mind difficult to find today?
  5. What factors in your life negatively impact your peace of mind?
  6. How does pride sabotage peace?
  7. What are haughty eyes and how do they undermine peace?
  8. David was king, what does he mean when he says he does not concern himself with matters too great and wonderful for him?
  9. What prescriptions do we find in the psalm that lead to peace of mind?
  10. Do you believe these prescriptions would be helpful for you to practice?
  • Remember there are other learning and scripture studies in the Growing Exercises section
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Humility and Ministry

J22 – True Service – John 13: 1-10

Key Words: Humility, Pride, Service, Ministry

  1. What did Jesus hope to communicate by washing the disciple’s feet?
  2. Why were his disciples resistant to the idea?
  3. How would you feel if Jesus washed your feet… explain?
  4. What does this act of service say about Jesus?
  5. What does this teach us about true spirituality?
  6. How did Jesus hope to influence his disciples with this act of service?
  7. What should this act teach us about how we should view others… even those some might see as inferior in some way?
  8. What is the biggest obstacle in our lives to serving others?
  • Remember there are additional studies in the Key Scriptures section
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J23 – The Humble Serve – Luke 10: 30-35

Key Words: Humility, Ministry, Pride, False Spirituality, Service, Love, Compassion

  1. How do pride and humility impact priest, Levite and Samaritan in this story?
  2. How do you think the priest and Levite justified their actions towards the person in need?
  3. How does authentic Christianity move us to respond to people in need? Hoes humility factor in to that response?
  4. How do you suppose some Christians rationalize being unresponsive to people in need?
  5. How does pride factor into that response?
  6. Is it possible to even consider the point Jesus is trying to make without some measure of humility in our hearts?
  7. How should true humility affect our relationship with the people around us?
  8. How should humility affect our response to the needs of others?
  9. How does pride alienate us from others?  How does humility bring us closer to others?
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J24 – The Key to Ministry – Galatians 6: 1-5

Key Words: Humility, Spiritual Community, Gentleness, Patience, Pride

  1. How does Paul weave the themes of humility and authentic church community together?
  2. Is it possible for any of the described behaviors to exist without humility?
  3. What does it mean to gently restore someone caught in sin?
  4. How is an attitude of humility necessary to accomplish this?
  5. How does pride typically respond to the sins of others?
  6. The text says to watch ourselves and test our own actions, what does that mean and why is this much easier for the humble to do than the proud?
  7. How do the humble and proud respectively respond to the burdens of others?
  8. Verse 3 speaks of spiritual pride, what does that look like and why is it dangerous?
  9. What is the context in verse 4 when Paul mentions pride in a positive way?
  10. In what context should we feel pride?
  11. In what ways is humility indispensable for healthy and beneficial church relationships?

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J25 – Servant Leadership – Matthew 20: 20-28

Key Words: Humility, Spiritual Leaders, Spiritual Authority, Service, Ambition, Greatness

  1. What did the positions at the right and left hand of Christ represent in the kingdom?
  2. Why might James and John covet these positions?
  3. Why did Jesus rebuke their ambitions?
  4. How did Jesus contrast greatness in the world verses greatness in the kingdom?
  5. What does this teach us about spiritual leadership and authority?
  6. Does it seem counter intuitive to you that spiritual greatness lies in humility and service rather than ability and charisma… explain?
  7. How does the world, or even the church at times, view spiritual greatness?
  8. How does a leader lead through servanthood: how do servant leaders relate to others?
  9. How does this truth require you to change what you think about success and how you relate to others?

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Thankfulness and Gratitude

J26 – Thanks in all Things – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Key Words: Humility, Trials, Joy, Prayer, Gratitude

  1. When does Paul say we should give thanks to God?
  2. Why are we to give thanks in all circumstances?
  3. Why do you suppose this is God’s will?
  4. Do you think this is a Pollyanna approach to life?
  5. What perspective allows us to have genuine gratitude in all circumstances?
  6. How is such gratitude related to joyfulness and prayer?
  7. What do the ungrateful often have a difficult time experiencing joy?
  8. Why do the ungrateful often have a difficult time praying?
  9. How does this text suggest a link between being humble and thankful?

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J27 – The Grateful Heart– Hebrews 12:28

Key Words: Humility, Gratitude, Kingdom of God, Salvation, Worship, Hope

  1. What does this text reveal about why Christians should be thankful?
  2. What is the kingdom (see Matthew 6:10)?
  3. What does the text reveal about the likelihood of the Kingdom of God?
  4. Why should our inheritance of the kingdom produce such gratitude?
  5. Why should the reality and hope of salvation lead to a general spirit of gratitude regardless of what else is happening in our lives?
  6. Why is it often hard to keep our eyes on heaven while living in this world?
  7. What is the connection between gratitude and worship?
  8. What is the connection between gratitude and hope?

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J28 – Gratitude: The Spirit of Heaven – Revelation 4:9

Key Words: Humility, Heaven, Hope, Gratitude, Angels

  1. Read the chapter this verse is from.
  2. How do the angels in this passage, and in effect all the inhabitants of heaven, occupy their time?
  3. What is it about God that inspires worship?
  4. The text says that the inhabitants of heaven give glory, honor, and thanks: what is the distinct nature of each of actions?
  5. What is the relationship between each of these activities and humility?
  6. Why would such an environment be uncomfortable or even foreign for the proud?
  7. What is it about God that inspires thankfulness?
  8. Why should all beings in the presence of God be thankful?
  9. Why should people in heaven be especially thankful?
  10. List at least five reasons the angels, elders and others in heaven have to be so thankful?
  11. How should the spirit of heaven carryover into our lives?
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GROWING EXERCISES

  1. Give 100 compliments in a single week.
  1. Make a list of at list 50 reasons why God is amazing.
  1. Go an entire week without any self-reference or attempt to build up self.
  1. Make an exhaustive written list of all your sins and shortcomings and pray every day for a week for God to forgive those sins.
  1. Begin a daily prayer time that involves adoration/praise, confession of sins, thanksgiving to God and intercession for strength to live as God desires.
  1. Write a letter to God expression gratitude for everything he has given you and done in your life, express to him how worthy he is of worship and surrender, apologize for all of the ways you have turned aside from him, express your commitment to follow him.
  1. Write a letter expressing gratitude to someone who has been instrumental in your life.
  1. Invite someone to lunch who is very different from you: someone you may not otherwise socialize with: a subordinate, someone from a different ethnicity, culture, sub-culture, economic status, or station. Try not to talk about yourself.  Get to know that person.  Ask questions about them.  Be engaging.  Try to build a real friendship.
  1. Correct a misunderstanding you may have given another while boasting or puffing to another. It’s easy to get carried away while trying to make an impression.  Have you taken that too far?  If so, go to that person and humbly tell the truth.
  1. Perform several tasks around your home, workplace or community that are not your normal role that you may consider beneath you. Clean the bathroom, pick up garbage, stuff like that.  Be careful to do them without relishing any credit or attention.  In fact, the danger here is that you take pride in doing such humble tasks.
  1. Intentionally capitulate in an ongoing conflict, argument or power struggle. Identify a situation where you seem to be in a contest of wills with a spouse, co-worker or friend.  Simply allow that other person to have their way in a spirit of humility, meekness and service.  The idea here is to be more aware of a “me” orientation rather than a God or others orientation.  We all have many conflicts of wills in our lives, a big part of winning the battle is simply being able to identify them.  Actually winning the battle is being willing to let them go and not having to win all of the time.
  1. Reject your brand. Personal branding or carefully crafting how we desire others to see us is common practice today.  The car we drive, the clothes we wear, the coffee we drink, the technology we own, the church we go to and many other things are selected by how they make us appear to others.  We want approval.  We want to be cool.  We want to be liked.  We want to be loved.  This is so second nature that many people do not even realize they do it.  Some cannot tell the difference between the crafted image they project to the world and the real person inside.  How real are you willing to get?  How self-aware are you?  Inventory your life choices and purchases?  Which decisions do you make primarily because of how they make you look or feel about yourself?  Which possessions make you feel better about yourself or superior simply because you own them?  Which of these may actually be a hindrance to a healthy and humble view of self?  Which of these may God desire you to put away?  Make a list of actions you can take to create an honest healthy impression of yourself with others.  For example, change Facebook posts that may seem pretentious, buy the $2 cup of coffee that tastes the same as the $4 cup of coffee with the great brand, or choose more modest clothes.

RECOMMENDED READING

  1. From Pride to Humility by Stuart Scott
  2. The Raggamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning
  3. Humilty: True Greatness by C.J. Mahaney
  4. Humilty by Andrew Murray
  5. Gospel-Powered Humility by William Farley
  6. The Pursuit of God by W. Tozer
  7. Knowing God by J.I. Packer
  8. The Pilgrims Progress by John Bunyan
  9. Adele Ahlberg Calhoun – Spiritual Disciplines Handbook, (Readings on worship, celebration, teachability, confession and self-examination, submission, service, humility, justice, stewardship, all prayer readings)