Saturday, September 12, 2015

Sunday--Humility and Lowliness of Spirit


HUMILITY AND LOWLINESS OF SPIRIT QUALIFY us for friendly communion and intercourse with God in Christ.  Pride makes God our enemy (1 Peter 5:5).  Our happiness here and hereafter depends on our friendly intercourse with heaven. If we have not that, nothing can make up our loss (Psalm 30:5).  If we have that, nothing can make us miserable (Rom. 8:31), 'If God be for us, who can be against us?'  Now, who are they whom God is for, but the humble and lowly?' They who being in Christ are so made like him. He blesses them, and declares them the heirs of the crown of glory:  Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven' (Matt. 5:3)  He will look to them, be their condition ever so low, while he overlooks others (Isa. 57:15).  He will have respect to them, however they be despised: 'Though the Lord be high, yet hath he respect to the lowly; but the proud he knowth afar off' (Ps. 138:6).  He will dwell with them, however poorly they dwell (Isa. 57:15). He will certainly exalt them in due time, however low they lie now (Isa 40:4).

Now, is it not better to be qualified for communion with God, than to have him engaged against us, at any rate?

Humility is a duty pleasing to God, pride a sin pleasing to the devil (Isa. 57:15; 1 Tim. 3:6).  God requires us to be humble, especially under affliction, 'and be clothed with humility' (1 Pet. 5:5, 6).  That is our becoming garment.  The humble Publican was accepted, the proud Pharisee rejected. We may say of the generation of the proud, as 'Wrath is come upon them to the uttermost' (1 Thess. 2:16).  They please neither God nor man, but only themselves and Satan, whom they resemble in it.  Now duty is better than sin at any rate.

They whose spirits are brought down to their afflicted lot, have much quiet and repose of mind, while the proud, that must have their lot brought  up to their mind, have much disquiet, trouble and vexation..

The spirit brought down to the lot makes and maintains this inward tranquillity.  Our whole trouble in our lot in the world rises from the disagreement of our mind therewith; let the mind be brought to the lot, and the whole tumult is instantly hushed;  let it be kept in the disposition, and the man shall stand at ease in his affliction, like a rock unmoved with waters beating on it (Col. 3:15). 'And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called'.

---Thomas Boston, The Crook in the Lot, Living With that Thorn in Your Side, 1737

No comments: