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News and views from the German-language region of Europe

March 6, 2015

Humility as a building block of fellowship

Filed under Sabbath Thoughts

Humility has a very positive influence on our relationships within the body of believers. Using the analogy of the human body in 1 Corinthians 12, Paul shows us that we are all "members" of the body of Christ, each with its particular "place" within the body. Humility promotes the smooth interaction of all members so we can achieve the purpose that God has given His church.

The degree to which God can work through His church is directly tied to the effort each of us is willing to make to humble ourselves before God. God cannot work with those who refuse to humble themselves. On the other hand, God can do a mighty work through us individually and collectively if we face the challenge of resisting our human nature and humble ourselves. Christ said: "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father" (John 14:12).

The work God purposes to do through us cannot be done if the church is plagued with human infighting. Jesus Christ, the living head of the church, gave a clear directive concerning the attitude that leads to power struggles: "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave – just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many" (Matthew 20:25-28).

Each year we experience the footwashing as part of our Passover service. The footwashing reminds us of Jesus' example of humility. On the evening prior to His death Jesus washed His disciples feet. Then He commanded them to follow His example. The footwashing is an important ceremony that commemorates the attitude Jesus displayed.

What lesson should we learn from Jesus' example? He explained it Himself: "You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you" (John 13:13-15).

If Jesus was willing to serve His disciples by performing a lowly menial task, we should follow His example and be willing to humble ourselves and serve one another, even if it involves seemingly small or unpleasant service.

With these thoughts I wish everyone a rewarding Sabbath!

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.


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