Sabbath, May 28, 2005
“Meekness is the adorning which God estimates as of great price… as more excellent and valuable than gold or pearls or costly array. While the outward adorning beautifies only the mortal body, the ornament of meekness adorns the soul and connects finite man with infinite God. This is the ornament of God’s own choice.
He who garnished the heavens with the orbs of light has by the same Spirit promised that ‘he will beautify the meek with salvation.’ Angels of heaven will register as best adorned those who put on the Lord Jesus and walk with Him in meekness and lowliness of mind.” –Reflecting Christ, p. 264.
• To understand what real humility is.
• To realize where our only hope lies.
• To examine ourselves and see what kind of fruits we bear.
• To consider what we can do to humble ourselves before God.
HUMILITY REFLECTED IN WORDS AND ACTIONS
1. What are some of the fruits of humility seen in Jesus’ behavior and words?
John 6:38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
John 13:4, 5 He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.
Matthew 26:39 And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.
“I present before you the life of self-denial, humility, and sacrifice of our divine Lord. The Majesty of heaven, the King of glory, left His riches, His splendor, His honor and glory, and, in order to save sinful man, condescended to a life of humility, poverty, and shame; ‘who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame.’” –Testimonies, vol. 2, pp. 490, 491.
2. Are shyness and insecurity signs of humility?
Luke 4:32 And they were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power.
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
“He came as a humble Man, to be the Teacher and Exemplar as well as the Redeemer of the race. …Yet combined with His humility was an inherent power and grandeur that awed men…” –Medical Ministry, p. 22. “His humility did not consist in a low estimate of his own character and qualifications, but in adapting himself to fallen humanity, in order to raise them up with him to a higher life.” –Christian Education, p. 180.
“The Redeemer of the world came from heaven to help man in his weakness, that, in the power which Jesus came to bring him, he might become strong to overcome appetite and passion and might be victor on every point.” –Counsels on Health, p. 125.
A HARD LESSON TO LEARN
3. Can humility be learned? How?
Matthew 11:28, 29 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
“Humility is a hard lesson for fallen man to learn. There is something in the human heart which rises in opposition to revealed truth on subjects connected with God and sinners, the transgression of the divine law and pardon through Christ.” –Counsels on Health, p. 415
“It is painful to learn lessons of humility, yet nothing is more beneficial in the end. The pain attendant upon learning lessons of humility is in consequence of our being elated by a false estimate of ourselves, so that we are unable to see our great need.” –Testimonies, vol. 4 p. 378.
“In order to preserve humility, it would be well to remember how we appear in the sight of a holy God, who reads every secret of the soul, and how we should appear in the sight of our fellow men if they all knew us as well as God knows us. For this reason, to humble us, we are directed to confess our faults, and improve this opportunity to subdue our pride.” –Testimonies, vol. 3, p. 211.
4. Who is the only one who can teach us humility, and why?
Philippians 2:6-8 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
SOME PRECIOUS FRUITS
5. Which fruits are directly connected with humility, and why are they so important?
Hebrews 10:36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.
1 Peter 1:22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:
Isaiah 48: 18 O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea:
“Though you so often fail to reveal patience and calmness, do not give up the struggle. Resolve again, this time more firmly, to be patient under every provocation. And never take your eyes off your divine Example.” –Messages to Young People, p. 136.
“The truth brought to light by Christ teaches that humanity, through obedience to the truth as it is in Jesus, may realize power to overcome the corruptions that are in the world through lust. Through living faith in the merits of Christ the soul may be converted and transformed into Christlikeness. Angels of God will be by the side of those who in humbleness of mind learn daily the lessons taught by Christ.” –Medical Ministry, p. 85.
“Meekness and humility will characterize all who are obedient to the law of God, all who will wear the yoke of Christ with submission. And these graces will bring the desirable result of peace in the service of Christ.” –Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, p. 1090.
6. What will a humble person do?
Luke 17:4 And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.
Philippians 2:3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
Matthew 7:12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
“Humility is an active principle growing out of a thorough consciousness of God’s great love, and will always show itself by the way in which it works.” –Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, p. 1139.
7. What will a humble person not do?
1 Thessalonians 5:15 See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.
Romans 2:1 Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.
Matthew 23:5 But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments,
Daniel 4:30 The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty?
“In self-love, self-exaltation, and pride there is great weakness; but in humility there is great strength. Our true dignity is not maintained when we think most of ourselves, but when God is in all our thoughts and our hearts are all aglow with love to our Redeemer and love to our fellow men. Simplicity of character and lowliness of heart will give happiness, while selfconceit will bring discontent, repining, and continual disappointment. It is learning to think less of ourselves and more of making others happy that will bring to us divine strength.” –Testimonies, vol. 3, p. 476.
“We should love and respect one another, notwithstanding the faults and imperfections that we cannot help seeing. Humility and self-distrust should be cultivated, and a patient tenderness with the faults of others. This will kill out all narrowing selfishness, and make us large-hearted and generous.” –Steps to Christ, p. 121.
A HELP IN THE WARFARE AGAINST SELF
8. What is one way in which we can humble ourselves before God?
Jonah 3:5 So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.
“For certain things, fasting and prayer are recommended and appropriate. In the hand of God they are a means of cleansing the heart and promoting a receptive frame of mind. We obtain answers to our prayers because we humble our souls before God.” –Counsels on Diet and Foods, pp. 187, 188.
9. Is fasting always a sign of humility?
Isaiah 58:4 Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high.
Luke 18:11, 12 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
“Fasting and prayer will accomplish nothing while the heart is estranged from God by a wrong course of action. Read Isaiah 58:6, 7, 9-11.” –Counsels on Health, p. 377.
FOR MEDITATION AND FURTHER STUDY
• When the feet washing takes place before the Lord’s Supper, do I tend to pick out the person I feel closest to and the most comfortable with, or someone who is distant and cold and with whom I had some friction?
• If pride is the most prominent trait of our character, let us remember and believe that “those that walk in pride he is able to abase.” Daniel 4:37.
• Consider this statement as the key to keeping a humble spirit: “He who looks higher than himself will be humble;…” –Education, p. 237.
• Let us make it a point to read The Desire of Ages with a teachable spirit and underline all the details of Jesus’ life that point to His traits of character.