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American culture now attempts to secularize the Christmas season. However, each December, like gentle snow descending, a holy mystique surrounds the Christmas season. God's grace through our faithful Christian influence continues to remind the world that Christmas is about Christ!

What is it about Christ that we should remember? To elevate one dimension of His personhood and deeds above all others is difficult. However, regarding that which is most beneficial for us to remember at all seasons, I would focus on Christ's humility.

Encouraging the earnest seeker to better understand Him, Jesus made the following statement:
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
(Matt. 11:28-29)
Note, Jesus said He was "gentle and lowly in heart." The word "gentle" is the opposite of self-assertive and self-promoting. One can be gentle because he or she ultimately trust in God's goodness and control over every situation. "Lowly" means of low estate or not rising far from the ground.

Humility is a very misunderstood trait. Humility is generally thought to be an attitude of remorse or contrition for sin. However, Scripture teaches most definitely that Jesus was totally free of any sin until the moment when He bore our sin on the cross. He had no sin consciousness. So humility is not sorrow for sin.

Perhaps the best way to understand humility is to examine it's polar opposite—pride. Pride was the original sin that foolishly ennobled Lucifer to presume that he could elevate himself above God (Isa. 14:13-14). In tempting Eve, Satan cunningly suggested that she could be like God (Gen. 3:4). In yielding to this seductive yet seditious thought, Adam and Eve subjected our race to the most cancerous of all sins and curses: the sin of pride.

As the second Adam and Redeemer of mankind, Jesus secured our redemption by means totally opposite to pride and self-promotion. Jesus' work was wrought in humility.

It is interesting to note how Jesus was so utterly opposed and rejected by a religious system that was blinded by the poison of pride. Jesus' answer to their arrogance was thus: "How can you believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God?" (John 5:44).

The subtle and lurking sin of pride made it impossible for them to believe "like a child" and be blessed. For them it was like looking through a glass pane and observing all manner of good things. In attempting to reach forth and grasp those objects of desire, the glass pane made their access impossible. Pride is like that pane of glass.

The great message of Christmas is that Jesus chose to humble himself! Scripture tells us:
Christ himself was like God in everything. But he did not think that being equal with God was something to be used for his own benefit. But he gave up his place with God and made himself nothing. He was born as a man and became like a servant. And when he was living as a man, he humbled himself and was fully obedient to God, even when that caused his death—death on a cross.
(Phil. 2:6-8)
Jesus demonstrated humility in heaven when He chose to leave heaven and descend to earth. He demonstrated humility when as a man He chose servanthood. Note Jesus words, "I am among you as the One who serves" (Luke 22:27).

Jesus demonstrated humility when, as a spotless lamb, He was shamefully treated and nailed to a cross. Finally, Jesus demonstrated ultimate humility when He yielded His life and died for our sins.

Humility then is the willingness to trust God and His grace in the midst of every situation and circumstance. Humility says, "I can trust God even when I am not appreciated, recognized or treated respectfully. God will vindicate my cause and right all wrongs. I need not take matters into my own hand."

Pride, in contrast says, "I must save my life and defend my cause. God is not to be trusted and I am lord of my life."

Pride is the cause of much unrest and anxiety. It is noteworthy that Jesus promises rest to those who would follow his example of humility. Wouldn't that be a great relief for all of us during this hectic season when we are so often tempted to succumb to anxiety and frustration! Lay low and let God open doors and take your cause!

Humility is best understood by looking at Jesus' example shown throughout the scriptures. I Peter 2:23 says: "Who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously." Only genuine humility would have sustained Jesus in the midst of such trials!

Friend, here is God's promise to those who follow Jesus' example of humility:
…Be clothed with humility, for "God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble. Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.
(1 Peter 5:5-6)
That is my prayer for you this Christmas season. May you discover through Jesus' life and example the supernatural rest and peace that comes from true humility!

James Dumont Ministries
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

James Dumont
Web site: Erie Christian Fellowship Church
 
Pastor Jim Dumont and Pam Dumont are the founding pastors of Erie Christian Fellowship Church in Fairview, PA. In 1981, their ministry literally began in a tent when they obeyed God's call to, "Move to Erie, become established and build a great church."
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