Category Archives: Humility

Security for Life

Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. (Matthew 7:24-25 ESV)

A building is only as sturdy as its foundation. The same can be said for a life.

Those who design buildings give careful attention to the foundation required for any project they undertake. They study the ground on which the building will be built, and meticulously plan for the composition of materials needed to lay an adequate foundation that will make the building stable and secure. There will be stresses exerted on the building that can only be withstood with a proper foundation.

This is also true of a human life. We can only withstand the stresses we endure when the foundation we are building our life on is designed and built with the right materials. A building’s foundation is constructed using brick and mortar and steel and cement to fashion a foundation that will support thousands of tons of weight. A life, on the other hand, is built with choices, values, and beliefs that are made and embraced from a person’s earliest years. And what material is used in making and embracing those choices, values, and beliefs? Jesus told us in Matthew 7, and the writer of the hymn “How Firm a Foundation” made it clear as well.

How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!
What more can He say than to you He hath said,
To you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?

Jesus said, “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock” (Matthew 7:24 ESV). All the material needed to build a strong and vibrant life is found in the Word of God. But just like a builder must put his knowledge of construction into action, so a person must put his knowledge of God’s Word into action. It is not enough just to know. As James writes, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only . . .” (James 1:22 ESV). When we put what we know from God’s Word into practice, we can then be assured of God’s strength in our daily lives.

“Fear not; I am with thee. O be not dismayed,
For I am thy God, I will still give thee aid.
I will strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by My gracious, omnipotent hand.”

A proper foundation gives a building the strength to bear the weight of all that is built on top of it. We, too, have internal stresses – “deep waters” as the hymn writer puts it – sorrows, trials, and distresses – that we must bear, and for which we need the solid foundation of God’s infallible Word.

“When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of sorrow shall not overflow;
For I will be with thee thy trials to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.”

In Matthew 7, Jesus talked about a house facing rain and floods and wind. Buildings are built to withstand pressures in the atmosphere and from the shifting of the ground. So, it is in our daily living. Forces come to bear on us that would cause us to crumble were it not for the “grace all-sufficient” that is our foundation.

“When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
My grace all-sufficient, shall be thy supply.
The flames shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.”

My friend Bruce Van Patter, in his column 8:18, wrote recently about finding an old church building that had been built in the mid-1800s.  While no longer in use, it is still standing, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. When we see a building that has stood the “test of time,” we know that it was built well. When we see a person in their later years whose life has been lived well, we know that such a person has known the “sovereign, eternal, unchangeable love” of the God whose Word they have lived by.

“Even down to old age all My people shall prove
My sovereign, eternal, unchangeable love;
And when silver hair shall their temples adorn,
Like lambs they shall still in My bosom be borne.”

Jesus said that the house of the wise man felt the brunt of rain and floods and wind. They “. . . beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock” (Matthew 7:25 ESV). You and I at times feel like “all hell” has been unleashed upon us, but our confidence need not be shaken. If we have built the foundation of our lives on knowing God and His Word, and obeying God and His Word, then we have his promise that He will “never, no, never, no, never forsake” us.

“The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose
I will not, I will not desert to his foes.
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no, never, no never forsake.”

Follow this link to a recording of “How Firm a Foundation” that you can sing along with.

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To subscribe and receive A SONG TO THE LORD in your email, just follow this link: https://www.ailbe.org/resources/community. A SONG TO THE LORD is just one of the audio resources that are available free at the website of The Fellowship of Ailbewww.ailbe.org. There you will find printed, audio, and video resources for individual and group study available free of charge.

T. M. Moore, the Principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, and Rusty Rabon host THE AILBE PODCAST which you can find on The Fellowship of Ailbe website here.

Rusty Rabon also hosts a Zoom book reading program called READING GREAT BOOKS five nights each week (Thursdays through Mondays). The Zoom link and current book information are available here on The Fellowship of Ailbe website. And if you are interested in other devotional writings by Rusty Rabon, click here  You can follow Rusty Rabon at www.rustyrabon.com, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/rusty.raabon.9/, and on Twitter at https://mobile.twitter.com/RustyRabon.

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Filed under Daily Living, Hope, Humility, Knowing God, Spiritual Growth

Thinking Like Jesus

I saw an ad a few years ago from a fund-raising organization for colleges that had this tag line: “a mind is a terrible thing to waste.”  The Bible tells us how important the mind is and contains many exhortations about the condition and content of our minds.  For example:

  • You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. (Matthew 22:37 NKJV)
  • For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.  For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. (Romans 8:5-6 NKJV)
  • Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:2 NKJV)
  • For “who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:16 NKJV)

“We have the mind of Christ.”  What did the apostle Paul mean by that?  He elaborates in his letter to the Philippians.

  • Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.  And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. (Philippians 2:5-8 NKJV)

According to Paul, the “mind” of Christ is an approach to living that does not focus on personal interests or desires and does not cling to personal privilege or prerogative.  Having the “mind” of Christ leads a person to sacrifice self for the good of others.  This is what Jesus did in his incarnation, and it is the example He calls us to follow in our lives.  Kate Wilkinson’s prayer hymn, May the Mind of Christ My Savior, beautifully expresses the desire to have the mind of Christ.

May the mind of Christ, my Savior, live in me from day to day;
By His love and power controlling all I do and say.

As we yield our minds to the thoughts and attitudes that please the Lord, our outlook is guided by His love and our daily living is empowered by His Spirit.  We take no credit for what good we may accomplish but give praise for His presence and guidance in our lives.

May the Word of God dwell richly in my heart from hour to hour;
So that all may see I triumph only through His power.

As the mind of Christ controls our living, the peace of God keeps us steady no matter the turmoil we face in life.

May the peace of God my Father rule my life in everything;
That I may be calm to comfort sick and sorrowing.

May the love of Jesus fill me as the waters fill the sea;
Him exalting, self-abasing – this is victory.

“Him exalting, self-abasing.” The mind of Christ is a humble mind.  To have the mind of Christ is to make much of Christ rather than self.  The early church father Chrysostom said, “If you are in love with precedence and the highest honor, pursue the things in last place, pursue being the least valued of all, pursue being the lowliest of all, pursue being the smallest of all, pursue placing yourself behind others.”[1]  As C. S. Lewis wrote, true humility is “. . . not thinking less of our selves but thinking of our selves less.”

May I run the race before me, strong and brave to face the foe;
Looking only unto Jesus as I onward go.

Athletes who run races are coached to never look back but always keep their focus on what is ahead of them in the race – particularly focusing on the finish line.  So it is in the Christian life.  Having the mind of Christ leads us to live by “. . . forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,” always looking “. . . toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14 NKJV).  May our greatest desire be to win the prize of God’s “well done” at the end of life, leaving a legacy of active involvement in building His Kingdom.

May His beauty rest upon me as I seek the lost to win;
And may they forget the channel, seeing only Him.

The Norton Hall Band released an arrangement of this hymn that you can enjoy at this link:

“May the Mind of Christ My Savior” – Norton Hall Band

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To subscribe and receive A SONG TO THE LORD in your email, just follow this link: https://www.ailbe.org/resources/community. A SONG TO THE LORD is just one of several audio resources that are available free at the website of The Fellowship of Ailbewww.ailbe.org.  There you will find many printed, audio, and video resources for individual and group study available free of charge.

T. M. Moore, the Principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, and Rusty Rabon host THE AILBE PODCAST which you can find on The Fellowship of Ailbe website here.

Rusty Rabon also hosts a Zoom book reading program called READING GREAT BOOKS five nights each week (Thursdays through Mondays).  The Zoom link and current book information are available here on The Fellowship of Ailbe website.  And if you are interested in other devotional writings by Rusty Rabon, click here  You can follow Rusty Rabon at www.rustyrabon.com, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/rusty.raabon.9/, and on Twitter at https://mobile.twitter.com/RustyRabon.


[1] Chrysostom, The Gospel of St. Matthew, Homily 58.

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Filed under Humility, Mind of Christ, Prayer, Singing