Sunday, December 16, 2007

True Greatness Part 2

After some thirty six hours of hurrying up, then sitting around, of automobiles and planes, of waiting for delayed flights,and for snow storms to pass by, I finally made it to Romania. The journey is always maddening, but once you get home it makes it all worthwhile. I'm sure there's a sermon in there somewhere, but I will save it for another time. My brother Daniel met me at the airport, and we talked throughout the long drive to Iasi. The weather has turned in Romania as well, and we were racing a snowstorm all the way home. As I write these lines, I am staring out the window of my brother's apartment, onto the dome of a four hundred year old cathedral, covered in snow. Yes, it is very different here, than staring out the window of my apartment in the US and seeing a WalMart advertisement.
I just woke up after sleeping thirteen hours. I was tired. My brother said he was minutes away from checking my pulse to see if I was still alive. I will be traveling to Botosani tomorrow, to see the rest of the family, and get settled. Thank you all for your prayers, and encouraging words. I apologize for not being able to post the rest of the message on Friday, but I was running late as it was.
Jesus uses the parable of a child’s humility in an attempt to open His disciples’ eyes, and bring them to understanding. The humility of a child is truly beautiful and natural. A child does not know that he is humble, and herein lies the beauty of what Jesus was endeavoring to teach His followers. When you know that you are humble, you have not as yet, reached or achieved true humility. Children are unconcerned with the fact that some adults may look down on them, or consider them worthless. The Christ unclothed Himself of heavenly glory that he may become a child, who was born in a manger. No one could have humbled themselves more than He, and no one will ever again achieve such a level of humility. Thus the reason the Father raised Him up, higher than any other in His vast kingdom, becoming the greatest.
Humility is the road to greatness. The smaller we become, the greater we become. If we look upon the example of the child, and his humility, we realize a child’s attitude is ‘I am nothing, I know nothing, I can do nothing, I have nothing.’ A newborn child is unable to survive on its own, and is dependent on its parents to feed it, clothe it, teach it and raise it. The newborns of other creatures are able to fend for themselves from birth. They are able to forage, to hunt, to survive on their own, yet the offspring of man is unable to do any of those things.
A newborn baby is wholly dependent, and this is how man must be in respect to his relationship with God. What does man truly know of all the mysteries that surround him? His own strength is insignificant, mere nothingness, in the face of all that surrounds him, be it circumstances, or nature. What does man truly possess? Naked he came from his mother’s womb, naked he will return to the earth.
If man can have, and do anything in and of himself, it is always in the negative. If he is able to do anything, it is to commit evil; if he is anything he is a sinner; if he has anything, it is a multitude of sins. As long as man does not acknowledge these truths concerning himself, as long as he does not come to terms with his Godless condition, he will neither repent, be born again, or enter the Kingdom of heaven.
Go cannot stand the exaltation of flesh, and the pride of sinful man in the midst of a ruined and fallen world. It is a stench to His nostrils, an abhorrence before His eyes. It is humility that brings us to that place, at the foot of the cross, wherein we are stripped of the pride, the self, the flesh, and clothed in Christ.
Proverbs 8:13, “The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth I hate.”
Isaiah 2:11-12, “The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, the haughtiness of men shall bowed down, and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day. For the day of the Lord of hosts shall come upon everything proud and lofty, upon everything lifted up, and it shall be brought low.”
True greatness is the way of humility, of selflessness, of daily dying to this flesh, and allowing the glory of God to shine in us and through us. It is the greatness of God that we must seek in this hour, and we seek it not for our benefit, or our glory, but for His glory. God, who knows the heart of every man, knows why we desire greatness, whether for His glory, or our own, He knows.
If righteousness is found within, if the purity of our hearts and minds are centered on the greatness of God, then it is He who will exalt us, who will lift us up. However, if the desire for greatness is centered upon this present time, upon this flesh, and our aspirations revolve around selfish pursuits, it is His promise that He will come upon everything proud and lofty, upon everything lifted up, and it shall be brought low.
If you desire true greatness, it can be found at the foot of the cross, in humble supplication before the Creator of all that is, desiring nothing more that He become our all in all, that He guide us and direct us, that we hear His voice, and feel the warmth of his love in perpetuity.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.


deannaslater said...

Amen and Amen, Blessings to you and Monica, Michael! A very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mike,
The Lord has blessed us with a baby girl...she is now a year old and it is amazing how trusting, pure of thought, eager to learn children are. Children do come from the point of view that they know nothing and they trust that you will and can teach them everything they need to know....I'm learning a lot from raising my daughter. I'm also learning how difficult it is to empty yourself and be as these little ones, The egotistical fleshly nature rears up and tries to logically reason out matters of faith and introduce doubt. But i am learning that as i commit to daily surrender and moment by moment to overcome...i pray that i will end up as one of them little ones.

In His Grace,

Anonymous said...

I would leave a comment... but I am to humble,lol. Great insight.

Anonymous said...

I am so glad I run into this posting. It put me back on track. A lot of things that Jesus said go totally against "conventional" wisdom. It's such a paradox that we find true greatness by humbling ourselves. And getting my mind and heart to believe this requires complete trust in God's love and His Word.

But then again greatness in the eyes of men really does not satisfy and I guess it would save us a lot of time and heartache by daring to trust God.