This week as we study the book of Esther we are focusing on the person of Mordecai. Mordecai plays a large role in this book. Many would even believe that he is the author of this book. As Todd walks through a few different characteristics that we see in Mordecai we are going to focus on his characteristic of being humble. We see in the story of Esther how Mordecai is exalted because of his humility. Let us take a look at what scripture has to tell about about humility.
Ten practical ways to reflect God’s humility
1. Humbly acknowledge God in everything
For the sake of our own souls, we need to regularly bow our hearts to our magnificent, awe-inspiring and humble God. There are no human words that can describe who He is and how He has blessed us.
Job 26:11,14 ESV The pillars of heaven tremble and are astounded at his rebuke. Behold, these are but the outskirts of his ways, and how small a whisper do we hear of him! But the thunder of his power who can understand?”
Psalm 8:3-4 ESV When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?
Let’s make it a point to always humbly ask God for His will for all our plans and decisions. When we presume we know what’s right, we fall into idolatry because it sets us above God’s will.
1 Samuel 15:23 ESV ... and presumption is as iniquity and idolatry...
Proverbs 3:7 ESV Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and turn away from evil.
PLEASE TAKE SOME TIME AND SHARE WITH CHAD ABOUT THINGS GOD IS DOING INSIDE OF YOUR HOME GROUP. OTHER LEADERS NEED THE ENCOURAGEMENT.
2. Confess and repent of pride
Pride won’t allow God to sit on the throne in our hearts to rule over and redeem our past, present and future. This will eventually destroy us. Let us humbly repent for our pride and all the times we have tried to control our own lives in the false belief that we have the power to.
Romans 12:3 NLT ... Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.
Proverbs 11:2 ESV When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.
3. Thank God every day
It is God’s will that we thank Him in any circumstance, because He knows this helps us keep our hearts in check. As we humble ourselves, we will be surprised by how long our lists can be if we truly are thankful.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 ESV give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Let us not hesitate to deflect any praise we receive and make it a point to thank our Father in heaven instead. He is the true Source of all our talents and gifts.
4. Stop grumbling
Many forms of grumbling, whining or protesting stems from a spirit of self-entitlement and self- righteousness. When we humble our hearts and submit to God instead, we will be positive shining lights in our world.
Philippians 2:14-15 ESV Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,
5. Stop passing judgment
We all have the tendency to conclude certain things about other people, not realizing that we are in reality, passing judgement on them. It is even worse if we conclude that “they will never change” or “they are beyond hope”. Not only do we judge them, we also curse them. Such judgmental pride assumes we are all-knowing and entitled to condemn others. It also implies that God cannot work a miracle in their lives. This slanders and offends our all-powerful and merciful Father in heaven. This is something we need to actively avoid.
Matthew 7:1 ESV “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.
6. Stop boasting
Pride tells us we deserve recognition for our achievements, sacrifices and giving. In some sense, we wish to be worshipped; neglecting that God alone deserves all worship. God promises to reward those who humbly wait on His personal praises, and not crave the recognition and praises of other people. Let us serve, love and sacrifice joyfully, without seeking the approval of people.
2 Corinthians 10:17-18 ESV “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.
7. Stop seeking attention
Some people enjoy drawing attention to themselves by being pushy, boastful, crude or antagonistic. All this behaviour is driven by the innate belief that other people should listen to or follow them. Humility, on the other hand, will gently consider others first.
Philippians 2:4 ESV Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Ephesians 4:2 ESV with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,
8. Admit mistakes and weaknesses readily
The fear of admitting our faults and vulnerabilities is driven by a desire to protect our personal image. We idolize our reputations at the expense of God’s. Like the apostle Paul, we should not be afraid of exposing our personal weaknesses, so that people will see Jesus’ Holy Spirit working in us. This takes true strength as well as true humility.
2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
9. Consider others as more important
The thought of considering others first is most unnatural to human beings. Even as children, we loathe to share our candy and toys. True humility is demonstrated when we do just the opposite. It shows our hearts to be free of fears and selfish intentions. We are able to love those whom God loves, regardless of how they behave towards us. Jesus set the perfect example by humbly dying on the cross for all of us.
Philippians 2:3 ESV Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.
10. Forgive and bless others
The choice to forgive and bless those who offend us is a true test of our humility and submission to God. The Bible tells us to pray for and bless others, especially those whom we see as our enemies. It doesn’t tell us to try to bless our abusers, it simply tells us to just do it.
Ephesians 4:32 ESV Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Luke 6:27-28 ESV “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.
Unforgiveness is a form of pride that implies we are better than other people and deserve only worship and adoration. This pride keeps us from being good representatives of a humble God who sent His Son to die for us. In contrast, we are to actively bless those we are inclined to hate, resent or find intolerable, so that they get to experience the wonderful grace of the humble perfect God we serve.
- By Jennifer Sum
Home Group Guide
1. As we have read through Esther or heard Todd’s sermon from Sunday, what are some characteristics of Mordecai that stood out to you?
The primary characteristic that we are going to focus on for our study is humility. We can see in Esther 3:2 that Mordecai would not bow down to Hamman because he honored God more. Ultimately God would exalt Mordecai.
2. Do you believe that humility is a characteristic that all Christians should have? Why or why not?
Read Luke 14:7-11
1. What do you believe Jesus is trying to teach to his disciples by His statements here?
2. What does true humility look like in our culture? Is this hard to live out? Why or why not?
3. What are examples of God humbling the proud and exalting the humble that you have seen in scripture or life?
1. Is humility something you feel you struggle with? What has this looked like in your life?
2. What are ways that we can grow in humility? (Use some of the above ideas in the Leader Thoughts)
Use John 3:30 to be the structure of your prayer. Examples... God increase in my life that I may decrease in pride. God increase in my family, so I may decrease my control.