–from Journey to the Cross

Call to Worship

Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock. For he has humbled
the inhabitants of the height, the lofty city. He lays it low, lays it low to the ground,
casts it to the dust. The foot tramples it, the feet of the poor, the steps of the needy.”
The path of the righteous is level; you make level the way of the righteous. In the
path of your judgments, O Lord, we wait for you; your name and remembrance
are the desire of our soul. My soul yearns for you in the night; my spirit within me
earnestly seeks you. For when your judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of
the world learn righteousness. O Lord, you will ordain peace for us, for you have
indeed done for us all our works. [ISAIAH 26:4-9, 12]

Father in heaven, I thank you for being steadfast. For always being the faithful one in this relationship. No matter how wavering and wishy-washy my heart is, you are always standing their, your immovable hand resting on my shouldering, comforting, protecting, guiding….steady and true. You are trustworthy. Father, thank you for making my path sure and level. Even if I can’t see the ground beneath my feet, you guide me ever on and on–safe and true. Teach my soul to long for you. Bring peace to this broken world God.


Almighty God, in Jesus Christ you love us, but we have not loved you. You have
opened your heart to us, and in our pride we have spurned your care. You have
given us all things, and we have squandered your gifts. We have grieved you
and caused hurt to others, and we are not worthy to be called your children.
Have mercy on us, O Lord, for we are ashamed and sorry for all we have
done to displease you. Cleanse us from our sin and receive us again into your
household, that we might nevermore stray from your love but always remain
within the sound of your voice.



And they came to Jericho. And as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a
great crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the
roadside. And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out
and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” And many rebuked him, telling
him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
And Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” And they called the blind man, saying to
him, “Take heart. Get up; he is calling you.” And throwing off his cloak, he sprang
up and came to Jesus. And Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for
you?” And the blind man said to him, “Rabbi, let me recover my sight.” And Jesus
said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he
recovered his sight and followed him on the way. [Mark 10:46-52]

God, have mercy on me. And if anyone tells me it’s useless to cry that out… teach me to just cry to you louder. GOD–HAVE MERCY ON ME!!! Have mercy on those I love… have mercy on those I struggle to love. Father God, have mercy on me…I need you. Thank you for being the Father to the orphan, lover to the unloved, comforter to the broken, healer to the sick, redeemer to the captive, strong to the weak, hope to the hopeless. Father God, have mercy.

Pride is the great enemy of humility. Bob Thune observes: “The brashest expressions of
pride are easy to spot: the athlete who boasts about her talent, the arrogant entrepreneur
who flaunts his achievements, or the well-connected neighbor who name-drops in
every conversation. Most of us are smart enough to avoid appearing prideful in these
obvious ways. But that’s just the problem. We can avoid looking prideful without actually
killing our pride.”

To put pride to death, we must “trace this serpent in all its turnings and windings,” as
the great Puritan John Owen wrote. We must get a fuller picture of what pride is and how
it looks, and the Bible helps us with this.

On the one hand, the Bible tells us that pride often manifests itself as arrogance: the
Apostle John refers to this as “the pride of life” (1 John 2:16). But on the other hand, the
Bible affirms that pride can manifest itself as subtle self-centeredness, looking out for
your own personal interests (Philippians 2:4).

In other words: the essence of pride is self-concern. Preoccupation with self. It may
manifest itself as arrogance and boasting or as self-protection and fear of people—but
it’s pride either way. If we want to cultivate humility, we must put pride to death. How?
By looking to Jesus as both our model and our mediator.

Jesus is our model, because though he had every reason to be prideful (he was perfect),
he chose instead the path of humility. Scripture commands us to follow his example:
“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was
in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied
himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men” (Philippians

One cannot be like Jesus without humility, but if we merely try harder to be like him, we
will miss the gospel. The heart of the good news is that we can be more like Jesus only
if, and because, we are united with him.

We are united with Christ by grace through faith in his life, death, and resurrection.
Because we have rebelled against God, we deserve to be crushed by his divine wrath.
Even in our willful rebellion, we ourselves cannot bear the full wrath of God, hence our
need for a mediator, someone to stand in our place and plead our case before God. Jesus
“humbled himself to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:8)—taking
our shame and guilt upon himself, and enduring the wrath of God against sin, so that
those who humbly come to him can be forgiven and reconciled to God. This is the Good
News of Easter!

Do you want to be set free from self-concern to love and serve others in humility? Do
you want to be set free from numbering your accomplishments, talent, or network? Look
to Christ, who was humble in life and broken in death to set you free from self-concern.


1. What are the major areas of self-concern in your heart?
My daily life–what I want to do, dishes, food, computer, fb, etc…
My family–I want to love people the way I choose… and I want them to love me back certain ways…and I try to get that. :,(

2. How does the example of Jesus inspire and challenge you?
Jesus sacrificed. I don’t usually. I like convenience. In fact, pretty much all of my life is founded in convenience…and that’s not how Jesus lived. He lived for the kingdom of heaven and the sanctification of souls. He didn’t bring convenience to anyone’s life. I need to love him and try to imitate him more… and live self-sacrificing.
How does the reconciling work of Jesus liberate you?
He liberates me from the idea that my life needs to be easy or I’m doing it wrong.
He liberates me from needing to find the strength in myself to be self-sacrificing…he is my strength in this area of major weakness.
He liberates me from trying to love everyone–it is HIS love I share with them, He will fill me with His love and they will recieve His perfect love instead of my selfish manipulative love.

Closing Prayer

Humble my heart before thee, and replenish it with thy choicest gifts. As water
rests not on barren hill summits, but flows down to fertilize lowest vales, So
make me the lowest of the lowly, that my spiritual riches may exceedingly
abound. When I leave duties undone, may condemning thought strip me of
pride, deepen in me devotion to thy service, and quicken me to more watchful
care. When I am tempted to think highly of myself, grant me to see the wily
power of my spiritual enemy; Help me to stand with wary eye on the watch-
tower of faith, and to cling with determined grasp to my humble Lord; If I fall
let me hide myself in my Redeemer’s righteousness, and when I escape, may I
ascribe all deliverance to thy grace.