Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Wanting to be “As gods”

Luke 18:14  I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.


Don’t we all Want to be Great?

In Acts 8 there was a sorcerer named Simon who practiced magic arts for the purpose of convincing people that he was some great one.  He was deceiving the people although he did seem to have some powers that likely cannot be explained scientifically or logically.  He used his powers to promote self.  When he saw the real power of God, he wanted to buy that power so that he could continue to be “great.”


In Genesis 3, Satan convinced Eve that if she disobeyed the God who created her, she would be as gods, knowing good and evil.  I think she wanted to be able to call the shots as to what was evil and what was good.  Of course, she sinned and as a result her husband sinned and ultimately the nature of sin was embedded in the human race.  I think we all want to be as gods, deciding what is evil and what is good.


Desiring to be some great one should certainly not be the objective of a person who is serving the crucified Christ.  However, even apostles and disciples get caught up in this desire.  James and John asked the Lord to allow them to sit at the Lord’s right hand and left hand in the Kingdom that they were expecting would be shortly established.  Their mother promoted their ambition. The Lord had to tell them that to be great they had to serve.  In Matthew 20:26-27 the Lord says, "Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant.  And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave—." The desire of James and John had upset the peace among the disciples and they needed an attitude adjustment.


The Message of the Bible

The grand theme of the Bible is summed up in the truth that we are to love God and love others.  Nothing is said about loving self although the Bible is clear that we do love self.  In Ephesians 5:33 we read,  Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.”  The Lord knows that we understand what it means to love self.  But the Christian is admonished to set self aside.  He is to be “crucified with Christ.”  He is to take up his cross and follow the Lord.  He is to humble himself and not exalt himself as the publican did when he prayed in Luke 18. 


We live in a day when the self is exalted.  We are told we can’t love others until we love ourselves.  However, as we have seen everyone loves themselves.  Those with superiority complexes think that they are better than everyone else.  Thus, they are loving themselves.  Those with inferiority complexes are worried that they don’t measure up to the standards of others and often to their own standards.  This means that they too are loving themselves.  They are concerned with how others perceive them and they want to measure up.  While the publican (abhorred tax collector) in our verse today could be accused of being occupied with himself and thus with loving himself, at least he was honest about who he was.  He was not someone great and he did not deserve the mercies of God.  But He went down to his house justified. God had declared him righteous.  The Lord accepted his prayer when he said, “God be merciful to me a sinner.”  He knew that there was no good reason for God to bless him and yet God did.  In contrast,  the publican thought God should honor him for his self-righteousness, and his prayer didn’t get any higher than the ceiling.


The One Who Got it Right!

There is One person who got it right and He was crucified.  The apostle Paul says in Philippians 2:8-10, “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.  Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name,  that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth.”


The Lord was the only King who was willing to die for me.  People in the United States today are pinning their hopes on one of the political candidates for public office knowing that they are all promoting themselves as someone great.  I am pinning my hope on the Lord Jesus Christ.  A vote for Him is a vote for righteousness, peace, forgiveness; and best of all, it is a vote for eternal life.


Bruce Collins


Meditation for the week of June 26, 2016

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