Love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment. 1 John 4:17
An unpretentious little plant found in woodlands, fields, and perhaps your own yard is the violet. Its delicate purple and blue flowers are not showy, like those of the peony or hibiscus. That may be the reason that poets refer to “the shy little violets,” and in everyday speech we refer to some persons as “shrinking violets.”
Usually this is not meant to be a complimentary term – not in an age when self-assertiveness is stressed. How are people to be, in the light of biblical teaching? Christian humility is stressed – a modesty not of weakness but of strength, not of self-contempt but of honoring what God has honored.
Our Savior Jesus Christ best exemplifies this kind of humility, this servanthood. “Learn from Me,” He tells us, “for I am gentle and humble in heart” (Matthew 11:29). But this does not mean that Jesus was weak, for with His meekness went the might of His saving, enduring love, enabling Him to be obedient to death, even death on a cross, for our salvation.
Christians’ humility is a reflection, a mirror, an image, of Christ’s humility. It shows that they are genuine, not pretending to be what they are not, but demonstrating themselves to be what they are: God’s redeemed children. As such they have courage and confidence not based on their own merits but on what they have become in Christ: new creations. This is not to say that they have reached perfection, but that they are growing in holiness, always more and more conformed to Christ’s image.
What happens when people, who for reason of guilt or self-depreciation were like shrinking violets, have come to faith in Jesus? Saint John writes that they “have confidence on the day of judgment.” Every day they may, with all boldness and confidence, come to God in prayer, for Christ has made them acceptable to the heavenly Father.
PRAYER: O Lord, help me to grow in the likeness of Christ. Clothed with His righteousness, I boldly come before You in prayer, knowing that You have promised to hear me. Amen.
(Devotions from "With Jesus Every Day" copyright 1997, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)
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