Grow Deep - GRIT Edition - Week 9
Week 9: August 2-8
Memory Verse: “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand that He may lift you up in due time.” 1 Peter 5:6
Consider the iconic lyrics from Annie Get Your Gun: “Anything you can do I can do better! I can do anything better than you!” Unfortunately, this combination of brazen arrogance, pride and narcissism isn’t rare in everyday life. The absence of humility is a flashing neon sign of self-idolatry: “Focus on me! Worship me! Do what I say! I have all the answers!”
Examples abound in the spotlights of politics and entertainment, but “regular" people are guilty as well: Shameless self-promotion. Refusal to admit being wrong. Failure to acknowledge others’ contributions to personal success. Feelings of superiority.
In contrast, consider Jesus.
Jesus humbled Himself when He came to Earth as a baby, not a powerful king who demanded His subjects grovel before Him. Though He was God, He humbled Himself in service—washing His disciples’ feet, feeding thousands, healing and praying for many. In His greatest act of humility, He willingly subjected Himself to the cross and died for our sins. Jesus’ life and death perfectly embodied humility.
For sinners, humility doesn’t come naturally. Like Saul, rather than being humble, we are humbled. When God laid him flat on the road to Damascus, Saul experienced his ultimate humbling experience. His sources of pride—his self-righteous legalism and zealous persecution of Christians—proved to be wrong. Humbled, Saul—now Paul—repented and submitted to spreading the Gospel and caring for early Christians with little regard for his own life.
This week, Peter’s epistle reminds us that humility is God’s design for us. Through humility, we understand who we are in relation to God and how we should relate with others. Instead of chasing after our will, we submit ourselves to God’s will. Instead of promoting ourselves, we lift others up through service. Instead of shining the spotlight in our direction, we shine it on Jesus.
Sunday, August 2
Read: 1 Peter 5:1-11
All Christians, regardless of age, spiritual maturity, or position in the church, are called to lives of humility.
Reflect: Who is the first person who comes to mind when you think of humility, and what have you learned about humility through him or her? What parts of this week’s reading connect with that person’s example?
Monday, August 3
Read: 1 Peter 5:1-4
Peter exhorts elders to be good shepherds, much like Jesus, in how they interact with God’s people under their watch and care. Rather than promoting themselves and seeking earthly rewards, elders should act with humility.
Reflect: How does the description of a humble, shepherding elder relate to images of secular and/or religious leadership in our culture?
Tuesday, August 4
Read: 1 Peter 5:5
Humility, not pride, is God’s plan for us.
Reflect: What does “cloth[ing] yourselves in humility toward one another” look like in the life of a Christian? If you visualized Christian humility as an actual garment, what would it be?
Wednesday, August 5
Read: 1 Peter 5:6-7
Humility is our right position with God, reliant on Him rather than merely on ourselves. We can trust God specifically because He cares for us and can uplift us.
Reflect: How is casting anxieties on Jesus connected with humility? What anxieties have you (or should you) cast on Him that you harbor for yourself?
Thursday, August 6
Read: 1 Peter 5:8-9
Even as Satan seeks to lead us astray, our faith—rooted in Jesus—allows us to resist him.
Reflect: In what ways do you see Satan prowling in your life lately? What helps (or could help) resist his efforts?
Friday, August 7
Read 1 Peter 5:10-11
Whatever we might suffer, our sufferings are not permanent. God is with us and promises restoration.
Reflect: Identify a time when you have personally suffered. How have you seen God active in that suffering? How did your faith grow or change?
Saturday, August 8
Read: 1 Peter 5:1-11
It might be easy to see where others struggle with humility, but Peter calls us to be self-aware through his exhortations.
Reflect: Which verse resonates most with your current experience? Which command do you need to remember as you strive to live with humility?
Contributed by Julie Bode