“Humility, Crucifying pride – Glorifying God”, Pastor Tom Holliday (Gospel Unity, the Lordship of Christ)

humilityPastorHolliday

-this was written just two weeks before our church and community were closed due to the shutdown due to the pandemic. We were to experience a great humbling with a journey that would take us deep into our hearts. The sermon on that day was stirring.- L.W.

I sat in a middle seat, somewhat far from the pulpit feeling nested by the congregation.  As the sermon began my pen was poised just in case Pastor Tom Holliday (of Alexandria Presbyterian Church) said something that I needed to note. Usually, I like to just listen and allow the Holy Spirit to reach my heart. On this day there was much that I wanted to share with you all. The sermon was deeply stirring. It touched upon Humility, Pride and God’s Glory.

The bold message was about the need for the death of pride. Perhaps this is difficult to hear. This is a message that many are timid to teach. I loved it, we need to soak in it not just now but for every time, every generation. 

In the past weeks, one of the overarching themes has been Unity. I have noticed how many times our lack of unity can be traced to pride. It was remarkable to listen to scripture, Philippians 2:1-11 and how Pastor Tom Holliday gleaned the wisdom. Here are some of the quotes (please excuse if they are not perfect, I was writing while listening):

The Sermon was titled “Finding Unity in The Gospel”

“The challenge is really that if you are Christian, you need to crucify your pride.”

“We will not grow if we will not suffer. We will not grow if we don’t see our own pride.”

“Get your act together. Get your eye on the ball. Get it off of one another. Lift it off of the sharp edges that wound others. Can we try not to be so pointy? Not to offend and not to be so easily offended? Not fragile.” (referring to the Philippian church and common problems in today’s churches, all churches)

“Whose Love? Christ’s. All have the same love of Christ in them. Do you know that God has no favorites? He loves the person next to you just as much. ‘In full accord’ means thinking and feeling as one soul. That is how the body of Christ thinks and feels.”

“The Body of Christ vs us. The Body of Christ did not live and die for empty glory. Don’t live and die for empty glory.” (what is empty glory? Pride)

“In Problems of Pride, Augustine considered Pride the root of every sin.”

“Humility is the answer.”

“Some people will try to walk all over a humble person. Shame on that.” (James 2:1-18 “Count it all loss”)

“Jesus left a perfect environment to come to this mess. We know how hard it can be. Sometimes there is no unity in our families, in our communities. We, who are empty of Glory go around seeking to grab Glory anywhere we can. We are fragile. we want to steal. Put the spotlight on Jesus and we will not become Glory Grabbers. Boast in the name of Jesus who humbled himself on the Cross.”

“When you look at how He obeyed, you submit and bow your heart a little bit in a messy relationship, in a messy world. You pray Lord, forgive me, show us Christ who was obedient to the point of death.”

“Help us to know the death of pride, of desire and of will.”

“If you are desiring to be followers of Jesus- will people in your life become uncomfortable with you living under the Lordship of Jesus Christ?”

Phillippians 2:9-11 –Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,  so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

All of the sermons are archived on the website; this one available on 2.25.20 atAlexandria Presbyterian Church Sermon Archives

I am so glad that today, I was able to listen, to hear and to scribble some notes all at the same time. It was all such a joy. The death of pride is not an easy journey but it is in that same glorious mess that Jesus walks with so closely with us. We see Him before us and confessing that He is Lord is the way to a joy unspeakable, one that nothing in this life can compare to.

L.Willows

“Raining Joy’s Revival”, from L.Willows (See Jesus, Hope, Renewal in God’s Spirit)

after-the-rain-flower-photography-miriam-danar (1)

I drove to the garden park in a neighboring community, and my heart lifted. Actually, I was shocked. The gates were opened for the first time since the pandemic lockdown began. My heart just paused to take it all in. I had been at the gardens and entered secretly some time before. Little was blossoming then but it gave me hope. The birds and the trees were thriving and everything in nature said yes to my heart.

That morning, the sun was shining and the sky was cobalt blue, there had been a full rainfall the night before and everything was glistening with waterdrops.

I started on the first walkway into the garden path that was surrounded by open spaces and luscious gardens on either side of the path. There were a few other appreciators there. My first reaction was that I felt overwhelmed with gratitude to God. It felt like my heart was bursting with joy as I thanked Him for the display of His Goodness. I saw the loveliness of His Creation all around me sparkling and shining, as though His Love were reflecting back to me. I had a mask on. I took it off so that I could smell the sweetness of each flower, each reed, each tree, every bud that I passed. All of the cares that I may have brought to that moment flew like dust into the tall grasses and into to top branches of the tall towering pine trees that hovered over all. This was bliss. I knew it at the moment.

As I walked I continued to pray and speak to the Lord. Then I came to my favorite garden. It winds in and out and has beds of special large budded flowers. Usually there are bees there because they are so sweet-smelling. I always stick my nose in each one and inhale! I noticed that because the blossoms are so large and bold, the flowers were particularly affected by the rains the night before. They were bent over, some of them were all the way to the ground. Some, the mature ones at the very top, had not really survived the rains. Their giant glorious buds had opened completely before the pouring and seemed to have grandly protected many of the other flowers. Petals were cast to the ground. Droplets of the rain were still shining on all of the blossoms and upon the earth.

As I stared at the aroma filled beauty, I kept saying to myself, “after the rains”. I thought of us, all of us, and the pouring of the trials that we have been through. The rain of a trial endured with faith is a glorious experience if it reveals God’s Spirit in us.

After the rain, we see true beauty around us, we appreciate the morning of what hope is and where true hope lies. If we have experienced losses, and many of us have, we look up and forward, not back or away. God is and will be providing many reasons for each of us to see His Glory in this season and in many to come. After the rain, when we temporarily view what was lost, we are invited to see the Reign of our True Hope. There is a garden gate that never closes. Our Lord, Jesus is the Gate, the one true Door. There is an aroma that is sweeter than any blossom on earth. It is the aroma of The Holy Spirit.

My bliss, what I call the Joy- is a shadow of the real joy of God’s Kingdom. When we live with Jesus as the “Yes” that leads to every other choice, hearts,  our lives become free regardless of circumstances. Everything in Heaven and on Earth is His Dominion.

The morning walk was a gift of renewal and revival. Spirit of God, rain on me, fill me- fill us all with your beauty, with the purpose of Christ and strengthen our faith.

© 2020 Linda Willows

“Humility, Crucifying pride – Glorifying God”, Pastor Tom Holliday (Gospel Unity, the Lordship of Christ)

humilityPastorHolliday

I sat in a middle seat, somewhat far from the pulpit feeling nested by the congregation.  As the sermon began my pen was poised just in case Pastor Tom Holliday (of Alexandria Presbyterian Church) said something that I needed to note. Usually, I like to just listen and allow the Holy Spirit to reach my heart. On this day there was much that I wanted to share with you all. The sermon was deeply stirring. It touched upon Humility, Pride and God’s Glory.

The bold message was about the need for the death of pride. Perhaps this is difficult to hear. This is a message that many are timid to teach. I loved it, we need to soak in it not just now but for every time, every generation. 

In the past weeks, one of the overarching themes has been Unity. I have noticed how many times our lack of unity can be traced to pride. It was remarkable to listen to scripture, Philippians 2:1-11 and how Pastor Tom Holliday gleaned the wisdom. Here are some of the quotes (please excuse if they are not perfect, I was writing while listening):

The Sermon was titled “Finding Unity in The Gospel”

“The challenge is really that if you are Christian, you need to crucify your pride.”

“We will not grow if we will not suffer. We will not grow if we don’t see our own pride.”

“Get your act together. Get your eye on the ball. Get it off of one another. Lift it off of the sharp edges that wound others. Can we try not to be so pointy? Not to offend and not to be so easily offended? Not fragile.” (referring to the Philippian church and common problems in today’s churches, all churches)

“Whose Love? Christ’s. All have the same love of Christ in them. Do you know that God has no favorites? He loves the person next to you just as much. ‘In full accord’ means thinking and feeling as one soul. That is how the body of Christ thinks and feels.”

“The Body of Christ vs us. The Body of Christ did not live and die for empty glory. Don’t live and die for empty glory.” (what is empty glory? Pride)

“In Problems of Pride, Augustine considered Pride the root of every sin.”

“Humility is the answer.”

“Some people will try to walk all over a humble person. Shame on that.” (James 2:1-18 “Count it all loss”)

“Jesus left a perfect environment to come to this mess. We know how hard it can be. Sometimes there is no unity in our families, in our communities. We, who are empty of Glory go around seeking to grab Glory anywhere we can. We are fragile. we want to steal. Put the spotlight on Jesus and we will not become Glory Grabbers. Boast in the name of Jesus who humbled himself on the Cross.”

“When you look at how He obeyed, you submit and bow your heart a little bit in a messy relationship, in a messy world. You pray Lord, forgive me, show us Christ who was obedient to the point of death.”

“Help us to know the death of pride, of desire and of will.”

“If you are desiring to be followers of Jesus- will people in your life become uncomfortable with you living under the Lordship of Jesus Christ?”

Phillippians 2:9-11 –Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,  so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

All of the sermons are archived on the website; this one available on 2.25.20 at Alexandria Presbyterian Church Sermon Archives

I am so glad that today, I was able to listen, to hear and to scribble some notes all at the same time. It was all such a joy. The death of pride is not an easy journey but it is in that same glorious mess that Jesus walks with so closely with us. We see Him before us and confessing that He is Lord is the way to a joy unspeakable, one that nothing in this life can compare to.

L.Willows