Christ teaching in the Sermon on the Mount and through interactions with the disciples and others provide understanding of the meaning and value of humility in human relationship with God and interactions with others. Humility toward God leads to realizing that every person can accomplish God’s purpose in every situation, but only with God. In human interactions, humility means a recognition and respect that there is always another person greater or better than I in one or more considerations. God rewards those that recognize and respect others as potentially greater or better. Humility manifests as an invitation to positive human interactions, with a promise of care and diligence, promise of appreciation, and promise of obedience; conveyed to others through attitude and spoken or written words.
This bible study discusses Christ teaching to understand God’s expectation of every person regarding humility in human relationship with God and humility in human interactions. First, we discuss the value of humility toward God based on the Sermon on the Mount. The first two Beatitudes convey a message of humility toward God—that every person can accomplish God’s purpose in every situation, but only with God: “Blessed are the poor in spirit” [Matthew 5:3] and “Blessed are those who mourn” [Matthew 5:4] convey a message that God blesses those that seek him through repentance of sin and are committed to following his direction to accomplish his purpose in every situation.
Second, we discuss humility in human interactions based on Christ teaching and interactions with his disciples and others. He conveys a message through the interactions that humility toward others means recognizing and accepting that there is always another person greater or better than I in one or more considerations. We discuss his message of “Blessed are the meek” [Matthew 5:5], his teaching of childlike humility as the greatest virtue (Matthew 18:1–5), and his teaching that the humble will be exalted while those that exalt themselves will be humbled (Luke 14:7–11). We will understand that Christ message regarding humility is that God creates every person to be humble, expects and rewards humility, but punishes haughtiness.
Additionally, we will understand that humility manifests in human interactions as an invitation with promise—an invitation to positive human interactions with a promise of care and diligence, promise of appreciation, and promise of obedience—that a person conveys to others through his or her attitude and spoken or written words.
Building faith by Living in the Image of God arises from commitment to God’s purpose and recognizing that your every task or battle belongs to God and he will guide you to complete his tasks and accomplish his goals. Furthermore, “Living in the Image of God” makes you a beneficiary of God’s promise of blessing proclaimed in the Beatitudes and illustrated in the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats. Every blessing you earn is yours to keep until fulfilled.
Living in the Image of God begins with commitment to God’s purpose and living according to the commitment. A person builds and strengthens faith by Living in the Image of God—based on recognizing that every task or battle belongs to God and he will guide you to complete his tasks and accomplish his goals. Furthermore, in the Beatitudes, Christ proclaims God’s promise of blessing for every person that commits to the responsibilities of representing God in human interactions: through humility toward others, compassion, motivation for righteousness based on commitment to God’s purpose, and acceptance of individual responsibility for peace and righteousness irrespective of what others do or fail to do. Also, Christ describes the blessing further in the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats, using compassion as an example for Living in the Image of God.
The “salt of the earth” teaching conveys a message that God creates every person with an intrinsic capability to represent his presence and radiate his impact in human interactions. This capability represents the human value of a person before God, which he expects to be evident in interactions with others: to enhance and preserve the goodness of people, like salt enhances and preserves the goodness of food. Let your Godliness be evident to others and motivate them to appreciate God and seek to interact the same way with other people.
In the “salt of the earth” teaching (Matthew 5:13–16), Christ explains the role of a person in human interactions and conveys a message that God creates every person with an intrinsic capability to represent him in interactions with others. Godliness, i.e., the capability to convey the presence of God and radiate his impact in human interactions, is intrinsic to a person as saltiness is intrinsic to salt. Furthermore, every person can implement the capability by harnessing resources that God has provided to guide us in interactions with others. A person’s human value before God arises from the intrinsic capability to represent God in human interactions. Godliness is the intrinsic value of a person in human interactions as saltiness is the intrinsic value of salt in food.
We discuss the “salt of the earth” teaching to understand God’s purpose for every person to make positive impact in human interactions and motivate others to do the same.
God creates every person as channel for his interactions with others. He can interact with a person directly but often chooses to channel his interaction through other people. We discuss Peter-Cornelius meeting to draw examples of direct interaction with God and the Parable of the Good Samaritan as an illustration of God directing human assistance through another person to a person in need. He creates every person with opportunities and capabilities to function as his representative among other people, will call a person to represent him at a point of need, and another person if a call recipient declines.
God can interact directly with a person: through a vision, through the Holy Spirit, or through other manifestations of his presence. Also, he can and often interacts with a person indirectly through other people. He chooses any person as channel for his interactions with others. He often offers the opportunity to a person by placing a need in his/her path. If the person declines, like the priest and Levite in the Parable of the Good Samaritan, God offers the opportunity to another person he chooses. We discuss examples from Peter-Cornelius interactions where God shows he has several options to interact directly with a person. Furthermore, we discuss the Parable of the Good Samaritan as an illustration of God choosing a person to care for another person on his behalf.
Our bible study program continues in 2021 with focus on Living in the Image of God. We will explore the implications for human interactions and relationships; such as husband and wife, parent and child, leader and follower, people versus government, providers and clients in nonprofit or for-profit activities, and among siblings and others. We will share each biweekly session by providing a short description, ten-minutes video, and a modifiable guide for independent study or discussion. We invite everyone to share in our studies, thank all previous participants in our program, and look forward to connecting with you in 2021 and thereafter. God bless you.
The Banking Blessings Ministry bible study program will continue in 2021 with focus on Living in the Image of God, exploring implications for various aspects of human interactions and relationships. The program will be re-focused to seek clear understanding of Living in the Image of God as applied to specific aspects of human interactions and relationships: such as husband and wife, parent and child, leader and follower, people versus government, providers and clients in nonprofit or for-profit activities, and among siblings and others. We have general ideas and will continue to work on the details of how the study needs to proceed. We invite every person to consider participating more with us as we work on developing opportunities for expanding participation. We thank all previous participants in our program and look forward to connecting with you in 2021 and thereafter.
We examine Christ’s teaching on appreciation based on his interactions with people that he healed. The interactions suggest he wanted to emphasize appreciation as an aspect of the healing process, as if the healing was incomplete without appreciation. We examine accounts regarding a woman he healed of long-term bleeding and a man that was the only one of ten that returned to thank him for healing them of leprosy. In both cases, he appeared to be telling them and us that their appreciation was necessary for them to receive full benefits of the healing. We know the physical healing was complete in each case before the recipient stepped forward to show appreciation. Therefore, his interactions with them lead us to understand that more than the physical healing was needed to complete the healing process.
BENEFITS OF HUMAN SERVICE Examination of these interactions lead us to understand that every human service offers two potential benefits to the recipient: a short-term benefit that arises from the service addressing an immediate need, such as physical healing; and a long-term benefit that arises because appreciation by the recipient motivates him/her to seek to be good to the provider and an expanding human community around the provider. We believe that this long-term benefit is more important than the short-term benefit and is the reason Christ wanted recipients of his favor to show appreciation and congratulated them after they did.
What is Banking Blessings Ministry and what is it set out to achieve? We discussed this on Saturday, April 11, 2015 as a bonus presentation during our first seminar, a power-packed discussion and teaching on The Power of Strategic Alliance. Video and audio proceedings of the seminar are available through our website.