Faithlife Sermons

Humility Acts 8:9-13

Previously: Philip had gone down to Samaria, preached the gospel, healed many sick, and cast out many demons. There was great joy in the city.
Acts 8:9–13 NKJV
9 But there was a certain man called Simon, who previously practiced sorcery in the city and astonished the people of Samaria, claiming that he was someone great, 10 to whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, “This man is the great power of God.” 11 And they heeded him because he had astonished them with his sorceries for a long time. 12 But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized. 13 Then Simon himself also believed; and when he was baptized he continued with Philip, and was amazed, seeing the miracles and signs which were done.
Focus verse:
Acts 8:9 NKJV
9 But there was a certain man called Simon, who previously practiced sorcery in the city and astonished the people of Samaria, claiming that he was someone great,
“claiming that he was somone great”
Not a good idea!
We are not called to proclaim that we are great. We are called to to be humble.
Humble people don’t tell others how great they are, they wait for God to exalt them...
Matthew 23:12 NKJV
12 And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.
1 Peter 5:6 NKJV
6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time,
Waiting for God to exalt you doesn’t mean that you live an idle life with no aspirations. Jesus taught in the parable of the talents that we must be diligent with what God has given us. It does mean that whatever we do, we do with a humble attitude.
I want to talk about true humility today. The first thing I want to say about it is...

Humility is free from the spirit of entitlement

If you believe that because you are God’s child, you are entitled to a life free of hardship; and if you think that difficult times are beneath you; you have are not yet walking in true humilty.
Consider Jacob, granson of Abraham and heir to the blessing of Abraham.
When he left home to go to Laban his uncle, his father Isaac said:
Genesis 28:3–4 NKJV
3 “May God Almighty bless you, And make you fruitful and multiply you, That you may be an assembly of peoples; 4 And give you the blessing of Abraham, To you and your descendants with you, That you may inherit the land In which you are a stranger, Which God gave to Abraham.”
After serving his uncle Laban for 20 years, God told Jacob to return to his fathers’ land:
Genesis 31:3 NKJV
3 Then the Lord said to Jacob, “Return to the land of your fathers and to your family, and I will be with you.”
When Jacob recounted to Laban the hardships he endured, he said:
Genesis 31:38–42 NKJV
38 These twenty years I have been with you; your ewes and your female goats have not miscarried their young, and I have not eaten the rams of your flock. 39 That which was torn by beasts I did not bring to you; I bore the loss of it. You required it from my hand, whether stolen by day or stolen by night. 40 There I was! In the day the drought consumed me, and the frost by night, and my sleep departed from my eyes. 41 Thus I have been in your house twenty years; I served you fourteen years for your two daughters, and six years for your flock, and you have changed my wages ten times. 42 Unless the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac, had been with me, surely now you would have sent me away empty-handed. God has seen my affliction and the labor of my hands, and rebuked you last night.”
What enabled Jacob to endure and come through that victoriously? He didn’t have a spirit of entitlement. A spirit of entitlement will make you bitter against God when things don’t go your way. Instead, Jacob had a humble attitude:
Genesis 32:9–12 NKJV
9 Then Jacob said, “O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, the Lord who said to me, ‘Return to your country and to your family, and I will deal well with you’: 10 I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies and of all the truth which You have shown Your servant; for I crossed over this Jordan with my staff, and now I have become two companies. 11 Deliver me, I pray, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau; for I fear him, lest he come and attack me and the mother with the children. 12 For You said, ‘I will surely treat you well, and make your descendants as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.’ ”
Note his humble attitude in verse 10 - “I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies and truth which You have shown Your servant” (note also the gratitude, despite the hardships!)
It was in that attitude of humility that he then appealed to God to do what He had promised to do!
Consider also Jospeph. He was sold into slavery by his own brother. When things were going well he was then falsely accused and thrown into prison. When two of his prisoners had a dream, we read:
Genesis 40:8 NKJV
8 And they said to him, “We each have had a dream, and there is no interpreter of it.” So Joseph said to them, “Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell them to me, please.”
Notice, in the midst of all his difficulties, Joseph kept his connection with God. He didn’t allow bitterness about his lot to keep him from God. Instead, he was dilligent in all he did and was filled with humility; and God exalted in due season.

Humilty is childlike

On one occassion, Jesus has just told his discicples that he was about to be delivered into the hands of men. And then we read...
Luke 9:46 NKJV
46 Then a dispute arose among them as to which of them would be greatest.
Imagine that!
The passage continues:
Luke 9:47–48 NKJV
47 And Jesus, perceiving the thought of their heart, took a little child and set him by Him, 48 and said to them, “Whoever receives this little child in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me. For he who is least among you all will be great.”
Instead of thinking about their own greatness, Jesus wanted them to think about a little child.
Children had no status in that culture and were considered of no importance. What a contrast with the disciples who were having a dispute about what their status would be after Jesus was gone!
If we want to be great as Jesus defines it, then we will need to learn some lessons from children!
Jesus Himself said:
Luke 18:17 NKJV
17 Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.”
So, what are the lessons we are to learn from children?


You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.
All of us, as we age, have a tendancy to be stuck in our ways.
We need to be teachable like children. We need to stay pliable in God’s hand.
Psalm 86:11 NKJV
11 Teach me Your way, O Lord; I will walk in Your truth; Unite my heart to fear Your name.
Matthew 11:29 NKJV
29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Children are excited and enthusiastic

Romans 12:11 NIV
11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.
Children can’t sit still!
We should be busy for the Lord!

Children don’t have money. They are totally dependent on their parents.

We must become totally dependent on God:
Psalm 33:16–22 CSB
16 A king is not saved by a large army; a warrior will not be rescued by great strength. 17 The horse is a false hope for safety; it provides no escape by its great power. 18 But look, the Lord keeps his eye on those who fear him— those who depend on his faithful love 19 to rescue them from death and to keep them alive in famine. 20 We wait for the Lord; he is our help and shield. 21 For our hearts rejoice in him because we trust in his holy name. 22 May your faithful love rest on us, Lord, for we put our hope in you.

Children haven’t earned a place in their home, they are born into it

Even so, by God’s grace, we have been born into the kingdom of God;
Ephesians 2:8–9 NKJV
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
Romans 8:38–39 NKJV
38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Children are expected to be obedient to their parents

Luke 11:28 NIV
28 He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”
Sometimes we might not want to do what we are told! But we must do anyway, and with a good attitude!
Isaiah 1:19 NKJV
19 If you are willing and obedient, You shall eat the good of the land;

Children make noise!

Some believers are so quiet; you have to ask if they are alive!
Psalm 95:1 KJV 1900
1 O come, let us sing unto the Lord: Let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.

Children don’t let you sleep!

Don’t give God rest!
Isaiah 62:6–7 ESV
6 On your walls, O Jerusalem, I have set watchmen; all the day and all the night they shall never be silent. You who put the Lord in remembrance, take no rest, 7 and give him no rest until he establishes Jerusalem and makes it a praise in the earth.
The Jews were in captivity to the Babylonians. But here the prophet Isaiah exhorts them to give God no rest until He fully restores Jerusalem!
Note in v6 - “put the Lord in remembrance”
Have you heard a child say, “but you promised”

Children laugh and have fun!

We are called Joy Community Church for a reason. We need to learn to laugh and have fun. We shouldn’t be uptight people. We should enjoy life!
John 10:10 NIV
10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

Children want to grow!

They want to act older than they are!
Even before they can walk, they are trying to walk. They want to be like those around them.
We also should desire to grow spiritually, to be mature:
1 Peter 2:2 NIV
2 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation,
This next point isn’t really about humilty...

Children bring their parents joy

Despite the hard work in raising children, they nonetheless bring joy to their parents.
The thought of you brings God joy.
Zephaniah 3:17 NKJV
17 The Lord your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”


Humble people don’t claim to be somone great; they wait for God to exalt them
Humility is free from the spirit of entitlement
Humilty has the following childlike characteristics:
Children are teachable
Children are excited and enthusiastic
Children don’t have money. They are totally dependent on their parents.
Children haven’t earned a place in their home, they are born into it
Children are expected to be obedient to their parents
Children make noise!
Children don’t let you sleep!
Children laugh and have fun!
Children want to grow!
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