Bible Devotions

Overcome the World

What does this saying “overcome the world” mean?  Why should believers understand it?

First John 2:15-17 NKJV says “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.  And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”  If we love the world, the love of God is not in us.  The world is full of things not of God; therefore, we believers must overcome the world.

What does overcome mean?  From Dictionary.com here are a few definitions using “overcome” in the verb tense:

1. to get the better of in a struggle or conflict; conquer; defeat: to overcome the enemy.

 

2. to prevail over (opposition, a debility, temptations, etc.); surmount: to overcome one’s weaknesses.

 

3. to overpower or overwhelm in body or mind, as does liquor, a drug, exertion, or emotion: I was overcome with grief.

 

4. Archaic. to overspread or overrun.

–verb (used without object)

5. to gain the victory; win; conquer: a plan to overcome by any means possible.

It seems that overcome is to defeat our enemy or our weakness and conquer.  Who wouldn’t want to conquer their enemies and weaknesses?

Okay, so how do we overcome? 1 John 5:5 says “Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?”   How simple it is!  Believe in Jesus the Son of God.  That’s it.  For Jesus even said “Be of good cheer I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).   When we believe in Jesus, His spirit takes of residence within us.  First John 4:4 says “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world”.

First John 3 is all about abiding in God.  When we abide in Him, He abides in us.  We demonstrate we abide in Him by practicing righteousness.  “Let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God” (1 John 4:7).  We overcome evil with good, by loving one another as Christ loved us.

The born again believer of Jesus Christ is delivered from sin and abides in Him and the wicked one can’t touch him (1 John 5:18).  Praise God!   Are you ready to overcome the world?  Believe and you receive was you ask for.

Lord, thank you for your victory.  We have overcome the world when we believe in You.  Thank you for your spirit to guide us in your truth and love.  In Jesus’ name Amen. 

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Does “Too Good to be True” Really Exist?

Once you received some mail from a popular sweepstakes company claiming you had already won a grand prize.Your mind races at the possibility and all you could do with the winnings.Does this sound too good to be true?Well, from the world’s perspective it is too good to be true.

What about a relationship with Jesus Christ?Is that too good to be true? Matthew 19:26 NKJV says “But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Let’s consider a few benefits of believing Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.

Truth Revealed

God’s Word is alive and it renews us day by day.The more we read, the more He reveals Himself and our sinful nature.If we choose, we can respond the way God anticipates which is to agree with Him about our sin.When we do, we allow His Word to renew our minds, changing the way we think.For some this may mean a once prideful person has been transformed into a humble one.For others who were critical and judgmental it may mean their stony hearts are transplanted with a new tender heart of love.God’s Word reveals the truth and when we accept His truth wonderful things happen.Please don’t take this as once we become a Christian all our problems go away.Oh no, that is definitely not what’s being conveyed.But rather wonderful changes within occur when truth is allowed to penetrate our inner beings.

Sins Forgiven

Psalm 103:12 NKJV says “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” Jesus Christ took on our sin, paid the penalty for us by dying on the cross.Even better news than that is Jesus rose again.Death was not the end of Him, only the beginning of a new life.With His resurrection we are given a new life too.Romans 10:9 NKJV says “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”So the free gift of salvation God offers is as easy as believing and you will be saved.Romans 6:23 says “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” To further this wonderful benefit, Romans 8:1 also tells us there is no condemnation in Christ when we walk according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh.

Rewards Here

Psalm 37:4 NKJV says “Delight yourself also in the LORD, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.”Choose to follow Him, read His Word, and apply His truths in your life.Allow His Word to become real to you by living it out.When you do He rewards you.I’m not saying we come to the Lord simply for the benefits He offers.But I am saying if you are diligent to seek Him and serious about pursuing Him, He will bring blessings into your life.His word straightens us out and plants our feet on a firm foundation.He directs us on the pathway of righteousness.He leads us by His Spirit which He gave us as a guarantee of our salvation.He changes the way we think, which improves our attitudes.He enables us to love, forgive, and consider others above our self.He provides everything we need to live a godly life here and now while we wait for the return of Christ.He restores broken relationships.He breaks the chains that bind us to our addictions.He sets us free from sin.The rewards He gives are unending and this is only speaking of here on earth.There are far more blessings in the eternal sense, where no eye has seen, nor ear have heard, nor any mind can imagine what treasures await those who love God.

Is a relationship with Christ too good to be true?While it does seem too good to be true, I want to reassure you all these things do exist.There is no end to how good God can make it.For me, I have found my relationship with Christ to be more rewarding, exciting, intimate, loving and honoring than I ever dreamed was possible.I have experienced a new mind, new attitude, forgiveness of my sin, acceptance by the Father, a renewed love, a restored marriage and blessings of a second child.I could go on, but I won’t.I do encourage you to think about your life and count your blessings from knowing Christ.It will revitalize your walk.

Lord Jesus, thank you for your willingness to die to cleanse us from all unrighteousness and make us right with the Father.Thank you for the many rewards from our relationship with you.Thank you for giving us eternal life in you.In your precious name we pray. Amen.

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Seeking a Spirit-Filled Life

The Bible has much to say about a Spirit-filled life.  Every believer wants to be filled with God’s Spirit and the truth is they are.  Today we are going to look at what a Spirit-filled life looks like.  As you read, consider whether these traits are visible in your own life.  If not, pray to our Father and ask Him to help you remove the obstacles preventing this kind of life.  

Marked by Humility

Believers who are well aware of their own sin are much more likely to be forgiving of another’s sin.  They are not judging, critical or condemning for they themselves know they are sinners too. They extend mercy and grace to others because they’ve received mercy and grace from God.  Humble people tend to lack pride, self-promotion and wanting their own way. 

 Considered to be Loving

A loving person is one who is servant-hearted and considers others above themselves.   First Corinthians 13:4-8 NKJV says this about love: “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails.”

 Confident in God

The Spirit-filled believer is confident in God’s ability as proven by what God has already done in their life.  They know they are forgiven, a huge miracle in itself.  They are not bound by past sins because Christ has already paid the price for those sins.  Praying without ceasing is commonplace in this person’s life because they have experienced the power of God and subsequently know how to depend on God for everything. 

 

Obedient to God

The believer who practices daily living God’s commands is considered to be obedient.  This individual knows there is safety and security in submitting to the authority of God.  The one goal of the believer is to love God with all their body, soul, mind and strength and love others as themselves (Luke 10:27). The obedient disciple of Christ will deny self, carry their cross and follow Him daily by putting off the old sinful nature and purposing putting on the new Spirit-directed nature (Luke 9:23, 2 Corinthians 5:17). 

 

In summary a Spirit-filled life will be evident by the spiritual fruit we see in their lives.  Galatians 5:22-23 NKJV lists the type of fruit produced by the Spirit: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”  If you are feeling discouraged about your progress, do not be deceived but rather cast those thoughts away from you.  Remember no one lives the Spirit-filled life perfectly in this life, but as believers we are called to yearn for it.  God is the one working in us to transform us to His image and He’s not done with us yet. 

 Lord, we thank you for saving us from a life of sin and for giving us you’re Spirit to guide us into truth to live for you.  Thank you for your life-giving word equipping us to live godly lives until Christ returns.  May we bring glory by allowing the Spirit to produce its fruit in our lives.  In Jesus’ name Amen.

 

 

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Why Resistant to God?

We are all resistant to God at some point in our lives.  The Bible tells us in Romans 3:23 “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”.   To sin is to rebel against God.  Even unintentional sin, is resistance to God.  Today, let us examine several reasons why we may be resistant.  As you read, ask yourself if these scenarios are present in your life.

 Too Prideful

Proverbs 29:23NKJV “A man’s pride will bring him low, but the humble in spirit will retain honor.” Pride takes on many forms. It can be selfishness, thinking your better than someone else, false humility, know-it-all attitude, self-sufficiency and on it goes.  Pride hinders us from hearing and receiving God’s truth about our self.  If you have a hard time taking a criticism, offering forgiveness, or saying “I’m sorry” you might be prideful.

 Too Critical

Being critical or judgmental of others can also lead to an inability to receive God’s love.  This is also tied very closely with pride.  Are you measuring others by some impossible standard?  If you were to measure yourself by the same standard would you pass or fail?  What right do you have to judge someone?  Are you God?  Look at what Jesus said in John 8:15 NKJV “You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one.” Only God can judge rightly because He knows a person’s heart.

 

Too Wounded

Have you been hurt by someone you love?  Having a hard time trusting again?  Do you feel like you have to protect your self from getting hurt again?  We’ve all be wounded.  Let’s face it, we’ve all wounded others.  We’re not perfect.  The Bible tells us in John 16:33 we will continue to have trails and sorrow but we are not to worry because Jesus has overcome the world.  If we allow our wounded-ness keep us from God’s healing grace we are our own worst enemy. 

 

Too Fearful

God’s love casts out fear.  Anyone still fearful is someone who’s not been perfected by God’s marvelous love yet (1 John 4:18).  Does fear have you parallelized?  Are you afraid of discovering the depth of your sin?  Are you fearful of knowing God because you think He’ll send you off to some foreign country to minister?  The Bible is full of “Do not fear” and “Do not be afraid” statements God makes towards man.  God is good.  There is no darkness within Him (1 John 1:5).  His intentions are for our best interest (Jeremiah 29:11).  We can trust He will take care of us. 

 Key Take-Aways

God loves you and doesn’t want anyone to perish.  (John 10:28)

God is not out to get you, but rather to draw you closer to Him. (Matthew 11:28-30)

God wants you to live an abundant live now and live with Him for all eternity. (Isaiah 55:1, John 10:10)

 

What do you think?  Did you discover any areas in your life needing God’s restorative touch?  Call on Him.  Ask Him to come and heal the broken places in your heart.  Ask Him to cut away the pride and criticalness in your attitude.  Ask Him to fill you with His love to cast out all fear.  He is faithful and will answer prayers aligned with His will.  Those seeking Him will find Him.  Taste and see the Lord is good. 

 Lord God Almighty, you alone can make a difference in our life.  Thank you for sending Jesus to take away our sin and open the door to you.  Enlighten us to the things hindering our relationship with you.  In Jesus’ name Amen.  

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How to Walk in the Spirit

Humble Self before God

It’s not about us.  This world does not exist to gratify our selfish desires, though many live as like it does.  The world and its entire people were created for God’s pleasure.  Psalm 149:4 NKJV “For the LORD takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the humble with salvation.” The Bible teaches us in Mark 8:34 to deny self and think of others first, in doing so, we honor God and operate in a humble manner. We become humble rather than prideful.  Pride is something God hates (Proverbs 8:13).

 

Transform through God’s Love

In humility we are able to understand the love God has for us.  It is a love so deep, willing to sacrifice His own Son to die for our sins (John 3:16).  It is a love so pure and good it can not leave us to our own devices. It pursues us.  It changes us, draws us deeper into a more meaningful life.  It perfects us, if we’ll let it (1 John 4:18).

 

Sense God’s Hand Everywhere

Keeping our mind focused on God enables us to look for and expect to see God working behind every circumstance.  The more we see God’s hand, the deep our faith grows, further equipping us to walk in the Spirit.  Again, we must be willing to see (1 Samuel 12:16).  When we do see, praise God for what He’s doing.  An attitude of praise is helpful for remaining in the Spirit.

 

Conform My Will to His

Having the proper perspective on self and God enables us to submit to the will of God.  Upon realizing we are not the center of all existence, rather God is, and it becomes easier to submit to His authority (Romans 10:13).  All human authority was put there by God and we are obligated to submit to that authority as well (Romans 13:1).  As we do submit is it honoring to God.  It may also put in right relations with others (Ephesians 5:21).

 

While this short article does not explain everything about the Spirit, it should be a good guide to get you started.  Walking by the Spirit is about staying humble, considering others first, being transformed by God’s love, sensing His hand everything, and allowing our will to be molded to God’s will.

 Lord, thank you for your love, your Son, you Word and your Spirit.  Lead us in your truth.  Shape us in your image.  Equip us to walk in the Spirit.  In Jesus’ name Amen.  

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Contrary to the Flesh

He answered and said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ Mark 7:6-7 NKJV 

Read Mark 7:1-21.  Some Pharisees had come to see Jesus and in the process they noticed how the disciples didn’t wash their hands in the ceremonial way the Pharisees were accustomed to.  They were fault-finders, a people quick to point out all that didn’t fit with their way.  It makes me wonder whether they really wanted to know more about Jesus.     

This section of scripture clearly outlines what matters most – the condition of the heart.  I love how Jesus heads straight for the issue, rather justifying or defending the disciples.  That’s a lesson we could all use.  So many times when others point out flaws in us, our pride is hurt and we want to retaliate.   Not, Jesus.  No, He points right back to the people pointing out the flaw.  Remember, when you point at some else’s sin, there’s three fingers pointing back at you.  

Jesus went on to explain we do not defile our self by not washing our hands.  There is no defilement which occurs by putting something into our mouth, but rather defilement occurs when our own evil from within comes out.  Mark 7:21-23For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness.  All these evil things come from within and defile a man.”  

Why do we so eagerly point out another’s sin?  Why don’t we search our self with the same vigor?  It is our flesh – our sinful nature.  The Bible teaches us the flesh wars against the spiritual causing us to not do what is right (Galatians 5:17).  Jesus’ teachings and the Holy Spirit’s leading in our life is always contrary to the flesh’s desire.   

But we can have victory.  Look at what Romans 8:5 says “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.”  As God is Spirit, we worship in Spirit, therefore, setting our mind on the things of Spirit is honoring and well pleasing to God.   

Lord God thank you for your revealing Word.  Thank you for the power of your Holy Spirit in us to guide us in our decisions and enabling us to be well pleasing to you by setting our minds on the things of the Spirit.  May we honor you not only with our lips but with our whole heart. In Jesus’ name Amen.  

 

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Simplicity in Christ

But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.  2 Corinthians 11:3 NKJV 

 

Did you ever notice how the simplest instructions are the hardest to follow?  Have you ever wondered why?

In my opinion, I think perhaps we’re full of pride and don’t recognize it.  Think about it.  You purchased some item that requires you to put it together, but instead of reading and following the directions you rush to put it together based on the picture on the outside of the box.  In the end, it’s not quite right.  There are pieces left over that leave you wondering where they go.

Sadly, we treat God’s Word like that sometimes.  We think we know best and decide not to read the instructions He’s given us.  After all, His message is so simple.  Romans 10:9 NKJV “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”  We have a picture in our minds of what a Christian is.  Since we don’t validate that picture with the truth of God’s Word, we’re trying to live a life God never intended.  Then we find we are still not satisfied, as though something else is needed for us to be saved.   

That’s where we’re wrong.  Nothing more is needed.  Jesus died for our sins.  When we acknowledge who He is and what He did for us, all we need to do is accept His gift; freedom from sin and eternal life.   Once you’re saved, you’re saved.  But that doesn’t mean we can neglect God’s Word.  We still need to read it to understand our self and God better and to remain out of bondage of sin.  

Lord Jesus thank you for your simple message, although it was not simple for you to carry out.  Help us to accept your gift of salvation and continue to grow in our knowledge and understanding of our self (our weaknesses) and you (your character). Deliver us from the entanglement of sin and set our feet on the pathway of life.  In Jesus’ name Amen.  

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If God’s Peace is Like a River, What’s blocking the Flow?

“Your peace would have been like a river”, Isaish 48:18 NKJV 

God wants us to enjoy His peace.  The Bible is full of instructions on how to obtain that peace.  Being obedient to God’s Word is the key.  When we are willing to be under His all encompassing authority, His peace will be like a river in us.   

Let’s take a further look at this wonderful imagery and see what more we can learn from comparing God’s peace to a river.   

A river is a moving stream of water.  It doesn’t stand still, it flows.  It has a starting source and it continues down a pre-determined path until it reaches its final destination.  Let’s apply this thinking to our spiritual lives.  Once we’re saved (given our life to Christ), we aren’t done.  There’s still work to do.  We have to keep moving forward in our relationship with Christ.  Jesus Christ is the source.  He is the author and finisher or our faith (Hebrews 12:2).  We are also on a pre-determined path, a course set and held by the hand of God with a final destination being heaven.  Until we reach heaven, we are being transformed into Christ’s image and His character is being developed in us.   

Sometimes rivers get blocked up and there are few reasons for that.  Some are for good reasons and some are bad.  Let’s consider them and as we do, think about how it applies to us spiritually.  

Dead stuff like fallen leaves, broken branches, and other loose items find its way into the river.  For a time those items don’t hinder the river.  However, when the river narrows, as all rivers do at some point, all that stuff floating in the river starts to pile up.  This doesn’t usually cause the river to cease flowing, but it can reduce the flow of the river.   

What stuff is making its way into our spiritual river? It could be unconfessed sin, unwillingness to submit to God, or always wanting to know the “why” before you obey.  It also could be lack of belief, lack of trust or a build up of pride, or self-centeredness in our life. 

Other times the river is blocked from a beaver settling in and making a dam.  The beaver is doing only what comes natural to him, as God designed.  The beaver painstakingly takes broken branches, twigs, and other natural lumber and strategically places them in the flow of the river.  The dam acts as a river flow regulator.  Without the dam, downstream the river could overflow and cause more damage.  However, God takes care of it by sending the beavers to build their home in the river.   

At times in our lives, there may be situations or circumstances that seem to be a hindrance to us.  In the end, we discover it was all part of God’s glorious plan to help us grow in our faith, our love and in our character.   It’s not something we’d choose for our self, but we have to experience them nonetheless. 

In the Old Testament, cities were walled in, meaning there was a wall going all around the city for protection against invaders.  Usually these cities were made next to a river, so the river would run under the wall and through the city providing a source of fresh water to the people living there.  When an enemy came against the city, there were times when they would cut off the water supply to the city, as a way to get the city to surrender.   How they blocked off the water, isn’t the important part.  I simply wanted you to recognize an enemy can block the flow.  

How is the enemy blocking your flow today?  Our enemy, Satan, doesn’t want us growing in the Lord.  He’ll do all sorts of things to block God’s peace in our life.  Recognize the enemy exists and prepare yourself to stand against him by putting on the armor of God.  Read Ephesians 6:10-20 for details.   

Let’s review our comparison of God’s peace as a river:

1)      Stuff comes into the river and can reduce the flow.  The “stuff” is sin, disobedience, or wanting our way instead of God’s way.

2)      Beavers make dams which regulate the flow of the river.  There are things God brings into our life to help us grow spiritually.

3)      Enemies can block the river’s flow.  Our enemy, Satan, doesn’t want us growing in the Lord.  We must prepare for battle by putting on the armor of God.    

 

How’s your river of God’s peace flowing today?  Is the flow reduced by debris?  Is God working on growing your through trials?  Is the enemy after you?

Remember what the Psalmist penned in Psalm 27:1, “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”  Jesus encouraged us with, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Next time peace seems lacking in your life, think about this analogy.  Perhaps there’s something you can do about it.  For the rest, take it to God in prayer, trust Him to be with you through it and know the waters will not overwhelm you (Isaiah 43:2-3).

Lord God, thank You for making Your peace like a river available to us through Jesus Christ.  Help us be obedient to Your Word by the leading of Your Holy Spirit in us. Enable us to stand against our enemy by putting on the armor of God.  May we grow in our relationship with You more each day. In Jesus’ name Amen.   

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The Center of Pride

Looking at the word “pride”, we can see the “I” is in the center.  Doesn’t that make perfect sense?  If you think about your dealings with prideful people, what is the one characteristic that drives you crazy?  “They’re so full of them self!”   Pride and selfishness go hand and hand.  A lot of times we’re quick to label someone selfish, but the root of the problem is really pride. 

Let’s look as a few verses to see what the Bible says about pride.

Psalm 59:12 NKJVFor the sin of their mouth and the words of their lips, Let them even be taken in their pride, And for the cursing and lying which they speak.”  This verse seems to indicate a prideful person doesn’t know what they’re saying.  They speak cursing and lying without considering the implications of their speech.   

Proverbs 8:13NKJV “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth I hate.”  Pride is something the Lord hates.   

Proverbs 13:10NKJV “By pride comes nothing but strife, But with the well-advised is wisdom.”  There are several verses in Proverbs like this one regarding pride.  (Proverbs 11:2, 14:3, 16:8, 21:24)  

For a further study of pride, consider reading some of the Old Testament books.  They are full of examples on how pride ruined the people.  Here’s a list for your reference:  

2 Chronicles 26  Uzziah

2 Chronicles 32  Hezekiah

Isaiah 9  Ephraim and the inhabitant of Samaria

Isaiah 13 Babylon and the Chaldeans

Isaiah 16 Moab

Isaiah 28 Ephraim and Jerusalem

Jeremiah 13 Pride of Judah

Ezekiel 30 Egypt

Daniel 4 Nebuchadnezzar

Hosea  Pride of Israel

Amos 6 Pride of Jacob

Obadiah 1 Edom

Zephaniah 2 Judgment on the nations

 

Now, if pride is mentioned so many times in the Old Testament we know Lord wants us to understand HE HATES PRIDE.    Pride sets us against God, thinking we know better than the Mighty Creator.  Pride blinds us from truth, as we consider only what we want to rather than following God’s guidelines for living. 

Have you checked your own life for signs of pride?  Isn’t about time you did?  If you can’t see any pride, ask a trusted friend, family member or co-worker if they can spot any pride in your life.  Chances are they will be able to give you plenty of examples, you never thought were pride to begin with!

As 1 Corinthians 10:12 says “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.”  Be watchful and humble enough to admit where pride creeps in.  No one is immune.  Proverbs 29:23 NKJV “A man’s pride will bring him low, But the humble in spirit will retain honor.”  While pride brings us down, the solution is clear – in humility we will be able to access our selves accurately.   

Lord, thank you for your life giving word that straightens us out and guides on the pathway to life.  Enable us to be willing to check our lives for pride and to confess and repent of sins quickly.  In Jesus name Amen.  

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Never Underestimate Pride

Pride only breeds quarrels (Proverbs 13:10 NIV).  This I can attest to in my own life.  Whenever there’s been conflict or quarrel, it usually traces back to some unchecked pride in one or more of our lives.  Pride is sometimes very subtle and difficult to detect.  Other times it’s pretty obvious.

 

We all can become prideful.  It’s in our sinful nature.  Whether it’s an external pride (like acting superior and behaving like you know it all) or an internal pride (selfishness, stubbornness) these forms of pride are not good.

We all need to recognize pride in our self.  Let’s look at what the Bible teaches in Matthew 7:3-5 NKJV: “And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?  Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”  It appears we can be blinded by pride.  Therefore, we must first remove our own pride before we can assist anyone else with theirs.

How do we know if we’ve got pride in our life?  Here are a few areas to be watchful of:

Do you keep score when someone slights you or hold grudges?

Are you unable to apologize when you’re wrong?

Are you unable to ask for help?

Are you constantly focused on yourself?

Are you insecure?

If you see any of the above items appearing in your life, you’ve got pride. Looking at King Uzziah from the Old Testament, we can learn a lot from his example.  He started out well.  As long as he sought the Lord, he prospered.  Unfortunately, when he became strong in his own power (prideful) he went astray.  You can read more about King Uzziah in 2 Chronicles 26:1-23.  

The Bible teaches us God hates pride in James 4:6 NIV “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”   Therefore, let us humble ourselves before the Lord and He will lift us up (James 4:10).

Once we’ve discovered pride in our life, what do we do?  From Saddleback
Church’s “The Source of Your Stress” message notes March 17-18, 2007:

  1. Admit our sins honestly. (Proverbs 28:13)
  2. Evaluate our strengths realistically. (Romans 12:3, Galatians 6:4)
  3. Enjoy our success gratefully. (1 Corinthians 4:7)
  4. Serve others unselfishly. (Philippians 2:3-5)
  5. Depend on Jesus continually. (Psalm 10:4, Proverbs 22: 4)

 

Lord God Almighty, Your Word tells us You hate pride.  Enable us to recognize pride in our life.  Enable us to admit we are prideful, confess that sin and repent of it.  Enable us to walk in the light of Your truth that we may be set free by the power of your Word.  In Jesus name Amen.  

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