Tag Archives: pride

Only God

23 Now when He came into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people confronted Him as He was teaching, and said, “By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority?” Matthew 21:23 NKJV

These questions seem ridiculous.

No person can heal, only God can.

No person can tell the storm to be quiet and it obey, only God can.

No person can change the molecular composition of water and turn it into that of wine, only God can.

No one can raise the dead, only God can.

And yet, these teachers of the scriptures, these men who had devoted their lives to studying God’s Word missed this obvious truth.

God was literally standing before them and they couldn’t see Him.

Because their pride got in the way and their fear led them astray.

John 11:47-48NKJV — Then the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered a council and said, “What shall we do? For this Man works many signs. If we let Him alone like this, everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and nation.”

These men were trying to hold on to what they had and they were certain they were doing “what is best”.

John 11:49-50NKJV — And one of them, Caiaphas, being high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all, nor do you consider that it is expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and not that the whole nation should perish.”

John 11:53 NKJV — Then, from that day on, they plotted to put Him to death.

In their arrogance and hardness of heart, they plot to kill the very One they were meant to know the best.

Those who feel confident in their knowledge of God are in great danger to missing Him completely.

Like these men, pride and fear can quickly lead to disaster.

It is only in humility that we can recognize how incredible God is and see His work in our own lives as well as the lives of others.

So many circumstances can trip us up and blind us to the truth.

Like these Pharisees, we must study God’s Word, but unlike these men, we must diligent in humility, active in surrender, and forgiving, willing to let go of wrong.

Because Jesus made it clear, following Him doesn’t always feel good, nor is it an easy path.

Matthew 10:34-39 NKJV — “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’ He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.
And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.”

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for all Your incredible works. Please help us to be humble and to recognize Your truth and Your ways. Lord, no matter how much we learn about You, please keep us from falling into this trap of the Pharisees. Please help us to be quick to forgive and abundant in mercy. Lord, help us to pattern ourselves after You. Lord, please help us to remember to pray for those who spitefully use us and to love those who hate us, to be willing to sacrifice everything as You did. Lord, thank You for Your faithfulness, mercy, grace, and love. Amen.

Patiently

The end of a thing is better than its beginning;
The patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. Ecc. 7:8 NKJV

Do we believe this?

Do our lives reflect this truth?

Is a funeral really better than a wedding?

It can be.

Look at Billy and Ruth Graham as an example.

When both died, many people mourned their loss, but the legacy of love, marriage, family, and most importantly, devotion to God has been left as an imprint in the fabric of history.

Yes, their end was better than their beginning.

Their lives reflected the hand of God.

And there are many other people God has done the same through.

People who followed this verse:

“eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality;” Romans 2:7 NKJV

People whose lives inspire others to live unto the Lord, to be diligent in their walk each and every day.

Men and women who are servants of God, not full of pride or self importance, but truly looking to serve with gladness where ever and how ever God chooses.

Truly it is better to be patient than proud.

Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. James 5:7 NKJV

Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before His presence with singing.
Psalms 100:2 NKJV

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. It is full of such life and truth and wisdom. Please let my heart be open to Your Words and help me to walk in them. Lord, I want to have my end be better than my beginning. Lord, I want to be patient, serving You with gladness wherever You call me, however You choose. Lord, I want to be humble; not proud, not haughty, not mean, not angry, but instead full of love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, and self control. Lord, I know all these things come from You alone. Please, help me to walk in Your ways and teach me these things. Thank You, Jesus. I love You. Amen.

Dealing with pride

It hadn’t seemed like a big deal.

Yet, I knew something was off.

As I prayed the certainty grew.

Something was wrong.

And that something was within.

“Lord, please show me my sin that I might repent. Please cleanse me within.”

Pride.

Yikes!

“Lord, please forgive me! Where have I let pride in?”

And as gently as a mother removing a bandage which has been on too long, the Lord revealed my sin.

Underneath a patch of “doing what is expected” was hiding the real motive.

pride.

Uhg.

With the revealed heart motivation came a clear picture of some other areas.

Off and on for a couple of weeks I’ve been feeling emotionally prickly.

Unable to place it before, I simply tried to ignore it.

Obviously, a poor choice.

It’s a bit embarrassing to look upon one’s sin and to realize it had been left undetected by me.

Yet, I’d rather see my sin than allow it to linger and grow.

Because just like all sin, it begins to taint all areas.

Before long the heart can be overcome with bitterness, envy, strife, unforgiveness, and a host of other things.

All through one spot of sin ignored and therefore allowed.

Praise God for His mercy!

What a blessed gift to be shown the danger within and to have my Savior deal with it!

How great is His loving kindness!

-sigh-

smile

Until the day when my LORD calls me home, I will need to be cleansed by Jesus of the sins I commit.

No, I don’t do it on purpose.

Yes, I study His Word that I might be aware of His commandments and do my best to follow them.

No, I’m not able to make it even a single day without falling into sin.

Yes, I keep as short account of those things as possible.

Yes, He truly does love me enough to forgive me and continue to hone my heart that I might not sin against Him.

It’s a beautiful daily walk with Christ.

My Lord and Savior who cleanses me.

As I seek Him this morning, I’m so very thankful for His dealing with my heart yesterday.

For each of us, who are called by His name, may we never walk with hidden sin, but instead confess and become cleansed daily.

1 John 1:9 KJV — If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for loving me so deeply. Thank You for freeing my heart from the pride I had allowed. Lord Jesus, I don’t want to do that again and I am ashamed for doing it, thank You for forgiving me. Please protect me from that in the future. Protect my eyes, my heart, and my mind that I might not sin against You. Please keep me from looking at worthless things, but instead let me focus on You. Lord, thank You so much for Your mercy and grace. I am humbled by Your love. Amen.

The mirror

I love these tulips.

It doesn’t take long for people to realize I love flowers and pink is my favorite color.

I don’t wear it constantly, but I’m not quiet about my preference.

Some things about myself are so easy to see.

Other things are more complicated.

Infact the Lord used a tiny passing moment to teach me this week.

I’d been at work and when I walked in the house, one of my kids looked at me and asked something I hadn’t expected.

“What is on your face?”

Before I could respond or look in a mirror another child answered for me.

“It’s a pimple.”

“Oh”

Then both went back to their studies.

I went to find a mirror.

It was the next day when the moment returned to my mind and then I thought of a Veggie Tales show where Queen Blueberry is trying to manipulate her circumstances.

An evil mirror keeps encouraging her to wrong those around her all the while manipulating her for his own purposes.

One of the things which happens in the story reveals a wonderful truth.

As the queen wrongs others her outward appearance reflects the ugliness of her heart.

She’s covered in pimples, as well as other unbecoming facial things, yet the wicked mirror shows her getting more and more lovely.

It’s an excellent lesson.

When we choose to live for ourselves,

when we use those around us,

our hearts are being marred.

Yet, when walking in those things it is often with blindness.

To see ourselves outwardly we need a mirror.

To see ourselves inwardly we need Jesus and His Word.

Just like I was unaware of the blemish on my face, I have been unaware of blemishes on my character.

It has taken Christ to reveal my heart.

Often, He uses the difficult things in my life as a reflection of my heart.

Then He draws me to His Word that the blemish might be removed.

Jesus has shown me so many things about my heart in these months.

And He isn’t finished.

And I’m so thankful for the mirror.

I’d much rather Jesus show me my faults and failings than for me to walk in pride and haughtiness.

There’s even an example in scripture of a life of pride.

Jezebel.

She had manipulation down to a fine art.

Yet it cost her everything she was trying to hold on to.

If only she had paid attention to the inward beauty and learned to be humble, gentle, and loving.

I never want to be Jezebel.

Praise God for His mercy and patience.

Praise the Lord for His faithfulness!

Thank You, Jesus for the mirror.

Attention to detail

image

Too often I see the forest,

but miss the tree I’m standing next to.

I see the piles of laundry, and miss the clean freshly vacuumed carpet under my feet.

As far away as yesterday the Lord showed me some details I needed to be aware of.

Each one was within my heart.

What brought them into focus was a dream I’d had two nights before.

It was ridiculous.

I dreamed we were moving to a new house.

Boxes were everywhere and as I climbed up the stairs to the bedrooms I realized the entire floor was buckled like a sway-backed mule.

I was so upset in my dream about the terrible conditions of this new place and  my last emotion before I woke was despair at ever getting things neat and pretty again.

Silly, I know.

Yet I kept thinking about it.

Why was it so tender to my emotions that this dream seemed to prick my heart?

The Lord showed me a fear I didn’t realize was there.

Actually, I was used to it to the point I thought it was completely normal.

Wrong.

Why am I afraid of our home being out of control in one aspect or another?

Because I’m a control freak and I wouldn’t be able to control an issue of that magnitude.

Uhg!

Pride again.

So, I am praying each time I think of our home, our future,  and our “image”.

I am asked the Lord to forgive my pride in my own abilities.

I’m placing our future in His hands.

And I’m asking Jesus to be the only thing people see when they look at our family.

And I’m paying attention to the details.

The tree I’m standing next to is TRUST.

The stump I’ve stepped away from is fear.

Weed amongst the flowers

image

Pride isn’t a flower I plant.

However it seems to be showing off amongst the other flowers in my life lately.

This morning I read about king Hezekiah.

“At that time Merodach-Baladan the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a present to Hezekiah,  for he heard that he had been sick and had recovered. And Hezekiah was pleased with them, and showed them the house of his treasures…There was nothing in his house or in all his dominion that Hezekiah did not show them.” Isaiah 39: 1, 2b

Showing off.

How easy it is to do.

How dreadful the consequences.

In this case, Isaiah relates to the king the future.

He explains the country will be taken over by Babylon.

In my own life I have been praying about pride.

I’ve had my “showing off” moments far more often than I would like.

It has always created embarrassment.

I have prayed to be like Moses, the humblest man. (Numbers 12:3)

I wonder how pride grows amongst the flowers so quickly.

The motivation for showing off is to impress another, whether one or many.

Why do I feel I need to impress anyone?
Answer: because I have taken my eyes off the Father.

I have folded into listening to other’s criticism and have walked out feeling lack. So I work harder to impress.

Oh how foolish!

When all I need to do is walk daily with Jesus.

He knows me.
He loves me.
He doesn’t have to be impressed.

He restores my soul.
He mends my broken.
He is the reason I am anything.

If the Creator of the universe feels this way about me–Why am I trying to show off?

So I ask the Lord to uproot the pride and replace it with humility.

Deep breath.

Sigh.

“Lord, forgive me for my pride. Heal me from my hurt. I know those words were not meant to harm, only to guide, but I felt cut down instead. Please give me the ability to discern Your correction. Teach me how to be less sensitive to criticism. Help me to love no matter what. “