The Cost of Pride

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by Graham Mol

About a month ago I shared a blog post based on the song Lean On Me. Today I want to start  by looking at a verse from the same song. Here it is:

Please swallow your pride
If I have things you need to borrow
For no one can fill those of your needs
That you won’t let show.

This verse got me thinking about just how costly pride is – and how much it costs us to hang on to it. Instead of asking for help we try to do it ourselves and despair when we can’t.

In doing some reading up on the topic I came across an article that says this about the cost of pride:

And we need to come to grips with this because pride always costs us way more than we realize.

When we sin, the people around us suffer from our pride.

And we also suffer the consequences of our own pride by loss of trust, loss of friendship, loss of reputation, ministry opportunities. We spend time out of fellowship with God, perhaps the most tragic consequence of all.

(Sarah Beals, Humility and the True Cost of Pride)

The Bible warns us about this last consequence of pride, that it impacts our relationship with the Lord.

“God opposes the proud
but shows favour to the humble.”

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
(James 4:6-10)

And…

All of you clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your cares on him, because he cares about you. Be sober-minded, be alert. Your adversary the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour. Resist him, firm in the faith, knowing that the same kind of sufferings are being experienced by your fellow believers throughout the world.
(1 Peter 5:5-9)

From these two texts we can see that answer to the problem of pride is humility. God’s grace is to the humble not the proud. We are also given a picture of what humility means in these two passages of Scripture.

Humility is:

  • Submitting yourself to God. By doing this we are declaring that Jesus is worth more than my pride.
  • Resisting the devil. Satan’s chief sin was pride, we follow him and his example when we hold onto pride in our own lives.

Let us actively pray against pride forming in our hearts and lives. Let us ask the Lord to search our hearts and reveal any offensive way in us (Psalm 139:23-24). May we serve the Lord humbly and trust in His exaltation rather than our own.

 

God Bless

Graham

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Stand Up For Jesus

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Guest Blog

by John Doyle

Philippians 1:27 “Only let your conduct be worthy of the Gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your works that you STAND fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the Faith of the Gospel.”
 
I am sure you may remember this saying “If you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything”
How true it is. If a person doesn’t have firm convictions, more than likely they will fall into traps set up by the things of this World and sometimes by the Devil. How many people are not standing on a firm foundation, but they seem to believe just about everything the TV or the Media Posts put on Social Media around the World.
 
In these difficult times of Lockdown we Christians need to keep standing strong in the Lord and in His Word. We don’t want to be people who fall for anything because we are not standing on a Firm foundation given to us in the Lord Jesus.
 
Standing for Jesus means standing up for the Gospel. The Gospel (Good News) tells us that what we couldn’t do for ourselves, namely, earn our own Salvation and a place in Heaven, Jesus has already sacrificially done this for us.
 
There were two important things Jesus did to secure our salvation. Firstly He led a perfect life on this Earth so that we could get the eternal reward through our Faith in Him, all because of His sinless life on earth (Rom 5:19). Secondly He put Himself on the cross to remove our guilt, once and for all – Please read Isaiah 53:5-6.
 
He did this for all people of all Nations (No one was excluded). With God given Faith we grab hold of Jesus’ sinless life and sacrificial atonement, make it our own, and claim Heaven because of our Faith in Christ alone. The Gospel of Christ declares: HE DID IT FOR US! The Bible promises that He and His Word is at work inside us, giving us power to live for God and deal with life in a fallen world Please read 2 Cor 5:14-17.
 
Standing up for Jesus also means standing up for the entirety of God’s Word. Standing for Scripture means that we regard every word in the Bible as God’s Word and not the word of men – 2 Thess. 2:13.
 
Standing for Christ means that we will gladly be guided by what Scripture tells us, trusting that it will lead us into all Truth and Righteousness – Ps 119:105.
 
Standing for Christ means letting His Holy Word speak into our lives and allowing it to become our guide and not allowing the things of this World to distract us from the eternal truths that we have been given through His Word – 2 Cor 10:5.
 
Standing up for Jesus and His Word cannot be done in ourselves. We need the Lord Jesus Who says, “I am the Vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me and I in him, bears much fruit, for Without Me, You can do nothing” John 15:5. He also says, “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you, and lo I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS, even unto the end of the World” Matthew 28:20
 
With Jesus by our side day by day, we can STAND UP and join the hymn writer and sing:
 
Stand up, Stand up for Jesus! Ye Soldiers of the Cross,
Lift high your royal banner, it will not suffer loss,
From Victory unto Victory His army shall He lead,
Till every foe is vanquished and Christ is Lord indeed.
 
Stand up, Stand up for Jesus, Stand in His strength alone;
The arm of flesh will fail you; ye dare not trust your own.
Put on the Gospel armour, each piece put on with prayer;
Where duty calls or danger, be never wanting there.
 
In the Love of the Lord Jesus,
John and Barbara
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Death Before Dishonour

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by Luke Kincaid

I always enjoy trying new flavors of energy drinks. I am well aware of the negative impact they can have on your body but I often go to one of these caffeine heavy drinks on a day I haven’t had enough sleep the night before. While looking at the artwork on one of the latest flavors I was really invested to find the following saying:

Death before dishonour.

While this saying is quite old and has been adopted by various groups of people, I began to think of what this could mean for a disciple of Jesus.

So, what does it mean to honor God?

“To honour God means to give Him the regard, respect, reverence, admiration, adoration, awe, praise, submission, and obedience which are due to Him. To honour God means to worship Him in all our attitudes, affections, and actions. The essence of what it means to honour God is revealed to us in what Jesus called the first and greatest commandment: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment” (Matthew 22:37-38)” – Compelling Truth.

I am aware that the words, death before dishonour do not appear in God’s word but I think it can be a really powerful motto to live by as God is always worthy of honour. He always deserves to be honoured by us and this is something that will never change. With this in mind, when I find myself purposely wanting to dishonour Him through purposeful disobedience or through worshipping something or someone other than God, I will try to remember and be motivated by these words

Much Love,

Luke

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Running on Dregs

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by Calven Celliers

Last week I experienced car trouble. I was on my way to visit a lovely new couple to our congregation, when my car started losing power, and kept threatening to cut out in the traffic. I pulled over and gave my mechanic a quick call. As I explained to him what was happening, he advised me to go home and bring my car into his workshop the next morning. So, I called ahead to my appointment, explained my situation. They graciously understood my predicament and we rescheduled for this week. The next morning my mechanic checked out my vehicle and the verdict was as he suspected, contaminated fuel. Fuel contamination is, as the name suggests, fuel that becomes contaminated or tainted with water or sediment that collects towards the bottom of fuel tanks at the service station.

As I reflected on this experience, it brought to mind the reality of what happens when we as believers let our ‘tanks’ run low, and our spiritual lives become contaminated. Sometimes we find ourselves running very low because we are giving out more than we are taking in, and eventually we become quite drained, less than our best and tainted because we’re cruising on the dregs of what’s left, and we start losing power. It’s impossible to continue giving out when there’s nothing left to give. Maybe you’re there right now? Maybe you feel like you’ve got nothing more to give and you’re tempted to ‘cut out’ and give up? Well, if that’s you then I want to encourage you this day.

In the Gospel of Matthew Jesus said that when we’re tired, worn out, and empty we can come to Him. I like the way the late Eugene Petersen paraphrases Christ’s words in The Message saying, 28-30 Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11: 28 – 30TheMessage)

The simplicity of Jesus’s invite, come to me, is so refreshing. All of us go through times where we feel spiritually empty. David likens it in Psalm 42 to a deer panting after water. Jesus doesn’t offer us a four-fold path to peace-giving enlightenment, like the Buddha did. He doesn’t give us five pillars of peace through submission as Islam does. Nor does He give us a “10 Ways to Relieve Your Weariness,” program like our pragmatic, self-help-oriented 21st century culture does. Instead, Jesus simply offers Himself as the solution.

There is a danger in continually running on dregs. When we let our spiritual tank run low, our energy and inspiration disappear. Our desire to live for Christ decreases, and soon, we are just getting by.

When you’re running on dregs it becomes difficult to cope with little things that come up or to smile. We spew out our frustration, usually on the ones we love the most, the ones we’re meant to lead or the ones we’re meant to serve. Jesus wants more for us than just getting by. In the Gospel of John, He says that 10The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10NIV)

Many times, we over complicate the solution, when all it takes is sheer determination and a good ol’ dose of discipline. Even when you don’t feel like it, even when it takes every last ounce of energy you’ve got left, ask the Holy Spirit to fill you to overflowing. Fill yourself with the Word of God and commit to attending Services to fellowship and worship with others where possible. As simple as it sounds, when you make a concerted effort to do these things (prayer, bible reading, fellowship and worship), you will notice your spiritual fervour increasing. Your mind turns to the things of God and away from those negative thoughts which tend to both exhaust and overwhelm us. When your tank is full, however, it’s easier to find joy in each day, to laugh at the days ahead and cope with trials.

Make every effort to connect to the source of abundant life and let Him fill your tank!

 

God bless,

Calven

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