Monday, January 21, 2013

The Proud and the Humble at Heart

Pride of Self

Pride is perhaps the most important issue that all of us should overcome in this life. The Bible tells us that God opposes the proud (James 4:6)! So, we must understand that there is something we need to do with the pride in our hearts in order to be right with God.

Pride is defined by as the feeling of superiority and the satisfaction with self. We have to understand that this definition is TRUE for what every person has in his and her heart. No matter how much we try to deny it or sugar coat it, Pride is something that is a part of the human nature.

Most people would probably deny that they have any pride in their hearts because most of us view being PROUD as an act of "boasting." However, if we look at the above definition of the word "Pride," we ought to realize that it doesn't necessarily mean the act of "boasting" as boasting is to speak with excessive pride.

The mere act of being satisfied with ourselves is Pride itself! The idea that we are satisfied with where we are in life right now and what we have done so far is quite a dangerous thing to have. Being satisfied with the life we have here and now, without thinking of eternal consequences is a dangerous thing. Being satisfied with our efforts at religiosity and piety is a very dangerous thing to have in this life as this satisfaction leads us away from realizing our great NEED for Christ. And the very fact that we are satisfied with our SELF and NOT with CHRIST, is a grave danger for our soul.

Pride before the fall

The Bible talks a LOT about the proud. There isn't anything good that comes with it. Every verse in Scripture that points out Pride is pretty much telling us that it leads to destruction in the end.

"A man's pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit." (Proverbs 29:23, KJV)

"The pride of your heart has deceived you..." (Obadiah 1:3)

"Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall." 
(Proverbs 16:18)

Pride leads to nothing but destruction. How so? Because pride deceives us into believing the lie of SELF-SUFFICIENCY

Pride allows us to believe in OUR abilities, in OUR good works, in OUR religiosity, in OUR achievements and in the power of SELF. Pride blinds us from the truth of our depravity and the truth of our great need for a Savior. Pride also hinders us from actively seeking Christ because anything we do that shows our acknowledging Christ's superiority will be a sign of inferiority--the exact opposite of the mind setting of the Proud.

God is opposed to the proud because it denies the Grace that He so freely gave through His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. God is opposed to the proud because it denies the TRUTH found in His Word that ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. He is opposed to the proud because it denies that JESUS CHRIST is the ONLY Way, Truth and Life any person can have in this life. 

Destruction awaits the proud of heart because the Bible tells us that the wages of our sin is DEATH. This death is not just the physical death we all are destined to face, but also the spiritual death that sends a soul into eternal torment in the lake of fire, separated from the Grace and Holiness of God.

Many today would rather cling to the pride of life rather than humble themselves before the throne of Grace. Why? Because the proud harbors the fear of man in their hearts. 

Contrary to the fear of God, which is the beginning of wisdom, the fear of Man brings a snare to one's life (Prov. 29:25). It allows one to cling tightly to the idea of superiority and self-satisfaction which gives one the fear of rejection by other people. It breeds the fear of ridicule from others who are also self-sufficiently proud. 

The mind-set of the proud makes him or her think about other people's opinions more than what the Truth in the Word of God says. 
"What will others say about me?" 
"What will they think of me if I follow Christ?" 
These are the constant thoughts of those chained down by Pride.

The proud has the world revolving around THEM. They would always have the world for their audience and refuse to SUBMIT to the most important audience of ONE who is before the throne. Many would rather cling to what family, friends and society would dictate today, rather than HEED what the Word of God says.

Humility & Healing

The human nature is broken. It is in our carnality that sin abounds and death reigns. But there is healing available for those who are WILLING to accept the cure in CHRIST JESUS. He himself said, "Ye MUST be born again."

Humility takes A LOT of courage. It takes a LOT of courage to be humble enough to accept the fact that we are LOST and UTTERLY DEPRAVED apart from the Grace of God in Christ Jesus. Humility calls for courage to run AGAINST the flow. Humility calls for the courage to stand up when everyone else remains seated. Humility calls for the courage to come forward FOR CHRIST, when the rest of the world mock and scoff at the sideline. 

The woman in Mark chapter 5 who suffered from a bleeding disorder for years laid down her defenses and touched the hem of Jesus' clothes just so she can be healed. When Jesus asked who touched Him, she mustered all the courage to come forward from amidst the crowd and fell down before Him. She became the center of attention, but it didn't matter to her. She could become the subject of mockery and scoffing for as a woman she was NOT supposed to touch Jesus in the first place, but she risked all that knowing that HEALING can only come from CHRIST.

HUMILITY brings us to the throne of Grace... to that point in time when we accept our depravity apart from Christ. Humility brings us to that place of obedience where we submit ourselves to the FULL Lordship of Jesus Christ.

Is Pride keeping you from running to the throne of Christ's Grace today? Is Pride deceiving you greatly into thinking you can work your own salvation? Is Pride deceiving you into believing the lies that God's Word cannot be the absolute Truth?

Humble yourselves before the LORD JESUS, beloved... this is the way that God accepts...

"The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise." (Psalm 51:17, KJV)

He does not oppose the humble at heart, but rather gives them the Grace they need for the moment. Are you afraid to come to Christ because of what others might say? Are you afraid to come forward during a church fellowship to acknowledge your need for Christ because of what you think others may think? Destroy that Pride in your heart, dear one... before it destroys you in the end.

:) Here's a bumper sticker to remind us all that...

Thursday, January 3, 2013

New Year's Recipe to SUCCESS!

New Year Resolutions
Aaah... it's a new year again. 2012 has gone by in a flash and we're now starting fresh with 2013. But then again, are we really?

Studies have found out that people set a LOT of goals around the New Year's celebration and many still stick to the practice of making a New Year's resolution. In fact, a study shows that 40 to 45 percent of American adults make one or more resolutions each year. 

Well, it's no wonder that notes to self for the fresh year will (again) be posted up on a wall or the fridge. We all get excited as we set out anew with our personal goals. The list can range from diet and exercise, to financial strategies, to keeping life simple and resolutions to a happier lifestyle.

Made to be broken
Whatever it is that we put in our list, New Year resolutions will always affect the way we live in the first couple of months of the year. Yep! You read that right. Just the first couple months. You see, studies also show that just like many promises, most of these resolutions are actually made to be broken. We all start strong but pretty much wane along the way. Research has it that people spend six to eight weeks on average before giving up on their resolutions!

I've come across an article that tried to explain why we fail greatly at keeping with our New Year's resolutions. Interestingly, the writer presents the evidence to be this:

This is the scientific explanation for why most people who make New Year's resolutions don't succeed, in a nutshell: the brain wasn't designed to do so. Apparently, we are hard-wired to resist change; it is built into our human nature. The harsh truth is that everything inside you will fight improvement; that is our physical, biological make-up.
So, with all that scientific reasoning of why we fail to keep our resolutions, what was the article author's final conclusion? He said, 

So why are we so bad at keeping New Year's resolutions? Part of it is human nature, but I'm convinced that the other part of it is that we experience resolutions as a kind of wishing. We have a daydream of what we desire to be in the future, and we hope, rather than will, that we get there. The difference is that the former requires a genie; the other requires that we stop looking for a magic carpet, find a map, and start walking to our destination.
Ingredients: A will and a roadmap!
I agree with the article's author. Most of us remain daydreamers of the good life and are merely wishful thinkers of the better life we all wanted to achieve. We simply lack the WILL to "get there."

Now, don't get me wrong. There are a LOT of people out there who are very good at keeping their goals and achieving what they want to have and be in life. A closer look in their lives, though, would reveal that they are successful because of the two ingredients mentioned--WILL and some sort of MAP!

Let's take a closer look into those main ingredients to success, shall we?

The BEST roadmap to life

If we really would sit and ponder about our resolutions we'd soon realize that each of them has something to do with improving the life we have HERE ON EARTH. We all want the better and happier life while on THIS SIDE of eternity. Yet, we all know that our pursuit of happiness and success here on earth is spiced up with all matters of troubles and tribulations. So, is there any hope for us at all to really attain that happiness we all constantly pursue? 

Well, let me share to you the BEST map for it all...

"1My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments:
2For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.
3Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; 
write them upon the table of thine heart:
4So shalt thou find favour and good understanding 
in the sight of God and man.
5Trust in the LORD with all thine heart
and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
7Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.
8It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.
9Honour the LORD with thy substance, 
and with the firstfruits of all thine increase:
10So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.
(Proverbs 3:1-10, KJV)

It doesn't take a scientist to figure that out. God's Words are simple and easy to understand. They are very easy to follow, too... BUT, (let's put the but here...) there's the second ingredient that is a requirement for success. The WILL to follow the roadmap laid out before us.

The WILL of the matter...

The question then boils down to this:

Are YOU willing to SUBMIT to God and do things HIS WAY 
when it comes to the pursuit of happiness and success?

The result will depend on your honest answer to that question. The roadmap is there, and all you need is your UTMOST WILLINGNESS to submit to His ways. Are YOU up for it? Remember, it ain't that easy because you aren't really WIRED for change and submission to authority.

Want some helpful hints for this new year's road to success? Here they are:

"The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be." (Romans 8:7)

"But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. " (1 Corinthians 2:14)

"That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." (John 3:6)

"Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again." (John 3:7)

And here are some helpful hints that will make the success go beyond this short-lived life on earth... here's to make it last for ALL ETERNITY...

"Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." (John 3:3)

" If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me." 
(Matthew 19:21)

"Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." 
(Matthew 6:19-21)

Want to get to where you want to be this New Year 2013 and beyond? 
God's Word gives us the roadmap! Do you have the WILL to follow Him?



Blog Widget by LinkWithin