Posts Tagged ‘Pride’


Deuteronomy 8 (NLT) “Be careful to obey all the commands I am giving you today. Then you will live and multiply, and you will enter and occupy the land the LORD swore to give your ancestors… Yes, he humbled you by letting you go hungry and then feeding you with manna, a food previously unknown to you and your ancestors. He did it to teach you that people do not live by bread alone; rather, we live by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. For all these forty years your clothes didn’t wear out, and your feet didn’t blister or swell. Think about it: Just as a parent disciplines a child, the LORD your God disciplines you for your own good. “So obey the commands of the LORD your God by walking in his ways and fearing him. For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land of flowing streams and pools of water, with fountains and springs that gush out in the valleys and hills. It is a land of wheat and barley; of grapevines, fig trees, and pomegranates; of olive oil and honey. It is a land where food is plentiful and nothing is lacking… “But that is the time to be careful! Beware that in your plenty you do not forget the LORD your God and disobey his commands, regulations, and decrees that I am giving you today. For when you have become full and prosperous and have built fine homes to live in, and when your flocks and herds have become very large and your silver and gold have multiplied along with everything else, be careful! Do not become proud at that time and forget the LORD your God, who rescued you from slavery in the land of Egypt. Do not forget that he led you through the great and terrifying wilderness with its poisonous snakes and scorpions, where it was so hot and dry. He gave you water from the rock!… “But I assure you of this: If you ever forget the LORD your God and follow other gods, worshiping and bowing down to them, you will certainly be destroyed. Just as the LORD has destroyed other nations in your path, you also will be destroyed if you refuse to obey the LORD your God.

The Israelites barely were at the borders of their promised land and had not hasted the fruits of what God was to give them. Is that the time to lecture them and of course they wouldn’t forget God after all He did for them. Would they? (more…)


Numbers 22:1,2,6,12,13,16-20,22,28,32,33,37 Then the people of Israel traveled to the plains of Moab and camped east of the Jordan River, across from Jericho. Balak son of Zippor, the Moabite king, had seen everything the Israelites did to the Amorites… “Please come and curse these people for me because they are too powerful for me. Then perhaps I will be able to conquer them and drive them from the land. I know that blessings fall on any people you bless, and curses fall on people you curse”… But God told Balaam, “Do not go with them. You are not to curse these people, for they have been blessed!” The next morning Balaam got up and told Balak’s officials, “Go on home! The Lord will not let me go with you”… They went to Balaam and delivered this message to him: “This is what Balak son of Zippor says: Please don’t let anything stop you from coming to help me. I will pay you very well and do whatever you tell me. Just come and curse these people for me!” But Balaam responded to Balak’s messengers, “Even if Balak were to give me his palace filled with silver and gold, I would be powerless to do anything against the will of the Lord my God. But stay here one more night, and I will see if the Lord has anything else to say to me.” That night God came to Balaam and told him, “Since these men have come for you, get up and go with them. But do only what I tell you to do”… But God was angry that Balaam was going, so he sent the angel of the Lord to stand in the road to block his way. As Balaam and two servants were riding along… Then the Lord gave the donkey the ability to speak. “What have I done to you that deserves your beating me three times?” it asked Balaam… “Why did you beat your donkey those three times?” the angel of the Lord demanded. “Look, I have come to block your way because you are stubbornly resisting me. Three times the donkey saw me and shied away; otherwise, I would certainly have killed you by now and spared the donkey”… “Didn’t I send you an urgent invitation? Why didn’t you come right away?” Balak asked Balaam. “Didn’t you believe me when I said I would reward you richly?” Balaam replied, “Look, now I have come, but I have no power to say whatever I want. I will speak only the message that God puts in my mouth.”

A bizarre story it seems and what is with all the confusion about God saying go and then threatening Balaam with death when he does go? How does this relate to us today? (more…)


1 Corinthians 4:6-7
Now, brothers, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, “Do not go beyond what is written.” Then you will not take pride in one man over against another. For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?

Paul continues in his letter to the church in Corinth and to us today where he reminds us that we are servants of Christ Jesus entrusted with the secret things of God and that we are not to judge others because only Christ can judge and reward us as He can see the motives of our hearts. He also warns us not to go beyond what is written in God’s word and this is critical to us today in our walk with the Lord. We are ‘Glory Thieves’ and our desire is to always make ourselves look better in the eyes of man and in this pursuit we twist even the word of God to our benefit.

As I was riding back on the train yesterday afternoon, I tried to read a book but was distracted by the ambient noise of people chattering. I put down my book and listened to what was being discussed. The train was full of everyday people who regularly travelled together and conversations included issues in their workplaces, relationships, homes, lousy weather, busy weekends, endless chores and more. When I looked outside, I noticed that we were traveling through a picturesque landscape of mountains, waterways, colourful flora and fauna, quiet towns and a beautiful life, which few were able to see because they were consumed by the pains of the lives. Do we really appreciate what God has blessed us with and is life not much more than just our problems? Let’s refocus our eyes on Him and live for Him and lets us not be blinded by our problems but instead share the joy we have abounding within us through our relationship with Jesus!

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy


John 3:25-30
An argument developed between some of John’s disciples and a certain Jew over the matter of ceremonial washing. They came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan—the one you testified about—well, he is baptizing, and everyone is going to him.” To this John replied, “A man can receive only what is given him from heaven. You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Christ but am sent ahead of him.’ The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. He must become greater; I must become less.

John the baptist certainly was no ordinary man and it is interesting how he deals with loss of respect and position. John (A disciple of Jesus and the writer of this gospel) captures the essence of the situation well in this passage above. The arguing parties were John the baptist’s own disciples with a Jew and how good it must’ve felt for him to note that his disciples were supporting him. However, without a moment’s notice, John the baptist corrects his disciples and the Jew that he is only a close associate of the groom, Jesus Christ, who is the long awaited messiah and his joy is to prepare the way for the groom to meet his bride, Israel. The last statement he makes, however, is the toughest one for any follower of Christ to make until they understand the inverted perspective of God’s kingdom. Less of us and more of HIM.

In life we are constantly battling situations to improve and enhance ourselves, our means, our position, our wealth, our comforts, etc. However, when we submit our lives to Christ, we recognize our brokenness and are testifying to God’s abundant grace (Unmerited favor) for our sinfulness and we are made a new creation in him. This new creation is purposed to serve God and not self. We are called to give God the glory and not ourselves. When we serve God in our lives, he will provide for our every need and will be the one who gives and takes away. God is no genie in a bottle who works for our glory but it’s the reverse. I pray today that we would live by the same motto, More of Jesus and less of me!

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

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Distant Horizon


Luke 18:9-14
To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

It might never seem that we could ever be like the Pharisee in our life or walk with the Lord but the reality is that this is how we perceive ourselves because we look at our lives in the mirror of our sinful minds and it conveniently misses showing us our brokenness. Before accepting Christ, we live in a comfortable belief that we are “NOT SO BAD” people but after accepting Christ, that realization changes 360 degrees because we are able to look at ourselves through the mirror of God, the perfect mirror that hides nothing from us. For you, if you are not in a relationship with Christ, the answer is simple. It’s a matter of choice of whether you choose to live in the peace and oblivion of your sin and not worry about your future or you choose to reflect on your brokenness and ask Jesus to be your savior and forgive your sins, cleanse you by his shed blood on the cross, clothe you in his righteousness, make you a new creation, fill you with the holy spirit to direct you and live for his glory now here on earth and in heaven in his glorious presence. What if you are saved? What is his message for you today?

One of the greatest challenges we face in life is pride. Most people suffer from it because we are always trying to look out for ourselves, our needs and recognition and therefore pride is a stumbling block we never seem to get over. However, in God’s kingdom, pride has no place in our lives. The very fact that we call ourselves believers is an admission to the fact that we fell short of God’s goodness and nothing can change that. However, our minds convince us that we know enough about the Lord and now that we are saved we don’t need to do anything, or, we get busy living that we forget spending time with the Lord, or, we get so caught up in studying God’s word for intellectual purposes that we forget to apply it in our daily lives, etc. All of this causes us to see the unsaved people around us with distorted eyes. We try to differentiate ourselves from them and feel like we are better off. However, today we are warned that we like them are sinners saved by God’s grace and nothing we do can make us good. We need to look at others through the merciful eyes of our Lord and love them. What is the greatest commandment Jesus taught us (Matthew 22:37-39)?

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

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A Rough But Certain Path


Luke 11:5-10
Then he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and he goes to him at midnight and says, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have nothing to set before him.’ “Then the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children are with me in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ I tell you, though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend, yet because of the man’s boldness he will get up and give him as much as he needs. “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

As I continue to read about the life of John (The apostle), I am reminded of the reality that we are going to be fighting our sinful flesh until the end of our human lives although the battles we face are not the ones we faced before. John and his brother were referred to as Sons of Thunder and they were both quick to anger. As I study his character, I can see that this was something he continued to deal with although the issue later in his life was dealing with people who preached false doctrines and gnosticism. What’s the connection to today’s passage you might wonder and I better explain. We in our walk with the Lord are constantly learning. The one thing we cannot ever let creep in is pride in who we are and what we have accomplished. Pride prevents us from learning with an open mind and today’s scripture might be an old and familiar one but we need to read and learn it with baby eyes as with all scripture.

I am between jobs and one of the thoughts I recently had was that I should commit my problems to the Lord and forget about them and he would work them out in his time. However, this morning I am reminded that I need to boldly ask the Lord who owns the cattle on a thousand hills to provide and believe that he will bless us perfectly. This same God is like our own parents who when we ask for help sincerely will drop all they are doing to provide the best they can. I often felt my parents were hard on me and dint give me all that I asked for but when I asked for what was right, they never stopped short. Even today, my Mom gives more than she receives and in comparison to them, imagine God who gives only the best and all we need to do is ask sincerely. Are you in need of God’s blessing in your life? Lets ask God boldly and shamelessly because we are now God’s own children!

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

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Lighthouse in Dark Times