Charles Stanley –The Landmine of Pride

 

Proverbs 16:17-20

The Christian life is like a long walk that begins at salvation and ends in heaven, and along the way are obstacles to overcome and dangers to avoid. One such hazard is the spiritual landmine of pride. It is like an explosive device that’s been buried in the ground to cause great physical harm—pride may lie hidden and unrecognized in our heart, causing great spiritual damage in both our life and our relationship with the Lord.

Our enemy Satan lays spiritual landmines in our path to trip us up, and one of his most effective ones is pride. Therefore, it’s imperative that we learn to detect it quickly in order to guard against sin. Often we are slow to see and admit that we have a problem with pride, because it tends to hide behind feelings of inadequacy.

Whatever the form, pride is all about self. It may be displayed with loud self-promotion or quiet self-reflection, but the root is the same. It’s a vain attempt to fill an area of personal emptiness. But God alone can fill that void, and the only way to come to Him is in humility.

Proverbs 16:5 says, “Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord.” That’s why we cannot serve Him while clinging to our own self-importance. When God is given second place in our life, the work of the Holy Spirit is hindered. Then we make foolish mistakes because we are focused not on Him but on ourselves.

The key to overcoming pride is to fix our eyes on God and the depth of His character. He alone is worthy of all exaltation.

Bible in One Year: Genesis 39-41

 

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Our Daily Bread — Jesus Is Right Behind You

 

Bible in a Year:Genesis 29–30; Matthew 9:1–17

Whatever you did for one of the least of these . . . you did for me.

Matthew 25:40

Today’s Scripture & Insight:

Matthew 25:37-40

My daughter was ready for school a little earlier than usual, so she asked if we could stop by the coffee shop on our way. I agreed. As we approached the drive-thru lane, I said, “Do you feel like spreading some joy this morning?” She said, “Sure.”

We placed our order, then pulled up to the window where the barista told us what we owed. I said, “We’d like to pay for the young woman’s order behind us too.” My daughter had a huge smile on her face.

In the grand scheme of things, a cup of coffee may not seem like a big deal. Or is it? I wonder, could this be one way we carry out Jesus’s desire for us to care for those He called “the least of these”? (Matthew 25:40). Here’s a thought: How about simply considering the person behind us or next in line a worthy candidate? And then do “whatever”—maybe it’s a cup of coffee, maybe it’s something more, maybe something less. But when Jesus said “whatever you did” (v. 40) that gives us a great deal of freedom in serving Him while serving others.

As we drove away we caught the faces of the young woman behind us and the barista as she handed over the coffee. They were both grinning from ear to ear.

By John Blase

Today’s Reflection

Lord, help me not to overthink serving others. Sometimes the small, simple things mean more than I’ll ever know. And help me to remember that whatever I do for others, I’m doing for You.

 

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Joyce Meyer – No More Self-Doubt

 

And David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because all the people were bitter in soul, each for his sons and daughters. But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God. — 1 Samuel 30:6

Adapted from the resource Closer to God Each Day Devotional – by Joyce Meyer

If we don’t believe in ourselves—in the talents and abilities God has given us—who is going to? God believes in us, and it’s a good thing too; otherwise, we might never make any progress. We cannot always wait for someone else to come along and encourage us to be all we can be.

When David and his men found themselves in a seemingly hopeless situation, which the men blamed on him, David encouraged and strengthened himself in the Lord. Later on, that situation was totally turned around (see 1 Samuel 30:1–20).

When David was just a boy, everyone around him discouraged him concerning his ability to fight Goliath. They told him he was too young and too inexperienced, and he didn’t have the right armor or the right weapons. But David was close to God and had confidence in Him. David believed that God would be strong on his behalf and give him the victory.

Self-doubt is absolutely tormenting, but we can rid ourselves of it. Like David, we can learn to know our God—about His love, His ways, and His Word—then ultimately we can trust that He will provide us with the strength we need.

Prayer Starter: Father, You know everything about me—every insecurity, weakness and fear. Help me to be sufficient in Your love and strength today. Help me to grow stronger and more confident as I continue to know You in a greater way. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Be Strong in Character

 

“Dear brothers, is your life full of difficulties and temptations? Then be happy, for when the way is rough, your patience has a chance to grow. So let it grow, and don’t try to squirm out of your problems. For when your patience is finally in full bloom, then you will be ready for anything, strong in character, full and complete” (James 1:2-4).

A friend of mine had been very successful in business, but after he became a Christian everything seemed to go wrong. Problem after problem seemed to plague him. Yet he never seemed to be discouraged or defeated.

As we counseled together, he assured me that there was no unconfessed sin in his life. So I rejoiced with him that God was preparing him for a very important responsibility in His kingdom. That is exactly what happened. He is now the director of a very fruitful ministry for our Lord. The problems and testing served to help equip him to be a better ambassador for Christ.

If you are experiencing difficulties in your life – physical illness, loss of loved ones, financial adversity – remember the above admonition from God’s Word. Be happy, knowing that God will work in your life to accomplish His holy purpose.

You can decide how you will respond to problems and temptations – you can either become critical and cynical, or as an act of the will, by faith, you can choose to believe that our sovereign, loving God is allowing this to happen in your life for your own good and for His glory.

Even the hairs of your head are numbered. “His eyes run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him” (2 Chronicles 16:9, KJV). He is tender, loving and compassionate, concerned about your every need.

Bible Reading:James 1:5-12

Today’s Action Point: When difficulties and temptations enter into my life I will – as an act of the will, by faith in God’s faithfulness to His promises – rejoice and be glad, knowing that He is always with me and will never forsake me. As I trust Him and obey Him, he will supernaturally turn tragedy to triumph, and He will change heartache and sorrow to joy and rejoicing. I will trust Him in the darkest night of circumstances.

 

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