Saturday, March 19, 2011

On Pride

Last week at Church in the Oaks we started a series on the biblical basis of community. This week is my turn in the preaching rotation and the topic I have is "Humility".

What a broad topic and why did I ever agree to preach on it?! As soon as someone claims to have some insight or advice on the topic of humility I would assume that person automatically disqualified from teaching on it!

I have struggled through that thought quite a bit this week as God uses this opportunity to expose the deep seeded rebellion and pride in my heart.

James 4:6 and 1 Peter 5:5 are familiar passages to most of us: "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."

If you're like me and grew up in church a lot of these incredibly powerful verses no longer penetrate the heart as they should. Think about what that is saying though...

The all-powerful Creator of the universe stands in opposition to the proud but grants extended grace to those who come before Him humbly.

First of all, it is a terrifying thing to think that my pride puts me at opposition with God. CJ Mahaney gives an explanation for why this is when he explains that pride is, "at its root, me competing for supremacy with God." Imagine the righteous opposition that would arise as a created being battles in His own mind and heart and spirit with the omniscient God for areas of supremacy.

On the positive end of this promise however, it is amazing think that we can strive for a virtue that catches the gaze of our Creator. That He pours out His grace and bolsters the efforts and spirits of the man who seeks humility before God.

This verse is an incredible insight in to the character of God. It makes my prayer all the more fervent: "May I love the things you love and hate the things you hate". This week has certainly expanded my love for and desire to obtain humility, and expanded my disdain for the pride so prevalent in my own life.

I will end with insight by Jonathan Edwards:

· [Pride is] “the worst viper that is in the heart”, and “the greatest disturber of the soul’s peace and sweet communion with Christ”; he ranked pride as the most difficult sin to root out and “the most hidden, secret and deceitful of all lusts, for what a foolish, silly, miserable, blind, decieved, poor worm am I, when pride works within me."


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