Thursday, March 10, 2011

Cost of Pride

The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth I hate. - Proverbs 8:13

When pride comes, then comes shame; But with the humble is wisdom. - Proverbs 11:2

By pride comes nothing but strife, But with the well-advised is wisdom. -  Proverbs 13:10

In the mouth of a fool is a rod of pride, But the lips of the wise will preserve them. - Proverbs 14:3

Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall. - Proverbs 16:18

A proud and haughty man - "Scoffer" is his name; He acts with arrogant pride. - Proverbs 21:24

When reading these verses from Proverbs, it's obvious how God feels about pride. There is a difference between the kind of pride that God hates and the kind of pride we feel about a job well done. Pride that comes from self-righteousness is a sin and God hates it because it keeps us from seeking Him. Psalms 10:4 says, "The wicked in his proud countenance does not seek God; God is in none of his thoughts." The proud are so consumed with themselves that they have completely forgotten God. They are so blinded by their pride that they believe that they have no need of God.

Throughout the Bible, we are told about the consequences of pride. Proverbs 16:18 says, " Pride goes before destruction". Satan was cast out of heaven because of pride. He had the selfish idea that he could actually replace God as the ruler of the universe. But Satan will be cast into the lake of fire in the final judgement of God. For those who rise up in defiance against God, there is nothing ahead but disaster. It's time we stop praising ourselves and give praise to the One who deserves all the praise!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Meaning of Discipleship

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, - Matthew 28:19

Jesus, in this verse, gives us our orders. He gives us a job to do (He doesn't ask us, He commands us!). But how can we "make disciples" if we do not know the meaning of being a disciple? This is one of the first things we must learn if we are going to be effective workers for Jesus. So what exactly does it mean to be a disciple?

The meaning of being a disciple, in my opinion, is best described in Luke 9:23-24: "If anyone desires to come after Me. let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it." Jesus gives us the ingredients of discipleship:

Let him deny himself- This means to lose sight of self and refuse self. We must completely submit our entire lives to Jesus.

Take up his cross- The cross meant death. Galations 2:20 says, "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me."

Follow Me- Follow Jesus where? Everywhere! When? All the time!

In conclusion, we must ask ourselves two questions. First, am I a disciple? If the answer is yes, that brings us to the second question. Am I teaching others to be disciples?

Monday, March 7, 2011


Then Peter came to Him and said, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?" Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven." - Matthew 18:21-22

And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. - Ephesians 4:32

"Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, 'I repent,' you shall forgive him." - Luke 17:3-4

"For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespassed, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." - Matthew 6:14-15

Are you seeing a trend here? Yesterday we took our youth group to see a movie called The Grace Card. I recommend that everyone go and see this movie. It is an awesome story of grace and forgiveness. This movie literally had me in tears. I know I've talked on this subject before, but I can not express enough the importance of forgiveness. God commands us to follow Him and and forgive those who sin against us the same way that He forgives us when we sin against Him. Think about what Jesus said on the cross. "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do." These people were mocking Him, torturing Him, and killing Him. What did He do? He prayed for them. We all have people in our lives who have done us wrong but in order to have peace with ourselves and peace with God, we must find a way to forgive. Seek God and ask Him to help you overcome any anger or hate that you may be feeling toward someone.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Blessed Are Those Who Are Persecuted for Righteousness' Sake

The Eighth Beatitude
Blessed are they who are persecuted for righteousness' sake,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven

Jesus said many times that His followers will be persecuted. Jesus says in Matthew 5:11-12, "Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you."

At first glance, persecution seems horrible. There are many people around the world who are killed simply because they are a Christian. Persecution in the United States obvisiously isn't this bad, but Christians are looked down upon and laughed at in our society. We as Christians must learn to look past the persecution and look toward the rewards for being persecuted. Whenever we are facing persecution for our faith, we must remember Jesus' words "Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven".

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Blessed Are The Peacemakers

The Seventh Beatitude
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called sons of God

Peacemakers not only have love for God, but also love for all of mankind. God brings peace to His children and we, in turn, should be doing everything we can to bring peace to others. Not just other Christians, but everyone throughout the world.

The peacemakers realize that there is only one way that this world can have peace, and that is by trusting in Jesus Christ. What Jesus did on the cross was bring peace between not only God and man, but also between man and man. Christ's death tore the barrier of the veil at the entrance of the Holy of Holies from top to bottom and opened a way for us to have access to God, so that we can now come into the very presence of God and have peace with our Father. When we are at peace with God, we will be at peace with all men.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Blessed Are The Pure in Heart

The Sixth Beatitude
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they shall see God

Jesus says the pure in heart shall see God! Simple yet awesome! To be pure in heart means to be free of all selfish intentions and self-seeking desires. The pure in heart are those who are free from evil desires and evil purposes. How many times have any of us performed an act perfectly free of any personal gain? Such an act is pure love.

The entire Bible revolves around the central theme that the Lord looks at the heart of the person and not at their external appearance or their achievements. Pureness in heart can not be obtained on our own. In order to have a pure heart, we must be cleansed by God. Ask God to give you this pureness and to help you show this pureness throughout your entire life.