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Love Is Not Proud- Daily Devotional by Pastor Lee

Love… is not proud. This was the focus of our Zoom kids club this past Tuesday. Pride can be such a pernicious thing. We often easily spot it in others, yet fail to see it in ourselves. This morning I thought it might be helpful to rediscover some things about pride. In her article What the Bible says about Pride, writer and author, Meg Bucher, describes pride as “a high opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority whether as cherished in the mind or displayed in conduct.”  In Mark 7:21-22, Jesus teaches that pride is one of the “vile” things that comes out of our heart and defiles us. The easily spotted displays of pride include boasting in one’s own accomplishments, putting ourselves first, being rude or inconsiderate, or worse yet, delighting in evil.   The sneakier side of pride can mask itself as craving compliments, a paralyzing fear of failure, having an overly critical view of self, or loathing the way God made you. As I tried to boil down a simple definition of pride for the kids last Tuesday, I landed on this definition. Pride is living for “me”. It says, “I’m in charge!” It always looks for what’s best for “me”!
The painful reality is that pride is wrapped into the very nature of our being. Pride poised itself the moment the first man and woman doubted God’s goodness and believed the lie that they could be like God. Once they chose their way over obedience to God, everything changed. It’s hard to wrap my mind around all that was lost in that moment, but the short version is that God’s perfect world was corrupted.  Unfortunately, God continually gets blamed for something He didn’t do. 
Here are just a few things we learn about pride from the Scriptures:
  • Pride is one of the 7 things God hates. (Proverbs 6:16-19)
  • Pride goes before destruction.  (Proverbs 16:18)
  • God opposes the proud. (James 4:6)
The Good News is that Jesus came to rescue!  Jesus lived a life of perfect obedience to God in order to make a way for us to be reconciled to God. He took the full wrath God feels against our pride upon Himself on the cross.
The Apostle Paul put it this way in 2 Corinthians 5:21:
For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.  
What an awesome gift. Once we receive that gift, Jesus calls us to live out His humility by faith. If you’re like me, you may be seeing that pride has more of a hold on you than you realized. What is the pathway to deliverance? Well, last Tuesday we looked at how God humbled King Nebuchadnezzar. His pride literally caused him to be turned into a beast. Hmmm… does that sound like anyone in your home? Well, there’s hope even for that beast.
The way out for him is the same way out for us. We’ve got to humble ourselves before God. This means full disclosure to God and to those we’ve offended. It also means standing against the lies of the enemy. James 4:7-10 puts it this way: 
So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up in honor.  
And what does that look like today? We saw a glimpse of it last Tuesday night in our small group time.  We asked the kids what are the things God wants them to do, but they’re not doing. You wouldn’t believe their humility, their complete honesty, their eagerness to share–which was so contagious that they were talking over each other! Wow! I guess that’s what Jesus meant when He spoke about us becoming like little children. If only we would be so humble, so honest, so readily eager to pray for God’s help…surely we would eradicate the beast!

So here’s the challenge, let’s ask God to help us see the ugliness of our pride and how it’s grieving Him, hurting us, and hurting others. Then let’s grieve over it as we confess it to Him, turn from it, and make things right with those around us. There is no greater joy than daily putting on the humility of Jesus by faith. 
God, would you be the boss over us today! Help us to walk humbly with you.
Pastor Lee

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