Showing posts with label Pride. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pride. Show all posts

Boasting Or Belittling

We all know how painful it is to be forced to listen to a confirmed boaster sound off on his favourite topic - himself. To be the captive of such a man even for a short time tries our patience to the utmost and puts a heavy strain upon our Christian charity.

Boasting is particularly offensive when it is heard among the children of God, the one place above all others where it should never be found. Yet it is quite common among Christians, though disguised somewhat by the use of the stock expression, “I say this to the glory of God.”

Some boasters appear to feel a bit self-conscious, and apologize meekly for their outbursts of self-praise. Others have accepted themselves as being all their doting relatives and friends claim they are, and habitually speak of themselves in reverent terms, as if their superiority was a matter of common knowledge too well established to require proof. Such a one was the concert singer who replied to a glowing compliment after a performance, “Well, what did you expect?”

God is very patient with His children and often tolerates in them carnal traits so gross as to shock their fellow Christians. But that is only for a while. As more light comes to our hearts, and especially as we go on to new and advanced spiritual experiences, God begins to impose disciplines upon us to purge us from the same faults He tolerated before. Then He permits us to say and do things that react unfavourably against us and expose our vanity for what it is.

It may then happen in the providential will of God that the very gift we have boasted of may be lost to us or the project we are so proud of will fail. After we have learned our lesson the Lord may restore what He has taken away, for He is more concerned with our souls than with our service. But sometimes our boasting permanently hurts us and excludes us from blessings we might have enjoyed.

Another habit not quite so odious is Belittling ourselves. This might seem to be the exact opposite of boasting, but actually it is the same old sin travelling under a nom de plume. It is simply egoism trying to act spiritual. It is impatient Saul hastily offering an unacceptable sacrifice to the Lord.

Self-derogation is bad for the reason that self must be there to derogate. Self, whether swaggering or groveling, can never be anything but hateful to God.

Boasting is an evidence that we are pleased with self; belittling, that we are disappointed in it. Either way we reveal that we have a high opinion of ourselves. The belittler is chagrined that one as obviously superior as he should not have done better, and he punishes himself by making uncomplimentary remarks about himself. That he does not really mean what he says may be proved quite easily. Let someone else say the same things. His eager defense of himself will reveal how he feels and has secretly felt all the time.

The victorious Christian neither exalts nor downgrades himself. His interests have shifted from self to Christ. What he is or is not no longer concerns him. He believes that he has been crucified with Christ and he is not willing either to praise or deprecate such a man.

Yet the knowledge that he has been crucified is only half the victory. “Nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Christ is now where the man’s ego was formerly. The man is now Christ-centered instead of self-centered, and he forgets himself in his delighted preoccupation with Christ.

Candour compels me to acknowledge that it is a lot easier to write about this than it is to live it. Self is one of the toughest plants that grow in the garden of life. It is, in fact, indestructible by any human means. Just when we are sure it is dead it turns up somewhere as robust as ever to trouble our peace and poison the fruit of our lives.

Yet there is deliverance. When our judicial crucifixion becomes actual the victory is near; and when our faith rises to claim the risen life of Christ as our own the triumph is complete. The trouble is that we do not receive the benefits of all this until something radical has happened in our own experience, something which in its psychological effects approaches actual crucifixion.

What Christ went through we also must go through. Rejection, surrender, loss, a violent detachment from the world, the pain of social ostracism - all must be felt in our actual experience.

Where we have failed is in the practical application of the teaching concerning the crucified life. Too many have been content to be armchair Christians, satisfied with the theology of the cross.

Plainly, Christ never intended that we should rest in a mere theory of self-denial. His teaching identified His disciples with Himself so intimately that they would have had to be extremely dull not to have understood that they were expected to experience very much the same pain and loss as He Himself did.

The healthy soul is the victorious soul and victory never comes while self is permitted to remain unjudged and uncrucified. While we boast or belittle we may be perfectly sure that the cross has not yet done its work within us. Faith and obedience will bring the cross into the life and cure both habits.

** Written by Aiden Wilson Tozer (A.W. Tozer) **
*** From the Book - "Man: The Dwelling Place of God" ***

...building the body of Christ

9 Ways To Break God's Heart - Part 2

Remember, we earlier discussed that God has a heart, and that it can be broken. He has a heart with emotions like you and I.

*** Please click: "HERE" to read '9 Ways to Break God's Heart 1' ***

These, however, in no way indicate weakness on the part of God (as in the case of man). He is Almighty and none there is beside Him. He forever remains the same but like us, He has a heart and it can be broken. Here is the continuation from where we stopped.

Don't break God's heart.

6. Believing in God less. It is better explained as believing in yourself more and in God less. Who wouldn’t buy the motivational tip-off that you have to believe in yourself to succeed in life? But here do we forget that:

a. “…For by strength shall no man prevail.” (1 Samuel 2:9)

b. “It depends not on one’s own willingness nor on his strenuous exertion as in running a race, but on God’s having mercy on him.” (Romans 9:16)

c. “…The race is not to the swift nor the battle to the strong, neither is bread to the wise nor riches to men of intelligence and understanding nor favour to men of skill; but time and chance happen to them all.” (Ecclesiastes 9:11); also check Psalm 33:16-19.

We allow motivational speakers cloud our thoughts with the “I can” spirit and place less emphasis on the “God can” spirit. It’s not wrong for one to believe in one’s self and abilities but it should be done to please God. Read what Apostle Paul said in 2 Corinthians 3:5-6 and understand better the position true believers should take in this regard. Also check (John 15:5-8; Proverbs 3:5-7; 16:3).

7. Denying Christ as the Saviour and Son of God. Arguments have gone viral as regards the person and identity of Jesus Christ. Recently, I read an article saying the Bible is false and that Christ was but a prophet like Jeremiah, Ezekiel and others. Some even doubt the miracles Jesus did, but then, everyone has a right to his or her own opinions.

True believers know better and can distinguish between Christ and Caesar. The entirety of the Bible centres of Jesus Christ as the Saviour and clearly tells of His person. However, due to controversies and my dearth of knowledge on this topic, I would crave your pardon to speak less on this but urge you study these Bible references with godly understanding (Isaiah 9:6; 40:9-11; 53:1-12; Luke 2:11; John 1:1-5; 10:7-42; Acts 4:12; Zechariah 6:12-13; and too many to mention). May the Holy Spirit guide you as you study and meditate on the truth of the Word.

8. Deceiving people about resurrection. Don’t be deceived; heaven and hell are real and disregard anyone telling you otherwise. Take not lightly the Gospel according to Luke account on this topic, though the book of Revelation says more that should convince you.

“And it occurred that the man begging died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. And in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far away and Lazarus in his bosom.

“And he cried out and said, Father Abraham, have pity and mercy on me … for I am in anguish in this flame.” (Luke 16:22-24). Have you ever wondered what happens when your soul and spirit leaves the body? Where do you go after this life?

If in doubt whether you are a triune being or not – a spirit created in the image of God with a soul and dwelling in a body of clay – check 1 Thessalonians 5:23. And for further information on this, send us a message via the truth media and let’s encourage one another. We would love to hear from you.

9. Backsliding. Lastly, what can also break God’s heart is backsliding. “Remember Lot’s wife” (Luke 17:32; Genesis 19:26). The plan of our adversary, the devil, is to make us turn back from following Christ. His plan is to kill, steal and destroy and to make believers lose their salvation and grace by faith in Christ.

No wonder our Master, Jesus Christ, has urged us to watch and pray (Mark 14:38). The devil prowls like a roaring lion, seeking someone to seize upon and devour. (1 Peter 5:8-9). His targets are not those who dwell in sin-they are already his property till they accept God’s grace by faith in Christ- but Christians whom have given up the life of sin for a life of salvation, grace, peace and triumph in Christ.

In your walk with God, don’t stop trailing the narrow way. Though it’s hard and tiring, continue; though it’s filled with thorns and spikes, continue and don’t stop until you have truly won Christ like Apostle Paul (Philippians 3:7-14).

“Press on towards the goal to win the prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us, all true believers in Christ, to attain (Philippians 3:14), and do not forget that “it is only those who endure till the end that will be saved. (Matthew 10:22; 24:13).

Why should you die my friend? If you are yet to know Jesus Christ, you are breaking God’s heart. And until you do, you really have no life in you. Come to Jesus and find rest for your soul and life eternal (Matthew 11:28; Romans 6:23).

To all my brothers and sisters in Christ, run with patience and perseverance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:1-2). Don’t be conformed to this world or the things in it; don’t yield to the flesh anymore, for you have been bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6:18-20).

Hold on to the Saviour, Jesus; cast all your cares and burdens on Him and let not these words stop ringing in your head that: “No one who puts his hands to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62).

Examine and be true to yourself now and determine whether your life has been breaking God’s heart, or you have been applauding those who wallow in sin. “The end of all things has now come near…” (1 Peter 4:7). Is your life pleasing to the Lord?

Remember, “…each of us shall give an account of himself or herself to God” (Romans 14:12; 2:6; 2 Corinthians 5:10). It is my prayer that you reading this piece make it to heaven eventually, for that’s where I am headed and shall attain by His grace. Don’t break God’s heart!

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the presence of the Holy Spirit be with you brethren. Amen.

*** Written by: Jacobs Adewale  (Admin) ***

Thanks for reading. Feel free to share, leave your comments, replies and suggestions. We would love to hear from you.

...building the body of Christ

9 Ways To Break God's Heart - Part 1

Don't break God's heart.

Isn’t it startling to know God Almighty (the Omniscient Creator of the entire universe), like you and I, has a heart and that it can be broken like that of Amanda who caught James, her boyfriend, under lust’s arrest in an impious coitus with her best friend?

Although He is a Spirit being (John 4:24), but God has a heart with emotions. He feels like us – He gets angry (Deuteronomy 6:15, Exodus 32:10); He laughs (Proverbs 1:26); He grieves (Genesis 6:6-7); He is jealous (Deuteronomy 6:15); and of all these features, He loves the most (John 3:16, Isaiah 43:4, Romans 5:8).

All these, however, in no way indicate weakness on the part of God (as in the case of man). He is Almighty and none there is beside Him. He forever remains the same but like us, He has a heart and it can be broken. Though, it can’t be broken to such an extent that He suddenly hibernates and stops being God. It’s different from that.

That’s why God takes the heart and matters of the heart seriously, and He doesn’t take it lightly when someone breaks His by acts of commission or omission. Hence, here are 9 ways I discovered (not limited to these) on how one can break God’s heart but with a warning that you flee from them all or face God’s wrath.

1. Living a life of sin and unrepentance. “…All have sinned and are falling short of the glory of God which God bestows” (Romans 3:23). From the days of Adam and Eve, sin has gained free rein in the life of man and its wage -death- has been unbearable.

Our world is perverse, corrupt and polluted. In the midst of a crooked and wicked generation, darkness and all forms of immorality rule. Entropy is the day’s order and our institutions - families, schools, churches, and the society at large are the victims.

Sodomy as in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah has returned. There is evil in high places, murder, assassinations, rape, drunkenness, lewdness, envy, strife, malice, infidelity, homosexuality and lesbianism, absurdity, greed, deceit, etc. and all these only draw the wrath and indignation of God.

Yet, like the rebellious Israelites of old (Ezekiel 2:3-8), the world fails to repent and forsake its sinful ways. People fail to “honour and glorify God…instead, they become futile and godless in their thinking… Though they are fully aware of God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve to die, they not only do them themselves but approve and applaud others who practise them.” (Romans 1:18-32). And it breaks the heart of God to see such ungodliness in the world.

2. Searing your heart. “The grace of God has appeared for the deliverance from sin and the eternal salvation for all mankind. It has trained us to reject and renounce all ungodliness and worldly desires, to live discreet, upright, devout lives in this present world…” (Titus 2:11-12), but we still have some who ignore and repel the good news (Gospel) of Christ, God’s power working unto salvation to everyone who believes (Romans 1:16).

Such people as stated in 2 Timothy 4 are those who will not tolerate sound instruction (doctrine), but having ears itchy… and will turn aside from hearing the truth and wander off into myths and man-made fictions. They have seared their hearts and won’t forsake devil’s bait. Their end is hell and this breaks God’s heart too.

3. Religious but not righteous. These are the Scribes and the Pharisees that the Bible talks about. Sadly, they exit till date and go about bringing ridicule to the body of Christ.

They don’t miss Bible studies; they are the first to come to church on Sundays to help clean the pews; they are never absent in vigils; Always ready for evangelism and stand in the fore front of promoting denominational doctrines. However, no ounce of righteousness is in their veins and blood.

The ‘Timothy’ you see in the church is a thief outside; a Christian on Sunday but a criminal on Monday; a pastor to the congregation but a pagan in his village; a saint he or she may appear but a subtle sinner within. They are religious but not righteous. The Lord identifies with righteousness and even stated that “the righteous shall live by faith” (Roman 1:17; Galatians 3:11) and to behold religiousness without righteousness sickens the Lord. Thus, it breaks His heart.

4. Preaching but don’t practicing. This is similar to point three in a way but with few distinctions. It still speaks of the so called believers who are deceivers of themselves and others; Christians that are strangers to Christ; holding a form of piety but are strangers to the power of it (2 Timothy 3:5).

The Gospel according to Matthew 23 reveals even better their guiles and wiles. “Observe and practice all they tell you; but do not do what they do, for they preach but do not practice (Matthew 23:3).  Some are cowardly enough to say to their followers: “do as I say but don’t do as I do”. And you wonder when such people claim to be truly born again?

5. Craving to fit in. I have heard people say countless of times that ‘if you are not informed, you will be deformed’. There is, however, an element of sense in this statement but sadly enough, most people misconstrue it for wading with the flow and copycatting the throng in doing irrational things.

Here do you have our lads sagging; ladies on spaghetti and bikinis openly without an iota of decency and feminine pride; invention of naked fashion as seen by contemporary celebrities (especially in the entertainment sphere) whom our teens forlornly take as role models; and all sorts of decadence and profligacies nameless to mention.

Our generation is bedeviled by all of these as God watches from heaven daily and grieves in His heart that man could stoop as low as mere animals in conduct and behaviours regarding appearance and lifestyle.

*** Please click: "HERE" to read '9 Ways to Break God's Heart 2' ***

*** Written by Jacobs Adewale (Admin) ***

Thanks for reading. Feel free to share, leave your reactions, replies, suggestions and comments. We would love to hear from you.

...building the body of Christ