Feb 5, 2016
Feb 5, 2016
1 Peter 5:1-7
To humble ourselves, we must first be willing to detect pride in our heart. But recognizing it isn’t the same as getting rid of it. Here are several common areas of pride and some solutions for dealing with them.
Possessions. Start giving things away. We can begin by honoring God with our tithe. He promises that our nine-tenths will go farther than ten-tenths. The next step is to give to someone in need who can give nothing in return. But don’t parade your generosity around; keep it as secret as you can (Matt. 6:1-4).
Position. Acknowledge that whatever you have accomplished, God has done it for you (Isa. 26:12). Then ask Him to show you an area of service that has no rank or credit. Knowing that the Lord values every kind of service, we shouldn’t hesitate to request a place that is lower than we’re accustomed to. Our position in this world matters only to the extent that we use it to glorify God (James 1:9-11).
Privilege. Realize that many things you may take pride in come through privilege. None of us is truly “self-made”; no matter how hard you’ve worked, others have made sacrifices to allow you the opportunities and freedoms you enjoy. Remember, it is actually God’s grace that has blessed you with whatever knowledge you may credit yourself for having.
No matter what kind of pride we deal with, we must take the focus off of ourselves, turning it first to God and then to others. When we are willing to confront our pride actively, God will replace it with a spirit of humility that fits who we are in Christ.
“Which alone spreadeth out the heavens, and treadeth upon the waves of the sea. Which maketh Arcturus, Orion, and Pleiades, and the chambers of the south.” (Job 9:8-9)
The book of Job is the oldest book in the Bible. It is not surprising, therefore, that it contains a number of references to creation and the Flood, for these great events were still relatively fresh in the thinking of Job and his contemporaries. The first of these creation references in Job is our text above, and it is remarkable that it centers especially on the stars and their constellations. Still another constellation is mentioned in Job 26:13: “By his spirit he hath garnished the heavens; his hand hath formed the crooked serpent.” Finally: “Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion? Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth in his season? or canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons? Knowest thou the ordinances of heaven? canst thou set the dominion thereof in the earth?” (Job 38:31-33). The term “Mazzaroth” actually means the twelve constellations of the Zodiac.
Thus, God not only created the stars, but arranged them in star groupings that could be used for “signs, and for seasons” (Genesis 1:14). Since God does nothing without a holy purpose, we can be sure that these sidereal signs were not to be used as astrological signs. God’s Word, in fact, forbids the practice of astrology (e.g., Isaiah 47:12-14). The constellations must all in some way have testified of the coming Savior. “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6).
Before the Scriptures were given, the testimony of God’s primeval promises had somehow been written indelibly in the heavens, for those in Earth’s earliest ages who had eyes and hearts to see. HMM
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. —Genesis 1:1
I am positively sure after many years of observation and prayer that the basis of all of our trouble today, in religious circles, is that our God is too small.
When he says magnify the Lord, he doesn’t mean that you are to make God big, but you are to see Him big. When we take a telescope and look at a star, we don’t make the star bigger, we only see it big. Likewise you cannot make God bigger, but you are only to see Him bigger….
What is the most important verse in the Bible? It is not the one you think it is: “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” (Hebrews 13:8). Nor is it the other one you think it is: John 3:16, “For God so loved the world….” The most important verse in the Bible is this one: “In the beginning God…” (Genesis 1:1). That is the most important verse, because that is where everything must begin. God is the mountain out of which everything springs, and He is the foundation upon which everything rests. God is all in all.
Lord, I fall to my knees in worship before the God who is all in all, the great Creator and Foundation upon which everything rests. May I see you bigger today, I pray. Amen.
Your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. (1 Corinthians 2:5)
When we study the New Testament record, we see plainly that Christ’s conflict was with the theological rationalists of His day.
John’s gospel record is actually a long, inspired, passionately-outpoured account trying to save us from evangelical rationalism—the doctrine that says the text is enough.
Divine revelation is the ground upon which we stand. The Bible is the book of God and I stand for it with all my heart; but before I can be saved, there must be illumination, penitence, renewal, inward deliverance.
In our Christendom, we have tried to ease many people into the kingdom but they have never been renewed within their own beings. The Apostle Paul told the Corinthians that their faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God! There is a difference.
We must insist that conversion to Christ is a miraculous act of God by the Holy Spirit—it must be wrought in the Spirit. There must be an inward illumination!
The book of nature is an expression of the thoughts of God. We have God’s terrible thoughts in the thunder and lightning; God’s loving thoughts in the sunshine and the balmy breeze; God’s bounteous, prudent, careful thoughts in the waving harvest and in the ripening meadow. We have God’s brilliant thoughts in the wondrous scenes which are beheld from mountaintop and valley; and we have God’s most sweet and pleasant thoughts of beauty in the little flowers that blossom at our feet. “God giveth us richly all things to enjoy.”