VIDEO Landmines – Pride Has Deceived You

Landmines

The pride of your heart has deceived you. Obadiah 1:3

“Each morning, the enemy lays out his landmines in our lives,” wrote Dr. Charles Stanley. “If we are not discerning, we will fall prey to his tactics. The landmine of pride can tear a gaping hole in the life of the person who yields to its folly. It is one of Satan’s chief modes of operation and favorite weapons of warfare because it tempts us to take our eyes off God and place them on ourselves.”1

Pride is so deceptive that it destroyed the reputation of the powerful angel, Lucifer, who said, “I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God” (Isaiah 14:13). The sin of pride and arrogance caused Satan to become the epitome of evil today. It’s a reminder that we should never seek to be above others, but we’re to seek to serve as Christ served.

If you have gifts, accomplishments, honors, blessings, and influence, make them matters of thanksgiving and recognize them as gifts from God to use in the service of Christ. Keep your eyes on Jesus and live a life of humble thanksgiving and Christ-centered service.

Pride always overemphasizes self. Our hearts need to be God-focused and not self-focused. Charles Stanley

  1. Charles Stanley, Landmines in the Path of the Believer (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2007), quotes from chapter 2.

Pride Has Deceived You by Shane Idleman

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Fathers and Sons

He will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers. Malachi 4:6 esv

My father was a good father, and, in most respects, I was a dutiful son. But I allowed my father to starve for the one thing I could have given him: myself.

He was a quiet man; I was equally silent. We often worked for hours side-by-side with scarcely a word passing between us. He never asked; I never told him my deepest desires and dreams, my hopes and fears.

In time I woke up to my reticence. Perhaps the perception came when my first son was born, or when, one by one, my sons went out into the world. Now I wish I had been more of a son to my father.

I think of all the things I could have told him. And all the things he could have told me. At his funeral I stood beside his casket, struggling to understand my emotions. “It’s too late, isn’t it?” my wife said quietly. “Exactly.”

My comfort lies in the fact that we’ll be able to set things right in heaven, for is that not where every tear will be wiped away? (Revelation 21:4).

For believers in Jesus, death is not the end of affection but the beginning of timeless existence in which there will be no more misunderstandings; relationships will be healed and love will grow forever. There, the hearts of sons will turn to their fathers and the hearts of fathers to their sons (Malachi 4:6).

Father, thank You for forgiving me and allowing me to experience a restored relationship with You. Help me to seek reconciliation in my broken relationships and deeper connections with others close to me even as I await the healing that will come in Your presence.

In God’s power and love, draw closer to others while there’s time.

By David H. Roper 

INSIGHT

Scripture is very realistic about the difficulty of reconciliation. A community made up of broken people (Ephesians 4:17–24) will struggle with unity. Still, Christ’s victory over all evil (vv. 7–10)—including in our hearts—means that we can have profound confidence that believers, as Christ’s body, will grow in unity as His love brings us together (vv. 15–16).

But believers must “make every effort” (v. 3) to cultivate a community committed to “speaking the truth in love” (v. 15)—holding each other accountable for exchanging our natural lifestyles (vv. 25–29; 5:3–18) for the Spirit’s “way of love” (5:2, 18–20).

Most important, cultivating unity requires a forgiving, grace-filled spirit (4:32; 5:2) through the power of Christ’s Spirit, who loved us long before we loved Him.

This side of eternity, persistent sin may make it impossible for some relationships to be fully restored. Yet we can rest in Christ’s victory, trusting that His love and power will one day bring all of God’s children to perfect unity.

Monica Brands

We Are Made for Praise

Psalm 34:1-3

As human beings, we tend to be self-focused. For instance, seeking God’s purpose for our life is a good thing. But in acting to fulfill His plan, we could easily dwell on how good it makes us feel rather than on the glory it brings the Lord. This is a temptation in almost everything we do for God—and that includes praise.

Worshipping the Lord should be all about Him, not us. In fact, God’s people are made for praise. The apostle Peter says it like this: “You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9).

Our main responsibility, then, is to live a life of praise to our heavenly Father. Today’s psalm gives us some guidelines to follow.

When. At all times, whether in good or bad situations, our hearts and mouths should be full of praise for God (v. 1). Worship isn’t just a Sunday thing.

How. The goal of worship is to boast in and magnify the Lord (vv. 2-3). As we focus on His excellencies, He grows bigger in our hearts, minds, and spirits.

Where. Although praise should be a continual personal practice, the psalmist also proclaims, “Let us exalt His name together” (v. 3). Praise is magnified when our voices blend together in exaltation of our Lord.

Is praise a regular part of your life? When you give the Lord a larger place in your thoughts and heart, He is magnified, and praise becomes your sincere and natural response.

The Author of Peace

“For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.” (1 Corinthians 14:33) 

Although these words were written with respect to church order, they express a general principle. “This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated. . . . And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace” (James 3:15-18).

Our world and our natural lives seem perpetually in confusion, turmoil, and strife, and the source is the evil one—“the god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4). The only one who can bring true peace is the Author of peace.

This is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ, for only “he is our peace” (Ephesians 2:14). He is the Author of peace, just as the devil is the author of all confusion and strife. Note the other titles of our great Author of peace.

He is called “the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus” (Hebrews 13:20). He is also “The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). Melchizedek, who was at least a type of Christ, if not an actual pre-incarnate theophany of Christ Himself, is called “King of Salem, which is, King of peace” (Hebrews 7:2). In 2 Thessalonians 3:16, He is “the Lord of peace.”

He is the Author of peace, the Lord of peace, the Prince of peace, the King of peace, the very God of peace! He is our peace! Someday, “he shall speak peace unto the heathen: and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth” (Zechariah 9:10). In that day, “the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly” (Romans 16:20), and “of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end” (Isaiah 9:7). HMM

Rejoice evermore

1 Thessalonians 5

Paul, having spoken of the coming of the Lord, now tells the Thessalonians that they were not curiously to inquire as to the appointed dale of the advent, but to live in daily preparation of the Lord’s appearing.

1 Thessalonians 5:1-10

To others the advent will be an unexpected calamity, to us a long hoped for day of exultation. Ours it is to live with Jesus always, so that life or death shall make no difference. As a child both sleeping and waking is at home in his father’s house, so whether here or in heaven we are still living together with Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:11

Are we doing this? Mutual consolation and edification are very much too rare in these days.

1 Thessalonians 5:12, 13

Be well acquainted with your minister, and esteem him for the sake of his work and his Master. He has many trials, and his work is arduous: endeavour to cheer his heart.

1 Thessalonians 5:14-18

Prayer comes in between two precepts of joy. Praise, pray, and then praise again; ring the changes upon the silver bells of devotion.

1 Thessalonians 5:19

Resist not his sacred drawings, silence not his voice either in others or in your own soul.

1 Thessalonians 5:21

Some are so busy with proving all things that they forget to hold fast that which is good; such persons use compasses with one foot, and so cannot complete the circle of holy duty.

1 Thessalonians 5:22

You cannot be too careful: if there be any manifestation of evil, however slight, shun it at once. Flee from the lions roar, and you need not dread his teeth.

1 Thessalonians 5:25

If the apostle asked for prayer, how much more does our pastor need it! We ought never to forget him, either in family prayer or on our knees alone.

1 Thessalonians 5:26

Or as our western custom is, give them all a hearty shake of the hand. Christianity delights in sincere and loving courtesies.

 

I am waiting for the coming

Of the Lord who died for me;

Oh, his words have thrilled my spirit,

“I will come again for thee.”

 

I can almost hear his foot-fall

On the threshold of the door,

And my heart, my heart is longing

To be his for evermore.

 

Mysticism Plus Theology Really?

Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. (2 Peter 1:21)

Christian preachers and ministers ought to acknowledge, publicly and with humility, their great indebtedness to the apostles John and Paul.

Study the Gospel of John and you will concur with me that John is surely the mystic of the New Testament!

Explore the epistles of the Apostle Paul and you will also concur with the assessment that Paul is surely the theologian of the New Testament!

John and Paul were completely immersed in love and adoration for Jesus, the Christ, the eternal Son and the Savior of the world. So we may say that Paul is the instrument and John is the music!

God Himself was able to pour into the great mind and spirit of Paul the basic doctrines of the New Testament. But in John, God found harp-like qualities to sound forth devotion and praise.

Paul, then, is the theologian who lays foundations. John does not really soar any higher than Paul—but he sings just a bit more sweetly! It is not amazing, really, that there is much mysticism in Paul’s theology, and much theology in John’s mysticism!

 

The Magnitude of Grace

My grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in weakness. 2Cor. 12:9

Our weakness should be prized as making room for divine strength. We might never have known the power of grace if we had not felt the weakness of nature. Blessed be the Lord for the thorn in the flesh, and the messenger of Satan, when they drive us to the strength of God.

This is a precious word from our Lord’s own lip. It has made the writer laugh for joy. God’s grace enough for me! I should think it is. Is not the sky enough for the bird, and the ocean enough for the fish? The All-Sufficient is sufficient for my largest want. He who is sufficient for earth and Heaven is certainly able to meet the case of one poor worm like me.

Let us, then, fall back upon our God and His grace. If He does not remove our grief He will enable us to bear it. His strength shall be poured into us till the worm shall thresh the mountains; and a nothing shall be victor over all the high and mighty ones. It is better for us to have God’s strength than our own; for if we were a thousand times as strong as we are, it would all amount to nothing in the face of the enemy; and if we could be weaker than we are, which is scarcely possible, yet we could do all things through Christ.

 

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