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Posts Tagged ‘pride’

Want more influence on the job?

At home?

At church?

Want more people to look to you for leadership?

Become a better servant.

Focus first on the things that serve others’ best interests.

Help people get to where they want to be.

Know them.

Show them.

Grow with them.

Go with them.

Young King Rehaboam should have listened to this advice from the aged royal counselors who had advised his father Solomon.

But he ignored them because of pride and greed.

Here’s what he was told in I Kings 12 by the counselors when asked by the people of Israel to cut taxes following Solomon’s death:

If you are willing to be a servant to these people today and give them a favorable answer, they will always be your loyal subjects.”

But here’s what Rehaboam said to the people:

“My father laid heavy burdens on you, but I’m going to make them even heavier! My father beat you with whips, but I will beat you with scorpions!”

Big mistake.

The kingdom split. Warfare resulted. Countless thousands died.

The world has never been the same.

If only Rehaboam would have seen himself first as a servant rather than an entitled tyrant.

Let’s recognize the cancer of selfishness. Nothing good comes from it.

Serve others first.

Always.

We’ll be much more valuable to everybody — including ourselves — as we show others the better path.

As always, I love you
Martin

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King David’s life showed us a number of ways to do things that please God.

The shepherd/warrior also showed us a number of ways to displease God.

Of course, we want every day of our lives to be characterized by the former, not the latter.

But, sadly, our pride sometimes gets in the formula and we fail.

We displease God.

You do.

I do.

So what then?

What do we do when we’ve fallen short of the glory of God, when we’ve missed the mark, when we’ve disobeyed the pattern for living that God provides in the Bible?

We tell God we’re sorry, that’s what, and actually mean it.

We repent.

God doesn’t let us off the hook in terms of consequences, but He does let us off the hook of condemnation.

You’re quite familiar with the costs of David’s adultery.

David had another major mess-up in 2 Samuel 24 (you’ll want to read this passage by clicking here).

It was driven by a combination of pride of how many men he had in his army and by fear of other nations and the desire to know that he had enough military strength to make up for his lack of trust in God.
David had opportunity to avoid the sin, but he stubbornly proceeded until the desire had given birth to sin.

Then his conscience’s voice was finally heard:

“But after he had taken the census, David’s conscience began to bother him. And he said to the Lord, ‘I have sinned greatly by taking this census. Please forgive my guilt, Lord, for doing this foolish thing.’” (2 Samuel 24:10)

So when you have sinned by doing _______________ and your conscience begins to bother you (though you ignored it before), do you think the words of verse 10?

Are the words, “‘I have sinned greatly by ________________. Please forgive my guilt, Lord, for doing this foolish thing” on the lips of your heart?

We each need to sin less often and hopefully our faith is maturing and we are becoming more like Christ. But when transgression does occur, let’s do what David did.

Let’s repent.

I John 1:9 tells us that God WILL forgive us if we confess our sins.

What a great promise for giving us hope despite our weakness for failure.

As always, I love you
Martin

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It’s important that we think twice before ignoring the Holy Spirit’s warnings to us.

We all hear them from time to time when we’re being tempted by Satan.

We’re at the fork in the road, with the narrow, twisting path of holiness heading one direction and the seemingly smooth and straight superhighway of sinfulness heading the other.

Unfortunately, we all know what it’s like to have taken the wrong turn.

What seemed best to the flesh turned out to be the opposite.

This is what we must remember no many how many days we have in life.

For how we listen to the divine Navigator is a reflection of our relationship with the divine Ruler of the universe.

Jesus put is this way in John 8:47…

“Anyone who belongs to God listens gladly to the words of God. But you don’t listen because you don’t belong to God.”

When God’s voice via the Holy Spirit seeks to guide us away from temptation, let’s make sure to listen.

For if we don’t, what are we saying about our relationship with God?

And that’s a very dangerous place to be in view of how our lives could end at any time.

Jesus asked in Luke 6:46, “Why do you call me ‘Lord’ and not do what I say?

Let’s make sure that our words and our walk line up when we’re at home or work or school or church… or even on the highway.

Listening to God’s voice is what godly people do.

As always, I love you
Martin

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Pride is our enemy.

It blinds us to our weaknesses and binds us to approaching “train wrecks” in our lives.

Do you know anybody whose life and relationships improved because he or she became more prideful?

Humility is so much better.

We’ll help people more because being helpful is the right thing to do and it shows concern for others rather than only for ourselves.

We’ll forgive more because we don’t want others or ourselves to carry the heavy burdens of unfulfilled “payback.”

We’ll listen more because understanding others’ thoughts and feelings is more important to us than making sure that they “know” that we have the best answer in every situation.

Jesus was humble and it sure served Him well.

Here’s a teaching of His that should guide our steps:

“Those who are the greatest among you should take the lowest rank, and the leader should be like a servant.” (Luke 22:26)

Putting others first in every situation is not a sign of weakness but instead a sign of strength.

Good parents make sure their kids eat first, that their kids are sleeping safely first, that their kids’ medical, clothing and educational needs are met before adult “toys” are purchased.

Good Christians make sure their church’s financial needs for ministry and missions are provided for first before other personal financial splurges are made.

Let’s take a step back of “self” and become the unselfish leaders for our circles of influence that God has saved us to be.

It’s the best way to get ahead in this world… and the next.

As always, I love you
Martin

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We grew up playing hide’n’seek.

We loved the mystery of wondering where others were hiding from us and the excitement of discovering them and particularly the joy of tagging them before they reached “base.”

It was a lot of fun…. even when we were the ones tagged and had to start helping to look for others hidden here and there.

People still play hide’n’seek as adults but often it’s not in the pursuit of fun but instead in the pain of shame or in the pride of not wanting to hear critical remarks about unwise choices.

There’s one person who refuses to play the game that we’ve not outgrown.

His name is God.

God does not hide behind bushes or sheds or tree trunks or cars or up on roofs or wherever. As if He even could.

He’s everywhere so how could He hide?

When hiding occurs, it’s something we attempt to do, not Him.

We might do so directly when we rebelliously sin against His Word.

At such moments, we are veiled in sin and that obscures the goodness created within us at birth.

It’s so much better when we don’t hide from the God who doesn’t hide from us.

The Bible reading for today included this verse from II Chronicles 15:2…

The Lord will stay with you as long as you stay with Him! Whenever you seek Him, you will find Him. But if you abandon Him, He will abandon you.”

We’ve all had sinful moments that reflected our desire for separation from God’s authority so that we could do what Satan promised was more tasty than God’s Truth.

I certainly wish I could say that I never sinned, that I never swallowed a lie, but I can’t.

That’s why I am so glad that I don’t have to play a scavenger hunt game with God when it comes to being in a right relationship with Him.

I repent (Acts 2:38). I seek God and His forgiveness (I John 1:9). I find Him and He tells me again that He will never leave me nor forsake me (Hebrews 13:5).

These truths greatly comfort me. I pray they do the same for you and for the people with whom you’ll share this passage.

As always, I love you
Martin

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July 17, 2013

As little kids, we were so glad when we were allowed to come out of the bedrooms to which we had been sent because of misbehavior.

Nobody likes “time out” time away from the good graces of the family.

When Mom or Dad called us to them, explained why it’s important to follow family rules and then gave us a loving hug, life was “all better now.”

Over time, we not only learned how to be better-behaved, but we also learned how much our parents loved us.

To a far greater extent, this is the same dynamic as what happens in our relationships with God.

We stop thinking of what our Father wants and start focusing on what we want and, inevitably, we digress into sin.

Because of love, God sends the Holy Spirit’s voice to convict us of our sin.

If we’re wise, we respond quickly and repent.

If we’re pridefully stubborn, we respond more slowly and suffer more needlessly.

For most Christians, though, repentance does eventually flow when the spiritual math makes it clear that we’re losing more than we’re gaining in so many ways.

That’s when we run to our Abba Father.

That’s when He embraces us and assures us of His love.

That’s when He reminds us that He’s already paid the price for our sin and was just waiting on our choice to receive it through repentance as we have done so many times before.

That’s when restoration’s joy fills our hearts just like the joy of the child hugged by Daddy and reminded he or she is loved by Daddy and then is sent out to play with the other kids.

Here’s a passage from today’s reading in the One-Year Bible that reminds us of the amazing love and grace that flows from the God we serve.

Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven,whose sins are put out of sight.

“Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of sin.” (Romans 4:7-8 NLT)

Remember the joy of your restoration from sins past, my friend. Cherish those memories of being in the loving, nurturing, gracious arms of God.

For it is the recollection of how much God loves us that compels us to please Him more and serve ourselves less.

And that will be a very good thing with a lot less drama.

As always, I love you
Martin

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Yesterday was a tough day.

A family I love experienced something very discouraging.

I can’t go into any detail but I will ask you to do all you can to persuade people away from ungodly behavior.

Even if they say they don’t want to hear your thoughts, at least offer it them to the extent that you can so that you aren’t burdened with the guilt of wishing you’d spoken up before an explosion of consequences occurred.

Interestingly, the passage below was part of today’s One-Year Bible reading:

“Doing wrong leads to disgrace, and scandalous behavior brings contempt.” (Proverbs 18:3)

This passage was given by God to King Solomon as a warning to people claiming to have faith. It was, in effect, a warning to believers.

It still applies today.

When Satan’s lures appear tasty and so secret, PLEASE remember that they are poison intended to humiliate and destroy us AND wound and disgrace all those who love us.

Live like Jesus.

The alternative is just too costly.

As always, I love you
Martin

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