God Resists the Proud

God Resists the Proud

The Scriptures have a lot to say about pride.  Most of the verses and passages criticize and denounce pride.  There are many more verses on this topic in addition to those that I’ve shared below.

  • To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech. (Prov 8:13 NIV)
  • When pride comes, then comes shame . . .  (Pro 11:2)
  • By pride comes nothing but strife, but with the well-advised is wisdom. (Pro 13:10)
  • The Lord detests all the proud of heart. be sure of this: They will not go unpunished. (Pro 16:5 NIV)
  • Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. 19 Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.  (Pro 16:18-19)
  • But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”  (Jas 4:6)

The Lord doesn’t want us to have a haughty and proud attitude towards other people.  He never approves of us feeling that we are better or more valuable than another individual.  This is the kind of pride that God sets Himself against because it puffs us up and blinds us to our own faults.  This is the pride that cuts us off from other people.  No one chooses to be around or to befriend a supercilious, self-important person.

We are allowed to recognize and receive satisfaction from our own work and our accomplishments as long as we recognize that they make us no more valuable than anyone else, and that God blessed us and enabled us to accomplish them.

Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else . . .   (Gal 6:4 NIV)

The Bible says, I know that there is nothing better for people than to … find satisfaction in all their toil—this is a gift of God. (Ecclesiastes 3:12-13).

The pride that cuts us off from other people displeases God because He has a different vision for His people.  His plan is for us to work in unity and harmony, carrying one another’s burdens, and serving Him with excellence and joy together.  (Rom 12:6; 1 Cor 13:4; Col 3:23; Gal 6:2-3)

An even worse outgrowth of poisonous pride is that it cuts us off from God, Himself!  When the enemy persuades us to be conceited and proud, we no longer feel that we need anyone else; so pride causes us to turn away from God. 

In his pride the wicked man does not seek Him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.  (Ps 10:4 NIV)  This is a catastrophic state of affairs. 

Rather, let us humbly thank God for giving us talents and abilities; and determine to use what we have received to bring glory and honor to God.

The Name of Jesus

The Name of Jesus

And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus.  (Lk 1:31)  God the Father told Mary, through an angel, the name that she was to give to her firstborn child.  (You may read Luke 1:26-35 for the entire account of Mary’s encounter with the angel.)

. . . but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.  (Joh 20:31)

Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  (Acts 2:38)

Then Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.”  (Acts 3:6)

Today, we’re considering the Name of Jesus and some of the blessings that we enjoy through His name.  The first blessing that we receive through faith in the name of Jesus is salvation and eternal life. 

We’re also baptized into His name, and through it receive the Holy Spirit.  In Acts 3:6 we observe that there is healing in the name of Jesus.  Hallelujah!  There’s deliverance In the name of Jesus.  (Acts 16:18)  We believers are washed, sanctified, and justified in His name.  (1 Cor 6:11)

In the name of Jesus, we’ve been given power and authority over evil spirits and over all of the power of the enemy.  (Lk 10:18-20)

. . . which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.  22 And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church . . . (Eph 1:20-22)

This verse in Ephesians demonstrates that God has elevated the name of Jesus above ALL names—in this age and in the ages to come.  God has made Jesus to rule over all things and to be the Lord and Master over all. 

Let us honor the beautiful name of Jesus.

What Is Your Calling?

What Is Your Calling?

For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.  (Rom 11:29, underscoring added)

 . . . so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.  (Rom 12:5-9)

For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called.  (1 Cor 1:26, underscoring added)

I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called . . . (Eph 4:1, underscoring added)

A calling can be defined as a vocation, occupation, mission or passion.  What do you feel that God has called you to accomplish in this life?  If you’re between the ages of 19 and 30, you may not have a fully formed idea of what you’ve been called to do.  If you DO know, then you are most exceptionally blessed!

However, if you’re like most of us, your calling may unfold in layers or even stages of life.  I felt called to be a wife and mother for the largest portion of my life.  In the two years prior to my youngest child’s high school graduation, I felt a type of spiritual and emotional shifting taking place within me.

I didn’t know quite what it was all about, but after a time of prayer, felt the Lord tell me that He was preparing me for a different direction in life.  It was over the many months that followed that I felt called to the ministry.  The Lord gave me training and mentors, and then opened doors of ministry to me.  I was given several ministry positions and discovered that I enjoyed ministering to God’s people immensely.  I was also surprised to realize that I have a zeal and a love for it.

I’m sharing my experience so that you may realize, as I have, that God can and does give us different gifts and talents in different seasons of our lives.  He likes us to be useful and fulfilled over the course of our entire lifetimes.  Praise God!

 I hope that this article will give you encouragement concerning your own life, gifts, and calling.

How Can I Go to Heaven? Part 2

How Can I Go to Heaven? Part 2

We are continuing with our topic from the last article. 

Here are various Bible passages that tell us what we need to do in order to go to heaven when our physical body dies.

  • Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. (Mt 10:32)  Jesus is speaking in this verse.
  • For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (Joh 3:16)
  • And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day. (Joh 6:40)
  • And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. (Joh 10:28)  Jesus is speaking here.
  • But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Rom 5:8)
  • For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lor (Rom 6:23)
  • . . . that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.  (2 Cor 5:19)
  • For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2 Cor 5:21)
  • In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 Joh 4:9-10)

In order to enter into heaven, all of these Scriptures point us to the person of Jesus Christ.  Once we believe the truth of these verses and accept Jesus as our own, personal Savior and Redeemer, we are born again or “born anew.”  In fact, we become a new creation in Christ Jesus.  (2 Cor 5:17; Eph 2:10; Rom 6:3-4) 

Once we’ve accepted Christ as our Savior, we’re qualified to enter into heaven.  We also become eligible to receiving the benefit of every promise of blessing that is shown in the Bible!  Knowing that this is true prepares each one of us to lead lives of significance in the here and now.  Choose living for Jesus right now, and an eternity  in Heaven for yourself today!

How Can I Go to Heaven? Part 1

How Can I Go to Heaven? Part 1

People who have not been exposed to church attendance or religious teaching of any kind may not know how to answer our title question.  They may not even understand why anyone would like to go to heaven!  What is the definition of heaven

Heaven is

  • the dwelling place of the Deity and the blessed dead;
  • a spiritual state of everlasting communion with God;
  • a place or condition of utmost happiness;
  • the abode of God, the angels, and the spirits of the righteous after death; and
  • the place or state of existence of the blessed after mortal life.

One thing mentioned more than once in these definitions is that heaven is the dwelling place of God.  Since we believers know that God is love (1 Joh 4:8), the concept of living forever with the God who IS LOVE becomes a very appealing goal for us. 

A key aspect of our life as human beings is the understanding that God created all humans in His own image.  (Gen 1:27)  Since we’ve all been created in the very likeness and reflection of God, not only is a relationship with God important to us but love, itself, is important to mankind. 

We need to recognize these two facts because every human being needs to make a decision about faith in God, and every human being wants to receive and to give love. 

In the next article, we’ll continue with this subject.

Creativity, Part 2

Creativity, Part 2

As we discussed in the last article, God has made mankind in His own image; He has made us to be creative even as He is creative. 

Every human being has a unique personality—we all understand that fact.  In the same way, we each have a wonderfully individual mixture of talents and abilities blended in a distinctive combination. 

Whatever our talents and giftings, God has not only given them to us but He has blessed us to serve Him and His kingdom through them.  Here are several passages of Scripture that demonstrate the talents that He has given to mankind, and also how those abilities are intended to bless everyone around us.

And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, to design artistic works, to work in gold, in silver, in bronze, in cutting jewels for setting, in carving wood, and to work in all manner of workmanship.  (Ex 31:3-5)

For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.  (Rom 12:4-8)

As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 11 If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.  (1 Pet 4:10-11)

In our creativity we live, walk and work by faith, trusting that God has blessed the work of our hands.  By faith, we also understand that the Lord uses our creative work to bless, help, and to inspire other people.

Keep on creating, friend!

Creativity, Part 1

Creativity, Part 1

So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.  (Gen 1:27)

. . . for in the image of God He made man.  (Gen 9:6b)

God created mankind in His own image.  If we meditate upon this concept, it can be eye-opening for us. 

One point I’d like to discuss here is that our God is a creative Being, and He has created us in His own likeness.  Every single one of us has the capacity to be creative.  What does that mean?  It means that every human being has original talent and ability in unique areas and ways.  Each and EVERY one of us has and does receive:

  • Imagination
  • Inspiration
  • Resourcefulness
  • Inventiveness
  • Productivity
  • Innovation
  • Artistic thoughts/ideas

We’re not all called to be actors or musicians, but we may instead be called to be composers or designers.  We may be a computer whiz whose creative ideas design new programs and software.  Another person may be an interior designer, an engineer, or a gifted organizer with skill and talent in creating workable systems.  There are as many ways to be creative as there are human beings on the face of the earth!

Don’t sell yourself short!  Acknowledge that you have creativity within you.  Think about what you most love to do, and where your talents and abilities lie.  Then release yourself mentally to prosper in the occupation of your choosing!

God has blessed all of the work of our hands, minds, and hearts.

Do you see a man who excels in his work?  He will stand before kings; he will not stand before unknown men.  (Pro 22:29)

There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all.  (1 Cor 12:5-6)

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.  (Jam 1:17)  See our next article for part two of this topic.