DEVOTIONS AND SERMONS

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Pride - 3
 

Daniel 4:37
Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble.

The Bible says, "those who walk in pride he is able to humble". We need to identify and eliminate pride in our lives and ministries, if we are to be as Christ like and effective as God wants. Here are 12 ways pride can manifest itself in our lives.

1. Critical

Numbers 16:1,9-11
1 Korah son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, and certain Reubenites--Dathan and Abiram, sons of Eliab, and On son of Peleth--became insolent

9 Isn't it enough for you that the God of Israel has separated you from the rest of the Israelite community and brought you near himself to do the work at the Lord's tabernacle and to stand before the community and minister to them?
10 He has brought you and all your fellow Levites near himself, but now you are trying to get the priesthood too.
11 It is against the LORD that you and all your followers have banded together. Who is Aaron that you should grumble against him?"


Shows how Korah was proud and critical. Be careful not to always find fault and tear others down.

Jude 1:16
These men are grumblers and faultfinders; they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage.

2. Ungrateful

Deuteronomy 8:10-14
10 When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the LORD your God for the good land he has given you.
11 Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day.
12 Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down,
13 and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied,
14 then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.


Shows how success can lead us to be ungrateful to God for all he has done (v14). A Christian who is not grateful for salvation is in real danger.

3. Self-reliant

Deuteronomy 8:15-18
15 He led you through the vast and dreadful desert, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock.
16 He gave you manna to eat in the desert, something your fathers had never known, to humble and to test you so that in the end it might go well with you.
17 You may say to yourself, "My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me."
18 But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today.


Shows how we can begin to think it is our own skill etc, that has led to our success to our ministry. We begin to talk about our own "guys" (boasting) and we pray less and more ritually.

Hosea 13:6
When I fed them, they were satisfied; when they were satisfied, they became proud; then they forgot me.

4. Insecure

1 Kings 19
1 Now Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword.
2 So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, "May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them."
3 Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there,
4 while he himself went a day's journey into the desert. He came to a broom tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. "I have had enough, LORD," he said. "Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors."
5 Then he lay down under the tree and fell asleep. All at once an angel touched him and said, "Get up and eat."
6 He looked around, and there by his head was a cake of bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again.
7 The angel of the LORD came back a second time and touched him and said, "Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you."
8 So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God.
9 There he went into a cave and spent the night. And the word of the LORD came to him: "What are you doing here, Elijah?"
10 He replied, "I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, broken down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too."
11 The LORD said, "Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by." Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake.
12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.
13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, "What are you doing here, Elijah?"
14 He replied, "I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, broken down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too."
15 The LORD said to him, "Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram.
16 Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet.
17 Jehu will put to death any who escape the sword of Hazael, and Elisha will put to death any who escape the sword of Jehu.
18 Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel--all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and all whose mouths have not kissed him."
19 So Elijah went from there and found Elisha son of Shaphat. He was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen, and he himself was driving the twelfth pair. Elijah went up to him and threw his cloak around him.
20 Elisha then left his oxen and ran after Elijah. "Let me kiss my father and mother good-by," he said, "and then I will come with you." "Go back," Elijah replied. "What have I done to you?"
21 So Elisha left him and went back. He took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his attendant.


Shows how Elijah became insecure and allowed Jezebel to get him down. This is being over sensitive and crushed when challenged, worried about what others think (self pity).

5. Selfish

2 Kings 20:16-19
16 Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, "Hear the word of the LORD:
17 The time will surely come when everything in your palace, and all that your fathers have stored up until this day, will be carried off to Babylon. Nothing will be left, says the LORD.
18 And some of your descendants, your own flesh and blood, that will be born to you, will be taken away, and they will become eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon."
19 "The word of the LORD you have spoken is good," Hezekiah replied. For he thought, "Will there not be peace and security in my lifetime?"


Shows Hezekiah hearing bad news, but he is glad it will be after his lifetime. It is pride to have a selfish concern for our own ministry. This is reflected in our prayer for others' ministries, our zeal for others' baptisms, our relationship with peers in the ministry.

6. Independence

2 Chronicles 26:16-20
16 But after Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall. He was unfaithful to the LORD his God, and entered the temple of the LORD to burn incense on the altar of incense.
17 Azariah the priest with eighty other courageous priests of the LORD followed him in.
18 They confronted him and said, "It is not right for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the LORD. That is for the priests, the descendants of Aaron, who have been consecrated to burn incense. Leave the sanctuary, for you have been unfaithful; and you will not be honored by the LORD God."
19 Uzziah, who had a censer in his hand ready to burn incense, became angry. While he was raging at the priests in their presence before the incense altar in the Lord's temple, leprosy broke out on his forehead.
20 When Azariah the chief priest and all the other priests looked at him, they saw that he had leprosy on his forehead, so they hurried him out. Indeed, he himself was eager to leave, because the LORD had afflicted him.


Shows Uzziah's pride; he did not ask advice and so he acted foolishly. Success can breed this.

7. Defensive

2 Chronicles 26:19-20
19 Uzziah, who had a censer in his hand ready to burn incense, became angry. While he was raging at the priests in their presence before the incense altar in the Lord's temple, leprosy broke out on his forehead.
20 When Azariah the chief priest and all the other priests looked at him, they saw that he had leprosy on his forehead, so they hurried him out. Indeed, he himself was eager to leave, because the LORD had afflicted him.


Shows a typical emotional, defensive response to challenge. Pride leads to quallels and an unwillingness to listen. Often defensive people are not open about their weaknesses, so they are tough to pin down - slippery.

Proverbs 13:10
Pride only breeds quarrels, but wisdom is found in those who take advice.

8. Unwilling to hate sin

Psalm 36:2
For in his own eyes he flatters himself too much to detect or hate his sin.

Sometimes we get more indignant about the wrong of others that we do about our own.

9. Not broken

Isaiah 66:1-2
1 This is what the LORD says: "Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. Where is the house you will build for me? Where will my resting place be?
2 Has not my hand made all these things, and so they came into being?" declares the LORD. "This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word.


This indicates we should tremble at God's word. We need to have a broken and contrite heart. Jeremiah warns of people who do not repent, saying, "what have I done?" People need to be convicted by the truth.

Psalm 51:17
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

Jeremiah 8:9
The wise will be put to shame; they will be dismayed and trapped. Since they have rejected the word of the LORD, what kind of wisdom do they have?

10. Deceived

Obadiah 1:3-4
3 The pride of your heart has deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rocks and make your home on the heights, you who say to yourself, 'Who can bring me down to the ground?'
4 Though you soar like the eagle and make your nest among the stars, from there I will bring you down," declares the LORD.


The passage speaks of people who are so proud they are not even aware of their own situation, so close to disaster. In their hearts, they think, "no one can bring me down".

11. Unwilling to associate with people of low position

Romans 12:16
Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.

Proud people don't have the time or desire to associate too much with weak or "unimportant" people or to do "menial" tasks.

12. Not Changing

Titus 3:2
to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men.

The passage speaks of true humility. This is an inward humility, one that responds to challenge with change. One can learn how to respond in the "right" way to challenge without ever becoming humble.

Matthew 21:28-32
28 "What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, 'Son, go and work today in the vineyard.'
29 "'I will not,' he answered, but later he changed his mind and went.
30 "Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, 'I will, sir,' but he did not go.
31 "Which of the two did what his father wanted?" "The first," they answered. Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you.
32 For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him.