People resist God because of their pride, but pride can be neutralized by humility, a character trait that allows a person to submit to God.
Even as several grandiose building projects have terminated because of cost overruns, so must we carefully count the cost of our spiritual building project.
Paradoxically, God stoops to us when we humble ourselves. Humility produces honor from God; if we humble ourselves, He will hear us.
Austin Del Castillo, recalling an incident earlier in his life when he allowed his pride at being the only college graduate on his crew to lead him to take his job less seriously or diligently than he should have, examines the destructive, corrosive effect. . .
The story of Job reveals a man whom God forced to see himself as he really was, and his true self-image paved the way to a leap forward in spiritual growth.
Humility, poverty of spirit, and acknowledging our total dependence on God are of the utmost importance. God responds to those who are humble.
Atonement, when we are commanded to afflict our souls through fasting, is a time of self-evaluation and repentance. This is the only way to have real unity with God.
Two tests to reveal the presence of pride are the way we treat others (especially our own family) and the way we receive instruction or correction.
The intent of fasting is to deflate our pride—the major taproot of sin—the biggest deterrent to a positive relationship with God. Humility heals the breach.
The apostle Andrew is a sterling example of humble service. Through Scripture contains only a little about him, his character should encourage us all.
Competition is the root cause of war, business takeovers, and marital discord. Solomon describes man's rivalry with one another as a striving after wind.
Throughout the course of Biblical history, whenever sin appears, confusion, division and separation are the automatic consequences.
Any time we feel prompted to exalt ourselves, we demonstrate Satan's spirit of pride, thereby jeopardizing our entry into God's family.
Three symptoms of pride include (1) lying to protect our self-image; (2) competitiveness; (3) believing our personal ideas are more valuable than God's Truth.
Meekness is one of the hardest virtues to define. The Bible shows meekness to be strength, as the character of such people as Jesus and Moses shows.
Self-exaltation was one of the sins that got Satan in trouble. Conversely, we are to humble ourselves so God can exalt us in due time.
John Ritenbaugh teaches that we must have both perseverance and humility in prayer in order to keep our vision sharp and clear. Pride leads people to justify sins such as lying, fornication, adultery, and stealing. Without humility, the doorway to acceptan. . .
What is it to be poor in spirit? This attribute is foundational to Christian living. Those who are truly poor in spirit are on the road to true spiritual riches.
God's sovereignty seems to imply that prayer is a fruitless exercise—that God has everything already planned. John Ritenbaugh explains, however, that we must change our ideas about the function of prayer: It is not to change God's mind but ours!
Meekness is not the most sought after of character traits, but it is a necessary one for Christians. Edwin Pope defines meekness, giving three steps to developing it in our lives.
Pride is a perverted comparison that elevates one above another. Because of its arrogant self-sufficiency, it hinders our faith. Faith depends on humility.
God spoke audibly to Moses and the people, intentionally testing their faithfulness, to instill the fear of the Lord in them, and to keep them from sin.
Martin Collins considers that if the Church of God is the Kingdom of God in embryo, we have a charge to learn how to teach. In the Millennium, we will teach the laws and ordinances. We will be kings and priests, responsible for those refugees coming out of. . .
John Ritenbaugh asserts that because of our collective lack of self-discipine and our lack of willingness to guard the truth, we have allowed our theological, philosophical, and attitudinal base to deteriorate under the persuasion of the the world, hopeles. . .
In this sermon on biblical humility, John Ritenbaugh suggests that sacrifices of thanksgiving, praise, and gratitude are required of God's called out priests. By meditating on the physical creation, the human body, and God's Law, we prepare ourselves for p. . .
Atonement, a day of fasting, pictures the binding of Satan and man's resultant unity with God. This study shows why this step in God's plan is so vital!
Martin Collins reflects that those who depict religion as a life of gloom and deprivation, full of do's and don'ts, are too short-sighted to realize that the empty husks of the world's entertainment do not satisfy the deepest need. In contrast, spiritual f. . .
Genuine humility is one of the most elusive characteristics a person can attain. It consists of of self-respect accompanied by a genuine desire to serve.
Refraining from work on the Day of Atonement symbolizes our inability to atone for our sins. We, humble and poor in spirit, depend upon God for everything.
Once we accept God's sovereignty, it begins to produce certain virtues in us. John Ritenbaugh explains four of these byproducts of total submission to God.
Why does God carve out a special role for rejects, off-scourings, and castaways? Are there characteristics of outcasts and 'undesirables' that we should copy?
David Grabbe, unraveling several apparently contradictory scriptures, exposes a fundamental flaw in western thinking—namely the binary (that is, either-or) thinking that leads us to construct false dilemmas. Perhaps the best example of this is the on. . .
Meekness is often confused with weakness and considered to be undesirable. But Jesus lists it as a primary virtue of one who will inherit His Kingdom.
John Ritenbaugh again stresses that prayer is not a dictating to a reluctant God, but instead a manifestation of our attitude of dependence and need. Prayer is a tool or means we use to get into harmony with God's will, surrendering to His purpose for us i. . .
Ecclesiastes 7 contains a paradox: wickedness appears to be rewarded and righteousness seems to bring trouble. We must be careful in how we respond to this.
Ryan McClure, reflecting on the oft-repeated Rodney King quotation, "Can we all get along?" asks us how we are doing with our relationships, dealing with people with whom we find it difficult to get along. The Scriptures provide many examples of . . .
Without thanksgiving and praise, our prayers degenerate into the 'gimmes' with the emphasis on the self. We must give God thoughtful thanks in every circumstance.
Fasting puts us in a proper humble and contrite frame of mind, allowing God to respond to us, freeing us from our burdens and guiding us into His Kingdom.
Footwashing is the initial part of the Passover ceremony. Why did Christ institute it? What is its purpose?
Richard Ritenbaugh, reflecting on the popular song, "My Way," (popularized by Frank Sinatra) warns that God's Called-out ones should never emulate the haughty and self-willed attitude this song glorifies. God created us in His image, giving us th. . .
Martin Collins, identifying a list of infamous monarchs who had the title "the Great" affixed to their names, puzzles over the criteria historians employed when giving this designation to patently blatant tyrants, and contrasts this pretentious g. . .
In this sermon on the deadly consequences of pride, John Ritenbaugh warns that pride elevates one above God, denigrating any dependence upon God, replacing it with insidious self-idolatry. Pride is entirely about disrespect (of God, other people, tradition. . .
The peace that passes all understanding comes from yielding to God's will, asking Him for a soft, pliable heart to replace the hard heart of stubbornness.
Here are four qualities of character that our full acceptance of God's sovereignty will build and that will prepare us for whatever work God may choose for us.
Martin Collins affirms that the contrite or broken-hearted person finds special favor with God, and a humble or contrite spirit is indeed a precursor to forgiveness and spiritual healing. No offering without a sincere, contrite, genuine, and humble heart i. . .
Richard Ritenbaugh, reflecting on the fiery, feisty, vindictive temperament of Andrew Jackson, and his response to Presbyterian minister Dr. Edgar's question about willingness to forgive enemies, asserts that forgiving one's enemies is a defining mark of a. . .
John Ritenbaugh, reflecting on Solomon's ruminations about life being seemingly futile and purposeless, reiterates that a relationship with God is the only factor which prevents life from becoming useless. As many celebrities and public figures withdraw to. . .
John Ritenbaugh warns that human nature is hostile to change, even when it is confirmed to be in the wrong. In the matter of godly standards for dress (as in any other aspect of God's teaching), we must adopt the humble, childlike, sincere, unassuming, unp. . .
The hallmark of Christian character is humility, which comes about only when one sees himself in comparison to God. Pride makes distorted comparisons.
The fear and trembling before God is more like reverence and awe instead of abject terror. It leads us to total dependence upon God with a desire to repudiate sin.
The Parable of the Great Supper is Jesus' response to a fellow dinner guest exclaiming, "Blessed is he who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God!" In the parable, Jesus exposes and corrects the ignorance of those who, in their pride, misjudge their true mo. . .
John Ritenbaugh reiterates that humility is not an obsequious demonstration of low self esteem, but instead it is a proper estimate of our relationship to God, which is a choice to act and behave as a servant or slave. If we would follow Christ's example o. . .
Being poor in spirit is a foundational spiritual state for qualifying for God's Kingdom. Poor in spirit describes being acutely aware of one's dependency.
John Ritenbaugh describes the process through which God perfects His image in us, linking three sub-themes: 1) God's disciplining, 2) our listening, and 3) God's watchful care. Obedience to God's Word strengthens us, enabling us to receive our spiritual he. . .
Martin Collins warns that we limit the Holy One of Israel by failing to faithfully follow His instructions. We limit God through our willful sin and disobedience, pride and self confidence, ignorance and blindness, and our fear of following God. Fear and l. . .
In this sermon, Martin Collins marvels that hypocrisy has been elevated to a more egregious position than murder or adultery, used as a weapon to destroy political opponents. Having its roots in a Greek word denoting actor, hypocrisy suggests pretending or. . .
Much has been said and written about leadership in the church in the past several years. David Maas writes that godly leadership is an outworking of the virtue of meekness.
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