Archive for the ‘Pride’ Category

September 12th, 2015

Other Side of Pride

“You were an anointed guardian cherub. I placed you; you were on the holy mountain of God; in the midst of the stones of fire you walked.You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created, till unrighteousness was found in you.In the abundance of your trade you were filled with violence in your midst, and you sinned; so I cast you as a profane thing from the mountain of God, and I destroyed you, O guardian cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.Your heart was proud because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor. I cast you to the ground; I exposed you before kings, to feast their eyes on you.” Ezekiel 28:14-17 (ESV)

Ezekiel’s third message against Tyre was directed to the ruler, Ethbaal III. His heart was filled with pride and he identified himself as a god. Ethbaal III self-proclaimed that his wisdom was greater than that of Daniel. Interestingly, Daniel was serving in the kingdom of Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, which God would raise up to destroy Tyre. Ezekiel prophesied that the death of Ethbaal III would be a shameful death, namely, “You shall die the death of the uncircumcised by the hand of foreigners” (Ezekiel 28:10).

A parallel between Ethbaal III and Satan is established. Clearly the influence of Satan was at work in the prideful heart of the king of Tyre. Pride eroded the position that Lucifer had as the guardian cherub. He was a perfect creation by God until pride seeped in.

As a child of God, keep pride on the slide. Don’t allow pride to gain access to your life. Embrace the way of humility by acknowledging your dependency upon the Lord. Be grateful for what God has done to deliver you out of the kingdom of darkness when He placed you in the kingdom of light.

Riding HIS Wave,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor

Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, September 12th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Ezekiel, Pride, Satan.
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August 29th, 2015

The Folly of the Proud

“We have heard of the pride of Moab– he is very proud– of his loftiness, his pride, and his arrogance, and the haughtiness of his heart. I know his insolence, declares the LORD; his boasts are false, his deeds are false.” Jeremiah 48:29-30 (ESV)

The Lord opposes the proud, recognizing that to represent His character faithfully demands humility. As a result, when His people or even neighboring nations boast in the “might” of other gods and give the praise due our one, true God to graven images, He brings about the required humility of His creation through defeat.

In our case, as those saved by the glorious message of the gospel, we certainly know that we have no reason to boast save in the work of Christ on the cross. Why? For when we deserved God’s righteous wrath because of our rebellion, He gave us grace and mercy by the sacrifice of His beloved Son. We did nothing to deserve this and have nothing of merit to give in return. This act is God’s alone and, therefore, we boast alone in Him. When we forget this truth, the Lord has a way of humbling us, knowing that the aforementioned requirement of humility is as much for us today as it was back then. Every great leader of God in the Bible, save Jesus who did not need it, faced a moment of humility, in which the Lord gently or not so gently reminded them of their complete dependence upon Him to accomplish that to which they had been called.

In your own life, what do you boast in? Do you boast in your own abilities or accomplishments? Or do you simply boast in the cross of Christ, knowing how truly lost you were without it? May we be a people who continually deflect the accomplishments of this life to the glory of the next, reserved in Heaven for a God Who is sovereign over all things. His provision is our blessing, and we find pride only in His work in and through us.

Grace and peace,

Jared Richard
Mobilization Pastor (Online Devotional Guest Author)
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/jaredrichard

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, August 29th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Humility, Jeremiah, Pride.
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August 16th, 2015

Boast in the Lord

“Thus says the Lord: ‘Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.’” Jeremiah 9:23-24 (ESV)

What have you achieved thus far in this life? What are your accomplishments? How much success have you attained? You can answer these questions and before you know it, pride seeps in. You can easily pat yourself on the back and affirm yourself for how far you have come in this life.

God rewards obedience and He expects us to give our very best effort in the endeavors of this life. However, we must guard against boasting in our wisdom, in our might, or in our riches. Boasting in our accomplishments places the credit on ourselves and bypasses the gracious activity of God.

  • “But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” Galatians 6:14 (ESV)

Celebrate the reality of your love relationship with God through Christ. Boast in the wondrous gift of having a personal intimate love relationship with the Creator of the universe. If you boast, boast in the precious privilege of understanding and knowing the Lord. Without God’s pursuit of your life with His redeeming love, you would have nothing to boast about. Without the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, your life would be empty, directionless, and hopeless. Boast in the Lord for allowing you to be the recipient of His marvelous grace and invite others into the same privilege.

Riding HIS Wave,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor

Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, August 16th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Humility, Jeremiah, Pride.
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August 1st, 2015

A Fool for Flattery

“At that time Merodach-baladan the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent envoys with letters and a present to Hezekiah, for he heard that he had been sick and had recovered. And Hezekiah welcomed them gladly. And he showed them his treasure house, the silver, the gold, the spices, the precious oil, his whole armory, all that was found in his storehouses. There was nothing in his house or in all his realm that Hezekiah did not show them.” Isaiah 39:1-2 (ESV)

Hezekiah was in the prime of his reign over Judah. He had stood firm in the face of Sennacherib and his boisterous Rabshakeh, relying on the Lord to display His glorious might in their deliverance from  the Assyrians. He had been seriously ill to the point of death and, then, miraculously healed by the word of the Lord through the prophet Isaiah and had his life extended. Just when you think things are perfect for Hezekiah, he does something dumb. He allows the flattery of a foreign government, in this case Babylon, to weaken his defenses and leave himself and his country exposed. When the Babylonians came to check on him, showing him great honor, he did not stop in welcoming, showing them everything in his house and in his realm. The Babylonians certainly would have been impressed, perhaps too much so. Isaiah confronts Hezekiah for his foolishness and speaks over him a promise: his desire to receive the praise of men will ultimately aid in the destruction of his beloved kingdom.

Beware of flattery because it can make you look foolish. Hezekiah never once stopped to ask if this foreign government had ulterior motives in coming to visit them because his vanity liked the attention. As a result, he made himself and his kingdom vulnerable. When someone comes with a flattering tongue, remember you are to boast in Christ alone. Keep your eyes on Him, not allowing the enemy to gain access to your heart.

Grace and peace,

Jared Richard
Pastor of Mobilization & Young Adults (Online Devotional Guest Author)
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/jaredrichard

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, August 1st, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Isaiah, Pride, Protection.
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July 15th, 2015

The Pride Slide

“But when he was strong, he grew proud, to his destruction. For he was unfaithful to the Lord his God and entered the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar of incense. But Azariah the priest went in after him, with eighty priests of the Lord who were men of valor, and they withstood King Uzziah and said to him, ‘It is not for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the Lord, but for the priests, the sons of Aaron, who are consecrated to burn incense. Go out of the sanctuary, for you have done wrong, and it will bring you no honor from the Lord God.’” 2 Chronicles 26:16-18 (ESV)

Uzziah did right in the eyes of the Lord and as he sought the Lord, God made him prosper. Over a period of time, pride began to seep into Uzziah’s life resulting in a slide that had devastating consequences.

  • “Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the Lord; be assured, he will not go unpunished.” Prov 16:5 (ESV)
  • “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” Prov 16:18 (ESV)

Uncover the poison of pride. You will never reach your full redemptive potential while fertilizing pride in your life. Pride has no place in the Christian life fully yielded to the Lordship of Christ. The poison of pride will inhibit the fruit of the Spirit and stifle your effectiveness in the kingdom.

Avoid the pride slide. Instead of an ego trip, we need to go on an integrity trip. Get honest about your destitution and your spiritual poverty before God. Identify and eliminate any fraction of pride in your life. Embrace the way of humility and recognize your dependency upon God and His abundant grace.

Riding HIS Wave,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor

Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, July 15th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category 2 Chronicles, Consequences, Pride.
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June 20th, 2014

Take Pride for a Ride

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:3 (ESV)

Delays, detours, and distractions are common in this life. Sin, sickness, and sorrow permeate the landscape of our humanity. Is it possible to find happiness while living in a fallen world? The keys to happiness are found in the Beatitudes. Jesus is the greatest preacher who ever lived and preached the greatest sermon ever preached.

The happiness Jesus speaks of in the Beatitudes is not based on circumstances or external conditions. Happy, blissful, and blessed are those who recognize their spiritual bankruptcy before a holy God. Pride has no part in Christ’s kingdom. The door into His kingdom is low, and no one who stands tall in pride will ever go through it.

The world emphasizes self-reliance, self-confidence, and self-expression. Jesus went into the display window of life and changed all the price tags. Jesus countered what the world values and ushered in the kingdom values that bring honor to God.

  • The Lord detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished. Prov. 16:5 (ESV)
  • Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Prov. 16:18 (ESV)

Take pride for a ride. Instead of an ego trip, we need to go on an integrity trip. Get honest about your destitution and your spiritual poverty before God. Identify and eliminate any fraction of pride in your life. Embrace the way of humility and recognize your dependency upon God and His abundant grace.

Uncover the poison of pride. You will never reach your full redemptive potential while fertilizing pride in your life. Pride has no place in the Christian life fully yielded to the Lordship of Christ. The poison of pride will inhibit the fruit of the Spirit and stifle your effectiveness in the kingdom. Take pride for a ride!

Drawing Near,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, June 20th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Beatitudes, Happiness, Pride.
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June 19th, 2014

Receiving Grace

But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: ‘God opposes the proud, but shows favor to the humble.‘” James 4:6 (ESV)

Grace is getting what we do not deserve. We do not deserve God’s forgiveness, salvation, reconciliation, favor, blessing, and heaven. But God demonstrates His love by gracing us with that which we do not deserve. God stands in opposition to the proud but responds with grace to the humble. So what does humility look like? As we examine the life of Jesus, we see humility defined. Jesus willingly put others before Himself. Jesus lived selflessly and died sacrificially. Jesus came to this earth to serve and to save. How will you respond?

  • Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. Jas. 4:10 (ESV)
  • Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 1 Pet. 5:6 (ESV)

We are to humble ourselves. As an act of the will, we are to choose to humble ourselves. God can navigate circumstances to bring humility into our lives to remind us of our dependency upon Him. Yet, God wants us to choose the way of humility without the influence of outward circumstances. Based on our love relationship with God, we are to respond to His grace by exemplifying a life of humility.

Is there an element of pride in your life? Have you exhibited the sin of pride through your conversation or your conduct? Trying to do life your way instead of God’s way is an expression of pride. Embrace the way of humility, which places God’s agenda above your own agenda. Anticipate God’s grace to flow like a river!

Drawing Near,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, June 19th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Grace, Humility, Pride.
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June 16th, 2014

Exposing Selfishness

What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? James 4:1 (ESV)

Have you ever been in a fight? Have you ever quarreled with someone and sought to get your way at any cost? Can you imagine that kind of behavior among believers? James identifies the reality of infighting among the believers who have been dispersed as a result of persecution. Now they are persecuting each other with improper behavior. It can happen to good people who are seeking to follow God.

Even after we profess Christ as Lord of our lives, we continue to battle the sin nature. The old patterns that God delivered us from seek to pop up from time to time. We have three enemies that we combat: the devil, the world, and the flesh. If the devil eased up on us and the tugs of the world lessened their appeal, we would still have to combat the cravings of our flesh.

James points to the culprit of fights and quarrels, namely, our desires that battle from within. Selfish desires and behavior steeped in pride come from within. The outward expression of our inward desires can bring harm to the Body of Christ and contaminate our witness. Attacking other believers through our words and our deeds is an indicator of selfishness and pride.

What’s the opposite of pride? Humility! God gave us a portrait of humility by allowing Jesus to pay full price for the sin debt of the world. If God was willing to do that for us, what should we be willing to do for Him? Let’s start with treating others the way God has treated us.

Drawing Near,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, June 16th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Humility, Pride, Selflessness.
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May 26th, 2013

Practice Humility

“For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.” Romans 12:3 (NIV)

Our tendency is to view ourselves from a distance and to view others under a microscope. Overestimating yourself leads to pride. Underestimating yourself leads to false humility. Make an accurate assessment of your current reality by using Jesus as your standard.

The highway of happiness is paved with humility. Happiness and humility go together. Jesus modeled a life of humility by submitting to the Father’s agenda and by living to benefit others. In humility, Jesus sacrificed His life on the cross to provide for the forgiveness of our sins and to reconcile us back to God.

Discover the haven of humility. Admit that you don’t have it all together. Admit that you haven’t arrived. Recognize that you haven’t learned all that God wants you to learn and you haven’t completed everything God wants you to do. Make an accurate assessment of yourself before a holy God in light of His holiness.

  • “Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.” Rom. 12:3 (NIV)
  • “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” Col. 3:12 (NIV)

Give up your kingdom so you can inherit God’s kingdom! Clothe yourself with humility. You cannot live the life God has for you without His supernatural enablement. His power comes to you through the doorway of humility.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, May 26th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Humility, Living Sacrifices, Pride.
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April 2nd, 2013

Filing Spiritual Bankruptcy

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:3 (NIV)

Delays, detours, and distractions are common in this life. Sin, sickness, and sorrow permeate the landscape of our humanity. Is it possible to find happiness while living in a fallen world? The keys to happiness are found in the Beatitudes. Jesus is the greatest preacher who ever lived and preached the greatest sermon ever preached.

The happiness Jesus speaks of in the Beatitudes is not based on circumstances or external conditions. Happy, blissful, and blessed are those who recognize their spiritual bankruptcy before a holy God. Pride has no part in Christ’s kingdom. The door into His kingdom is low, and no one who stands tall in pride will ever go through it.

The world emphasizes self-reliance, self-confidence, and self-expression. Jesus went into the display window of life and changed all the price tags. Jesus countered what the world values and ushered in the kingdom values that bring honor to God.

  • “The LORD detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished.” Prov. 16:5 (NIV)
  • “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” Prov. 16:18 (NIV)

Take pride for a ride. Instead of an ego trip, we need to go on an integrity trip. Get honest about your destitution and your spiritual poverty before God. Identify and eliminate any fraction of pride in your life. Embrace the way of humility and recognize your dependency upon God and His abundant grace.

Uncover the poison of pride. You will never reach your full redemptive potential while fertilizing pride in your life. Pride has no place in the Christian life fully yielded to the Lordship of Christ. The poison of pride will inhibit the fruit of the Spirit and stifle your effectiveness in the kingdom. Take pride for a ride!

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Beatitudes, Humility, Pride.
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