August 18, 2023
As I read in 2 Peter 2 this morning the horrific and detailed description of false prophets among us, I was struck by how everything in their lives stems from one source: PRIDE. It is the mother of all sins.
False teachers, with all the traits cataloged in this chapter, are always utterly oblivious to their pride. When you are around them, you smell this deadly trait and then realize that it is a smell they are accustomed to and love. You never smell that around Christ, nor those who are filled with Him.
I don’t think, by the grace of God, that I am a false teacher (although I’m sure that in my ignorance, I’ve misrepresented God’s Word at times). I believe this passage speaks of a narrow category of unbelieving men and women who are deadly to the kingdom but posing as the wisest and greatest among us. The Pharisees of Jesus' day (and ours) come to mind.
But before I turn my head and walk away, I realize this morning that I wrestle incessantly with the same foundational sin of pride. Constantly.
Pride is such a devious and deadly sin. I find it creeps upon my soul when I least expect it, and suddenly and almost unconsciously, I'm worried about what others think, anxious to be known, drawing attention to myself, thinking about and pampering my desires before others’ needs, and on and on. It chokes my intimacy with Christ, turning my eyes from Him to myself. It makes me a sorry friend, more interested in what others can do for me than I for them. It robs me of genuine love, quick generosity, selfless service—everything that we want our lives to truly be.
It makes me small and petty, concerned about lesser, silly things, and oblivious to the great transcendence of the gospel and the glory of God. A man once said that “a man wrapped up in himself is a small package.”
I long for "the freedom of self-forgetfulness" that Tim Keller wrote so beautifully about. (You should read his small booklet by that title often). I pray I would be so enamored with Christ and others that I completely forget about myself.
You'd think, at this stage, it would be conquered in my life. But Satan whispers to me incessantly, tempting me to this self-absorption. I hate it, and I fear I must watch its deadly intrusions until death. I long for heaven; for a release from this sin and all it spawns. To be delivered from myself eternally and be lost in Christ!
I pray, for myself and all of us this morning the words of Albert Simpson:
September 20, 2023
September 19, 2023
When you’re lifted up in pride or bowed down in discouragement, look at the stars. Every bright light reminds us that He is God and there is no other. The One who made the stars and knows them by name, made you. And you are of infinite worth to our Sovereign Creator.
“He made the stars also.”
August 31, 2023