Sunday Scrutinization: A Look At the Lord’s Coming

We had a two-part sermon from one of the newer members in church, finishing it up two days ago.

First one he entitled “Humble Beginnings“. Some of the things I got from this were:

God is humble in its most perfect sense – I thought about how many unbelievers would fiercely disagree with this. He took the example of Kobe Bryant. If Kobe were asked before a one-on-one game with me whether he would win or not, if we considered him a humble man, he would say that he was confident he would win. It’s not a matter that he had such pride he could beat anyone, but knowing his skill, experience and overall strength, it would be most likely he could kick me to the curb. In a way, God is like that: Everything He says about Himself, who He is or what He has done or is going to do, is complete and total truth. Now Kobe, there will be someone who will come around who will be better than him eventually, but God: that is no one who will be greater than Him, He will always do what He says.

Pride is the antithesis of humility – Pride is the thing I believe most of the world sees as God’s major attribute. After all, wasn’t it Oprah who said when she was younger sitting in church, listening that God says He is a jealous God, that she rejected this. Jealousy, at least from the human viewpoint, is a huge indicator that someone has much pride. But God, which there is nothing like Him anywhere, I mean He created anywhere, anytime, everything. His  jealousy is not pride, it is that He deserves it, He deserves our devotion, our adoration, He is our all in all, for all, whether we understand it or not. Pride comes through boasting, and God doesn’t boast! What He says, He does.

We need to stop using the phrase “I am so proud…” – Since pride comes through boasting, we should be humbled in the things God, in His glorious mercy, has given us. Since God is not prideful, we should look at the way we use the word prideful. When our child does a great job in the food cooking competition, instead of saying “I’m so proud of Jimbo” we should practice “I’m so humbled that God has given me a great young chef for a son.”

Pride is always negative – Proverbs 8:13 “The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth I hate.” Amos 6:8 “The Lord God has sworn by Himself, the Lord God of hosts says: ‘I abhor the pride of Jacob, and hate his palaces; therefore I will deliver up the city and all that is in it.'” Mark 7:20-23 “And He said, ‘What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man.'” 1 John 2:16 “For all that is in the world — the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life — is not of the Father but is of the world.” Psalm 10:4 “The wicked in his proud countenance does not seek God; God is in none of his thoughts.” James 4:6 “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Proberbs 11:2 “When pride comes, then comes shame; but with the humble is wisdom.” Proverbs 16:18-19 “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.” Proberbs 29:23 “A man’s pride will bring him low, but the humble in spirit will retain honor.” 1 Corinthians 8:2 “And if anyone thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know.” 1 Timothy 6:17 “Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy.”

How to recognize pride in yourself:

  • Pride feels threatened by the giftedness of others
  • Pride shifts blame
  • Pride says, “I’m sorry, but…” (self-justification) or “I’m sorry you took me wrong”
  • Pride can’t be taught.
  • Pride has a better idea.
  • Pride always questions leadership
  • Pride always looks to the great things they’ll do, forgetting God holds the future
  • Pride knocks others down
  • Pride finds solace in rules
  • Pride is stubborn
  • Pride picks apart what others do

Some books he suggested was “Till We Have Faces” by C.S. Lewis. For the younger crowd, “Big Truths for Little Kids” or “Big Truths for Young Hearts” I can’t remember which, but both look good.

He ended up by sharing the story from Luke 7:36-50, about the woman who anointed Jesus with expensive perfume. A Pharisee said that Jesus wouldn’t let her touch Him if He knew who she was. Jesus told a story that revealed how much someone may love the one that forgives. The point was, is that the woman said nothing. She didn’t justify herself or argue, she was humbled enough in His presence to let Him reveal her love for Him, and that is what we should do: Not fight or justify ourselves, let God fight for us, for it is already won. It won’t always be easy, but we are not to fight for ourselves because the battle is won and Christ in the victory.

This last Sunday’s sermon was called “How Does Royalty Roll?

He started out by showing where the “Gods” dwelt in the time of Jesus:

A little hard to connect with, right? These creations of humans were magnificent. Even today, royalty are like the gods of our days. The number one search for Yahoo in 2013 was “royal baby”. Here is what the newly born price in England has as an inheritance here on earth:

God doesn’t want us to have things or places built in His honor. In fact, when God gave the blueprints to Moses of the place where they were to meet with Him, the Jews may have been a bit disappointed. After all, look at what happened immediately after Moses showed them the plans: they built a golden calf, a symbol of God. You can imagine them saying, “This god needs our help, he needs something of honor and richness to represent him.” God is uncreated, so He cannot allow something created to represent Him. The Jews may have been those who helped build those Pyramids. They had over a million people in their group, who had taken all the Egyptians goods that God have them give away. And this is what God wanted them to build? A tent?

It makes much sense. We want to make magnificent things in God’s honor, but all He wants is our life.

And so this is how the True God came into this world:

You know, it is hard to find a “humble” nativity scene. Either the baby Jesus is glowing like a star or some magnificent light is shining down on him, stars glowing brightly, lights all around, maybe they are in some structure or such. But the truth is, He started out in a dark, stinky, lonely, scandalous cave. “Scandalous?” you say… Perhaps. The speaker made a point in saying that if we had to go back to our town for the census, we would know someone, we would be among our people, and even more so with the Jewish family back then. There would be a place for us, especially if our wife was due imminently. But scandal surrounded this couple, this birth, this humble beginning.

This God, this single, one and only, true God reached down out of eternity to touch us. The grandness, the magnificence, the beauty, the mystery keeps people away. God came in a cave. He touched those who had to call out “unclean!” He humbled Himself for us. We are His temple. He has chosen to tabernacle with us today.

God bless you, and Merry Christmas

~Stranger

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Posted on December 24, 2013, in Sunday Scrutinization and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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