Pride!. The Danger

Pride is defined as a feeling of deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired. It is an inwardly directed emotion that can easily offend others and carries with it a connotation that displays an inflated sense of one’s own worth or personal status and typically makes one feel a sense of superiority over others and can easily make someone look scornfully at others.

Pride is giving oneself the credit for something that God has accomplished. It is taking the glory that belongs to God alone and keeping it for ourselves. Anything we accomplish in this world would not have been possible were it not for God enabling and sustaining us. Continue reading

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The Salt of the Earth

“You are the salt of the earth” (Matthew 5:13). In this statement, Jesus is not only speaking to His disciples, but to all of us who acknowledge the authority of His teaching. Jesus compares our function on the earth to that of salt. His meaning becomes clear when we consider two familiar uses of salt in relation to food: salt gives flavor and salt restrains decay or corruption.

Salt gives Flavour

As Christians, our function as salt is to give flavor to the earth. God enjoys this flavor. Unappetizing food becomes tasty and acceptable when seasoned with salt. Job asks this rhetorical question: “Can flavorless food be eaten without salt?” (Job 6:6). The presence of salt makes the difference, causing us to enjoy food we would otherwise refuse to eat. Our presence makes the earth acceptable to God and commends the earth to His mercy. Because we are here, God continues to deal with the earth in grace and mercy rather than in wrath and judgment. Our presence makes the difference. This principle is vividly illustrated in the account of Abraham’s intercession on behalf of Sodom, as recorded in Genesis 18:16–33. Abraham first established a principle that was the basis for what followed: It is never the will of God that the judgment due to the wicked should come upon the righteous. “Would You also destroy the righteous with the wicked?” Abraham asked (verse 23). “Far be it from You to do such a thing as this, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be as the wicked; far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (verse25).

The Lord makes it clear in the ensuing conversation that He accepts the principle stated by Abraham. How important it is that all believers understand this! If we have been made righteous by faith in Christ and are leading lives that truly express our faith, then it is never God’s will that we be included in the judgments He brings upon the wicked.

Salt restrains Decay

Before  discovery of refrigeration, sailors who took meat on long voyages used salt as a preservative.The process of  decay /corruption was already at work before the meat was salted. Salting did not abolish the corruption, but it held it in check for the duration of the voyage so that the sailors could continue to eat the meat long after it would have become inedible.

Our presence on the earth as Christ’s disciples operates like the salt in the meat. The process of sin’s corruption is already at work. This is manifested in every area of human life—moral, religious, social, political. We cannot abolish the corruption that is already present. But we can hold it in check long enough for God’s purposes of grace and mercy to be fully worked out. Then, when our influence is no longer felt, corruption will come to its climax, and the result will be total degradation. This illustration from the power of salt to restrain corruption explains Paul’s teaching in 2 Thessalonians 2:3–12. Paul warns that human wickedness will come to its climax in the person of a world ruler supernaturally empowered and directed by Satan himself. Paul calls this ruler “the man of sin [or lawlessness]and “the son of perdition” (verse 3). In 1 John 2:18 he is called “Antichrist,” and in Revelation 13:4 he is called “the beast.” This ruler will actually claim to be God and demand universal worship. Emergence of this satanic ruler is inevitable. Paul says with certainty, “Then the lawless one will be revealed” (2 Thessalonians 2:8). Paul also declares in the same verse that the true Christ Himself will be the one to administer final judgment upon this false Christ—“whom the Lord will consume with the breath [or spirit] of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.”

As the salt of the earth, we who are Christ’s disciples therefore have two primary responsibilities. First, by our presence we commend the earth to God’s continuing grace and mercy. Second, by the power of the Holy Spirit within us we hold in check the forces of corruption and lawlessness until God’s appointed  time.

In fulfi lling these responsibilities, the Church stands as the barrier to the accomplishment of Satan’s supreme ambition, which is to gain dominion over the whole earth.

The Holy Spirit today

In the Old Testament period the Spirit of God descended upon man to move man to perform God’s work; the emphasis was upon the Spirit of God being the power to man. In the Old Testament, through generation after generation, the Spirit of God continually descended upon man as a divine power that moved man to work, fight, and speak for God; or as the excelling wisdom that enabled man to manage affairs for God. In the Old Testament times, the Spirit of God merely descended upon man as power, but did not enter into man as life; He only bestowed a divine power upon man, but did not impart to man a divine nature. He descended upon man that man might have God’s power, but not His nature. It is not untill the New Testament times that the Holy Spirit formally enters into man and becomes man’s life, so that man might have God’s nature.

What a privilege it is for us to embrace the Holy Spirit and allow him to work in us and make us what God wants us to be.

Let us pray. –Father, according to Your Word I declare that all Your promises to me are yes and amen. I thank You, God, for giving me good gifts, and for freely giving me the Holy Spirit, who empowers me to pray effectively and strategically according to Your perfect will for my life. God, I thank You, and I praise You for who You are. In Jesus’s name, amen.

Fellowship with our God

relationship

When God came to man, He brought with Him grace and truth: “The Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14), and “….grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (John 1:17). When we received grace and saw the truth, we returned to God and met love and light. Therefore, “Whoever does not love does not know God for God is love” (1John 4:8). Also “And so we know and rely on the love  God has for us”  (1John4:16). God is light- “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness does not overcome it”  (John1:5). Grace comes from love, and truth issues from light. That which is hidden in God is love, and when this love comes forth from God to us, it is grace. Likewise, that which is hidden in God is light, and when this light comes forth from God to us, it is truth. Therefore, when God comes to man, He brings grace and truth, and when we go to God, we touch love and light. When God came to man, He brought with Him His grace; when we received this grace and returned to Him, we met His love. Likewise, when God came to man, He brought His truth; when we saw His truth and returned to Him, we met His light.