Friday, May 5th, 2017
Self-Examination (Part 45)
Head: The Big Head
Jesus called them together and said, 'You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. But among you it will be different.'
Matthew 20:25-26 (NLT)
Anyone who teaches something different is arrogant and lacks understanding. Such a person has an unhealthy desire to quibble over the meaning of words. This stirs up arguments ending in jealousy, division, slander, and evil suspicions. These people always cause trouble. Their minds are corrupt, and they have turned their backs on the truth. To them, a show of godliness is just a way to become wealthy.
1 Timothy 6:4-5 (NLT)
Don't let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ... Their sinful minds have made them proud, and they are not connected to Christ, the Head of the body.
Colossians 2:8, 18-19 (NLT)*
Even at 61 and loving God, even as a follower of His Son, even as a student of His Lifestyle, even as an all-in, sold-out convert, even as AMTC's co-founder, even as a writer of devotions, my head still needs shrinking and re-thinking. Because all too often, I can be proud. And where arrogance is, Jesus is not.
Although we're not called to judge the world's sins, we are called to judge each other, gently, in knowledge of our own imperfections. But if I had to choose a sneaky sin that worms its way into congregations, beginning long ago with Lucifer, it's pride. It's religious elevation: a serious, head-swelling condition.
Pride caused one of God's most brilliant angels to lead one-third of his celestial kin in an unprecedented rebellion: one that got them evicted from heaven, one that spread to Eve and then to Adam, one that became a fatal pandemic. But at the right time, earth's Antidote came. His key ingredient? Humility.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: If the King of kings humbled Himself, then you are called to humble yourself, too.** So don't buy into any design that will puff-up your head circumference. By humbling yourself consistently, you'll be the right size for modeling Jesus successfully to the world... and you'll prompt a proud church to slim down.
To Be Continued...
* Entire Bible Section, Colossians 2:6-23, 'Freedom from Rules and New Life in Christ:' https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=col2%3A6-23&version=NLT
** 'Those who humble themselves will be exalted' (Matthew 23:12). Literally, hundreds of Verses throughout God's Word repeat this theme, and every Bible hero was humble, except Samson, who got humbled, then humbled himself (and brought down the house) in the end.
** 'I will remove all proud and arrogant people from among you.
There will be no more haughtiness on My holy mountain.
Those who are left will be the lowly and humble,
for it is they who trust in the Name of the Lord (Zephaniah 3:11-12, NLT)
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Self-Examination series.