What would you say is the greatest danger to your faith? Being mocked or persecuted in other ways because you believe in Jesus could be a stress on your faith. Apathy toward the Word and especially the good news of forgiveness through Jesus’ blood is certainly a threat. False doctrine, such as the teaching that one must be a “good person” to be saved, can undermine faith too. But in some ways the greatest danger is none of these—it’s pride.
Pride says, “I don’t need to listen to God. I know better. I know what truth is. I’m strong and capable on my own. I can make my own way.” Sound familiar? In other words, “Me first!” Wasn’t it pride on Eve’s part to think that she knew better than God in believing Satan’s lies? Or how about Peter who said to Jesus, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.” Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall” (Prov. 16:18). Can you recall a time this past week when self-centered pride tripped you up? It’s just one of the countless sins which condemn us before the holy God.
But where there is sin, there is even more of God’s grace. “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6). When the tax collector in the temple bowed his head and prayed, “God be merciful to me a sinner,” the Lord heard and justified him by faith. On the other hand, the pride of the Pharisee prevented faith from taking hold in his heart.
Humility is not thought of very highly in our world, but in the Lord’s kingdom it is priceless. In tomorrow’s sermon text (James 3:13-4:6), true wisdom is equated with the humility of faith and the fruit of peace rather than the envy and fighting which pride produces. Through His Word as we read it today and hear it together tomorrow, may the Lord preserve us from sinful, destructive pride and grant us the humility of faith.
In Jesus’ name,
Service times are 8:00 and 10:45 a.m. The Sunday school children are singing in first service (rehearsal at 7:45 a.m.).
Young Adults are asked to meet with Andrew Albrecht at 9:30 a.m.
Thought-starter for Bible class: Do Christians Really Retire?
The public school confirmation class meets at 12:15 p.m.