The Spiritual Battle For The Mind

Be sober, be watchful: your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: whom withstand stedfast in your faith, knowing that the same sufferings are accomplished in your brethren who are in the world. ~ 1 Peter 5:8-9

That no advantage may be gained over us by Satan: for we are not ignorant of his devices. ~ 2 Corinthians 2:11

Resist the Devil

These two scriptural passages indicate to us how full of evil devices Satan is. His basic work is to camouflage whatever he does so that people will not know it is his doing! He even fashions himself into an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14). All his works are done under the cover of deceit. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own: for he is a liar and he always lies (John 8:44). Of all that he has ever done, he has never willingly and openly acknowledged anything as his work. If he were to make a public report of his works, probably nobody would want them; everyone would probably resist them. For this reason, he always disguises his work in a multitude of ways.

The Work of Satan

Satan’s works are manifold. In order for a Christian to walk well before God, he must learn how to resist Satan. In order to do that, he must discern what is the work of Satan. According to the judgment of the Bible, many so-called natural things are actually Satanic works. From a human point of view we may consider something to be incidental, natural, or circumstantial, but the Bible distinctly labels it as the work of the devil. If we are to follow a straight course, God’s children must not be ignorant of the devices of Satan—how full of wiles he is, how pretentious and deceptive. We should recognize him in order to resist him.

The Work of Satan in the Human Mind

Let us now mention a few of Satan’s devices so that we may resist him and overcome him before the Lord.
“For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but mighty before God to the casting down of strongholds; casting down imaginations, and every high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5).

Satan surrounds man with strongholds so as to prevent him from obeying Christ. The special field of his work is found in man’s mind or thought life. Oftentimes man is bombarded with speculations or imaginations which are adverse to the obedience of Christ. Paul says the weapons of our warfare against these are not of the flesh. These imaginations must first be destroyed before we can bring our thoughts into captivity to the obedience of Christ.

The sphere of Satan’s operation is in man’s thought life. He will inject a thought, an imagination, which appears to be your own. Under this deception, you accept it and use it as if it were yours, though in actuality it is his. Do remember that many things in the life of a Christian begin with speculations or imaginations. Many sins are first committed in the imagination of the mind. Many unpleasantnesses among brothers and sisters arise from these fancies.

Then there are those sudden thoughts. Sometimes a thought will flash into one’s mind that a certain brother is wrong. Many of God’s children do not recognize such thoughts as the work of Satan. A person may consider such a thought as his own and take it as true, thinking that the brother really is wrong. And yet, this is not true. It is Satan who has put the thought into his mind. How is he to resist the devil? He must say, “I do not want this thought. I return it to you, Satan.” Should he accept it, it will become his own thought. It is Satan’s at the start, but it will become his if he keeps it.

Christians need to know what Satanic temptation is. Satanic temptation enters mainly, if not exclusively, in the form of thought. When Satan tempts people, he does not attach a label saying, “This is Satanic temptation!” If people knew it was of Satan they would resist it. No, he sneaks in stealthily without causing a ripple. All his temptations are formulated so as not to easily arouse the Christians. He does not want them to suspect him; he would rather have them sleep on. So he surreptitiously injects a thought into their mind. Once they accept it, it has become a foothold for him.

This is why the children of God must learn how to resist inordinate thoughts. However, they also should be careful lest they become overly attentive. Any excess in this respect will cause further confusion of the thoughts, causing them to fall further into the wiles of the enemy. If one is concentrating on his thoughts, his eyes will not be focusing on the Lord. We must, indeed, resist improper thoughts, yet we should not be wholly occupied with our thoughts.

I would like to cry aloud that over these years I have seen two extremes: some people exercise no restraint in their thoughts, others are totally taken up with dealing with their thoughts. The latter are just as deceived by Satan as the former. Further, they are likely candidates for a nervous breakdown. So we need to maintain the right balance. We should not allow Satan to tempt us by injecting his thoughts; neither should we be engrossed in how to deal with our thoughts. If we are constantly taken up with dealing with our thoughts, then we have fallen into Satan’s temptation, for, instead of having our eyes on the Lord, they are on our thoughts.

Satanic thoughts can be quite easily withstood. There is a saying frequently quoted by many servants of the Lord that goes, “You cannot forbid a bird to fly over your head, but you certainly can forbid it to make a nest in your hair.” Do remember, then, that though you cannot prohibit many thoughts from passing through your mind, you can prohibit them from nesting in you. As a thought flashes through you, you may thrust it away by simply saying, “I do not want it. I will not accept it. I reject it.” Then you will see that it is thrown out.

Many of God’s children have great difficulty with their thoughts. They cannot easily control them. Of the many letters I have received over these past years, the one question most frequently asked is, “How can I control my thoughts?” Some confess that they find it especially difficult to control their thoughts during their prayer time. At this point there is something I would like to say briefly. “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honorable, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (Phil. 4:8), the Bible tells us. Think on these things! God’s children should learn to engage their thoughts in positive thinking. The more they use their mind positively, the less their thoughts will be out of control. Many are not able to control their thoughts because they do not think; they are passive in their thought life. This gives Satan the opportunity to insert some of his many ready-made thoughts into their minds.

Satan will not find it so easy to inject his thought into your mind if you learn to use your mind for thinking on things spiritual, good, righteous, holy, peaceful, and loveable. When your mind is positively engaged and your thoughts are not idle, Satan has no opportunity. But if a Christian’s mind is unoccupied and idle, then that passive, ungirded mind of his is open to Satanic infiltration.

Because of this, God’s children ought to exercise their minds as they exercise their bodies. This will prevent the intrusion of Satanic thoughts. Learn to recognize what thoughts are unclean, divisive, and slanderous, and then learn to resist them as soon as they are discovered to be of the enemy. Many thoughts are distinctly Satanic and therefore can be easily rejected. Some thoughts, though, are quite subtle and therefore not so easily repudiated. Nonetheless, we must learn to resist all of them.

Satan is neither omniscient nor omnipresent. He is, however, acquainted with many things, for through his evil spirits—the sinful angels—he has spread an intelligence network throughout the earth. When we are idle, Satan easily puts something that is known to him, but not to us, into our thought. He injects the intelligence that his secret service has obtained into our thoughts. He makes us fancy something, imagine something, and thus thrusts his intelligence into our mind. As soon as we ponder it and accept it, it becomes real to us. God’s children, therefore, must reject all communications from Satan, even if such communications do shed light on things. We should refuse to know anything that does not come to our knowledge by revelation received through prayer.

A child of God must not be curious or nosy. If he is not, he will escape many Satanic thoughts. If he is, Satan will supply him endlessly with some of the many things he knows. The Christian at first may think that such knowledge is beneficial. However, if he continues to accept these thoughts, he will soon become a pawn in Satan’s hand. Satan will employ the Christian’s mind to do his work. It is for this reason that one must resist all causeless thoughts. Whenever a thought about another brother’s fault flashes into one’s mind, if it comes from the thought of the mind and not from the consciousness of the Spirit, it should be rejected. If it is accepted, it will eventually become a personal conviction. One who thinks a brother has done him wrong will soon reckon it to be real. Consequently, he will break fellowship with his brother.

Unless these sudden thoughts are cut off at the beginning, they will get out of hand afterward. When Satanic temptations first invade the mind, they are relatively easy to deal with; but once they become “facts” in the mind, they are most difficult to get rid of. For this reason we must deal with thoughts. We must reject all unclean thoughts lest we sin. We must actively use our mind so as not to live a loose and dissipated life. Under God’s light, we shall see that many sins come through receiving temptations in the thought life.

Let me reiterate: after a thought is first resisted, the matter is considered closed. When the thought comes the second time, it should be ignored. In other words, when a thought first comes to you, resist it by faith, believing that it has fled away. Should it present itself the second time, it comes as a lie, not the truth. Therefore, you must reckon it as false and declare that you have already resisted it. Take this position until the thought flees. If you acknowledge the returned thought as true, you shall soon find it so attached to you that you can hardly throw it off. Many defeats may be attributed to this error. If you resist the devil, he will flee from you. This is the word of the Lord and it is totally trustworthy. Whatever Satan says is undependable. The Lord says, “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (Jas. 4:7). Therefore, that which comes back again must be a fake and should be totally discredited.

Why are the minds of so many Christians confused? It is because they are always resisting. “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you,” says the Bible. Resist him once, and he will flee. You ought to believe that he has fled away. You do not need to resist him many times. Simply believe that he has fled, for this is in accordance with God’s Word. Whatever then comes back is not true. You can well afford to ignore it, and, if you do, it will soon disappear. It lurks just outside the door, trying to peep in; if you reckon it as true, it will immediately step in. So, the basic principle is: resist the first time, ignore the second time. If a second time indeed comes, you do not even need to resist; all that is necessary is to not pay the slightest attention. To resist the second time is to discredit the first resistance; to resist the third time is to refute the first and the second resistances, and so on. Each new resistance means one more distrust of your former resistance. Because you do not believe what the Lord has said, “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you,” you resist to the hundredth time. You will be occupied with resisting from dawn to dusk. The more you think, the more confused you become. The more you use your mind, the more severely you suffer. Therefore, do not resist foolishly. Simply believe that once resisted the devil will flee.

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**By Watchman Nee from his book “Love One Another” / Picture by Knowledge Media

Overcoming Sexual Passions

In Ezekiel 16:49-50, God describes the real sins of Sodom that led to the destruction of that city (in Genesis 19). Most of us have always associated Sodom with sodomy (homosexuality) and other sexual sins. But sexual sin was the ultimate result of a way of life. What was it that led them into such depths of evil? Here we are told that Sodom’s sins were actually:

1.Pride

2. Laziness

3. Gluttony (love of good food)

4. Neglecting the poor and needy

These were the reasons why God wiped out that city. It is interesting to note that God does not even mention their sexual sin. Sexual sin in Sodom was the result of their lazy, comfortable life-style. What can we learn from this? That there is a close connection between:

  • Pride and sexual sin.
  • Laziness and sexual sin.
  • Gluttony and sexual sin.
  • A lack of concern for other people and sexual sin.

Consider just these four areas. Many of you who are young have to admit that you are finding it very difficult to overcome your sexual passions. That is an extremely difficult area. But why not begin by overcoming in these four easier areas? You may, then, find it easier to overcome in the sexual area.

Begin first of all, by humbling yourself in all situations. Avoid all arrogance.

Then begin to be hard-working and diligent in whatever you do.

Then try fasting – avoiding food – once in a while.

And fourthly, begin to think a little more about the needs of people around you and see how you can help them.

Try this prescription for one year and you may discover that overcoming your sexual passions becomes easier. We cannot overcome any sin without grace from God – but He gives His grace only to the humble; and He helps only those who are kind and helpful to others.


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**By Zac Poonen © Copyright – Zac Poonen. No changes whatsoever are to be made to the content of the article without written permission from the author. https://www.cfcindia.com/ 

**Videos on overcoming addictions and sexual sin can be found HERE!

Spiritual Vows To Make and Keep

Some people object to taking vows, but in the Bible you will find many great men of God directed by covenants, promises, vows, and pledges. The psalmist was not averse to the taking of vows. He said, “Thy vows are upon me, 0 God, I will render my praises unto thee” (Psalm 56:12).

My counsel in this matter is that if you are really concerned about spiritual improvement – the gaining of new power, new life, new joy, and new personal revival within your heart -you will do well to make certain vows and proceed to keep them. if you should fail, go down in humility and repent and start over. But always keep these vows before you. They will help harmonize your heart with the vast powers that flow out and down from the throne where Christ sits at the right hand of God

A carnal man refuses the discipline of such commitments. He says, “I want to be free. I don’t want to lay any vows upon myself; I don’t believe in it; it is legalism.” Well, let me paint a picture of two men.

One of them will not take vows. He will not accept any responsibility. He wants to be free. And he is free – in a measure – just as a tramp is free. The tramp is free to sit on a park bench by day, sleep on a newspaper by night, get chased out of town on Thursday morning, and find his way up a set of creaky stairs in some flophouse on Thursday night. Such a man is free, but he is also useless. He clutters up the world whose air he breathes.

Let’s look at another man – maybe a president or prime minister or any great man who carries upon himself the weight of government. Such men are not free. But in the sacrifice of their freedom they step up their power. if they insist upon being free, they can be free, just like the tramp. But they choose rather to be bound.

There are many religious tramps in the world who will not be bound by anything. They have turned the grace of God into personal license. But the great souls are the ones who have gone reverently to God with the understanding that in their flesh dwells no good thing. And they knew that without God’s enablement any vows taken would be broken before sundown. Nevertheless, believing in God, reverently they took certain sacred vows. This is the way to spiritual power. There are five vows I have in mind which we do well to make and to keep.

1. DEAL THOROUGHLY WITH SIN
Sin has been driven underground these days and has come up with a new name and face. You may be subjected to this phenomenon in the schools. Sin is being called by various fancy names – anything but what it really is. For example, men don’t get under conviction any more; they get a guilt complex.

Instead of confessing their guilt to God and getting rid of it, they sit on a couch and try and tell a man who ought to know better all about themselves. it comes out after a while that they were deeply disappointed when they were two years old or some such thing. That’s supposed to make them better.

The whole thing is ridiculous, because sin is still the ancient enemy of the soul. it has never changed. We’ve got to deal firmly with sin in our lives. Let’s remember that “the kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost.” Righteousness lies at the door of the kingdom of God. The soul that sins, it shall die.

This is not to preach sinless perfection. This is to say that every known sin is to be named, identified, and repudiated and that we must trust God for deliverance from it so that there is no conscious, deliberate sin anywhere in our lives. It is absolutely necessary that we deal thus, because God is a holy God and sin is on the throne of the world.

So don’t call your sins by some other name. if you’re jealous, call it jealousy. If you tend to pity yourself and feel that you are not appreciated, call it what it is – self-pity.

And then there is your temper. Don’t call it indignation. Don’t try to christen it by some other name Call it what it is. Because if you have a bad temper you will either get rid of it, or it will get rid of much of your spirituality and most of your joy. So let’s deal with sin thoroughly. Let’s be perfectly candid. God loves candid people.


2. NEVER OWN ANYTHING
I do not mean by this that you cannot have things. I mean that you ought to get delivered from the sense of possessing them. This sense of possessing is what hinders us. All babies are born with their fists clenched, and it seems to me it means, “This is mine!” One of the first things they say when they begin to speak, is “mine” in an angry voice. That sense of “This is mine” ‘is a very injurious thing to the spirit. If you can get rid of it so that you have no feeling of possessing anything, there will come a great sense of freedom and liberty into your life.
Now don’t think that you must sell all that you have and give it to charity. No. God will let you have your car and your business, your practice and your position, whatever it may be – provided you understand that it is not yours at all, but His, and all you are doing is just working for Him. You can be restful about it then, because we never need to worry about losing anything that belongs to someone else. If it is yours, you are always looking in your hand to see if it is still there. If it is God’s, you no longer need to worry about it.
Let me point out some things you’ll have to turn over to God. Property is one thing. Some of the dear Lord’s children are being held back because there is a ball and chain on their legs. if it is a man, it’s his big car and fine home. If it is a woman, it’s her china and her Louis XIV furniture and all the rest. Take that vase for instance. There it stands. And if anybody knocked it off and broke it, the poor owner would probably lose five years from her life! it is always necessary to remember that we are only stewards of that which is usually called a possession.

3. NEVER DEFEND YOURSELF
We are all born with a desire to defend ourselves. And if you insist upon defending yourself, God will let you do it But if on turn the defense of yourself over to God, He will defend you. He told Moses in Exodus 23: “I will be an enemy unto thine enemies and an adversary to thine adversaries.”

What do we defend? Well, we defend our talents; we defend our service; and particularly, we defend our reputation. Your reputation is what people think you are, and if a story gets out about you, the big temptation is to try to run it down.

Henry Suso was a great Christian of other days. Once he was seeking what some Christians have told me they are seeking to know God better. Let’s put it like this: You are seeking to have a religious awakening within your spirit that will thrust you farther out into the deep things of God. Well, as Henry Suso was seeking God, people started telling evil stories about the man, and it grieved him so that he wept bitter tears and had great sorrow of heart.

Then one day he looked out the window and saw a dog playing on the lawn. The dog had a mat, and kept picking the mat up, tossing it over his shoulder, running and getting it, tossing it some more, picking it up and tossing it again. God said to Henry Suso, “That mat is your reputation, and I am letting the dogs of sin tear your reputation to shreds and toss it all over the lawn for your own good, but one of these days things will change.”

And this did change. it was not very long before the people who were tearing his reputation were confounded, and Suso rose into a place that made him a power in his day and a great blessing still to those who sing his hymns and read his works.

4. GUARD YOUR WORDS ABOUT OTHERS
Never pass anything on – about anybody else that will hurt him. “Love covers a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8). The talebearer has no place in God’s favor. if you know something that would hinder or hurt the reputation of one of God’s children, bury it forever. Find a little garden out back – a little spot somewhere – and when somebody comes around with an evil story, take it out and bury it and say, “Here lies in peace the story about my brother.” God will take care of it. “With what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged.”

if you want God to be good to you, you are going to have to be good to His children. You say, “But that’s not grace.” Well, grace gets you into the kingdom of God. That is unmerited favor. But after you are seated at the Father’s table, He expects to teach you table manners. And He won’t let you eat unless you obey the etiquette of the table. And what is that? The etiquette of the table is that you don’t tell stories about the brother who is sitting at the table with you – no matter what his denomination, or nationality, or background.

5. NEVER ACCEPT ANY GLORY
God is jealous of His glory and He will not give His glory to another. He will not even share His glory with another. It is quite natural, I should say, for people to hope that maybe their Christian service will give them a chance to display their talents. True, they want to serve the Lord. But they also want other people to know they are serving the Lord. They want to have a reputation among the saints. That is very dangerous ground – seeking a reputation among the saints. It’s bad enough to seek a reputation in the world, but it’s worse to seek a reputation among the people of God. Our Lord gave up His reputation, and so must we.

Meister Eckhart once preached a sermon on Christ cleansing the Temple. He said, “Now there was nothing wrong with those men selling and buying there. There was nothing wrong with exchanging money there; it had to be. The sin lay in their doing it for profit. They got a percentage on serving the Lord.” And then he made the application: “Anybody that serves for a commission, for what little bit of glory he can get out of it, is a merchant, and he ought to be cast out of the temple.”

I go along with this. If you are serving the Lord, and yet slyly -perhaps scarcely known to you – you are hoping to get just a little five percent commission, then look out! it will chill the power of God in your spirit. You must determine that you will never take any glory, but see that God gets it all.

Now, it is the easiest possible thing to give a message like this. The hard thing is to make it work in one’s own life. Remember that these five vows are not something you write in the back of your Bible and forget. They have got to be written in your own blood. They have to be made final, irrevocable, if it only comes off the surface, it is no good. Much of our consecration is just that way – it comes off the surface. Many of our promises conic off the surface. No, no. Let it come out of the depths of your heart, the deep depths of’ your spirit.

These vows cut against the old human nature. They introduce the cross into your life, and nobody ever walks back from carrying his cross. When you make these vows, remember, they strike at the heart of your self-life and there is never a place to go back to. And I say, “Woe unto the triflers!”

In America – and maybe in other places too – SO many people are saying, “Try Jesus try God!” Triflers, experimenters, tasters they arc. Like a rabbit with a half dozen holes so if one is stopped up lie can flee to another! No! From the cross there is no place to flee You don’t “try” Jesus. He is not there to be experimented with. Christ is not on trial. You are. I am. He is not! God raised Him from the dead and forever confirmed His deity and scaled Him and set Him at His own right hand as Lord and Christ. Turn everything over to Him, and you’ll find your life begin to lift. You’ll blossom in a wonderful way.

Now, if you happen to be one of those on whom God has laid His hand for a deeper life, a more powerful life, a fuller life -then I wonder if you would be willing to pray this kind of prayer: -0 God, glorify Thyself at my expense. Send me the bill – anything, Lord. I set no price. I will not dicker or bargain. Glorify Thyself. I’ll take the consequences.

This kind of praying is simple, but it’s deep and wonderful and powerful. I believe that if you can pray a prayer like that, it will be the ramp from which you can take off into higher heights and bluer skies in the things of the Spirit.

by A. W. Tozer

A Spiritual Check Up

 

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips.  (Proverbs 4:23-24)

 

A Spiritual Check UP

Did I speak any idle words today?

Did I indulge in overeating or laziness or any other filthy lust?

Have I spoken or thought evil of anyone today?

Did I act in a selfish way towards anyone today?

Was I happy or even unconcerned about someone else’s failure?

Did I seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness first today?

Did I look for opportunities to witness for Christ and to do good?

Did I doubt the love or the power or the sovereignty of God today?

Was I proud of any accomplishment?

Was I discouraged or depressed over anything?

Did I do or say anything, which was not profitable or edifying?

Did I do to others as I would want them to do to me?

Was I carnally inquisitive or a busybody in anyone’s affairs?

Did I waste money on anything useless today?

Did I tell another what was told to me in confidence?

Was I impatient with anyone today?

How did I treat servants and those on a lower social scale?

Did I speak a word of encouragement or appreciation to anyone?

Did I show my love to the members of my family?

Did I consider myself as better than anyone else?

Did I pass judgment on anyone today – even in my thoughts?

Is there anyone I have not forgiven totally, from my heart?

Did I believe any evil story, without verifying the information?

Were my thoughts morally pure today?

Have I prayed for those who hate me and persecute me?

Was I jealous of anyone today?

Did I value and delight in my fellow-believers?

Was I concerned about the spiritual & physical needs of my brethren?

Is it possible that I might have hurt someone thoughtlessly?

Did I keep my word and my promises?

Was I a servant to all whom I came across today?

Have I cast my every care and burden on the Lord?

Was I concerned about the opinion of any man?

Did I waste any time today, or did I use the day profitably?

Was I alert to hear what the Lord had to say to me today?

Did I try to live simply, avoiding luxury as far as possible?

Did I share something of spiritual value with my children today?

Did I try to help my wife (husband) in her (his) work today?

Did I despise anyone who doesn’t have the same light as I have?

Is there any thought in my heart that is not good, towards anyone?

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**By Zac Poonen © Copyright – Zac Poonen. Excerpt from Zac Poonen’s  – The Full Gospel. No changes whatsoever are to be made to the content of the article without written permission from the author. https://www.cfcindia.com/ 

Unifying the Body of Christ

Sermon by Zac Poonen “Christlike Freedom from Racism and Partiality”

Unifying the Body of ChristDivided we fall, United we stand

If we say we love God but hate any of our brothers or sisters in His family, we are liars. If we don’t love someone we have seen, how can we love God, whom we have never seen?” 1 John 4:20.

The Bible tells us to bear with one another in love, knitted together as a local body, accepting and respecting each other’s differences; be it colour, nationality, language or gender. We’re to put aside our racial, cultural or societal differences, and to die to ‘self’ in order to maintain unity within the brethren. As the Bible states in Galatians 3:28, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” As Christians we are all called to conform to the likeness of Christ, and not one particular group or culture. We are all equal and loved by the same almighty God who sent His beloved Son Jesus to die for us all. The only thing we’re not to compromise on is God’s Word, His instruction manual on how we’re to live; and the Lord requires the whole gospel to be preached, without exception or apology.

The almighty sovereign God didn’t make a mistake when He placed us in a particular local body; He placed us there so we can serve, build, love and unify as one body in Christ, putting aside all differences in order to build unity and the spirit of faith in the church. Let us not justify why we cannot accept someone who is different than ourselves. Let us search our own hearts and ask the Lord to cleanse us from any partiality, deep rooted behaviours, patterns, prejudices that leave us so slowly. If we confess our sins, the Lord is faithful to forgive us. We can ask Him to help change us, with the help and power of the Holy Spirit. How can we learn unconditional love, if we’re around people who meet all our conditions?

Here are some Bible verses that can help build unity in the Church:

  • Ephesians 4:2-3, “Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.”
  • John 12:24, “I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels—a plentiful harvest of new lives.”
  • In Romans 12:16, “Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly, Never be wise in your own sight.”
  • 1 Corinthians 4:7, “What is so special about you? What do you have that you were not given? And if it was given to you, how can you brag?”
  • Philippians 2:2-4, “Then make me truly happy by loving each other and agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, working together with one heart and mind and purpose. Don’t be selfish; don’t live to make a good impression on others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourself. Don’t just think about your own affairs, but be interested in others, too, and in what they are doing.”

So then, let us love one another, for when we love one another all will know we’re His disciples. – John 13:35


Article by Lori McPherson / Picture by Pixabay at Pexels

 

7 Attitudes That Will Kill Your Gratitude

While ingratitude comes naturally to us, gratitude is something that we must consciously cultivate and grow in our hearts. Unfortunately, there are are several “attitudes” that will smother, annihilate, and otherwise kill our gratitude.

Here are 7 attitudes that will kill your gratitude:

  1. Comparison

When I hand my children each a pile of goldfish crackers for a snack, their first inclination is to start counting their goldfish. Why? Because they want to BE SURE that the piles are distributed equally. In their selfish little hearts, their first inclination is to test for “fairness” rather than being grateful for the gift that they have been given.

Adults are not immune to this behavior! We are constantly comparing ourselves with other people, afraid that God has shorted us and given somebody else more. All too often, we do not even pause to thank God for all of the amazing, undeserved blessings that He has showered us with.

Antidote: If you struggle with comparisons, try reaching out to people who have less than you do. You WILL come away counting your blessings.

  1. Entitlement

The moment that we start to think that we deserve something is the moment that we cease to feel thankful for it. If I feel that I deserve roses on Valentine’s Day, than I will not feel very grateful when my husband presents me with roses on Valentine’s Day. After all, I deserved them!

The problem with this thinking is that we don’t deserve anything. Every good gift that God gives us is undeserved and should elicit joy and thanksgiving in our hearts.

Antidote: Take a moment to read Philippians 2:1-18. When we pause to remember the judgement that we truly deserve, and the forgiveness that God has given to us through the life and death of His perfect Son Jesus Christ, entitlement is replaced with true gratitude.

  1. Busyness

It is hard to slow down to be grateful when we are so busy we can hardly breathe. If we are so consistently busy that we have no time left to feel and express gratitude, than something is terribly, horribly wrong in our lives.

Jesus told Martha that, in spite of all Martha’s busyness with “good works”, Mary had chosen the better thing – time spent building a relationship with God. (Luke 10:38-42)

God is calling us to first of all have a relationship with Him, and part of this relationship includes gratitude. If we are too busy to be grateful to God, than we are not walking in His will, despite all the “wonderful” things that we might be doing “for” Him.

  1. Worry

Worry about the future quickly saps the energy out of present gratitude. Worry accomplishes nothing but to rob us of joy and gratitude in this present moment and to demonstrate our lack of trust in our Heavenly Father.

Antidote: Read Matthew 6:25-34. Worship is the perfect antidote to worry. Worry says, “My house might burn down to the ground! What am I going to do? AGHHH!” Worship says, “Yes, my house may burn down to the ground, but God is still in control. God has promised me a better home in heaven anyway. May God be glorified in my life regardless of what happens.”

  1. Perfectionism

This one is ugly. It is hard to be thankful when all we can focus on are the negatives and faults of the people and things around us.

Antidote: Imagine what life would be like if that one “imperfect” thing that you are focusing on were completely removed from your life. (For example, your husband may have some quirks that drive you crazy. But can you imagine life without your husband?) Then, take some time to thank God for the imperfect blessings that surround you. Thank God that He does not discard you even with all of your “imperfections”. Ask God to help you really see the good blessings that He has given you.

  1. High Expectations

How would your kids respond if they got up on Christmas morning and discovered that there was just one shoe box for each of them under the tree filled with a couple of small toys, a toothbrush and toothpaste, and a box of crayons? Would their faces mirror the delight and excitement of the faces of these children who are ecstatic to receive this same box? What is the difference?
I believe the difference lies in two words: High Expectations. When our lives revolve around high expectations, we will be disappointed. When we have low expectations, we are likely to be thrilled and grateful when reality exceeds our expectations.

Antidote: Remember that we are living in a sin cursed, fallen world. This life guarantees us nothing. Let’s place our high expectations in the life to come. Thank God that, because of His beautiful plan of salvation, this world is not our only hope. Take time to be thankful for the things in life that you have now, remembering that there is no guarantee that you will still have them tomorrow.

  1. Exhaustion

I know that many of you reading this right now are exhausted. Perhaps you have a newborn baby, are experiencing insomnia because of hormonal changes, or are working non-stop just to make ends meet.

If you are in any of these situations, my heart goes out to you. It is difficult to be grateful when we are physically spent.

Antidote: If at all possible, you may need to set some things aside to allow yourself more time to rest. Prioritize a couple of minutes a day to read God’s Word and thank Him for His good gifts. If you have a hard time praying because you fall asleep, try writing your prayers to God in a small journal, including thanksgivings.

Gratitude is a state of heart that we need to be consciously cultivating.
We need to be protecting our gratitude from these seven attitudes that will kill our gratitude.

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By Anna Joy / Picture by Pixabay

Have Patience With Me

“With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love” Ephesians 4:2

“Have patience with me,” cried the slave as he begged his fellow-slave for mercy (Matt.18:29). This is also the unspoken cry that comes to us as housewives and mothers from many of those with whom we have to do each day. But we need to be sensitive in our spirits if we are to hear that cry – for it is unspoken. It may be that our children are slow at learning something that we have repeatedly been trying to teach them, and we are sorely tempted to become impatient with them. If we could hear their unspoken cry, saying, “Have patience with me, I am trying my best to do it right,” then it would be easier for us to overcome the temptation to get irritated with them.

Perhaps the servant who helps us with our work around the home is somewhat clumsy, and not as clean as we want her to be, and we are tempted to be hard on her. But her unspoken cry is, “Have patience with me. Give me another chance and I’ll improve” – and we are presented with another opportunity to be more gentle. Or it may be that our aged parents, being old and infirm, are now dependent on us. Their feeble, unspoken cry is also, “Have patience with me. I don’t want to trouble you, but I need your help now.” If we are sensitive to their feelings, we will hear their cry and help them, without depriving them of their dignity, and without letting them feel their dependence.

Perhaps the behaviour of our fellow-sisters in the church is a trial for us. Their unspoken cry is also, “Have patience with me. I still lack a lot of wisdom.” Then we realise that they also, like us, are struggling towards perfection.In such situations, we all find a tendency in our flesh to be like that unmerciful slave. Yet those are the very times when we need to remember afresh how much we have been forgiven by God, and how patient others have been with our own follies. So we should have our spiritual ears attuned at all times to hear the cry for patience that comes to us from our fellow-slaves – both young and old. Let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. (James 1:4).

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**By Dr Annie Poonen © Copyright – Annie Poonen. No changes whatsoever are to be made to the content of the article without written permission from the author. https://www.cfcindia.com/ 

**Be blessed further by Annie Poonen with FREE books, articles and sermons: Here

22 Questions John Wesley’s Holy Club Asked Themselves Every Day

These are the questions that members of John Wesley’s Holy Club asked themselves every day in their private devotions over 200 years ago:

1. Am I consciously or unconsciously creating the impression that I am better than I really am? In other words, am I a hypocrite?

2. Am I honest in all my acts and words, or do I exaggerate?

3. Do I confidentially pass on to another what was told to me in confidence?

4. Can I be trusted?

5. Am I a slave to dress, friends, work, or habits?

6. Am I self-conscious, self-pitying, or self-justifying?

7. Did the Bible live in me today?

8. Do I give it time to speak to me everyday?

9. Am I enjoying prayer?

10. When did I last speak to someone else about my faith?

11. Do I pray about the money I spend?

12. Do I get to bed on time and get up on time?

13. Do I disobey God in anything?

14. Do I insist upon doing something about which my conscience is uneasy?

15. Am I defeated in any part of my life?

16. Am I jealous, impure, critical, irritable, touchy, or distrustful?

17. How do I spend my spare time?

18. Am I proud?

19. Do I thank God that I am not as other people, especially as the Pharisees who despised the publican?

20. Is there anyone whom I fear, dislike, disown, criticise, hold a resentment toward or disregard? If so, what am I doing about it?

21. Do I grumble or complain constantly?

22. Is Christ real to me?

The Truth About Christmas and Easter

Men are likened to sheep. And sheep have a tendency to follow the crowd without questioning. Jesus however came and taught us to examine everything by God’s word. The Pharisees exalted human traditions. Jesus exalted God’s word. Man was to live by every word that proceeded from God’s mouth (Matt. 4:4).

The battle that Jesus was constantly engaged in with the Pharisees was the age-long battle of God’s Word versus the traditions of men. In the church, we are engaged in the same battle today. God’s word is the only light that we have on earth. And when God created light initially, He immediately separated it from the darkness. The darkness is both sin as well as human traditions. We also are called to separate both these from the pure word of God so that there is no mixture in the church.

The pagan ‘winter solstice’ celebration of the sun, was renamed Christmas and has nothing to do with the Messiah Jesus Christ. This celebration was in practice way before His birth

Christmas

Consider Christmas, which is celebrated by many as the birthday of Jesus Christ. Shopkeepers of all religions look forward to Christmas, for it is a time when they can make much profit. It is a commercial festival, not a spiritual one. Millions of rupees are spent on Christmas cards and gifts. Sales of alcoholic drinks also go up at this time.

Is this really then the birthday of the Son of God, or of another ‘Jesus’?

Let us look at God’s Word first of all. The Bible tells us that there were shepherds with their sheep out in the fields of Judea, on the night that Jesus was born in Bethlehem (Luke 2:7-14). The shepherds in Palestine did not keep their flocks out in the open fields at night after October and until February – the weather being both rainy and cold during those months. So the real Jesus must have been born sometime between March and September. December 25 then must be the birthday of another ‘Jesus’ that has been foisted on an unsuspecting Christendom by unconverted men!

Further, even if we did know the exact date of Jesus’ birth, the question would still be whether God intended His church to celebrate it. Mary, the mother of Jesus, would certainly have known the exact date of birth of Jesus. And she was with the apostles for many years after the day of Pentecost. Yet there is no mention anywhere of Jesus’ date of birth. What does this show? Just this – that God deliberately hid the date of Jesus’ birth, because He did not want the church to celebrate it. Jesus was not an ordinary mortal whose birthday was to be celebrated once a year. He was the Son of God “Who had no beginning of days”, unlike us (Heb.7:3). God wants us to recognize Jesus’ birth, death, resurrection and ascension every day, and not just once a year.

An understanding of the difference between the old and the new covenants will also enable us to understand why God does not want His children to celebrate any special holy days now. Under the old covenant, Israel had been commanded to celebrate certain days as specially holy days. But that was only a shadow. Now that we have Christ, the will of God is that every day of our lives be equally holy. Even the weekly sabbath has been done away with under the new covenant. This is why no holy days are mentioned anywhere in the New Testament (Col.2:16,17).

How then did Christmas and Easter make their entry into Christendom? The answer is: In the same way that infant baptism, tithing, priestcraft and many other human traditions and old covenant practices, have made their entry – by the subtle working of Satan.

When the emperor Constantine made Christianity the state religion of Rome in the 4th century, multitudes became Christian ‘in name’, without any change of heart. But they did not want to give up their two great annual festivals – both connected with their worship of the sun. One was the birthday of the sun-god on December 25, when the sun which had gone down to the southern hemisphere began its return journey (the winter solstice). The other was the spring festival in March/April, when they celebrated the death of the winter and the birth of the warm summer that their sun-god had brought. They renamed their sun-god ‘Jesus’ and continued to celebrate their two great festivals, now as Christian festivals and called them Christmas and Easter.

The Encyclopaedia Brittanica (an authority in secular history) has the following to state about the origin of Christmas:

“December 25 was the Mithraic feast of the unconquered sun of Philocalus. Christmas customs are an evolution from times that long antedated the Christian period – a descent from seasonal, pagan, religious and national practices, hedged about with legend and tradition. The exact date and year of Christ’s birth have never been satisfactorily settled, but when the fathers of the church in A.D 440 decided upon a date to celebrate the event, they wisely (?) chose the day of the winter solstice which was firmly fixed in the minds of the people and which was their most important festival. As Christianity spread among the people of pagan lands, many of the practices of the winter solstice were blended with those of Christianity” (1953 edition, Vol. 5, Pages 642A, 643).

These pagan customs originated with the Babylonian religion begun by Nimrod (Gen. 10:8-10). Tradition tells us that after he died, his wife Semiramis had an illegitimate child, which she claimed was Nimrod come back to life again. Thus began the worship of the mother and child, which centuries later was transferred by nominal Christians to ‘ Mary and Jesus‘.

The birthday of this child-god was celebrated by the ancient Babylonians on December 25. Semiramis was the queen of heaven (Jer. 44:19), worshipped centuries later in Ephesus as Diana or Artemis (Acts 19:28).

Semiramis claimed that a full grown evergreen tree grew overnight from a dead tree stump. This symbolised Nimrod’s coming back to life, and bringing heaven’s gifts to mankind. Thus began the practice of cutting down a fir tree and hanging gifts on it. That is the origin of today’s Christmas tree! (A Google search will show all the documents proving all these facts).

Thus says the Lord, “Do not learn the way of the heathen. The customs of the people are futile. One cuts a tree from the forest with the axe. They decorate it with silver and gold; they fasten it with nails so that it will not topple!” (Jer. 10:2-4).

Easter

The word ‘Easter’ comes from one of the titles of the queen of heaven, ‘Ishtar’ or `Astarte’ (see 1 Kin. 11:5) – one of the idols that Solomon worshipped. There were slightly different forms of that name in different countries.

The Encyclopaedia Brittanica states,

“The English word ‘Easter’ corresponding to the German ‘Oster’ reveals Christianity’s indebtedness (!) to the Teutonic tribes of central Europe. Christianity, when it reached the Teutons, incorporated in its celebration of this great Christian feast day, many of the heathen rites and customs that accompanied their observance of the ‘Spring’ festival. That the ‘festival’ of the resurrection occurred in the spring that it celebrated the triumph of life over death, made it easy for the church to identify with this occasion, the most joyous festival of the Teutons, held in honour of the death of winter, the birth of a new year and the return of the sun. Eostre (or Ostera), the goddess of the spring, gave its name to the Christian holy day. The conception of the egg as a symbol of fertility and of renewed life goes back to the ancient Egyptians and Persians who had also the custom of colouring and eating eggs during the spring festival. This ancient idea, of the significance of egg as the symbol of life, readily became the idea of the egg as a symbol of resurrection. According to old superstition, the sun rising on Easter morning dances in the heavens; this belief has been traced to the old heathen festival of spring, when the spectators danced in honour of the sun … The Protestant churches also followed the custom of holding sunrise services on Easter morning” (1959 edition, Vol. 7, pages 859, 860).

The death and resurrection of Christ are the central message of the gospel. The only way that Jesus intended us to commemorate this was through the ‘breaking of bread’, which we are to take part in together as a church.

When we break bread, we testify not only of Christ’s death, but also our death with Him. The emotionalism of Good Friday and sentimentality of Easter turns the attention of men away from the necessity of following Jesus, to empty ritualism.

God’s Word Or Man’s Tradition?

Behind the celebration of Christmas and Easter lies the far more deadly principle of following the traditions of men even when they have no foundation in God’s Word. So strong is this power of tradition that many believers who follow the Scriptures in other areas still find it difficult to give up celebrating Christmas and Easter.

It is amazing that many believers are not willing to accept what even secular writers (like the authors of Encyclopaedia Brittanica, quoted abovehave understood clearly – that Christmas and Easter are basically pagan festivals. Changing the names do not make these festivals Christian!

As we said at the beginning, Jesus was engaged in a constant battle with the Pharisees over this very issue – man’s traditions versus God’s Word. He faced more opposition for opposing the empty traditions of ‘the fathers’ than for preaching against sin. We shall find our experience to be the same, if we are just as faithful as He was.

God’s Word alone is our guide and not the example of even godly men in those areas where they do not follow the Word of God. “Let God be found true even though every man be found a liar” (Rom. 3:4). The Bereans searched the Scriptures to check up even on Paul’s teaching, and the Holy Spirit commends them for it (Acts 17:11). That is a good example for all of us to follow.

David was a man after God’s own heart. Yet, for forty years, he permitted the Israelites to worship Moses’ bronze serpent without realising that it was an abomination to God. He did not have light even on such obvious idolatry. It was a much lesser king, Hezekiah, who was given light to expose and destroy this idolatrous practice (2 Kin. 18:1-4). We can follow godly men in the saintliness of their lives, but not in their lack of light on human traditions. Our safety lies in simply following the teaching of God’s Word and not in adding to, or subtracting from it.

Do Not Judge Others

Finally : What should our attitude be towards sincere believers who celebrate Christmas and Easter?

It is important to remember that we do not become spiritual merely by not celebrating Christmas and Easter. And those who celebrate these festivals are not therefore carnal believers.

Spiritual people are those who follow Jesus along the way of daily self-denial and the daily infilling of the Holy Spirit – whether they celebrate Christmas and Easter or not.

So when we meet believers who celebrate these festivals, we must be gracious enough to consider that they may be ignorant of the pagan origin of these festivals. So theyare not sinning in any way when they celebrate them. On the other hand, we will be sinning, if we judge them.

Since December 25th is usually a holiday for everyone and the days around it are also holidays for schools, many use this period for end-of-the-year family re-unions – which is a very good thing.

And since some people attend church-services only twice a year (on December 25th and the Easter weekend) it is good for churches to have services on those dates, so that they can preach the gospel to such people and explain to them that Jesus came to earth to save us from our sins and that He conquered death and Satan for us.

True believers are thankful every day of their lives that Jesus was born and that He died for their sins and rose again – and not just at two times of the year.

In the early days of Christianity, some Christians celebrated the Sabbath – which was a non-Christian religious festival, just like Christmas and Easter. The Holy Spirit inspired Paul therefore to write Romans 14 to warn other Christians not to sin by judging them. The same warning holds good for those who judge others who celebrate Christmas and Easter.

“Accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing judgment on his opinions. Who are you to judge the servant of another? One person regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. He who observes the day, observes it for the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who does not, for the Lord he does not, and gives thanks to God. Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind. But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God and each one of us will give an account of himself (alone)to God” (Rom.14:12)).

And that is the best word with which to conclude this study on Christmas and Easter.

**By Zac Poonen © Copyright – Zac Poonen. No changes whatsoever are to be made to the content of the article without written permission from the author. https://www.cfcindia.com/ 

A Good Thought For The Day…

Customer: Well, after much consideration, I’ve decided to install Love. Can you guide me through the process?

Tech Support: Yes. I can help you. Are you ready to proceed?

Customer: Well, I’m not very technical, but I think I’m ready. What do I do first?

Tech Support: The first step is to open your Heart. Have you located your Heart?

Customer: Yes, but there are several other programs running now. Is it okay to install Love while they are running?

Tech Support: What programs are running?

Customer: Let’s see, I have Past Hurt, Low Self-Esteem, Grudge, and Resentment running right now.

Tech Support: No problem, Love will gradually erase Past Hurt from your current operating system. It may remain in your permanent memory but will no longer disrupt other programs. Love will eventually override Low Self-Esteem with a module of its own called High Self-Esteem. However, you have to completely turn off Grudge and Resentment. Those programs prevent Love from being properly installed. Can you turn those off?

Customer: I don’t know how to turn them off. Can you tell me how?

Tech Support: With pleasure. Go to your start menu and select Forgiveness. Do this as many times as necessary until Grudge and Resentment have been completely erased.

Customer: Okay, done! Love has started installing itself. Oops! I have an error message already. It says, “Error- Program not run on external components.” What should I do?

Tech Support: Don’t worry. In non technical terms, it simply means you have to Love yourself before you can Love others. Pull down Self-Acceptance; then click on the following files: Forgive Self, Realise Your Worth, and Acknowledge Your Limitations.

Customer: Got it. Hey! My heart is filling up with new files. Smile is playing on my monitor and Peace and Contentment are copying themselves all over my Heart. Is this normal?

Tech Support: Yes, that means Love is installed and running. One more thing before we hang up. This Love program is freeware.

“But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” (John 14:26)


*Prayer for forgiving others

The A-Z of Pride

 

“PRIDE GOES BEFORE DESTRUCTION, AND A HAUGHTY SPIRIT BEFORE A FALL.” – PROVERBS 16:18

A – Pride loves ATTENTION and honour from men. It loves compliments and flattery. The humble fear this since they recognise the temptation to steal God’s glory. The humble follow the principle to “Serve God then run away”, such as Jesus did when people tried to make Him king (John 6:15). We may not be able to run away from these moments physically, but in our heart we should be running away from all temptations to indulge in proud thoughts and steal the glory of God.Pride does many good works while secretly hoping someone noticed, being happy at the thought that someone apart from God may be thinking well of us. 

B – Pride is a spirit of BLAME. When something goes wrong, it assumes some other person or situation is at fault (Matt 7:3).  The proud make excuses when it is their fault, and can easily find reason why their mistake is actually the fault of another. 

C – Pride is COMPARISON. It’s one piece of dust saying to another piece of dust “look at how great I am, because I’m a bit bigger than you.” (Psalm 103:14, 2 Cor 10:12) 

D – Pride is DISOBEDIENCE to God.The main characteristic of humility was shown in Jesus’ obedience even to the point of death (Php 2:8).  Pride is plain and simple disobedience to the Lord in anything. 

E – Pride is ENTITLEMENT, it’s feeling that we deserve something from anyone, because of who we are or what we’ve done. For example: it is unwilling to be frugal in money because it feels entitled to buy what it likes. Or it can be an unwillingness to eat simple food, or take a simple vacation rather than a more luxurious one. Humility is never entitled, but keeps an attitude of unworthiness / undeservedness (Luke 17:10, Luke 5:8). Humility recognises that all we have comes from God (1 Cor 4:7). 

F – Pride loves to FIGHT (it is contentious, very quick to argue).  It sets itself to quarrel as long as it takes, until it wins the argument.Humility is letting the other person win the argument, and then changing the conversation to something else you can agree on without fighting, like sports or the weather. 

G – Pride GLORIES in past good works it has done.Pride is revisiting the good works we’ve done in our mind and patting ourselves on the back, taking satisfaction in what we’ve done “with our own hands” instead of giving God the glory (Daniel 4:30-37).

 H – Pride is very HARSH with other people in words or actions, it’s lacking in a critical fruit of the Spirit: gentleness (Gal 5:23).  Humility is gentleness (careful not to harm another even in little ways, such as a careless hurtful word or joke about someone).But pride leads to uncontrolled anger that ends up lashing out in harsh ways at others.

 I – Pride is IMPATIENT. For example, a proud person gets quickly frustrated with a coworker who is slow to respond, with a slow driver on the road, or with a crying child because he feels he deserves much quiet time to himself. 

J – Pride JUSTIFIES itself (Luke 16:15), and JUDGES others, looking down on others in the heart (Matt 7:1). It often joins hands with the accuser (Rev 12:10), focusing on the sins of others, and excusing its own sins. 

K – Pride often gets puffed up with KNOWLEDGE (1 Corinthians 8:1).Pride is assuming that we see and understand things more clearly than others. 

L – Pride is having LOFTY thoughts of yourself (Romans 12:3).Pride assumes we are indispensable in the kingdom of God or at our occupation, for example. Both will get along fine without us after we are gone! I once heard a saying, “The graveyards are filled with indispensable people.” So many millions of “important” people in the past have lived and died, but the world kept on going. (1 Peter 1:24-25) 

M – Pride is MISERLY.  Not only with its money, but with its time.  It can often get offended when someone asks a favour of us, as if they have no right to.This is because it considers my plans and obligations as more important than somebody else’s; so it is unwilling to be inconvenienced. For example, pride is fixing lunch for myself if I’m hungry but leaving my kids without food until they get cranky and start asking. Or it’s consistently leaving messes for my wife to clean up, without considering her work. Jesus cleaned up even a small linen cloth after He was resurrected (John 20:7). Humility is very considerate of others (Philippians 2:4). Pride is being consistently too busy to help my spouse or child with little things. It’s is an unwillingness to be interrupted. 

N – Pride is being NOSY. It’s being a busybody in other people’s matters (2 Thessalonians 3:11) – pride assumes that we deserve to know what’s going on in another person’s life or that our opinion about it matters. 

O – Pride is very OPINIONATED about many matters outside of the things of God. Jesus was not very opinionated outside of the things of God. We should hold tightly to God’s word, but outside of that it’s possible to be very strongly opinionated as well, expressing our strong feelings about such and such matter which has nothing to do with us. Paul said, “I will not boast in anything except for in the cross of Christ” (Galatians 6:14).  I heard a saying once which blessed me; “The more we grow in Christ the less eager we are to share our own opinions.” 

P – Pride is PRESUMPTION: it’s the assumption that I know what’s going to happen in the future, or holding tightly to my own plans which I for sure will carry out (James 4:14-16) – we should only say “If the Lord wills it.”  Pride depends on self (and is quite confident in it!), rather than God. 

Q – Pride is QUICK to speak, and slow to listen, rather than the other way around (James 1:19). A proud person loves talking about himself a lot – pride assumes that my life is more interesting than that of another.  A proud person often dominates a conversation.The proud don’t listen very carefully to sermons or when reading Scripture since they feel they are pretty good people already, they may listen or read for knowledge which they can boast about later, but the humble have a keen eye and ear specifically for personal application they can take for themselves since they recognise their need and want to improve in the areas of their need/sin. The ear of need is what Jesus referred to as “ears to hear” (Matthew 11:15).Pride is being very eager to share with others what the Lord has showed us (because we feel clever and want to impress people), but not valuing the other truths that our brothers and sisters have to share. It’s being very interested to speak, but having little interest to listen. 

R – Pride is the ROOT of every sin.Grace is God’s power to keep me from sin (Romans 6:14, 2 Corinthians 12:9), and God gives grace to the humble (1 Peter 5:5).  That means: if I sinned, I didn’t get grace because there was pride in me somewhere.  At the root of every sin is pride. 

S – Pride refuses SERVING in ‘Low’ tasks (which we consider ‘below’ us), either in the home (like washing dishes or doing laundry), or in the workplace, such as some menial task which we consider someone else’s job. Humility is quietly willing to take the low, dirty responsibilities which nobody else wants (John 13:14). 

T – The proud are THANKLESS and ungrateful, since they feel they are quite deserving of the good that comes to them.The proud may sing praise songs on Sundays but know nothing of thanking the Lord from the depths of their heart in secret, praising Him with a hymn of thanks in their heart when no one else sees, because they do not really believe they are that sinful and needed the Lord’s mercy all that much (Luke 7:47). 

U – Pride is UNFORGIVING and UNAPOLOGETIC.  Pride stays cold against someone even after they’ve apologised for wrongs against us.  And it refuses to acknowledge or apologise for a wrong it has committed.Pride gets offended when rebuked or corrected (Prov 15:5).  In that case, pride defends itself or worse – criticises the one giving the rebuke. 

V – Pride is VENGEFUL. In subtle ways pride will hold a grudge, such as keeping a cold shoulder against someone for some time, even if on the outside they say with their mouth “I forgive you.” (Romans 12:19) 

W – Pride is WITHOUT SYMPATHY for the suffering of others, and it’s full of jealousy for the success of others.Since it is so self-centred, pride can easily rejoice in its own ease and comfort, even while a brother is deeply mourning. Its attitude is “I’m glad that didn’t happen to me.” Alternately, it is easily jealous and so it doesn’t rejoice when a brother or sister is rejoicing. (Romans 12:15) 

X – Pride is placing EXpectations on others.We are not God that we should command people what they should do and expect so many things from them.  But pride gets angry at others when they don’t do what we want – even toward the Lord Himself.Pride makes demands from God for selfish reasons that aren’t promised in His Word – James 4:2-3 

Y – Pride is very unYIELDING and stubborn. It will not consider or yield to the opinion or desire of another, it will not back down until it gets its way.Jesus granted the request of even a demon when it asked to be cast into pigs! (Mark 5:12-13)But the motto of pride is “MY will be done.” 

Z – Pride is ZEALOUS for one’s own honour (Matt 23:6), and self preservation.  Pride is thinking only about myself and my family, and unconcern for others outside of that circle.  It is void of genuine love and concern for others. 

**By Bobby McDonald © Copyright – Bobby McDonald. No changes whatsoever are to be made to the content of the article without written permission from the author at NCCF Church