It's All Grace

Amazing things can happen when you allow the Lord to work in your life.

Showing Off

“A man’s pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit” (Proverbs 29:23).

My son and daughter had finished their schoolwork early and were heading out the door to go on a long bike ride for the remainder of the afternoon. I was looking forward to the additional free time from our homeschooling day to work in my flower garden. I waved and smiled as they left the yard and said, “Have a nice time.” Little did I know, the plans for the afternoon were soon to change.

I watched as my son decided to show his sister that he could ride a bike without using his hands. Showing off, he continued riding until he reached a patch of loose gravel on our road. In an instant, he was airborne like a cartoon character and landed with a thud in the middle of the road. Unfortunately, he didn’t bounce back. I ran to pick up his bleeding body and checked for broken bones.

Showing off usually leads to some type of catastrophe. King Hezekiah made such a mistake when he decided to show his possessions to the king of Babylon (2 Kings 20:12-13). Isaiah rebuked him for being so foolish and prophesied, “Behold, the days come, that all that is in thine house, and that which thy fathers have laid up in store unto this day, shall be carried into Babylon: nothing shall be left, saith the LORD” (vs.17). The king of Babylon knew a good thing when he saw it. He conquered Jerusalem many years later and carried away every one of those treasures.

Do you struggle with wanting to impress others? Do you flaunt your possessions or achievements, so other people will think highly of you? Do you doubt your worth in the Lord’s eyes so much that you puff yourself up to find value? Don’t be like a child and show off. Humble yourself before you are humiliated by your actions. God’s Word says, “Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time” (1 Peter 5:5-6).

AOP Homeschooling Devotions

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Can You Hear Me Now?

And Jesus said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”  Mark 4:9

Numerous times Jesus includes the equivalent of saying, “Listen up!” when He speaks. His expression, He who has ears to hear,”makes us realize how often we use our ears for other purposes—to secure sun glasses, to keep our hats from falling over our eyes, and to hang jewelry. But we’ve got ears in order to hear. Jesus wants to provoke attention, even though He knows some will not listen.

When we look at the reasons why people don’t listen, we can group them into four categories. As you read them, do a spiritual hearing check-up by asking yourself, Am I like that?

Immaturity. People of all ages can have this problem. Immaturity is the inability to connect actions and consequences. The immature person doesn’t get it. They can’t make the connection between their choices and what comes because of those decisions. They need to discover the unbreakable law of cause and effect that God has established in the universe. If you choose to sin; you choose to suffer. That’s what’s coming. People frequently say, “I’m going to beat the odds. I’m going to cut the corners.” Then they hit a brick wall or disappear in a bottomless pit. Often, painful experience is the only effective teacher to improve an immature person’s hearing.

Rebellion. “My will. My thrill. You chill.” Those are the proud declarations of rebellion. “No one’s going to get between my will and my thrill! This is what I want to do. You back off! Don’t tell me anything.” Rebels won’t listen and they try to cut off any attempts by others to help. They are stuck in overdrive, headed for a wall—and they don’t care! But hardship and humiliation can make a rebel’s heart attentive.

Woundedness. Hidden hurts close hearts and ears. They can’t hear because something happened that left unseen scars. Sometimes in a family or a church things happen that few know about. The person holds it all inside and drifts away. They’re hurting, but don’t bring it out in the open. They can’t listen to reason because all they hear is their hidden wound.

Relationships. Peers could be the problem. Peers in the ears block fears. Warnings we should hear and be afraid of don’t register on our radar. Like a teen who feels the need for speed, with a friend in the passenger seat shouting, “GO!! GO!! GO!!!” There are many times we should be afraid, but we’re more concerned about impressing our friends and the people around us.

Most of us can relate to one or more of the reasons above. But He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” Jesus’ words remind us He has spoken even when we are not listening. And His Word is always ready when we’re ready to use our ears for their designed purpose—to listen. Until we’re willing to respond to the truth He has for us, we’re not really listening.

How did you do with the hearing check-up? If you realize you are being influenced not to listen to the Lord because of one or more of these causes, it’s time to let God do some hearing correction. Ask Him to tune your ears to hear His voice.

Pastor James MacDonald

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ALL Figured Out!

The world is full of people who think they’ve got it all figured out , yet, it’s those people who are UNteachable! Matt 5:3  The happiness you crave will only come from your willingness to learn!

The closer you get to an oak tree, the bigger it gets! Just like the closer you get to God the greater your perspective is!  Remember there are NO proud people at the foot of the cross!

Will you be teachable (with a spirit of humility) or will you stand your ground in pride, claiming to know it all?

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Is Pride Evident?

Is pride evident in your life?  Pride is NO small matter to God!  The only kind of people that can get close to God, are the humble.  When we refuse to humble ourselves – WE ARE PROUD!

You lift yourself up, God will bring you down. Count on it!

Proverbs 16:18  “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.”  

When man defies God’s judgments, and think they are far from them, it is a sign they are at the door.  Let us not fear the pride of others, but fear pride in ourselves.

 

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