Platter of Pride
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This is another Bible study I put together and presented on July 13, 2006.
I prepared a "platter" with verses on both sides - the "pride" ones on one side and the others on the reverse. Handed those out to everyone as I did the study.
I changed some of the words as I went through - I used this more for a guide, and did not read it word-for-word.
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Ask people to define:
Pride: The act of being proud
Proud: displaying excessive self-esteem
Haughty: blatantly and disdainfully proud
Boast: pull oneself up in speech, speak with excessive pride, call attention to oneself
Humble: not proud or haughty : not arrogant or assertive, or reflecting, expressing, or offered in a spirit of deference or submission , or ranking low in a hierarchy or scale
Pride, 63 times
Proud / proudly, 47 times
Boast, 86 times
Selfish, 7 times
Self-seeking, 1 time
Humble, 71 times
Many times when these words are used, itís in the negative sense. Have people read each of these:
Therefore pride is their necklace; they clothe themselves with violence.
May the LORD cut off all flattering lips and every boastful tongue
They pour out arrogant words; all the evildoers are full of boasting.
An unfriendly man pursues selfish ends; he defies all sound judgment.
But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.
Question: Why does God dislike prideful ways?
A: Have someone read Psalm 10:4
In his pride the wicked does not seek Him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.
God wants us to focus on Him. When our pride is in the way, we donít: pray, seek Him, or accept discipline.
Need a reader for Genesis 3:6-7
When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
God says that His creation was ďvery goodĒ on the sixth day. He then rested on the seventh day, Adam and Eve could have sinned as early as day eight.
Question: Did their pride cause them to sin?
Answer: Their pride gave them the impression that they knew more than God.
Letís get a reader for Genesis 4:2-7
Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the LORD. But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast. If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it."
Question: How about Cainís murder of Abel? Was pride involved in his decision?
Answer: Absolutely. We must learn to master our sin, ie Pride.
Letís look at our Platter of Pride.
Church: See me, I go to church on Sunday and get my fill. I donít need more.
2 Tim 3:2 - People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy
Music: This music makes me feel so good. I love cutesy music. (But what about God Ė is He pleased? Should we feel good because we make God feel good, or because we feel good?)
Proverbs 16:5 - The LORD detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished.
Boat: I have this great boat and I go out every Sunday. Itís the only place I have peace.
1 John 2:16 - For everything in the worldóthe cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and doesócomes not from the Father but from the world.
Golf: I play golf every Sunday. Itís where I get my Ďreligioní for the week.
1 Samuel 2:3 - Do not keep talking so proudly or let your mouth speak such arrogance, for the LORD is a God who knows, and by Him deeds are weighed.
Cruise / Vacation: Iíve only been on four vacations this year. Of course I miss church, but itís okay Ė God understands and doesnít expect me to go to church while Iím on vacation. I get enough the week before.
James 4:16 - As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil.
Jewelry: See the diamonds and expensive jewelry I have.
Ezekiel 7:20 - They were proud of their beautiful jewelry and used it to make their detestable idols and vile images. Therefore I will turn these into an unclean thing for them.
Friends / dinners: I was out late Saturday night. I can skip church this week Ė no one will mind.
Psalm 10:3 - He boasts of the cravings of his heart; he blesses the greedy and reviles the LORD.
Money / raise / promotion: See my things. You know, I give 10% to the church when I attend.
Ezekial 28:5 - By your great skill in trading you have increased your wealth, and because of your wealth your heart has grown proud.
Question to consider: Are we only supposed to tithe on our money? What about our time and service? What if we gave God 10% of our day in prayer? (That is about 2.5 hours.)
Bible & Scrolls: Sure, I read the Bible sometimes. I donít need to read all of it, just the parts that pertain to me.
2 Timothy 3:16 -All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.
Can being humble be prideful? Boastful? Can our hearts become proud? Letís read Deuteronomy 8:14 - then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
Letís look a little at Boasting in the Lord and why this is good.
Could someone read 2 Corinthians 10:18
"Let him who boasts boast in the Lord. For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.Ē
We have all heard people who brag about themselves; how great they are at any given thing, how much they know about something. In fact, we have all done this at various times.
To brag is to make arrogant talk. Interestingly, arrogance is an exaggeration of oneís own worth or importance. Boasting is a means of bragging. When we boast, we are raising ourselves up higher than we should.
In 2 Corinthians 10:17-18, we are told to boast only in the Lord. In fact, 2 Corinthians 10:12-18 makes some strong statements about boasting, including being unwise and boasting of othersí work.
Letís read 2 Corinthians 10:12-18 - We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise. We, however, will not boast beyond proper limits, but will confine our boasting to the field God has assigned to us, a field that reaches even to you. We are not going too far in our boasting, as would be the case if we had not come to you, for we did get as far as you with the gospel of Christ. Neither do we go beyond our limits by boasting of work done by others. Our hope is that, as your faith continues to grow, our area of activity among you will greatly expand, so that we can preach the gospel in the regions beyond you. For we do not want to boast about work already done in another man's territory. But, "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord." For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.
To have the Lord commend us is the ultimate recognition we can hope to achieve while on this earth. God considers us worthy of mentioning and wants us to have His confidence in our lives with Him.
Similarly, in Jeremiah 9:23-24, we are given words that the Lord says: "Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice, and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight," declares the LORD.
God WANTS us to know Him and understand Him. God is our Creator and He is Lord. To believe that being allowed in His presence is what He wants is an awesome thought. The Creator of all wants us to fellowship with Him.
Letís switch a bit and look at why being humble before God is so important.
Need a reader for Deuteronomy 8:2 - Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands.
2 Chronicles 7:14 has several key elements - if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
What are we supposed to do? (Humble, pray, seek Him, repent).
What does God do when we do these things? (hears and forgives).
Now letís look at 2 Chronicles 33:12. Before we read that, Iíll give you a quick background. Manasseh began ruling Jerusalem when he was only 12 years old, and ruled for 55 years. He was an evil king and worshiped false idols and gods, and set up false idols in Godís temple. He practiced sorcery and witchcraft and consulted mediums. He led the people of Jerusalem astray. The Lord was angry and spoke to Manasseh and the people, but they did not listen. So God made Manasseh a prisoner of Assyria where he was bound and had a hook put into his nose. Manasseh finally realized his wrongdoing and pleaded with God, and God restored him to power. Manasseh then worshipped God and turned from his evil ways. Interestingly, his son didnít get it Ė for Amon was an evil ruler who was never humbled. He was assassinated. If you get the chance, read all of 2 Chronicles 33 for a better understanding of this passage.
Read 2 Chron 33:12 - In his distress he sought the favor of the LORD his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers.
God forgave Manasseh of his horrible crimes because he humbled himself before the Lord.
God wants us to move from a Platter of Pride to a Heart of Humbleness (okay Ė turn your platter over now). Letís look at some verses that support this.
Psalm 25:9 - He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.
Psalm 147:6 - The LORD sustains the humble but casts the wicked to the ground.
Psalm 149:4 - For the LORD takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with salvation.
Matthew 18:4 Ė Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
Question: Ask thoughts on this verse Ė why is it important to come to Christ as a little child would?
Answer: We need a childlike trust and acceptance of God. How often we let our ďadultnessĒ get in the way. To those who were here Sunday for Matisonís dedication Ė think of how unconcerned she was Ė she was being held and didnít even have to consider that she would be dropped. Thatís how we must come to Christ.
Ephesians 4:2 Ė Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
Philippians 2:8 Ė (This is what Christ did for us) And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled himself and became obedient to deathó even death on a cross!
Finally, letís look at this verse:
James 4:6 - But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."
God gives us grace when we are humble. I would pray that we all learn to be humble in His sight.
All references from NIV
Copywright (C) 2006, Virginia Lutz
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