Commendation & Boasting

Fantastic Job!!!I have met people before who seem to think more highly of themselves than they ought. They could also be called arrogant and full of pride. I think there are probably times most everyone has be guilty of this. There are some who appear to have a DNA filled with arrogance. I believe that our pride and arrogance is a huge detriment to living honorably before the Lord. If I’m arrogant, I obviously think I’m something special. It’s the Lord Who makes me what I am. I should not be prideful of anything that He as blessed me with. He should get all the credit for whoever I’ve become or who I am.

Paul writes to the Corinth church in his second letter speaking about his authority from the Lord. He defends his authority within the boundaries set by God. Check this out…

17 As the Scriptures say, “If you want to boast, boast only about the Lord.”

18 When people commend themselves, it doesn’t count for much. The important thing is for the Lord to commend them. (2 Corinthians 10:17-18 NLT)

The passage of scripture Paul is quoting about boasting come from Jeremiah. Check this out…

23 This is what the Lord says:
“Don’t let the wise boast in their wisdom,
    or the powerful boast in their power,
    or the rich boast in their riches.
24 But those who wish to boast
    should boast in this alone:
that they truly know me and understand that I am the Lord
    who demonstrates unfailing love
    and who brings justice and righteousness to the earth,
and that I delight in these things.
    I, the Lord, have spoken! (Jeremiah 9:23-24 NLT)

I like to be commended and bragged upon as much as the next person. I need to be sure to give the Lord credit for any good that comes from me. Without Him, I’m not capable of anything good. I need to be humble and grateful for any kindness shown to me by anyone. The Lord shows me kindness and grace that is much more than I deserve. I would rather be known by the Lord than to be known by millions of raving fans. The desire for fame and notoriety can be addictive and destructive. I am happy to live and serve wherever the Lord calls me to serve. I want to live my life for His purposes and goals and not my own. I’m thankful that He has saved me and chosen to make my heart His home.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Know It All

i want to know moreI am not a fan of “know it all” people. I do enjoy being around smart people. I heard a quote recently that said: “If you’re the smartest person in the room, then you’re in the wrong room”! If I know it all, how can I keep growing? I personally believe people who “know it all” are prideful and arrogant. We should never be too old to learn. We should never become so well educated that we can’t learn or refuse to learn anything new. The Apostle Paul was dealing with the freedoms of some people at church and the strong convictions of others. It is easy for me to tell others what to believe based on my convictions. The Pharisees and the Sadducees did this with great regularity. They enjoyed making other people feel inferior to their beliefs and teachings of scripture. When Jesus encountered them, He often made them look foolish in their prideful behavior. Check this out…

But while knowledge makes us feel important, it is love that strengthens the church. Anyone who claims to know all the answers doesn’t really know very much. But the person who loves God is the one whom God recognizes.

But for us,

There is one God, the Father,
    by whom all things were created,
    and for whom we live.
And there is one Lord, Jesus Christ,
    through whom all things were created,
    and through whom we live. (1 Corinthians 8:1b-3,6 NLT)

I do have some convictions based on my knowledge and understanding of God’s Word and my journey with Him over the years. I am open to the teaching of His Word by others. I also don’t want to become prideful and arrogant based on what I know or believe about the Lord. Jesus modeled humility even though He was The One & Only Son of God. I want to know more about the Lord. I want to know more about God’s heart. I want my understanding and knowledge of Him to continue to expand and grow every day of my life. I do have convictions – belief that is set in concrete, but I’m open to the Lord’s teaching me new insight into His heart. I don’t want my freedoms to destroy other people’s convictions. I simply want to know more and more about the Lord in Whom I put my trust for this life and eternal life!

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Humble vs. Prideful

Business Leadership Attributes and Features in LiteratureThese two descriptive words are on opposite ends of the spectrum. They are often obvious, but sometimes hidden just beneath the surface. I was raised by parents of humble means and I was taught humility at an early age. I think that pride is the root of all sin. I believe that it raises its head when I least expect it. In fact, if I’m not careful, I can be “prideful” of my humility. How wacked out is that?

I have heard this story that Jesus told while teaching His disciples about humility. The story was very possibly one that was similar to a real-life situation. The Pharisees and teachers of the law were very proud of their education, their heritage and their position. They were devout followers of the law, at lease the part people could see. Jesus called them “white-washed tombs” at one point – “pretty on the outside, but full of dead men’s bones on the inside.” Check this out…

Then Jesus told this story to some who had great confidence in their own righteousness and scorned everyone else: 10 “Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not like other people—cheaters, sinners, adulterers. I’m certainly not like that tax collector! 12 I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.’

13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’ 14 I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” (Luke 18:8-14 NLT)

The Lord cares way more about what is happening inside my heart rather than the “show” that everyone else sees. I do try my best to navigate each day without becoming “full of myself” when I accomplish something good. I must give the credit where it’s due – the Lord can do amazing things through me. The minute that think “it’s about me”, then I’ve become prideful and useless in God’s economy. I am thankful that the Lord uses regular people like me to serve in His Kingdom. It’s not about a title or position. He cares more about my “serving heart” than He cares about my accomplishments, accolades or my bank account balance. I’m convinced that if He can use me, He can, and will use anyone.

When I reflect on the giants in the faith, whose shoulders I’m standing upon, a theme runs through it – they were all humble and gentle in spirit. They were simply followers of the Lord who wanted to know Him more. They were disciplined in their study of His Word and disciplined to pray about everything.  I want to pray more and worry less. I want to know Him more and worry less. I want to trust Him more and live less stressed. I want to be humble and kind – serving others because He calls me to do just that.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Satisified

 

Cheerful man showing thumbs up, over whiteThis word certainly means contented or pleased. It also carries the meaning of meeting expectations and desires of another. I’m usually satisfied after eating dinner. I dissatisfied if the food was bad or inadequate. There are times that I’ve been very satisfied with the service I’ve received. There have also been times that I’ve been disappointed.

In Hosea, the prophet reminds me that when Israel was satisfied, it led to their demise. Check this out….

4 ‘But I have been the Lord your God

    ever since you came out of Egypt.

You shall acknowledge no God but me,

    no Savior except me.

5 I cared for you in the wilderness,

    in the land of burning heat.

6 When I fed them, they were satisfied;

    when they were satisfied, they became proud;

    then they forgot me. (Hosea 13:4-6 NIV)

 

Pride can be a very destructive place to be. If I’m full of pride, I think that I’m the one responsible for my life. I believe pride to be a very dangerous thought. I can totally loose perspective by being prideful. I can take all the credit when it really belongs to God or others.

I want to be a seeker of God’s heart for the rest of my life. I don’t ever want to become satisfied with where I am today. I want to be closer to Him. I want to know His heart. I know that He is the Great Provider and that all that I have and all that I am comes from Him. He loves my seeking heart. I think a satisfied heart can slip into becoming a complacent heart and therefore fall away. I want to walk through each day knowing that it belongs to Him and He’s given me provision, protection and direction for today.

Pressing On!

Dwayne