Mercy Street Church of Christ
Abilene, TX
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Whoever humbles himself will be exalted

Whoever humbles himself will be exalted. (Matthew 23:12)

The scribes and Pharisees play a major role in the Gospels, don’t they? They are the “bad guys” that every good story needs. Yet the truth is that these scholars and religious leaders were people, much like the rest of us. Here's what I mean, they had their own strengths and weaknesses, just like us. Many were probably good family men and very dedicated to their work. And, like all of us, they faced temptations. The problem was that some of them gave in to these temptations—especially the sin of pride.

Who among us hasn’t been tempted to be prideful—to want the place of honor, to exalt ourselves, to have our importance be noticed and felt by others? The good news is that we can learn to resist these temptations. By the grace of the Holy Spirit, we can strengthen our resolve to stay strong. And when we fall prey, we can repent and keep moving forward.

It may be hard to believe, but God has made it possible for us to live a humble life just as Jesus did two thousand years ago.

How? Part of the equation rests on our observations. We have to watch the places, people, and times that tend to get us into a prideful mind-set. This will help us know when we need to be on guard.

Another part of the equation rests on our time with God. He can do for us what we could never do for ourselves. Just a few minutes a day in prayer can go a long way in changing our hearts and minds.

The final part of the equation rests on the Holy Spirit. Day after day, hour after hour, he is sending us messages from Scripture: “Don’t forget that God loves you.” “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time." "Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love." "Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall." "To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech."

So your job today is threefold. Be on guard when necessary. Pray. And hear the Holy Spirit. Do that, and you’ll make real progress! God loves you. Love him back. Amen.

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