I can completely emphasis with the guy in the video, and as one of the most humble people in the church I would like to take a few moments to talk about a subject that I am obviously an expert in.
You know many children tell me every week that I am great teacher, and that I am very humble, so It stands to reason that I would want to use the talents that God gave me to impart to you today.
I’m starting a new series today and I’m calling it “monsters”
Monsters are those scary things that lurk in our closets or under our beds, they are in movies sent to attack us, scare us and move us away from our destinies. Monsters come to steal, kill and destroy.... sound like someone else?
The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
Satan sends monsters into our lives in many forms, but they are all meant to do the same thing.... Steal, kill, and destroy the the life and destiny that God has ordained for you. Some monsters are big and obvious. like the monsters of Pornography, or Violence… others a small and subtle. like the monsters of envy or gossip. but every monster in our lives are meant for the same purpose.
to Steal Joy
To Kill Dreams, and to
Destroy god Given Destiny.
Over the next 4 weeks we are going to look into the face of 4 monsters and we are going to learn how to defeat them. we will look at pride, fear, lust, and inaction. we will define them. learn to identify them and then learn how to defeat these monsters so that they have no more power in our lives.
Some of you may have been caught a little of guard by me introduction. some of you, rightly noticed that I was bragging about being the most humble in the church (and that may have bothered you because is seemed awful prideful to make that assertion). some probably also noticed a little most subtle piece of pride as I talked about the children and how they thought I was a great teacher… and that may have made you feel uncomfortable too, after all it was still bragging right? then there was that talk about my “God given talents”… did that seam a little braggy too? I little more subtle though after all isn’t it right that I should use my God given talents in the way that God intended?
it’s funny that we all know about pride… we talk about it a lot in churches and the bible addresses it constantly… and yet it is one of the biggest and most effect monsters in satan’s army. Pride, I would wager ensnares more people than we care to admit. Pride can be right out there and in your face but it can also be incredibly subtle and hard to detect.
let’s look at one example at we begin to explore this topic.
Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, and laid them at the apostles’ feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need. And Joses, who was also named Barnabas by the apostles (which is translated Son of Encouragement), a Levite of the country of Cyprus, having land, sold it, and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet. But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession. And he kept back part of the proceeds, his wife also being aware of it, and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles’ feet. But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself? While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.” Then Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and breathed his last. So great fear came upon all those who heard these things. And the young men arose and wrapped him up, carried him out, and buried him. Now it was about three hours later when his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. And Peter answered her, “Tell me whether you sold the land for so much?” She said, “Yes, for so much.” Then Peter said to her, “How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.” Then immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. And the young men came in and found her dead, and carrying her out, buried her by her husband. So great fear came upon all the church and upon all who heard these things.
What was the root of the sin of Ananias and Sapphira? Many will say it was the fact that they lied… and that certainly is true… but what was the root of this sin? Lets look at this situation
Talk about NT Tithing and teaching kids to not be sefish
See Annanias were caught up in something that CAUSED them to lie.... they didn’t have to lie, they had no real reason… their property was theirs to do with as they wished BUT....
Everyone was doing it! everyone who was coming to Christianity (becoming a follower of “The Way” was taking EVERYTHING they had a bringing it.... and Ananaias and Sapphira wanted to look good just like them… it was a matter of pride, they needed to make sure that everyone SAW them giving “ALL to the apostles just like everyone else had… and it was this pride that caused their plan to deceive, and ultimately caused their death.
They could have simple come to them and said “This is all we could give”, there may have even been a good reason for them to keep back some, BUT because they felt they needed to lie so that they could seem just like everyone else.
What was the root of their sin? Pride! they were trying to look good They were trying to show everyone else around that they were “just as good” as everyone else who was bringing everything… it was this monster of Pride that caused them to lie, when they really had no reason to.
i’ll also mention that it is the height of conceit to thing that you can lie to God and get away with it.
pride makes us do crazy things. it makes us lie about bringing all to God… or putting an empty tithe envelope in the offering plate.
It makes us spend much more on clothing than we can afford, just so we can look good in front of our church friends.
it makes us pretend to be holier than we really are so that our church doesn’t see less of us.
Pride make us think more highly of ourselves than we aught, and when that happens we start to sin simply to maintain appearances.
The Dictionary defines Pride like this:
The quality of having an excessively high opinion of oneself or one's importance.
some Synonyms of pride are
self-love, self-adulation, self-admiration,
haughtiness, snobbery, snobbishness; etc.
Look at how Satan tried to tempt Jesus into sin Matt 4:1-11
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ ” Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and, “In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’ ” Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’ ” Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ ” Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.
Jesus is the Son of God. But even still Satan tries to temp Jesus and how does he do it? lets look into this passage.
Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”
So here’s the question.... Could Jesus have done that? of course he could. not only could he have turned the rocks into bread, he could have turned them into a 6 course meal with cheese cart and desert bar. This is God we’re talking about here. But God places His son on earth as a human for a purpose and it would have been arrogant and prideful for Jesus to exceed his mission...
Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and, “In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’ ”
He is Satan again tempting Jesus… was it true that is Jesus jumped that Angels would stop him from falling? sure! I mean which father would let His son be harmed when he could prevent it? but again Satan is trying to get Jesus to act like the child of a rich daddy. It would have been a act of pride to assume that His father was simply going to save him every time he needed something.
This is what pride does… it make you thing that some how you are higher, more, better, or more important than those around you. Pride fools you into thinking that some how if you “appear” to be something than you are.
A few months back I equated Pride to A disease and in so many ways it is. Jesus recognized that pride rots you from the inside. that is why he says in Matt 23:27
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.
I could start on how pride was the downfall of the pharisees and certainly I could the vast majority of the Gospels to prove it. I could show you again and again how it was the pride and the arrogance of the Pharisees that but them at odds again and again with Jesus.
I could show you a myriad of examples how Jesus tried to show them how to be humble instead of prideful… but I’m not going to… I think the evidence speaks for itself.
Let’s instead look at a famous Old Testament example of pride.
Now the whole earth had one language and one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and they dwelt there. Then they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They had brick for stone, and they had asphalt for mortar. And they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.” But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. And the Lord said, “Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them. Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.” So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city. Therefore its name is called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.
Looking at this passage we see that man was getting prideful. and because of their pride they were concerned about being forgotten they wanted to make a name for themselves.So what did they decide to do about it? they decided to make the worlds largest tower. a tower so tall that is would reach to the heavens so that they could literally be in the heavens with the gods!
Now I don’t know about you but I don’t know anyone today that would be arrogant enough to think that they could build a tower that tall… (well maybe one person.....)
See the people of Babel started to think higher than themselves than they aught… and that is what caused their downfall.
So at this point you should have at least one question in your mind....
We’ll let me put it this way… Rick Warren wrote, in “a purpose driven life that.
True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.
This quote is often attributed to CS Lewis… maybe to give it more weight, but what he actually wrote is better.Let me quote to you one of Christianity’s most famous theologians and authors. CS Lewis says this about humility:
Do not imagine that if you meet a really humble man he will be what most people call ‘humble’ nowadays: he will not be a sort of greasy, smarmy person, who is always telling you that, of course, he is nobody. Probably all you will think about him is that he seemed a cheerful, intelligent chap who took a real interest in what you said to him. If you do dislike him it will be because you feel a little envious of anyone who seems to enjoy life so easily. He will not be thinking about humility: he will not be thinking about himself at all.
If anyone would like to acquire humility, I can, I think, tell him the first step. The first step is to realize that one is proud. And a biggish step, too. At least, nothing whatever can be done before it. If you think you are not conceited, it means you are very conceited indeed
So is pride always bad? If we take our definition from before than yes. it is never a good thing to be proud!
BUT that does not mean that you cannot think highly of yourself.
It doesn’t mean that you cannot be happy with what you have achieved in your life
and it certainly doesn’t mean that you cannot be confident.
What is does mean is that know that your accomplishments don’t make you any better than the person sitting beside you.
So we know the monster and how it works. we’ve defined the monster and seen how it rears its ugly head.
So now we need to figure out how to fight this monster.
The fact of the matter is you are awesome! PS 139:14 says that you are fearfully and wonderfully made! I remember some time ago seeing a shirt that read. I know I’m special cause God don’t make no junk! and while the grammar is awful the truth is sound. God doesn’t make junk. He made you, perfectly, to be exactly who you are going to become.
He gave you gifts and talents, and not only wants you to be good at them, but wants you to be great at them. and As one of His followers he is well and truly pleased with you.
This is real. The fact that you have gifts and talents, the fact that you have things that you are good at. the fact that there are things that you are far better at than the person sitting beside you.... or even me. and that’s a good thing, because the world would be a very different place if everyone had my math skills....
But as much as these things are true, not one of those things makes you any better than the person beside you.
Just because you have the voice of an angel, doesn’t make you any better than the people in the church who can’t sing!
Just because you have been given the gift of great organization doesn't make you any better than the people who don’t have that gifting.
In the body of Christ. Pride is thinking that the nose is better than the elbow....
you may think that you are pretty on the face of the body of Christ.. and really what does the elbow do? until one day you the nose needs some help on the hand can give.
The worship team is not more important than the ushers. because who will enjoy worship if there is chaos in the sanctuary?
So this is the first way we fight pride, by simply remembering that. yes, you have talents. but so does everyone else. There is not one person that God put on this earth that doesn’t have a makes them just a special as you.
That’s what we call keepin’ it real!
Whenever I cannot do something for my dad. he say to me “And you call yourself a son”… my response is that there are some titles that are only given.
The truth of the matter is that if you are conferring on yourself the title of “best”, “most awesome”, “talented” , “humble”.... if your list of accomplishments comes from your mouth more often than it comes from the mouths of others. you might be suffering from Pride.
Now some of you will say “But pastor mike, is I don’t promote myself who will? If people don’t know what I’m capable of how will anyone know how I can be used?” and those are fair questions.
You know there are those in the church that still have no idea that I ever went to Bible college, because I don’t advertize it.
When I came to All Nations, I cam at my fathers request. and when I came I didn’t tell anyone the things that I had done or could do.
When I help with A/V I didn’t tell anyone that I knew this stuff because I had been on the production team at a large church that still airs service on vision.
When I helped out at the children’s ministry I didn’t tell everyone that the ideas that was coming with were from my first posting during Bible college where I was taken under the wing of a seasoned children’s pastor who taught me everything from writing a curriculum from scratch, to puppetry and everything in between.
There are still people who have no idea that I have acting experience and have been on several past CBC TV shows and one Bollywood movie
and I’m not bringing these things up to brags, certainly not… my point is that most of these things came to light as the result of someone else sharing them. not because I came to the church, busted open the doors and said, follow me because I’m awesome! No I simply came to serve and my talents were revealed as I simply served others.
Do you want to know who will promote you if you don't? God will promote you.
Do you want to know how people will find out what you’re capable of? simply serve. I promise we will figure out what you are capable of as you serve God in humility.
Paul was an upright citizen in Jesus time and listen to what he writes is Philippians 3:4-8
though I also might have confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so: circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ
Paul had a lot to brag about if we wanted to. He was an upstanding citizen, he was educated, likely had money. The was a pharisee which meant that he had status. we has skilled at speaking and writing. But he says here… he counts it all for nothing! this is humility in the face of a God who created the universe and everything in it. How can you brag in the presence of God, the one who gave you those talents in the first place.
Do you want to fight the monster of pride? Let God be your promoter and you see yourself rise faster and higher then you could have imagined.
Do you want to fight the monster of pride? Let your actions do the speaking of your talents and your character rather than your mouth. and you will find that people notice your God given talents all the more.
When you read the Bible you hear read so often of pride, arrogance,etc. and you might wonder why God devotes so much time to this in the Bible… obvously it’s because he knows that it is important.
It’s no accident that Proverbs 16:18 says,
Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall.
rather than pride “May” come before or “Could” come before… or it’s possible that destruction “might” come. The fact is that pride rots from the inside because it’s primary concern is the outer appearance. this is why Jesus called out the Pharisees at Whitewashed tombs in Matthew 23:27
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.
And it is why Jesus showed us a different way to be… you notice that Jesus never gave a long list of his accomplishments. there is no resume of Jesus. in fact what we see instead is Jesus simply serving in humility… He let his actions do the talking.
I pray that we can all be a little more like Jesus