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Psalm 119:10-11 With my whole heart I seek you; let me not
wander from your commandments! I have stored up your
word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

For Pride Is The Beginning Of All Sin...

For pride is the beginning of all sin. ~ Augustine-Treatise On The City Of God

I was recently reading St. Augustine's treatise on the city of God and this one sentence really stood out to me. Sure there was plenty that I was able to glean from this magnificent writing, but the point that strikes me is that sin begins with pride.

John Owens, in his book The Mortification Of Sin, makes the statement, "be killing sin daily or sin will be killing you." So as I read the works of our early church fathers and look at the scriptures that God has provided for our guidance and wisdom then I find it safe to assume that we must kill pride, the root of all sin, or it will destroy us.

I heard a preacher talking the other day and he made the statement that God has a way of exposing us through shameful sin to destroy our pride. He certainly could allow us to sin in other ways and get our attention through it, but the sins that are exposed to the people around us are the ones that cause us to humble ourselves before God in order to get right with him and the people we encounter.

I can totally relate to this in my own life. I am by no means a member on the public stage and I have very few people that I expose my life to outside of the church and my work, but there have been times that God has used simple public sin to put me into a place of humility in my life. One recently gave me the opportunity to reflect on my need to increase the humility in my life and after a couple of days of reflection in this area I felt like God had changed my heart. I spent many hours during this time of correction from the Lord reading through Psalm 51.

Psa 51:2-4 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity And cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, And my sin is ever before me. Against You, You only, I have sinned And done what is evil in Your sight, So that You are justified when You speak And blameless when You judge.

The Bible is filled with scriptures regarding pride in our life and I am sure I could read and include an abundance of such scriptures, but I believe what God has laid on my heart today isn't to point out that we all have pride in our life that needs to be dealt with. I think today God wants to remind you and me that we have a loving father in heaven who will accept us and forgive us even when we make terrific mistakes that are born from a prideful heart.

The cry of David in this psalm is to ask God to create in him a clean heart. To blot away any of his iniquities and to repair his life from his sinful ways. In verse 2 he asks to be cleansed from his sin. He wants God to not just take an eraser and erase away the damage and sin in his heart, but he wants God to thoroughly wash him and cleanse him. A deep cleansing of the heart that only God can do. We can give the appearance on the outside that our heart is humble and good, but only God can work the deep cleansing we need on the inside to rid of of the nasty parasite of pride.

Are you struggling with the sin of pride today? If you say 'no' then I might suggest that you are too prideful to recognize it. ( Mar 7:21-23 ) If you say 'yes' then I hope that you turn to the Lord today and ask Him to begin the cleansing work that you need in order to be humble and contrite before Him and the people He places in your path. Pride is a killer... It destroys careers, families, ministries, and people's hearts. God uses the humble and opposes the proud.

Lord Jesus, I pray today for my heart and I lay down my will before you. Please cleanse me from my pride and selfish ways and give me a heart of humility. I long to be used by you and I pray that you will do a magnificent work in my life in the area of pride and humility. In your precious name, Amen

Psa 51:8-14 Make me to hear joy and gladness, Let the bones which You have broken rejoice. Hide Your face from my sins And blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God And renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation And sustain me with a willing spirit. Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, And sinners will be converted to You. Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, the God of my salvation; Then my tongue will joyfully sing of Your righteousness. (nasb)

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