Monday, September 11. Read Philippians 2:6-11. 1) What form did Christ have before he came to earth? 2) What was he willing to do with that form? 3) What were the consequences of taking on that form? 4) What do you think this passage teaches us about pride?
Tuesday, September 12. Read Genesis 3:1-7. 1) What instructions did God give the Adam and Eve regarding the fruit? 2) How did the serpent tempt them? 3) To what motives did the serpent appeal? 4) What similarities do you see in your life today?
Wednesday, September 13. Read Genesis 11:1-9. 1) What was the goal of the people of Shinar? 2) What was their fear? 3) What did God do to thwart their efforts?
Thursday, September 14. Read Daniel 4:1-27. 1) What did Daniel say the interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream was? 2) What did the king need to learn before he was restored? (vs. 19)
Friday, September 15. Read Proverbs 16:18. 1) What does the Proverbs say about pride? 2) Why do you think this is true?
Saturday, September 16. Read Galatians 6:1-5. This is Sunday’s sermon text.
Prayer of the Week
Father, In Proverbs You’ have taught me that pride only breeds quarrels, but wisdom is found in those who take advice. Please help me to see when I am prideful and quarrelsome. Help me to have a teachable heart. Lord, You have warned me that pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall. God, I know that pride brings humiliation and dishonor but a humble and lowly spirit gains honor. Please work in my life through your Spirit to be a person of humility. In Jesus’ name, I pray this. Amen.
Hymn of the Week
Prince of Peace, control my will
by Mary A.S. Barber, 1801-1884
Prince of Peace, control my will;
Bid the struggling heart be still;
Bid my fears and doubtings cease,
Hush my spirit into peace.
Thou hast bought me with Thy blood,
Opened wide the gate to God;
Peace I ask, but peace must be,
Lord, in being one with Thee.
May Thy will, not mine, be done;
May Thy will and mine be one;
Chase these doubtings from my heart,
Now Thy perfect peace impart.
Savior, at Thy feet I fall,
Thou my life, my God, my all;
Let Thy happy servant be
One forevermore with Thee!
Devotional Article of the Week:
The Forgotten Virtue: Is it hard to be humble when you think yourself great?
by Rubel Shelly
Name a virtue that you admire in others and want to cultivate in yourself.
So what word came to mind? Courage would have been a good answer, for so many people these days seem to lack the ability to confront their personal fears or to face life’s uncertainties with confidence. Another good answer would be justice; it is a concern for the public good that demands we look outside our selfishness to meet others’ needs and to protect their persons and rights.
Self-control or the ability to practice moderation and restraint might be your immediate concern; if you are battling weight or smoking or temper, it probably ranks high on your list of desired virtues. I dare to say prudence didn’t come to mind — though you might have used a contemporary term such as good judgment or discretion; it is the counter to thoughtless and reckless behaviors.
Those four qualities — temperance, prudence, courage, and justice — are often termed the cardinal virtues to Western civilization. As far back as Plato and Aristotle, they receive praise. Add such names as Seneca, Thomas Aquinas, and Ben Franklin to the list, if you wish. These are praiseworthy traits. And all are consistent with the great ethical teachings of Judaism and Christianity.
A virtue that gets little attention and practically no praise in modern settings is humility. Perhaps it is because our culture tends less and less to consult or quote biblical materials in its discussions of character. Perhaps, too, it is because we seem to have equated a healthy sense of self-esteem with personal arrogance.
In athletics, we call it “swagger.” In the halls of the academy, it is “pomp and circumstance.” In business and high finance, it is “perks.” On the streets, it can be called anything from “attitude” to “posturing” to “respect” to “street cred.” And while none of these terms is evil or inappropriate, our shallow culture has come to define them in terms of a feigned superiority that lets one person or group step on another.
So the football player dances in the end zone or over the opponent he tackles and the pitcher in baseball pretends to be a gunslinger when he strikes out the other team’s cleanup hitter. In the university or company, the person who gets the promotion gloats over the one who didn’t. On the streets, she dresses like a prostitue and wants the reputation of being “a mean girl” or he works hard at the glare and manner of a thug. The result is not healthy self-esteem on display, but boorish, uncivil, and cruel behavior — behavior of the sort that creates fights and vendettas when two persons or groups of the same mindset meet.
Humility means acknowledging we all stand on others’ shoulders. We all know too little to put others down. We all owe it to the other person to hear her point and to try to understand his perspective. C.S. Lewis made this important point: “Humility is not thinking less of oneself but thinking of oneself less.”
Pride leads to disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. (Proverbs 11:2 NLT)