Sunday, October 20, 2019

The Pride of Life

Bobservations Column
By Pastor Bob Lawrenz The ancient Jews knew that they were God’s Chosen People. Aside from being receivers of God’s blessings and protection, we have to wonder if they knew what God had in mind, and for what “task” He had chosen them.
To protect the bloodline should have been at the forefront of their collective minds, but compromise was in their blood, just as it is in ours. It is easy to lose sight of God’s priorities for us when the world screams of alternative opportunities (temptations) for us.
Believing they would always enjoy God’s provision and protection, the Jews overlooked God’s Laws, and His Covenants, and took for granted His unchangeable character. In truth, God does not change. But neither does God alter His requirements for staying in His good graces. “If you love me, keep my commandments,” Jesus said. Conversely, if we don’t keep His commandments, will Jesus see that as a love that’s just lip-service, and not real?

In John’s First Epistle, the “pride of life” is among the aspects of the world that God will not honor. Within the pride of life is a sense of vain self- righteousness, as though we somehow deserve the blessings that God bestows upon us. To put it in modern terms, we call it a sense of “entitlement.” There are characters in the Bible that assumed they were in a right relationship with God, and assumed that breaking one of God’s Laws would not bring judgment if it was done for the “right reason.” But they suddenly found themselves under God’s judgment instead of His blessings (2 Samuel 6:6-7).
Servants of the Lord are to approach their service with humility, and prayerful regard for the One Who they serve. James 3:1 states, “My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.” The word “masters” is translated from the Greek word, “didaskalos,” meaning a teacher, or in this case, a teacher of God’s Word. This was the role of the Jewish priests and Sanhedrin. But once they had been compromised, then their teachings are therefore compromised. Such was the state of the priests and leaders of the Jews in the years prior to the Babylonian captivity.
“For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life is not of the Father, but is of the world." ~ 1 John 2:16

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