February 27, Tuesday

Today’s AMI QT Devotional is provided by Pastor Peter Yoon of Kairos Christian Church in San Diego.  Peter is a graduate of U.C. Riverside and Talbot School of Theology (M.Div.).  He and his wife Jessica have three very active children: Nathan, Abigail, and Jason.

Devotional Thoughts for This Morning

“Pride Goes Before Destruction”

Genesis 49:3-4

“Reuben, you are my firstborn, my might, the first sign of my strength, excelling in honor, excelling in power. 4 Turbulent as the waters, you will no longer excel, for you went up onto your father’s bed, onto my couch and defiled it.”

If you’ve been watching the news lately, you have seen the downfall of Hollywood’s moguls, news anchormen, actors, etc. The victims in Hollywood are finally mustering up courage to tell their stories, leading to the permanent dismissal of men who have used their fame, popularity, and position to abuse women for many years. Many people are probably thinking, “It’s about time…”

While it’s easy to point fingers with disgust at the perpetrators, we must remember that this ugly human condition of sin touches all of us. And that sin is called “PRIDE.” We can take the recent events in Hollywood and ask ourselves, “How do we cultivate genuine humility that honors God and honors others?” James 4:6 says that God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. But how do we grow in humility?

Today’s passage reveals the consequences of pride before our God. According to Israel’s customs, Reuben, who was the firstborn of Jacob, should have belonged to the Lord. Reuben should have received pre-eminence among his brothers as the firstborn male. He should have received a double portion of blessings from his father, Jacob. However, none of those rights came to fruition.

That’s because some years ago, Reuben had defiled his father’s bed with incest. Gen. 35:22 records that Reuben slept with his father’s concubine, Bilhah. That act of incest cost Reuben his rights to his blessings. One pastor suggests that Reuben’s lust was not so much sexual as much as it was political. It was lust for power. He already held the position; however, he wanted more. He wanted to show that he alone possessed the right to rule over the family. In that pursuit of pre-eminence, Reuben lost his blessings. Before we find ourselves in Reuben’s shoes, we must figure out how to put on the virtue of humility.

One spiritual discipline that is critical for developing humility is prayer. Prayer as an activity can take on different purposes, such as intercession for others and petitioning requests. But at the heart of prayer is the acknowledgment of total and complete dependence on the Lord. A prayerless life signals a vulnerability toward pride and self-righteousness. I tell the leaders at our church, “If you try to accomplish ministry without a prayer life, there are only two outcomes: cynical burnout or self-righteousness.” Prayer reminds us of our lowly position where we receive God’s grace and favor.

Prayer: Lord, fill me with Your Spirit today. (Take a deep breath to pause.) Lord, fill me with Your Spirit who empowers, enables, encourages, and sustains me to get through today. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Joshua 14


Lunch Break Study 

Read Proverbs 11:2: When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom; Proverbs 16:5: Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the Lord; be assured, he will not go unpunished; Proverbs 16:18: Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall; Proverbs 18:12: Before destruction a man’s heart is haughty, but humility comes before honor; Proverbs 29:23: One’s pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor.

Questions to Consider

  1. What is consistently the consequence of pride?
  2. What is consistently the prize of humility?
  3. How do you practically guard against pride in your own life?

Notes

  1. In the Lord’s economy, pride does not go unpunished. Destruction follows patterns of pride.
  2. The Lord provides wisdom and honor to those who put on humility.
  3. Personal response.

Evening Reflection

Spend a little extra time tonight in prayer, cultivating a greater dependence on the Lord. Confess your need for Him in every area of your life.

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