Summary: Before the Master Carpenter can do His work in us, He must take the ax of His Word and chop away our pride and arrogance.
Our theme for this Christmas season is The Carpenter’s Workshop. The Master Carpenter, Jesus, is busy working on His project – us, the Church, preparing His people for His return.
This morning we’ll talk about the first step in this recreation. It’s probably the most painful step, but absolutely necessary if the Lord is to do his master work in us. In order to get the wood, the tree needs to be felled, cut down. The Master Carpenter must take the ax of His word and chop down our pride and arrogance.
[Isaiah 2:10-18] Go into the rocks, hide in the ground from dread of the LORD and the splendor of his majesty! The eyes of the arrogant man will be humbled and the pride of men brought low; the LORD alone will be exalted in that day. The LORD Almighty has a day in store for all the proud and lofty, for all that is exalted (and they will be humbled), for all the cedars of Lebanon, tall and lofty, and all the oaks of Bashan, for all the towering mountains and all the high hills, for every lofty tower and every fortified wall, for every trading ship and every stately vessel. The arrogance of man will be brought low and the pride of men humbled; the LORD alone will be exalted in that day, and the idols will totally disappear.
In the Greek, the word “pride” is a combination of two words: appearing and above. Pride is appearing above others. It’s an elevated view of ourselves compared to others and to God.
[Psalm 10:4] In his pride the wicked does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.
[Proverbs 8:13] To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.
[Isaiah 13:11] I will punish the world for its evil, the wicked for their sins. I will put an end to the arrogance of the haughty and will humble the pride of the ruthless.
[Isaiah 37:23] Who is it you have insulted and blasphemed? Against whom have you raised your voice and lifted your eyes in pride? Against the Holy One of Israel!
[James 4:6] “God opposes the proud but give grace to the humble.”
In 1912, the “unsinkable” Titanic was launched from Liverpool, England.
At the launch of the Titanic, an employee of the White Star Line made this comment: “Not even God Himself could sink this ship.”
Official inquiries determined that the ship was traveling too fast for the known icy conditions. To them, the excessive speed seemed reasonable. They wanted to make good time and they believed that the ship was invincible.
On the dawn of April 15, 1912, the unsinkable Titanic plunged to its death four miles below the icy surface of the North Atlantic, taking with it more than 1,500 lives (including most of the crew) and all its treasure.
[Proverbs 16:18] Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.
Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of a tree (Daniel 4:1-18)
Daniel interprets the dream (Daniel 4:19-27)
The dream is fulfilled (Daniel 4:28-33)
Nebuchadnezzar restored (Daniel 4:34-37)
[Psalm 18:27] You save the humble but bring low those whose eyes are haughty.
[1 Peter 5:6] Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.
Let the Word of God do its work in you, chop you down, bring you low. The only way to come to Christ is low, on our knees, on our face, humble, broken, repentant. If we want the Master Carpenter to do his work in us, we must first be a felled tree.
We don’t pull ourselves up by our bootstraps, we allow the Master Carpenter to lift us up.
Do you need to be felled this morning? If you want to come to Christ, you must be brought low. Allow the Master Carpenter to use the ax of His Word to cut you down to size that he may lift you up!
Wouldn’t it be nice if pride was done away with at conversion? Unfortunately, even Christians struggle with pride. It’s pride that keeps us from sending a prayer request to the prayer team. It’s pride that keeps up from calling the elders to pray for us when we’re sick. It’s pride that keeps us from sharing struggles with others. It’s pride that keeps us from asking for help. It's pride that keeps us from serving the way Jesus served.
Remember: God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Allow the Master Carpenter to use the ax of His Word to cut you down to size that he may lift you up!
[Corrie Ten Boom from her book Each New Day]
When I saw Sadhu Sundar Singh in Europe, he had completed a tour around the world. People asked him, Doesn’t it do harm, you getting so much honor?” The Sadhu’s answer was: “No. The donkey went into Jerusalem, and they put garments on the ground before him. He was not proud. He knew it was not done to honor him, but for Jesus, who was sitting on his back. When people honor me, I know it is not me, but the Lord, who does the job.”