Summary: Does pride have any place in the life of a Christian?
If you would, please stand as we say together our memory Scripture for this quarter:
“Do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
And our memory refresher Scripture is …
“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the Word of Truth.”
Please open your Bibles to Acts 9:1-18
Humility in one form or another is spoken of around 100 times in the Bible.
List of humble people in the Bible:
“(Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.)”
“[The messenger in Daniels vision said], ‘Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them.’”
Jesus Himself said, “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
With that in mind, let’s look at today’s Scripture and see what we can learn about pride and humility: Acts 9:1-18
Paul was proud.
In Galatians 1 we can read of Paul’s confession of the pride he had before Jesus knocked the pride out of him as we just read.
In Judaism Paul was seeking stature and power. After his salvation he declares in
1 Corinthians that he is a servant through whom the Lord works!
In his pride Paul was an enemy of the Lord Jesus Christ and His kingdom on earth.
After his salvation Paul did not stop working so hard but only sought to glorify God and not himself.
Let’s take a look at another man who was prideful and the Lord knocked some humility into him …
(Read Daniel chapters 3, 4 and 5 over enough to give a CliffsNotes overview)
(Chapter 2 the statue in the dream)
(Briefly summarize the chapter and describe the situation that results in Nebuchadnezzar’s proclamation)
At the end of chapter 2 Nebuchadnezzar recognizes the supremacy of the LORD.
“[Nebuchadnezzar] said to Daniel, ‘Surely your God is the God of gods and the Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries, for you were able to reveal this mystery.’”
We see here that King Nebuchadnezzar is starting to get an idea that not only someone greater than himself but there is a God superior to his gods.
This is a step towards his humility.
(Start into chapter 3 - the Fourth Man in the Fire)
(Briefly summarize the chapter and describe the situation that results in Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego’s answer and Nebuchadnezzar’s proclamation)
(Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego’s response to the king)
“Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to (King Nebuchadnezzar), ‘We do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and He will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if He does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.’”
(Nebuchadnezzar’s response to the LORD’s deliverance …)
“Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, ‘Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!’
“So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire, and the (royal officials) crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.
“Then Nebuchadnezzar said, ‘Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent His angel and rescued His servants! They trusted in Him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. Therefore I decree that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be cut into pieces and their houses be turned into piles of rubble, for no other god can save in this way.’”
King Nebuchadnezzar is starting not only to show reverence for the God of Israel but is commanding such reverence from those under his dominion as well.