6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: What pride is, why it’s so bad, what we need to do about it in our own lives.

Intro> Steven Spielberg and George Lucas would like for you and I to believe that Star Wars are taking place in a galaxy far, far away....and maybe there are star wars going on! It certainly wouldn’t in any way diminish God’s majesty if He has actually created other beings on other planets in other solar systems.

-->However, you don’t have to go anywhere else to find Star Wars happening.

------You don’t have to go to another galaxy.

------You don’t have to leave the planet.

------You don’t have to leave the country.

------You don’t have to leave the county.

------In fact, you don’t even have to leave this room!

<>Star wars are going on in our own lives!

-----There’s a battle raging within that will determine who will be the “star” of our lives, either us or Jesus.

-----It is a “war” that will reveal Who will be the Master of our universe.

<>Will we delude ourselves into thinking we’re that important, that powerful?

-----Or will we choose to humble ourselves in the sight of the Lord?

I invite you to open a Bible and turn to 1 John.

-->While you’re turning, let me state it clearly...EVERYONE is vulnerable to the menace of PRIDE...the temptation to elevate our views of ourselves or our accomplishments out of proportion.

--------It’s part of being “fleshly” beings.

<>Even pastors fall victim.

----ILL>Recently a pastor received a Christmas card with a note in it from a lady who attended a Christmas Eve service at the church. She was very complimentary about his preaching, comparing him with Billy Graham, saying, “I think you are one of the really great preachers of all time.” Later that day he showed the note to his wife. She asked, “Who is that woman?” The pastor replied, with a twinkle in his eye, “She is a very intelligent woman in the congregation who loves great preaching.” He then asked his wife, “How many great preachers do you suppose there really are in the world?” Without missing a beat, his wife replied, “Obviously there is one less than you think.”

----ILL>And then there was the minister who said he had a wonderful sermon on humility but he was waiting for a large crowd before preaching it.

----ILL>In contrast, Winston Churchill was once asked, “Doesn’t it thrill you to know that every time you make a speech, the hall is filled to overflowing?” Churchill replied, “It is quite flattering, but whenever I feel that way, I always remember that if instead of making a political speech I was being hanged, the crowd would be twice as big.”

Today I want us to look at...



It’s important to understand that there are actually two kinds of pride:

-a) GOOD pride...with a focus on excellence.

----2 Corinthians 9:24 -- “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.”

--->Wanting to do your best, wanting to look your best, to “give of your best to the Master” is a GOOD THING.

--->Paul writes in 2 Corinthians that we should run the race to win...to focus on excellence...to give our very best at what we do.

---ILL>There’s nothing wrong with being proud of your school, being proud to be an Okey from Muskogee, or proud to be an American.

--->But the kind of pride involved in the spiritual star wars we battle in our lives is NOT the good kind.

-b) SINFUL PRIDE...with a distorted and improper focus on self-importance or self-worship.

----Rom.12:16 -- “...do not be haughty in mind...Do not be wise in your own estimation.”

----ILL>I’m reminded of the story of a young woman who went to her pastor and confessed, “Pastor, I have a besetting sin, and I want your help. I come to church on Sunday and can’t help thinking I’m the prettiest girl in the congregation. I know I ought not think that, but I can’t help it. I want you to help me with it.” The pastor told her, “Mary, don’t worry about it. In your case its not a sin. It’s just a horrible mistake.”

----In 1 John this kind of pride is deemed worldly, sinful.

------1 John 2:16 -- “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.”

<>It is this kind of pride that we usually think of when we’re discussing pride.

--->During the Middle Ages, Christian painters and writers “categorized” seven “deadly sins” as lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, and (you guessed it)...Pride.

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