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For more than 60 years, Billy Graham has touched millions of lives with the gospel; counseled political leaders; and comforted the hurting in times of crisis. Combining his best-selling Hope for Each Day and Wisdom for Each Day, this special morning and evening collection of meditations will give you reasons to trust in times of uncertainty. 755 pages, russet imitation leather from Nelson.Copyright 2012
Morning-Cowardly or Courageous?
The Poison of Pride
Morning If God is for us,
who can be against us? Evening The LORD detests all
the proud of heart.
Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished."
If God is for us, who can be against us?
The LORD detests all
the proud of heart.
The chairman of the history department of one of our great universities once stated his opinion to me: "We have become a nation of cowards." I challenged his statement, but he argued that many people have become reluctant to follow a course if it isn't popular. I had to admit he was right.
Even if, deep inside, we know a certain path to be right, we draw back because we are afraid of the consequences. If the odds are in our favor, we will take a stand; but if there is any risk involved in standing up for what we know to be right, we will play it safe.
How different from the early Christians! From one end of the Roman Empire to the other they boldly proclaimed the gospel in the face of hostility, persecution, scorn, and even death. The apostle Paul knew the key: "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind" (2 Timothy 1:7).
You may never face the same dangers those early Christians did, but don't take the road of cowardice; don't give in to fear. Remember: "If God is for us, who can be against us?"
The pride that God loathes is not a healthy self respect or a legitimate sense of personal dignity. It is the haughty, undue self-esteem out of all proportion to our actual worth. It is the repugnant egotism that is repulsive to both man and God. It is that revolting conceit that swaggers before men and struts in the presence of the Almighty. And God hates it.
Pride may take various forms. Spiritual pride trusts in one's own virtue rather than in the grace of God. Intellectual pride gives its possessor self-confidence rather than God-confidence. Pride in material things enthrones self and displaces God; secondary things are exalted to the place of first importance. Social pride manifests itself in arrogance and status. All forms of pride emanate from the haughty human heart, and pride is the sin that God hates most.
What can you do about it? Confess your pride. Humble yourself in the sight of God. Look then at Christ, who "humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross!" (Philippians 2:8 NIV).