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Pride – the Ugly Fruit. False Prophets Part 7

photo credit: Woodlouse via photopin cc
photo credit: Woodlouse via photopin cc

Jesus said:

Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. ~ Matthew 7:15-16

We have been spending some time looking at Jude’s description of these ungodly men and women who have “crept in unnoticed” and are turning folks away from the “faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.” (taken from Jude 3 & 4)

These are grumblers, finding fault, following after their own lusts; they speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage. ~ Jude 16

What does it look like to “speak arrogantly?”

We know what this looks like, don’t we? You know these folks, who can’t stop talking about themselves.

Now there is a fine line here, and it can get tricky, because a testimony can sound like boasting. If I stand up and tell you some great miracle that God has done by the laying on of my own hands, it could build your faith and flip your hope switch from the “God has forgotten I exist” position to “I actually have a future” position.

There is a point in Paul’s life where he feels he needs to defend his apostleship, and so talks through some of his accomplishments, but when it comes to his visit to heaven (we assume it was him anyway) he starts out, I knew a man…

I have heard and seen preachers giving testimony of great things that God has done through them, and it always pointed me to Jesus. Their testimony was a telling of what they had ‘seen and heard’ and the obvious conclusion for me was they had “been with Jesus.”

I have also heard preachers who are careful to drop the names of famous people they know and rub shoulders with, seemingly to build their own credibility, and it totally turns me off. I this, and I that. “When I was with brother Big Tent he said that I … stadium … thousands … blah blah blah”

This one you better check for fangs.

Jesus said to take the lower seat at the table and let others promote you.

Enough pointing fingers – what does the mirror have to say? (You know the Bible is compared to a mirror not a window – we are supposed to look at our own reflections in it, not look out to see how it applies to our neighbors – sorry – hunting rabbits again)

When you are telling stories about what God has done, it should point to Jesus. I alluded to this verse before, but John’s first letter starts it like this:

What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we beheld and our hands handled, concerning the Word of Life ~ 1 John 1:1

When you are telling about what God has done – you are a witness. When you are telling what you have done it’s braggin’.

This actually sheds a little light on the verses at the bottom of the chapter where those who are “knockin’ on heaven’s door” say

Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles? ~ Matthew 7:22

Let me be clear. Jesus commands us to go and cast out devils – He tells us to do it. So technically you can cast out demons, and you should when you run into one. But face it, it’s Jesus’ power and authority. This power and authority have been deposited in you, so He gets the credit. The score board reads like this:

DEMONS – 0 === JESUS – 2000

Ben – Happy and Amazed
Former demon possessed person – Free

In the end – our testimony needs to point people to Jesus, not ourselves, it’s as simple as that. [Tweet This]

So go ahead, brag on Jesus, boast in Him, in His cross, and in the power that it released in your life.

BenHave a great day.

See you again soon.

Ben

0 thoughts on “Pride – the Ugly Fruit. False Prophets Part 7

  1. Caddo-Jael

    You know, I fretted about that some, when I was writing the recent 4-parter. There was one section where God (my Super Writing Partner/Editor) caught something and I was able to quickly fix it. But I still wonder if I communicated what I wanted it to--that it's ALL about Christ, None about me. Interesting class, as usual, Prof--thanks, and God bless you BIG. love,sis Caddo

    Okay, I have to add this: J Prince was talking this week about how we do too much introspection, that we're self-occupied (looking in the mirror at our many flaws), when we should be Christ-occupied--looking into the Bible "mirror" to see ourselves as God sees us: redeemed and righteous IN Christ. (I'll quit with just that one LONG sentence, and not hijack your class again!)

    Reply
    1. Ben Nelson

      You know, I used to be super into self inspection, and I am way less these days. I pretty much only inspect what the Spirit is poking at. i almost never go on self-guided tours - just way to ugly and dangerous, lots of cling-ons in those regions.

      I do find when i get around the teachings of Jesus, i do find His suggesting things to clean up pretty frequently, and since i have been blogging through this passage for about a year now - I do have some poke marks here and there.

      Your 4 days post did not smack of pride in the least, as they say in France (or so i'm told) O Contrer (sik) it takes a great deal of humility to do what you have done, and sure didn't feel like that pride that masquerades as humility.

      Have a great Thursday.

      Reply
      1. Caddo-Jael

        "Self-guided tours"--yes, pricey vaca packages and not much fun for the money. As J Prince says, it's a sure trip to depression (because we're all so full of sin). But when the Holy Spirit "pokes"--then it's all for the good, no matter the temporary discomfort. One more gem from JP: "the old you/me can never be improved (by self efforts), but the new you/me can never be condemned--for our New ID is IN Christ, Risen!" Gotta love this stuff, no? You have a great Thurs too, Bro!

        Reply
  2. Larry Who

    "...When you are telling about what God has done – you are a witness. When you are telling what you have done it’s braggin’..."

    Good definition right here. Thanks.

    Reply
  3. Debbie

    Thanks , Mr. Ben, for helping us with our testimonies, so they are given in a way that points to Jesus alone. I too, usually get into trouble if I look inward, unless He is there with me and wants me to see something. God bless you and yours!

    Reply
  4. noordinaryjoy61

    I love the scoreboard! 🙂 Humility doesn't come to us naturally but, when we focus on God ultimately getting the glory, we can be used as great instruments to further His kingdom.

    Reply
    1. Ben Nelson

      Good point - and when our eyes are on Jesus, it is really hard to get full of yourself - since there is sooooo much of Him.
      Thanks Joy

      Reply
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