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Spiritual Pride

Daily Reading: Deuteronomy 8-9


Scripture Focus: Know, therefore, that the Lord your God is not giving you this good land to possess because of your righteousness, for you are a stubborn people. (Deuteronomy 9.6)


Devotional Thought: When people receive blessings and honor, it tends to 'go to their heads.' God knew that Israel would be subject to that temptation, so he warned them ahead of time, "Remember, you are here because of my love, not because of your greatness!" They were slaves. They had nothing to offer God. They didn't even know how to worship him.


The same applies to us as Christ-followers. God gives us salvation, not because we are righteous, but in spite of the fact that we are not righteous. We need to remember that for many reasons, but three stand out:

• If we think that we have gotten where we are because of our own righteousness, then we could come to believe that we are above sin, that we cannot sin. Spiritual pride is dangerous because it leads to dead legalism and smug presumption.

• We think that we, of all people, are worthy of God's love and that others have no hope! Instead of fulfilling Christ's commission to make disciples, we build walls around Jesus and refuse to let others in unless they think like us, talk like us and act like us.

• Or, just as damning, spiritual pride can cause us to think that sin is OK, so we might as well give into it. "Well, if God saved me when I was a sinner, then it must be OK to sin." Or, as Paul put it in Romans 6, "What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?" Paul would have none of that. "By no means!" he quickly rejoined. God didn't save us from sin to make us bold sinners!


Prayer: Help me, Lord, to remember that it is not because of my righteousness that you saved me. Help me to humbly and continually seek your grace in order to live a life pleasing to you. Amen.

Psalm of the Day: Psalm 14.4-7

4 Have they no knowledge, all the evildoers who eat up my people as they eat bread and do not call upon the Lord?

5 There they are in great terror, for God is with the generation of the righteous. 6 You would shame the plans of the poor, but the Lord is his refuge.

7 Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion! When the Lord restores the fortunes of his people, let Jacob rejoice, let Israel be glad.


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