WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
OCTOBER 13, 2023
TOPIC: BEWARE OF THE PRIDE OF LIFE
BY T. O. BANSO
“For all that is in the world–the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life–is not of the Father but is of the world” (1 John 2:16 New King James Version).
One of the sins the Bible talks about in 1 John 2:16 is the pride of life. This scripture says, “For all that is in the world–the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life–is not of the Father but is of the world” (New King James Version). Note the phrase “the pride of life.” As this scripture says, the pride of life is not of the Father but of the world. In other words, the pride of life does and the other two sins do not come from God but the world.
What does “the pride of life” mean? It is “pride in our achievements and possessions” (New Living Translation), “the vaunting of life” (Berean Literal Bible), “the pride in one’s possessions” (Christian Standard Bible), and “the vainglory of life” (American Standard Version; English Revised Version). It also means “the pride of temporal life” (Aramaic Bible in Plain English), “everything in this world that people are so proud of” (Good News Translation), “the arrogance produced by material possessions” (New English Translation Bible), and “the pride in riches” (New Revised Standard Version).
Beware of the pride of life. It is from this world, not from God the Father. Look at the context in which the Apostle John says this in the New International Version: “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world — the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does — comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever” (1 John 2:15-17). From this scripture, one of the ways the love of the world manifests is in the pride of life. Don’t love the world or anything in the world.
As a child of God, beware of the pride of life or the boasting of what you have or do, as the New International Version puts it. Don’t let your actions be motivated by the pride of life. Don’t boast about what you have or do or your possessions or riches. Avoid the vainglory of life or pride of temporal life. Avoid pride in everything in this world that people are so proud of. Ensure that you are not guilty of the arrogance produced by material possessions. All this is not from God.
If you yield the control of your life to the Holy Spirit, you will refrain from the pride of life. Paul says God forbid that he should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world had been crucified to him, and he to the world (Galatians 6:14). Don’t boast about earthly possessions. The world is passing away, and the lust of it but he who does the will of God abides forever (1 John 2:17).
In Isaiah 39:1-8, we see King Hezekiah of Judah display the pride of life. Hezekiah was generally a good king but he went into error when he showed off his worldly possessions to the envoys from Babylon who visited him following his recovery from sickness.
Hezekiah was sick and near death but God had mercy on him. He said He would add fifteen years to his life and he would recover. That was after He had earlier sent the Prophet Isaiah to tell him to put his house in order, for he would die and not live. Indeed, he recovered as God had said.
Merodach-Baladan, the king of Babylon, heard about his recovery and sent his envoys with letters and a present to him. Hezekiah received the envoys gladly and showed them the house of his treasures — the silver, gold, spices, fine oil, his entire armory, and everything found among his treasures. He showed them everything in his palace or all his dominion (Isaiah 39:1-2).
What was the relevance of this to his recovery if not that Hezekiah was possessed by the pride of life at this time? The purpose of the visit was not to see his treasures, possessions, or military strength, but his health. He should have drawn the attention of the envoys to the God who healed him supernaturally (2 Kings 20:1-11). But Hezekiah flaunted what he had. He wanted to be magnified before the envoys instead of magnifying God. Beware of the pride of life. Don’t boast of what you have or do.
Recording what Hezekiah did, 2 Chronicles 32:24-26 says, “In those days Hezekiah was sick and near death, and he prayed to the Lord; and He spoke to him and gave him a sign. But Hezekiah did not repay according to the favor shown him, for his heart was lifted up; therefore wrath was looming over him and over Judah and Jerusalem. Then Hezekiah humbled himself for the pride of his heart, he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the wrath of the Lord did not come upon them in the days of Hezekiah” (New King James Version). Note the phrase “But Hezekiah did not repay according to the favor shown him, for his heart was lifted up.” The New Century Version puts it this way: “But Hezekiah did not thank God for his kindness, because he was so proud.” This refers to his action during the visit of the Babylonian envoys.
Consequently, God sent the prophet Isaiah to Hezekiah about this error. He asked him about his visitors, where they came from, and what they had seen. Hezekiah said they were from Babylon and they had seen all that was in his house and he had shown them all his treasures excluding nothing.
Isaiah replied, “Hear the word of the Lord of hosts: ‘Behold, the days are coming when all that is in your house, and what your fathers have accumulated until this day, shall be carried to Babylon; nothing shall be left,’ says the Lord. ‘And they shall take away some of your sons who will descend from you, whom you will beget; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon’” (Isaiah 39:5-7 New King James Version).
Responding, Hezekiah apparently happy that he had received a lenient punishment replied that the word of God Isaiah had spoken was good because, at least, there would be peace and truth in his days. What God said would happen later and did happen would have been avoided, if Hezekiah had not displayed the pride of life.
Beware of the pride of life. There is nothing you have that you did not receive from God. Don’t be proud about or boast of what you have, have done, or have achieved.
Don’t be like the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees whom Jesus said, “Everything they do is for show” (Matthew 23:5a New Living Translation). Don’t show off your wisdom, power, wealth, or riches. “Thus says the LORD: ‘Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, Let not the mighty man glory in his might, nor let the rich man glory in his riches’” (Jeremiah 9:23 New King James Version).
Don’t show off anything, including your good deeds as Jesus said in Matthew 6:1: “When you do good deeds, don’t try to show off. If you do, you won’t get a reward from your Father in heaven” (Matthew 6:1 Contemporary English Version).
Pride goes before destruction (Proverbs 16:18a). Proverbs 11:2 says when pride comes, then comes shame but with the humble is wisdom. As Jesus says, whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted (Luke 14:11). Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time (1 Peter 5:6; James 4:10). Beware of the pride of life.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, deliver me from the pride of life; let it not possess me. Holy Spirit, help me to humble myself so that God will exalt me. I shall not love the world or anything in the world in Jesus’ name.
(For over 900 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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