July 24

Read Proverbs 16 -- 19

In Today's Reading:

The values of pleasing the Lord and choosing wisdom.

Verses for Today:

Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud (16:18-19).

No one is naturally humble. The human heart is permeated with pride. Only the indwelling Word of God can develop true himility in our lives. This will manifest itself in kindness toward the unkind, long-suffering toward those who annoy us, and love toward the unlovely. How inconsistent it is to think that we have "humbly given ourselves to Christ" when we snub or react harshly to others.

It is human to think of ourselves as humble, especially when we are alone in prayer. But humility, or a lack of it, is apparent by our attitude when we are with someone who irritates us. If our replies are expressed in an unkind way, either outwardly in words or actions or inwardly in our thoughts, then our "humility" is not real, but a mere mask of deception. Knowing the destructive power of pride, let us look upon people who seem difficult to love as those chosen by God to provide the opportunity to cleanse ourselves of self-righteousness by expressing Christlike humility and the love of God.

Truly humble people will feel no jealousy or envy when they are ignored while others are praised. God reminds us: Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory (conceit); but in lowliness of mind (humility) let each esteem (regard) others better than themselves (Philippians 2:3). He also said to the Colossians: Put on therefore, as the elect of God . . . mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering (patience) . . . forgiving . . . even as Christ forgave you (Colossians 3:12-13).

We are also taught to be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things (be not snobbish), but condescend (humble yourself) to (take a sincere interest in) men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits (thinking you are more important than other people) (Romans 12:16). To be Christlike is to give equal consideration to all people, regardless of their race, position, abilities, or wealth, for God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34). Humility allows us to assume a Christlike nature rather than selfishly center our thoughts and actions on personal achievements and recognition.

Love is demonstrated by a consistent attitude of humility and interest in the good of others. The humble person is not puffed up (arrogant, boastful, or conceited), [does] not behave itself unseemly (in a rude manner), [seeks] not her own (selfish way) (1 Corinthians 13:4-5). To the Galatians, the Apostle Paul wrote: Let us not be desirous of vain glory (conceit), provoking one another (rivalry), envying one another (jealousy) (Galatians 5:26). To the Ephesians, he wrote: Therefore . . . walk (lead a life) worthy of . . . [your] vocation . . . with all lowliness (humility) and meekness (gentleness), with longsuffering (patience), forbearing one another (making allowance for one another's faults) in love (Ephesians 4:1-2).

Christ Revealed:

As the One Who punishes the proud (Proverbs 16:5). Jesus said: Whosoever [exalts] himself shall be abased; and he that [humbles] himself shall be exalted (Luke 14:11). As the Friend that [sticks] closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24). Jesus is our Friend (John 15:14-15) and will never leave [us], nor forsake [us] (Hebrews 13:5).

Word Studies:

16:2 spirits = motives; 16:8 without right = dishonestly gained; 17:18 striketh hands = gives a pledge to be responsible for his neighbor's debts; 18:2 discover itself = express itself; 18:3 with ignominy reproach = with dishonor and disgrace; 19:3 fretteth = is resentful; 19:7 they are wanting to him = they abandon him; 19:13 a continual dropping = an unending irritation.

Prayer Needs:

Government Official: Rep. Bob Schaffer (CO) · Pray for your pastor · Country: Netherlands (16 million) in northwestern Europe · Major language: Dutch · Religious freedom · 39% Roman Catholic; 29% Protestant; 2% Muslim · Prayer Suggestion: Pray that you would be sanctified through the truth of the Word of God (John 17:17).

Optional Reading: Hebrews 1

Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 3:23