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Monday
May022016

Me, Proud? No Way!

God’s been dealing with me about true humility—and I didn’t even recognize it. It all started while listening to Andrew’s new teaching, Humility: God’s Path to More Grace. Nothing about this teaching struck me. I felt like everything he said, though true, was something I already knew. Then, one day, I was struggling with writer’s block. I asked my husband for ideas, and he told me to write about a certain event from my past that illustrated what I was working on.

“I can’t write about that!” I snapped.

“Why not?” he asked. “It’s true and it’s a great example.”

Then it hit me: Andrew’s teaching had been right—like many others in the body of Christ, I held an incorrect, religious definition of humility.

Humility is not this beat-down, low self-esteem that sometimes has been portrayed. Religion has presented a wimpish idea of what true humility is. Jesus said He was meek and lowly in heart (Matt. 11:29), and yet I guarantee you, there’s nothing weak in Him. He was strong. He was bold. He did not fear the religious leaders.

My husband told me to write about an instance in my life when I’d followed the principles of God’s Word on true humility and had been blessed because of it. I immediately refused. I can’t brag about my success! I thought.
That’s prideful.

The Lord spoke to my heart: Actually thinking that this success story is about you is prideful. That story is about Me.

Whoa! God was right. That story had nothing to do with me. It wasn’t my own awesomeness that made God’s Word work, and it wasn’t pride to acknowledge His faithfulness. It wasn’t pride to recognize His work in my life or to defer to His opinion of me. That’s the part of Andrew’s teaching I missed. He said,

The Scripture says not to think more highly of yourself than you ought (Rom. 12:3). But you also shouldn’t think more lowly of yourself than you ought. Religion has said you can’t knock yourself down low enough. But [anytime] you exalt your opinion above God’s, you’re proud. [Though] the Word of God says you’re the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Cor. 5:21), [if] you say, “Oh, no, I’d never say that,” that’s pride…. Humility is not exalting your opinion about yourself above God’s. If the Word of God says it, it would be arrogance—it would be pride—to exalt your opinion above what God says.

All my life, I’d been taught not to brag about my accomplishments, not to be prideful. I’d been taught that pride is a terrible sin—and it is—but my definition (and application) of pride was not complete. My “humility” was actually a cover-up for pride. Well, not anymore!

I don’t know how long it will take to change these habits, but I’m determined not to allow anything in my life to exalt itself against the knowledge of Christ (2 Cor. 10:5)—not even my own “humility.”

Tear down whatever religion has taught you about humility. Get Andrew’s teaching, Humility: God’s Path to More Grace. Also, watch the series at length on the Gospel Truth broadcast.

Post a comment below if this has encouraged you!

Monday
Apr252016

Do Something—Lest You Do Nothing

Saying nothing is saying something.

You may have heard this phrase recently, especially in connection with the desire to see our nation return to its Christian roots. People are crying out for the America of years ago but feel powerless to do anything about it—especially with the increasingly hostile attitude toward Christianity. On a special edition of the Gospel Truth broadcast, Andrew discussed ministry in today’s culture with Bob Yandian and Pastor Duane Sheriff. They addressed controversial topics, tying each issue back to the Word of God.

As these ministers delved into the issue of hate speech, much of the interview hinged on Leviticus 19:17-18—

Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him. [18] Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the Lord. 

“If you don’t rebuke your neighbor when they’re wrong,” Andrew said in reference to this passage, “you hate them.” Bob Yandian then addressed the response that some have had about the direction this country is headed: “People are putting the brakes on. They don’t like what they see, [but] they don’t know exactly what to do.” He went on to relay that America is on the verge of revival but that it may happen because of the direction our nation is going. Historically, the church has always grown in size and strength during persecution.

Andrew later mentioned Matthew 5:38-46 as a passage people have used against him to defend Christian passivity in the face of growing immorality. The first two verses say, “Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: [39] But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also” (Matt. 5:38-39). Andrew commented, “I’ve actually heard these exact words used to justify total passivism, to where there is no such thing as national defense; there is no such thing as standing against abortion, homosexuality, bestiality, polygamy, or anything…. How do you reconcile this?”

“I’d like to jump in on that,” Duane spoke up. “Part of why we’re in the mess we’re in is [because of] confusion over the Word of God.” He brought up how he has taught in the past on the passage in Leviticus. Then he dropped a bombshell: “True hate speech is to not speak up when something is about to destroy [someone]…. Hate speech is silence while they go right off the cliff. It is not hate speech to warn somebody.”

Suffering sin upon your neighbor can take many forms. It could be as simple as disobeying God’s voice. Ways of responding—not suffering sin on your neighbor—could look a lot like becoming a teacher, joining the police force, getting involved in politics, or obeying the call into ministry. Sometimes “speaking up” is what you do rather than what you say.

So, how are you going to respond?

What’s most important in countering ungodliness is following the Spirit of God. Duane mentioned that the problems in this country stem from not understanding the written Word of God. Taking that one step further, people are also confused or fighting against the rhema of God’s Word—what God has spoken to their hearts by the Holy Spirit. Are you ignoring what the Lord has said? How you answer that question can have serious repercussions for not only you but also an entire nation.

Watch Andrew’s full interview here, dig into the Word, and ask God how He wants you to respond. Somebody needs what He put inside of you!

If this has inspired you, share a comment below.

Thursday
Apr212016

Translating Grace

The persecution of Christians in Asia is severe, but the message of God’s unconditional love and grace is reaching into those hard places and transforming lives. However, it wasn’t always that way. During a three-day conference hosted by Charis Bible College World Outreach, a prominent church pastor there spoke at a private meeting about the problems caused in the church by a lack of understanding of God’s grace. Andrew’s teachings have really helped many Asian Christians receive the grace of God. This pastor’s humility and openness, especially as one of the main ministry leaders, was a sign of just how deeply the Lord had touched him:

"We didn’t want grace. I mean, we did want grace, but we wanted to add it to suffering. We wanted to add suffering by carrying the cross. So, our teachings misled the next generations. We didn’t see the cross as grace. We saw the cross as a mark of our religion. We suffered for the Lord, and as we suffered for the Lord, our self-righteousness and our pride would come out. We used the cross as an excuse to treat ourselves badly and to consider that valuable. That was the Asian church—to consider suffering as spiritual. The generation above me, those preachers and workers in the church, are all tired and worn out. Toward the end of their ministries, they are not only in bad health, but their hearts are filled with bitterness, disappointment, and complaints. So, when I heard about this message, I realized we really [needed] to repent. So, on behalf of my [generation], I say sorry to the next generations."

This pastor then took a deep bow to those listening, and in response, they applauded him. He continued,

"When a father starts a family, he tries to make an inheritance for his children. Right? Jesus Christ has done everything on the cross and brought us the great grace. But we have taught people to suffer. We have not only taught them to suffer in their hearts but also taught people that they have to have a hard life to be more spiritual. That is our misunderstanding—our misconception of ministry. We couldn’t, at that time, enjoy life. So, our clothes would get old, and if we bought new clothes, there was a constant condemnation that would fall on us. We didn’t understand or comprehend the grace of God. We lived under fear because we feared people’s judgment and we feared people’s criticism. We thought that if we did more, God would be pleased. We didn’t understand how to come back to the rest of God. But through this study, we understand what grace is. Grace is the power of God released inside of us, and He is going to set us free in mind, body, and soul."

Christians in Asia are being set free with the good news of grace because of the translation efforts of Charis World Outreach. A portion of the donations to Charis World Outreach goes toward translation projects that enable people to receive the Gospel in their native languages. In every part of the globe, people are being equipped to teach the Word and are being mobilized to launch and establish new Charis locations. If you aren’t already involved, join the movement! People all over the world are waiting to be set free.