Tag: Pride

My greatest grief and joy

J.C. Ryleby J.C. Ryle

Christian Leaders of the Last Century

William Grimshaw was, above all, a man of rare humility. Few gifted men, perhaps, ever thought so humbly of themselves, or were so truly ready to honor others.

“What have we to boast of?” he once said. “What do we have, that we have not received? Freely by grace we are saved. When I die I shall then have my greatest grief and my greatest joy: my greatest grief that I have done so little for Jesus; and my greatest joy that Jesus has done so much for me. My last words shall be, “Here goes an unprofitable servant!”

On his deathbed he said, “Alas! what have my wretched services been. I have now need to cry, at the end of my unprofitable course: God be merciful to me a sinner!”

Shortly after, laying his hand on his heart, he said, “I am quite exhausted; but I shall soon be at home, forever with the Lord–a poor miserable sinner redeemed by His precious blood!”

by J.C. Ryle

Be careful to take credit!

George Whittenby George Whitten

Isaiah 10:15 Shall the ax boast itself against him who chops with it? Or shall the saw exalt itself against him who saws with it? As if a rod could wield itself against those who lift it up, Or as if a staff could lift up, as if it were not wood!

One constant pitfall we must watch for is taking credit for something that God does in or through us, or using the gifts and callings of God for self-exaltation. In that light it may be easier to handle poverty, weakness, or insignificance, than wealth, ability, power or authority, since poverty and frailty are not normally things we boast about, and they cause us to recognize our need for God. Prosperity, gifting, and anointing, on the other hand can be powerful temptations, leading to pride, covetousness, and self-sufficiency.

Saul, who came from a humble background, was anointed king of Israel, yet his heart was revealed when the Lord exalted him, but he exulted in his own position, eventually coveting it so severely he became a fierce enemy of God. The Lord then removed His spirit from Saul and the true condition of the man became apparent to everyone.

Even the great Solomon whose gifting, anointing, and prosperity were unsurpassed in some ways, seems to have taken for granted his abilities and wealth, and, somehow, rationalizing his blatant disobedience to God’s law, he fell into idolatry and brought disaster to the Kingdom of Israel. This seems amazing, given the fact that Solomon’s most precious gift was his wisdom. (Those with this gift should take note).

Be careful how you handle the gifts and successes that God gives you! Enjoy His blessings as you serve in your family, business, or ministry – but never forget where it all comes from, and to whom the glory belongs, cause if you do, He will be sure to remind you.

Your family in the Lord with much agape love

by George Whitten