Today’s Reading: Acts 12:21-23 NIV
21 On the appointed day Herod, wearing his royal robes, sat on his throne and delivered a public service address to the people. 22 They shouted, “This is the voice of a god, not of a man.” 23 Immediately, because Herod did not give praise to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died.
There is a fine line between taking pride in the work you do, and becoming prideful in it. Our parents and teachers encourage us to take stock of the time and effort we put into our homework, coming prepared to class, or fine-tuning a specific skill for an upcoming competition. Our supervisors at work admonish employees to take personal ownership for the work they do. They encourage their team to show self-confidence while emulating integrity as part of becoming a winning team. Personal and professional achievement is a great thing, until it becomes useless when compromised by our own prideful sin nature.
Herod Agrippa had a problem with pride, and it cost him his life. The spread of Christianity throughout the region caused great distress for the Jews, as they observed large numbers of Gentiles converted daily. In an attempt to win the popular vote, Herod ordered Roman guard to persecute and kill new believers, including the Apostle James. Under his rule, the Apostle Peter was thrown into prison. Herod’s quest for power and prestige superseded his ability to see the Truth. While in Caesarea, Herod delivered a speech perceived to be godlike by the people who heard him speak. When Herod accepted their acclimation, full of pride and self-satisfaction, an angel of the Lord immediately struck him with a case of worms that literally ate him alive from the inside out. Herod was dead within a week.
There is grave danger in becoming prideful. Jesus gives each of us unique gifts and abilities to use for His glory and honor alone. When we twist the truth to build up our own ego and take credit for the things of God, we place our life in eternal jeopardy. Herod had potential and promise, but tossed it all away through his prideful sin against God.
Do you struggle with pride? There is only one remedy and you will find it at the foot of the cross. If you are willing, the Lord will use you for His kingdom work: you must be willing to give Him all the honor, glory and praise. Jesus Christ can take the splendid gift mix that the Father uniquely planted inside of you, and multiply it to reach others with His Gospel Truth. Are you willing to lay your own self-righteous pride at the feet of Jesus today?
Grace and peace,
Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO
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