Thursday, June 26, 2014

Explore the Bible: Pride and Success - June 29 Helps


Over the years I have traveled and worked with churches and church leaders all around the country. Once, a friend who knew of my travels and experiences asked, "What have you observed as the greatest problem churches face today?" I replied with two words, "pride and success." I explained that I had observed over and over again, in the smallest and the largest churches, that many times, when a church or church leader experiences success, they begin to feel as if they have somehow become God's solution for all Christendom. A spirit of pride arises within the church or individual, resulting in an unteachable, unrepentant, and unaccountable heart; a feeling of superiority; and even a snobbish attitude toward other churches and church leaders. This type of pride is the focus of our Explore the Bible study this week.

While we should be proud of all God does through us, success can become a very dangerous drug if misused or misinterpreted. So many people, groups, organizations, churches, and yes, even countries, who experience even the smallest amount of success can become so inflated in their view of themselves that it leads to their very downfall. We see this happen time and time again; yet we are all still susceptible to the selfish pride success can produce.

In our continued study of Ezekiel, God turns His attention to the the sin of other rulers in the region. Our study focuses specifically on the ruler of Tyre who had become so inflated about his view of himself that he felt there was no authority higher than himself, that he was above other gods, even the idol god they worshiped, Baal (Ezekiel 28:1-5). He also believed he had accomplished everything without the help of any god and that he needed no one else because of his position.

Before you teach this Sunday, prayerfully examine your own heart as you study these passages to determine if selfish pride has crept in and blinded you to vulnerabilities in your own life or ministry of teaching. Then, prayerfully guide your group to focus on our TARGET:

To help adults avoid letting selfish pride gain a stronghold in their hearts.

I have also provided you this week with PowerPoint slides to help you with the discussion and to help you visually describe the city of Tyre.

OR

Download Directions: Click the above link. When the file opens, choose "Download" located in the upper right corner of the window. Let me know if you have any questions. Feel free to copy, paste, delete, or edit any of the content.
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