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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

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James 4:13-17
Psalm 49
Mark 9:38-40

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the real me

"All you can do is make arrogant and pretentious claims." —James 4:16

We fall into sin; the devil constantly accuses us (Rv 12:10), and we start to hate ourselves. We often express this self-hatred in a surprising way: by being proud. What do people who hate themselves have to be proud of! It doesn't make sense, but we do it anyway. We must face the reality of our weak and fallen human nature. Without Jesus, we can do nothing (Jn 15:5). We "are a vapor that appears briefly and vanishes" (Jas 4:14). We have no idea what kind of life will be ours tomorrow (Jas 4:14). We are not in control or in charge. We desperately need a Savior; we need Jesus.

At the same time, we are sons and daughters of God the Father (1 Jn 3:1). We are members of the body of Christ (1 Cor 12:13) and temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 6:19). We are royal, priestly, and holy (1 Pt 2:9). We are so precious to the Father that He sent His Son to die on the cross for us. The least born into the Father's kingdom is greater than the greatest people before Christ (Mt 11:11). We can even do greater by far than Jesus did (Jn 14:12).

Of ourselves, we are nothing. In Christ, we are sharers of the divine nature (2 Pt 1:4). When we realize our nothingness without Christ and our glory in Him, we will love ourselves and not be proud.

Prayer:  Father, may I know and love myself because I love You with all my heart.

Promise:  "Yet in no way can a man redeem himself, or pay his own ransom to God; too high is the price to redeem one's life; he would never have enough." —Ps 49:8-9

Praise:  When Joseph hit bottom he finally realized he needed a Savior. He gave his life to Jesus, and has been on an upward path ever since.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Pride and Faith on audio AV 64-1 or video V-64.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 23, 2007

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