I have frequently turned to the two verses of today’s study and applied them to my life.
One is a warning and the other is a profound promise.
Don’t Miss the Warning
“How the mighty have fallen!” (2 Samuel 1.19) was David’s lament, when he heard of the death of King Saul and his son Jonathan.
Highly successful people believe they are above accountability. They need to heed Paul’s advice.
“What do you have that you did not receive? And if you received it, why do you boast as if it were not a gift?” (1 Corinthians 4.7).
God has a way of humbling the proud. He made an example of King Herod when he visited Tyre and Sidon.
— Acts 12.22-23 – The people kept shouting, “The voice of a god, and not of a mortal!”
And immediately, because he had not given the glory to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died.
Both Saul and Herod should have listened to Paul.
— 1 Corinthians 10.12 – So if you think you are standing, watch out that you do not fall.
Saul and Herod are examples of the mighty falling, because of pride and disobedience. The same message could apply to church leaders.
The damage that is done by a church leader, who abuses their position is hard to judge.
I remember reading James, “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers and sisters, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness” (James 3.1) prior to entering the ministry.
I knew that my words and actions would affect the churches I served. I was told that after a pastor served a church for 3-5 years, his theology would be the accepted theology of the church.
What if I was wrong? What if I taught false doctrine?
Pride in my education or knowledge would not have served me if I taught the wrong doctrine.
I think every preacher has sermons he wishes he had never preached. I know I have many. Praise God for correction and gracious church members.
Wrong behavior can include actions that disqualify someone for service. Sexual sin and the abuse of church members by the clergy are destructive beyond words.
Without listing all of the wrongs that church leaders can be a part of, the point is that we must be careful or we will fall into harmful sin.
God Will Provide a Way Out
The self-sufficiency of pride leads to sin. God graciously gives people a way out.
— 1 Corinthians 10.13 – No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone.
God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it.
I am profoundly grateful that God has rescued me from myself.
Without his mercy, I would have been out of the ministry years ago and selling mobile homes somewhere on a gravel road in the country.
We live in the kingdom of God. It is the responsibility of the king to protect his citizens.
Our King of all kings protects us and gives us a way to escape to safety. For that, we are very thankful.
Prayer for Ukraine
I wasn’t able to sleep the night of surgery. A sleepless night is an excellent opportunity to pray.
As I lay in an excellent hospital with professional nursing care, my thoughts went to images of Ukrainian citizens with horrific war wounds.
One day, we will discover how many thousands of people have been killed and injured by a senseless war.
Please join me and let’s ask God to have mercy for everyone who is in harm’s way in Ukraine.
Rudy Ross and I discuss these two verses on YouTube today. The video is on the Bob Spradling YouTube channel.
Please email your prayer request to firstname.lastname@example.org or private message me on Facebook. The Maywood prayer team will pray for you.