PURPOSE AND GOALS
DEFINITION: A sense of purpose is having a resolve and plan to accomplish a goal or objective. For a believer, purposes and goals are actually “faith statements” of what they believe God wants them to accomplish through their lives in the future.
FACTS ABOUT PURPOSE AND GOALS:
Every believer is a steward of resources. God has given you talents, spiritual gifts, abilities, material resources, and finances. It is required that you are faithful in managing these resources.
Purpose helps you understand your part in God’s plan. You will know specifically what God wants you to do with your life and ministry.
Goals help you properly manage your resources to accomplish your purpose. Knowing your purpose and formulating goals to reach that purpose permit you to properly manage the resources with which God entrusts you.
Jesus knew His purpose and goals. He said: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (Luke 4:18-19).
Jesus encouraged planning. To illustrate this, He used an example of building, saying that one should make sure they have proper resources to finish before beginning. He also used the example of a ruler going to war who wisely prepares before the battle (Luke 14:28-32).
Goals have positive benefits. Planning permits you to establish priorities for your life and ministry, make proper decisions, and act rather than react to circumstances. Setting goals makes you accountable for your resources, permits wise use of what you possess, eliminates confusion, and provides standards by which to evaluate your progress.
Goals are faith statements. The Holy Spirit within has the mind of God and reveals God’s plans and purposes to you. When you pray, study God’s Word, and plan under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, it is a productive spiritual activity that results in faith statements concerning what you plan to do with the help of the Lord.
Plans fail because of lack of vision, lack of training, improper use of resources, lack of prayer, unclear plans, fear, doubt, procrastination, slothfulness, and disobedience. People also fail to revise plans as necessary and fail to learn from experience. Plans also fail because of lack of attention to detail, lack of leadership, and inadequate funding and workers. You never truly fail, however, until you stop trying, and it is always too soon to quit!
When you aim at nothing, you hit it every time! If you have no purpose or goals, you will achieve nothing.
DEALING WITH PURPOSE AND GOALS:
Pray for direction regarding your specific purpose in God’s plan and the goals to set to achieve that purpose. Always make sure your plans are in harmony with God’s will.
Write out your purpose and goals. The prophet Habakkuk said to “write the vision and make it plain” (Habakkuk 2:2). David wrote out the plans for the tabernacle. He said: “All this,” David said, “I have in writing from the hand of the Lord upon me, and he gave me understanding in all the details of the plan.” (1 Chronicles 28:19).
Clearly state your goals. State what you are going to do, how you are going to do it, and by when it should be accomplished. If your goals require finances, include a plan as to how these will be obtained. By clearly stating your goals, you can evaluate whether or not you achieve them and how they contribute to your specific purpose.
Organize your goals. Some will be immediate goals, while others will be long-range goals. For example, if you want to go to Mexico as a medical missionary, that is a long-term plan. Some short-term goals to achieve that purpose would be to study Spanish, take medical classes, raise support, gather supplies, etc.
Be flexible and open to change. The Apostle Paul planned to go to Asia, but was redirected by the Holy Spirit to go to Macedonia (Acts 16:7-10). God’s plans and purposes may be different than what you think, so be open to His divine appointments and adjustments to your schedule.
Evaluate your goals. Did you do what you said you would do? Do you need to adjust the goals you have or set new ones? You may need to change the completion date, readjust the budget, or change the short-term steps leading to the long-term goal.
Acknowledge the sovereignty of God. Make your plans acknowledging that “if it is God’s will” you will accomplish them. (James 4:13-15). The Bible is clear that: “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps” (Proverbs 16:9).
Realize that planning is a continuous cycle. Throughout life, you should continue to make plans by faith and set and adjust goals to accomplish your divine purpose.
WHAT GOD’S WORD SAYS ABOUT PURPOSE AND GOALS:
“All this,” David said, “I have in writing from the hand of the Lord upon me, and he gave me understanding in all the details of the plan.” (1 Chronicles 28:19)
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. (Psalm 119:105)
The Lord will fulfill [his purpose] for me; your love, O Lord, endures forever–do not abandon the works of your hands. (Psalm 138:8)
Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed. (Proverbs 16:3)
In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps. (Proverbs 16:9)
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: (Ecclesiastes 3:1)
The Lord Almighty has sworn, “Surely, as I have planned, so it will be, and as I have purposed, so it will stand.” (Isaiah 14:24)
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord,” they are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11 TLB)
Then the Lord replied: “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it.” (Habakkuk 2:2)
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (Luke 4:18-19)
Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’ Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. (Luke 4:28-32)
If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. (1 Corinthians 3:12-13)
But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way. (1 Corinthians 14:40)
…Live purposefully and worthily and accurately…Making the very most of the time–buying up each opportunity–because the days are evil. (Ephesians 5:15-16, AMP)
Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” (James 4:13-15)
Study further on planning:
-In Genesis l-3, God planned all creation, made plans for man, and revealed His plan for salvation.
-Noah made plans to build the ark: Genesis 6.
-Abraham set objectives for his servant, Eleazar: Genesis 24.
-Joseph planned for the years of famine: Genesis 41.
-Moses was given a plan to deliver Israel from slavery: Exodus 3-6.
-The plan for the tabernacle was quite detailed: Exodus 24:12-40:38.
-In the book of Numbers, plans are made to number the people (1:1-54) and arrange the camp (2:1-34).
-Joshua made detailed plans to lead Israel to conquer and divide their promised land: Book of Joshua.
-In the book of Judges, God gave numerous plans for deliverance.
-Ruth followed the plan of Naomi in regards to Boaz: Book of Ruth.
-David prepared to kill the giant: 1 Samuel 17.
-King Hezekiah prepared plans to unify Israel, repair the temple, and build a water system for Jerusalem: 2 Chronicles 28-31; 2 Kings 16-20.
-Nehemiah made plans to rebuild the wall: Book of Nehemiah.
-The Old Testament prophets revealed God’s plans for the nations.
-Jesus: The Gospels are filled with statements made by Jesus about His purpose and plans to fulfill God’s will for His life and ministry. Jesus also communicated this
purpose and plans to His followers and to all believers in general.
-The Apostle Paul made plans: If he had no plans then the Holy Spirit could not have
changed them as indicated in Acts 16:6-10.
-The book of Revelation reveals God’s plans for the future.
Read about planning in the book of Proverbs. See Proverbs 13:16; 14:8; 15:22; 16:3,9; 24:3-4; 29:18.
Jesus had a clear understanding of His part in God’s purpose and plans. Study the following references:
Matthew: 5:17; 8:3,7; 9:13; 10:34-35; 13:41-42; 15:24; 18:11,20; 19:28-29; 20:18-19,28; 21:13; 24:35; 25:31; 26:24,29,32,39,64
Mark: 1:38; 2:17; 10:33-34,45; 14:21
Luke: 2:49; 4:18-19,43; 5:32; 9:22,56; 11:49; 12:51; 13:32-33; 19:5,10; 22:37,69; 24:44,46-47
John: 3:16-17; 4:34; 5:30,43; 6:37-40,51; 7:16,33; 8:26,29,49-50; 9:4, 38-39; 10:10,16-18; 12:24-27,32,46,49-50; 13:5; 14:2,16-18; 18:36; 16:12,22,25; 18:37; 12:24-27; Study all of John chapter 17 as it communicates much about His purpose.
Study the purposes established for followers of Jesus.
Matthew: 7:33; 9:37-38; 10:7-8,38-39; 16:24-25; 28:18-20
Mark: 1:17; 16:15-18; 8:34-35
Luke: 5:10; 9:2; 10:2-9; 12:29; 14:26-27,33; 22:29; 24:46-49
John: 4:35; 6:27; 15:16; 20:21
(For further instruction regarding purpose and goals, obtain the Harvestime International Network publication entitled “Management By Objectives” available at: http://www.harvestime.org)
(Adultery, Fornication, Premarital Sex, Prostitution)
DEFINITION: Promiscuity is defined as having multiple sexual partners. Another biblical name for it is fornication. Prostitution–performing sexual favors for financial gain or using someone else to do this–is included in this definition, as are premarital sex and adultery.
FACTS ABOUT PROMISCUITY:
Promiscuity is sin. Fornication, adultery, prostitution, and all sexual relationships outside of marriage are addressed in the Bible as sin. In some cultures, standards of morality have been lowered to where sex outside of marriage is acceptable, but God’s Word does not change. Sexual promiscuity in any form is sin.
Believers must obey the laws of the land. You cannot just live with someone and claim you are married in God’s sight (Romans 13:1). You must be legally married according to the mandates of the government under whose authority you live.
The biblical mandate is that sex is to be confined to marriage. “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure…” (Hebrews 13:4a). The world’s view of sex is not the biblical view. The world’s view is that sex is for personal pleasure and is okay between two consenting adults. The biblical view is that sex is to be reserved only for marriage and any other type of sexual relationship is wrong. Sexual relations within a marriage are fulfilling and unite a couple in a special bond of intimacy. Sexual relationships outside of marriage are destructive.
Promiscuity affects your health. Diseases are transmitted through promiscuity, including some for which there is no known cure.
Promiscuity causes negative emotions. Regret, shame, guilt, and emotional pain all result from promiscuous sexual relationships.
Sexual sins weaken the marriage covenant. They destroy trust and often lead to divorce.
God will judge the sexually promiscuous. “…God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral” (Hebrews 13:4b).
DEALING WITH PROMISCUITY:
Avoid temptation. Avoid compromising situations that put you in a place of temptation, alone with a handsome man or beautiful woman. If you are never alone with someone of the opposite sex who is not your spouse, then promiscuity will probably not become an issue. Sexual relationships often begin when with emotional ties that develop when men and women spend extended time alone in working or social environments.
Ask forgiveness of God. Promiscuity is sin, and as with all sin, must be confessed and forgiven by God.
Seek forgiveness from those you have wronged. If you are married, you have sinned against your mate by your promiscuous behavior. You have also sinned against the person with whom you have had sex outside of marriage. Humbly ask their forgiveness.
Break ungodly relationships. Break promiscuous relationships with your adulterous partners. Make a total break: No more communication in any form. “Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty” (2 Corinthians 6:17-18).
Bind the spirit of lust. At the root of adultery, fornication, prostitution, and premarital sex is lust. Bind the spirit of lust from operating in your life.
Do a spiritual housecleaning. Get rid of any erotic materials whether it be books, pictures, movies, Internet sites, or sex toys.
Have a medical examination. Be sure you have not contracted sexually transmitted diseases. If you have, then you must notify your previous sex partners.
WHAT GOD’S WORD SAYS ABOUT PROMISCUITY:
You shall not commit adultery. (Exodus 20:14)
Do not have sexual relations with your neighbor’s wife and defile yourself with her. (Leviticus 18:20)
Do not degrade your daughter by making her a prostitute, or the land will turn to prostitution and be filled with wickedness. (Leviticus 19:29)
You shall not commit adultery. (Deuteronomy 5:18)
Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes, for the prostitute reduces you to a loaf of bread, and the adulteress preys upon your very life. (Proverbs 6:25-26)
Do not let your heart turn to her ways or stray into her paths. Many are the victims she has brought down; her slain are a mighty throng. Her house is a highway to the grave, leading down to the chambers of death. (Proverbs 7:25-27)
For a prostitute is a deep pit and a wayward wife is a narrow well. (Proverbs 23:27)
A man who loves wisdom brings joy to his father, but a companion of prostitutes squanders his wealth. (Proverbs 29:3)
You are to abstain from … sexual immorality. (Acts 15:29)
Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.(1 Corinthians 6:9-11)
The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. (1 Corinthians 6:13)
Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.” But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with the spirit. Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. (1 Corinthians 6:15-20)
We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did–and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died. (1 Corinthians 10;8)
The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. (Galatians 5:19-21)
I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:21)
But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. (Ephesians 5:3)
For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person–such a man is an idolater– has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. (Ephesians 5:5)
Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. (Colossians 3:5)
It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; 4 that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, 5 not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; 6 and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you. (1 Thessalonians 4:3-6)
Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. (Hebrews 13:4)
But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars–their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death. (Revelation 21:8)
(See also the related topics of “Sexuality”, “Adultery”, “Homosexuality”, and “Incest” in this database.)
DEFINITION: Profanity is language or behavior that shows disrespect for God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit including misuse of their names. It is vulgar and irreverent language or behavior, including jokes or innuendos that mock that which is holy.
FACTS ABOUT PROFANITY:
Your words are powerful. The Bible says that death and life are in your words (Proverbs 18:21). When you use profanity, you are speaking words of death because profanity is sin and God will judge it.
The tongue is unruly. It is compared to a fire (James 3:5); a burning fire (Proverbs 16:27); a world of iniquity (James 3:6); a beast that needs taming (James 3:7-8); a fountain of either fresh or bitter water (James 3:11); a tree bearing either good or evil fruit (James 3:12); an unruly evil (James 3:8); deadly poison (James 3:8); a sharp razor (Psalms 52:2); a sharp sword (Psalms 57:4; 59:7); a poisonous serpent (Psalms 140:3); a deep pit (Proverbs 22:14).
What you speak comes from your heart. Profane words come from your own heart–not because someone made you angry or because you learned the words from your parents or friends. (Matthew 12:34).
Profanity is sin. The Bible declares: “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name” (Exodus 20:7).
DEALING WITH PROFANITY:
Recognize your mouth is your responsibility. You will give account for every word you speak, including profanity that takes the name of God and holy things in vain. (Matthew 12:36-37)
Ask God to forgive you. Profanity is sin and, as in the case of all sin, requires confession and repentance.
Ask God to change your heart. The words you speak come from your heart, so you need a change of heart (Matthew 15:18-20).
Ask God to guard your words. David said: “…I have resolved that my mouth will not sin” (Psalm 17:3b).
Think before you speak. Proverbs says to clap your hand over your mouth if necessary (Proverbs 15:28).
Separate yourself from those who cannot control their tongues. The Bible says to “Stay away from a foolish man, for you will not find knowledge on his lips” (Proverbs 14:7). Do not hang out with them and allow them to pour their filthy, godless, profane words into your spirit.
Excuse yourself when others are using profanity. If they ask why you are leaving, tell them! If they are bold enough to use that kind of language, you should be bold enough to confront it.
WHAT GOD’S WORD SAYS ABOUT PROFANITY:
You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name. (Exodus 20:7)
…I have resolved that my mouth will not sin. (Psalm 17:3b)
I said, “I will watch my ways and keep my tongue from sin; I will put a muzzle on my mouth. ” (Psalm 39:1-2a)
They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse your name. (Psalm 139:20)
Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. (Proverbs 4:24)
The lips of the righteous know what is fitting, but the mouth of the wicked only what is perverse. (Proverbs 10:32)
The heart of the righteous weighs its answers, but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil. (Proverbs 15:28)
The tongue has the power of life and death… (Proverbs 18:21)
Better a poor man whose walk is blameless than a fool whose lips are perverse. (Proverbs 19:1)
Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow, an undeserved curse does not come to rest. (Proverbs 26:2)
Do not let your mouth lead you into sin. (Ecclesiastes 5:6)
But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned. (Matthew 12:36-37)
But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man ‘unclean.’ For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. (Matthew 15:18-19)
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (Ephesians 4:29)
Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. (Ephesians 5:4)
But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. (Colossians 3:8)
If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. (James 1:26)
But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do… (1 Peter 1:15)
Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech. (1 Peter 3:10)
(See also “Communication” in this database.)
DEFINITION: Pride is a feeling of haughty superiority demonstrated by someone who thinks they are better than others. It is an inflated sense of one’s self-worth, skills, intelligence, accomplishments, or position. Conceit, vanity, arrogance, boasting, egotism, and haughtiness are other words that describe pride.
FACTS ABOUT PRIDE:
Pride was the original sin. It was because of pride that Satan fell from his exalted position in heaven (Isaiah 14:13). It was the appeal of pride–knowing all things–that resulted in the first sin by mankind (Genesis 3).
Attributes of pride. Boasting is one evidence of pride. Another is putting other people down to elevate self and gloating over the misfortunes of others. Pride is also marked by a haughty attitude and a tendency to perform good deeds in order to receive honor from men (Matthew 23:5-6, 13-16). Pride makes one self-sufficient apart from God. Pride deceives you into thinking you are better than others and that you cannot fall into sin. Pride keeps you from seeking God (Psalm 10:4) and exalts self against the knowledge of God (2 Corinthians 10:5).
Pride is a sin. Pride is rebellion against God because it attributes to self the honor due to God alone. God hates pride (Proverbs 6:16) and everyone who is proud is an abomination to the Lord (Proverbs 16:5).
Pride is the root of all sin. As the first sin, pride is the root of all sin. All sins can be traced back to the original root of pride.
DEALING WITH PRIDE:
Ask God to reveal pride in your life. Prideful behavior may have been such a part of your life that you do not even recognize its manifestations. Ask God to show you attitudes or attributes of pride in your life so you can deal with them.
Ask God for forgiveness. Pride is sin–in fact it is one of the seven sins most hated by God. As with any other sin, pride requires confession and repentance.
Humble yourself before God. Humility is the opposite of pride. We are commanded to “humble ourselves” as an act of our will (James 4:10). Seek to serve others rather than being a “star”.
WHAT GOD’S WORD SAYS ABOUT PRIDE:
You will save the humble people; But Your eyes are on the haughty, that You may bring them down. (2 Samuel 22:28, NKJV)
Read 2 Kings 5: Naaman’s pride almost caused him to miss a miracle!
In his arrogance the wicked man hunts down the weak, who are caught in the schemes he devises. He boasts of the cravings of his heart; he blesses the greedy and reviles the Lord.
In his pride the wicked does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God. (Psalm 10:2-4)
May the Lord cut off all flattering lips and every boastful tongue that says, “We will triumph with our tongues; we own our lips–who is our master?” (Psalm 12:3)
You save the humble but bring low those whose eyes are haughty. (Psalm 18:27)
For in his own eyes he flatters himself too much to detect or hate his sin. (Psalm 36:2)
Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods. (Psalm 40:4)
Why do you boast of evil, you mighty man? Why do you boast all day long, you who are a disgrace in the eyes of the God? (Psalm 52:1)
Therefore pride is their necklace; they clothe themselves with violence. (Psalm 73:6)
Whoever has haughty eyes and a proud heart, him will I not endure. (Psalm 101:5)
Though the Lord is on high, he looks upon the lowly, but the proud he knows from afar. (Psalm 138:6)
He mocks proud mockers but gives grace to the humble. (Proverbs 3:34)
There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers. (Proverbs 6:16-19)
To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech. (Proverbs 8:13)
When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. (Proverbs 11:2)
Pride only breeds quarrels, but wisdom is found in those who take advice. (Proverbs 13:10)
The Lord tears down the proud man’s house but he keeps the widow’s boundaries intact. (Proverbs 15:25)
The Lord detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished. (Proverbs 16:5)
Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. (Proverbs 16:18)
Before his downfall a man’s heart is proud, but humility comes before honor. (Proverbs 18:12)
A haughty look, a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked are sin. (Proverbs 21:4)
By humility and the fear of the Lord Are riches and honor and life. (Proverbs 22:4)
It is not good to eat too much honey, nor is it honorable to seek one’s own honor. (Proverbs 25:27)
Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth. Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; someone else, and not your own lips. (Proverbs 27:1-2)
A man’s pride will bring him low, but the humble in spirit will retain honor. (Proverbs 29:23)
The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride. (Ecclesiastes 7:8)
The eyes of the arrogant man will be humbled and the pride of men brought low; the Lord alone will be exalted in that day. The Lord Almighty has a day in store for all the proud and lofty, for all that is exalted (and they will be humbled), (Isaiah 2:11-12)
The arrogance of man will be brought low and the pride of men humbled. (Isaiah 2:17)
I will punish the world for its evil, the wicked for their sins. I will put an end to the arrogance of the haughty and will humble the pride of the ruthless. (Isaiah 13:11)
You said in your heart, “I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.” But you are brought down to the grave, to the depths of the pit. (Isaiah 14:13-15)
For this is what the high and lofty One says–he who lives forever, whose name is holy: “I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite. (Isaiah 57:15)
This is the one I esteem: He who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word. (Isaiah 66:2)
And they were haughty and committed abomination before Me; therefore I took them away as I saw fit. (Ezekiel 16:50)
Read Daniel 4. King Nebuchadnezzar’s pride resulted in a harsh punishment from God.
But when his heart became arrogant and hardened with pride, he was deposed from his royal throne and stripped of his glory. He was driven away from people and given the mind of an animal; he lived with the wild donkeys and ate grass like cattle; and his body was drenched with the dew of heaven, until he acknowledged that the Most High God is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and sets over them anyone he wishes. (Daniel 5:20-21)
“The pride of your heart has deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rocks and make your home on the heights, you who say to yourself, ‘Who can bring me down to the ground?’ Though you soar like the eagle and make your nest among the stars, from there I will bring you down,” declares the Lord. (Obadiah 3-4)
For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. (Matthew 23:13)
He went on: “What comes out of a man is what makes him ‘unclean.’ For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man ‘unclean.'” (Mark 7:21-23)
He has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. He has brought down rulers from their thrones, but has lifted up the humble. (Luke 1:51-52)
For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted. (Luke 14:11)
So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, “We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.” (Luke 17:10)
To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men–robbers, evildoers, adulterers–or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Luke 18:9-14)
For they loved praise from men more than praise from God. (John 12:43)
They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them. (Romans 1:30-32)
Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. (Romans 12:3)
Honor one another above yourselves. (Romans 12:10)
Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. (Romans 12:16)
He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things – and the things that are not – to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. (1 Corinthians 1:28-29)
Let him who boasts boast in the Lord. (1 Corinthians 1:31)
So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.
(1 Corinthians 3:7)
For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not? (1 Corinthians 4:7)
But, Let him who boasts boast in the Lord. For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends. (2 Corinthians 10:17-18)
Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. (Galatians 5:25-26)
If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. (Galatians 6:3)
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. (Philippians 2:3)
Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. (Philippians 2:5-7)
But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God–having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them. (2 Timothy 3:1-5)
But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” (James 4:6)
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. (James 4:10)
You boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. (James 4:16)
Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. (1 Peter 5:5-6)
For everything in the world–the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does–comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever. (1 John 2:16-17)
DEFINITION: Prejudice is an unfavorable opinion formed on the basis of insufficient knowledge, inaccurate stereotypes, or irrational feelings. It is an unfounded hatred, fear, or mistrust of a person or group based on race, nationality, religious, or social status.
FACTS ABOUT PREJUDICE:
Prejudice can take many forms. It may appear in how one talks–through slander, criticism, innuendos, or inappropriate racial jokes. It may also affects one’s actions through discrimination, avoidance, cliques, exclusion, abuse, and even murder.
Prejudice hinders positive relationships. It causes you to close your mind and heart towards other people and different people groups.
Prejudice can be learned. For example, if parents are prejudice against a certain race of people by their conversation or actions, they may pass these prejudicial attitudes on to their children.
Prejudice can be the result of negative experiences. For example, a black man who is attacked by a white man, may develop a prejudice against all white people.
God does not show favoritism. According to Romans 2:11, God does not show favoritism, nor should we.
God does not judge by external appearance. God looks on the heart (1 Samuel 16:7). He does not judge by external factors (Galatians 2:6).
DEALING WITH PREJUDICE:
Ask forgiveness for your prejudices. The Bible says your own judgment or prejudice condemns you: “You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things” (Romans 2:1).
Forgive those who have shown prejudice against you. If you have been discriminated against in employment, housing, or personal relationships, forgive the offender. By forgiving, you are not setting them free from their sinful prejudices, but you are setting yourself free from the effects of it.
Stop judging by mere appearances and make a right judgment based on God’s Word: “Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment” (John 7:24).
Accept others as Christ accepts you. Accepting others with the same grace and mercy that you are accepted by Christ brings glory to God. (Romans 15:7)
Make friends among different racial, social, and religious groups. How can you reach them with the gospel if you are prejudice against them and isolate yourself?
WHAT GOD’S WORD SAYS ABOUT PREJUDICE:
Do not mistreat an alien or oppress him. (Exodus 22:21)
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)
God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right. (Acts 10:34-35)
Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment. (John 7:24)
You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. (Romans 2:1)
For God does not show favoritism. (Romans 2:11)
For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile-the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:12-13)
Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. (Romans 12:16)
Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. (Romans 15:7)
As for those who seemed to be important–whatever they were makes no difference to me; God does not judge by external appearance (Galatians 2:6)
You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:26-29)
And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him. (Ephesians 6:9)
My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don’t show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? But you have insulted the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court? Are they not the ones who are slandering the noble name of him to whom you belong? If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker. Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment! (James 2:1-12)
DEFINITION: Prayer is talking to God and with God, whether it be spoken or silent conversation. Prayer is a direct line to Heaven, allowing you to communicate with God. It includes praise and worship, petition, confession, repentance, and intercession.
FACTS ABOUT PRAYER:
The greatest prayer. The greatest prayer is the prayer asking forgiveness for sin and accepting Christ as Savior (Luke 18:13).
Prayer is described as calling upon the name of the Lord (Genesis 12:8); crying unto God (Psalms 27:7; 34:6); drawing near to God (Psalms 73:28; Hebrews 10:22); looking up (Psalms 5:3); lifting up the soul (Psalms 25:1); lifting up the heart (Lamentations 3:41); pouring out the heart (Psalms 62:8); pouring out the soul (1 Samuel 1:15); crying to Heaven (2 Chronicles 32:20); beseeching the Lord (Exodus 32:11); seeking God (Job 8:5); seeking the face of the Lord (Psalms 27:8); making supplication (Job 8:5; Jeremiah 36:7).
There are three levels of intensity in prayer. Asking, seeking, and knocking (Matthew 7:7-8). Asking is the first level of prayer. It is simply presenting a request to God and receiving an immediate answer. Seeking is a deeper level of prayer where answers are not as immediate as at the asking level. Knocking is prayer that persists when answers are longer in coming.
Believers have great power in prayer. Through prayer, you have power over the enemy (Luke 9:1); power over sin (John 20:23); power to extend the gospel (Matthew 9:37); and power to bind and loose spiritual forces (Matthew 12:28-29; 16:19). Your prayers are powerful because of the name of Jesus (John 16:23-24) and His blood that secured your victory (Hebrews 10:19-23).
The Bible reveals that prayer is answered immediately at times (Isaiah 65:24; Daniel 9:21-23); delayed at times (Luke 18:7); different from your desires (2 Corinthians 12:8-9); and beyond your expectations (Jeremiah 33:3; Ephesians 3:20).
Organizing for prayer. Prayer can be made on an individual basis (Matthew 6:6); with two people praying together (Matthew 18:19); and in small groups (Matthew 18:20).
DEALING WITH PRAYER:
Never condemn a person or feel condemned for lack of prayer. Prayer is a wonderful opportunity, not an obligation that must be fulfilled. View prayer as something you might be missing rather than something you should be doing. It is not a burden, but an opportunity.
Set a special time and place to pray to God each day. You can pray anytime as you go throughout the day–and you should–but you should also have a set time and place to devote yourself solely to prayer. You plan for dinner, recreation, work, and others things. Plan for prayer!
Open your heart to receive God’s guidance when you pray. Let Him know that you want to change, and invite Him to guide you in living a Spirit-filled life and being a better person. Give thanks for both good and bad circumstances in your life, as both carry lessons to teach you the right and wrong ways to approach life. Use your prayer time to ask God for help and to give thanks, confess your sins, and seek comfort and guidance.
Use the model prayer in Mathew 6:9-13 as a format for your prayer. Each phrase can be used as an outline point through which you can worship God, pray for His Kingdom around the world, pray that His will be done in your life and the lives of others, ask for and extend forgiveness, ask for provision in every area of life, and intercede for protection from temptation and the evil powers of Satan. The prayer includes an appeal for “daily bread”, so it assumes that you will talk to God each day on a regular basis.
Listen for God to speak to you Prayer is communication, and a one-way conversation does not last long. When you pray, expect God to speak to you. Most often He will do this through His written Word or by a “still small voice” that seems to speak to your heart. Sometimes He will give you a vision, a prophetic word, or interpret back to your spirit what you have prayed in your heavenly prayer language.
Align your life with the purposes and priorities of God. Pray for wisdom concerning every area of your life and the forthcoming day (James 4:2). God will show you the things that need to be done and how to do things better. He will help you discern what is and is not important, and how to use your time to accomplish His priorities and purposes.
WHAT GOD’S WORD SAYS ABOUT PRAYER:
Biblical guidelines for prayer. Study the following references in your Bible.
-Prayer is to be made to God: Psalms 5:2
-Quality rather than quantity is stressed: Matthew 6:7
-Empty repetition is forbidden, but sincere repetition is not: Daniel 6:10; Luke 11:5-13; 18:1-8
-Pray with understanding (in a known tongue): Ephesians 6:18
-Pray in the Spirit in tongues: Romans 8:26; Jude 20
-Intercede according to the will of God: 1 John 5:14-15
-Pray in secret: Matthew 6:6
-Pray always: Luke 21:36; Ephesians 6:18
-Pray continually without ceasing: Romans 12:12; 1 Thessalonians 5:17
-Intercede to the Father in the name of Jesus: John 14:13-14
-Pray with a watchful attitude: 1 Peter 4:7
-Pray using the example of the model prayer: Matthew 6:9-13
-Pray with a forgiving spirit: Mark 11:25
-Pray with humility: Matthew 6:7
-Accompany prayer with fasting: Matthew 17:21
-Intercede fervently: James 5:16; Colossians 4:12
-Pray with submission to God: Luke 22:42
-Use the strategies of binding and loosing: Matthew 16:19
What to pray for. Study the following Biblical references which reveal what you are to intercede for:
-The peace of Jerusalem: Psalms 122:6
-Laborers in the harvest: Matthew 9:38; Luke 10:2
-That you enter not into temptation: Luke 22:40-46;
-Those who despitefully use you (your enemies): Luke 6:28
-All the saints: Ephesians 6:18
-The sick: James 5:14
-For others (bearing others burdens): James 5:16;1 Samuel 12:23
-For all men, kings, and those in authority: 1 Timothy 2:1-4
-For daily needs: Matthew 6:11
-For wisdom: James 1:5
-For healing: James 5:14-15
-For forgiveness: Matthew 6:12
-For God’s will and Kingdom to be established: Matthew 6:10
-For relief from affliction: James 5:13
-For unity in the Body of Christ: John 17
-For the persecuted church around the world: Hebrews 13:3
Hindrances to effective prayer. Identifying hindrances to your prayer life is not enough. You must also ask God to help you to eliminate them. Also remember that what seems to be unanswered prayer does not mean there are spiritual hindrances in your prayer life. Answers to prayer may be delayed (Luke 18:7) or answered differently from your desires (2 Corinthians 12:8-9). Here are some common hindrances to effective prayer.
-Sin of any kind: Isaiah 59:1-2; Psalm 66:18; Isaiah 1:15; Proverbs 28:9
-Idols in the heart: Ezekiel 14:1-3
-An unforgiving spirit: Mark 11:25; Matthew 5:23
-Selfishness, wrong motives: Proverbs 21:13; James 4:3
-Power hungry, manipulative prayers: James 4:2-3
-Wrong treatment of marriage partner: 1 Peter 3:7
-Self-righteousness: Luke 18:10-14
-Unbelief: James 1:6-7
-Not abiding in Christ and His Word: John 15:7
-Lack of compassion: Proverbs 21:13
-Hypocrisy, pride, meaningless repetition: Matthew 6:5; Job 35:12-13
-Not asking according to the will of God: James 4:2-3
-Not asking in Jesus’ name: John 16:24
-Satanic demonic hindrances: Daniel 10:10-13; Ephesians 6:12
-Not seeking first the Kingdom: Matthew 6:33
When you don’t know how to pray, allow the Holy Spirit pray through you: Romans 8:26
Study Christ’s prayer for you. John 17