"PRIDE, Pride, PRIDE" -by Joseph Horacek. Everything in our culture is about size these days. The bigger you are, the more important and able to absorb the smaller businesses. In our area Stop and Shop has just swallowed up Foodtown store. We the Church have followed this worldly trend, it certainly helps to have a bigger budget, but is this God's way? We do see in the Scriptures that when King David began to count the number of his troops... God was NOT pleased. Please Note: This does not mean that God wants a few folk saved. No He desires "all to be saved." The point is many are to mature in Christ, not remain a baby in Christ fed on the milk of the word. (Heb.5:11-14) MANY, MANY FORMS of PRIDE "... Those who take pride in what is seen rather than what is in the heart." - 2 Cor.5:12. The apostle Paul is very aware of the tendency of the human nature to look at the outward appearance and to take pride in what we see. Christian Pride which is strong in this area has to do with- pride in our ministry, pride in our preaching, pride in our denomination, pride in what we do for God, pride in our relationship with God... and so on. Folks - we love to glory in our strengths!! That's the American culture. The scriptures say that "the Spirit helps us in our weakness" -Rom.8:26. The apostle says that he "glories in his weakness, in insults, in persecutions, in hardships," etc. Why?? Because our fallen nature loves strength, power, independence. THE CROSS Must GO DEEPER First the Holy Spirit exposes areas that we take pride in. Because it is "a new and living way" our needs are exposed as we follow God in the reality of life. God does not expose our needs in theory, but in relationship with others. When our needs are exposed, how do we respond? Do we justify ourselves? Do we find fault and accuse those used to expose our needs? Do we repent? PROPHETIC Function: Someone described prophets in this way. "They comfort the afflicted, and afflict the comfortable." God does send folk with a prophetic edge to show how He sees the situation. WHERE THERE is PRIDE, DECEPTION is CLOSE BY "The pride of your heart deceived you." Obadiah 3. One of the main reasons God sends folk is because it takes HUMILITY to receive those that come: "in the name of the Lord." We easily receive those that come in their own reputation and name and are BIG in that sense. The Lord makes it clear that we will NOT see Him until we say: "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord." This was true for all who received Jesus. It is also true for all who receive those whom God sends. WHY is UNITY IN CHRIST so IMPORTANT, FOLKS? Did you say: Because it deals with the pride of our own little independent church group. Right on!... pray and do all that it takes to become united in reality with the saints in your area. It best starts with united prayer for Revival in your area.