Your faithfulness is a very dangerous place.
JANUARY 9, 2024
Your faithfulness is a very dangerous place. Let’s talk about it, on Key Life.
This is Key Life with our host, author, and seminary professor, Steve Brown. He’s nobody’s guru. He’s just one beggar telling other beggars where he found bread. If you’re hungry for God, the real God behind all the lies, you’ve come to the right place.
Thank you Matthew. We’re looking at the Book of Proverbs. If you’re just joining us, we’re looking at some of the subjects throughout this Book of Proverbs. And today we’re going to talk about the danger of self righteousness. And it’s all over Proverbs. Everywhere you turn, it’s there, and it’s a part of being a street-smart Christian. Proverbs 3:34 says.
Surely he scorns the scornful, but gives grace to the humble.
The fear of the Lord is to hate evil. Pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth I hate.
When pride comes, then comes shame, but with the humble is wisdom.
The Lord will destroy the house of the proud, but he will establish the boundary of the widow.
Proverbs 16:18 through 19.
Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly than to divide the spoil with the proud.
A haughty look, a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked are sin.
Proverbs 26, I know, I just want to show you it’s everywhere. Proverbs 26:12.
Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.
Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips.
Do you know the most dangerous thing for us? It’s our faithfulness. It’s our obedience. You’ve heard me say it before, and I’m probably going to say it again in the future, but it’s a good thing to remember. The best gift that God has ever given you is your sin when you know it. And the most dangerous place where you live is your faithfulness when you know that too. I think, as a matter of fact, that God, if we’re open to God’s Spirit, doesn’t show us the good parts about us very often. Enough to encourage us, to let us know that we’re growing, to let us know that sanctification is going on in our lives, but not too much because God knows that if He gives us an inch, we’ll take a mile. A young man came into the lawyer’s office, and the lawyer was busy. And the lawyer said, son, take a chair. Sir, he said, the kid, I’ll have you know that I’m the son of Senator James. And my father has sent me. The lawyer said, then you can take two seats, if you like. I think sometimes God says that too. The reason God doesn’t honor much of our passion in politics is because we are so arrogant about it. Tallulah Bankhead, who, I was in a Catholic church one time and they had an incense bowl they were swinging. And she said to the priest who was swinging the incense bowl, Darling, your dress is gorgeous, but your purse is on fire. I spoke not too long ago for a baccalaureate service at a college, and I worked on it for a long time. And I remember someone referring to Tallulah Bankhead when he was getting ready to speak at one of those. And he quoted her to himself.
Truly there is less here than meets the eye.
That’s awful. No, that’s good. That’s a kind gift from the God of the universe. And when God gives that gift of revealing your failures and your weakness, your lack of being able to accomplish anything, the times when you tried and you blew it. When that happens, that’s not a bad thing. That’s a good thing, and you know why? Because Paul said to the people in Corinth that God said to him.
My power is made perfect in weakness.
And so, as you read Proverbs, you begin to see that grace, and my friend Rose Marie Miller taught me this, grace always runs downhill. All right, let’s look at another subject, Light in the Darkness, Proverbs 4:18 through 19.
But the path of the just is like the shining sun that shines ever brighter into the perfect day. The way of the wicked is like darkness. They do not know what makes them stumble.
Now Jesus, if you don’t know, had a commentary on that in John 8:12.
I am the light of the world, he who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of light.
And then John added in one of his letters, I John 1:7.
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin.
You know, one of the things that we sometimes forget, and this goes back to what I said earlier this week about courage, is that we forget that because of the light, because of the Holy Spirit in the life of every believer, we are right and they are wrong. Now, that’s not a place of arrogance because that’s dangerous, but it’s a place of knowledge. What you think is probably from Him. I believe, and I was a pastor for a lot of years, and because I was, can probably get to heaven without grace. They won’t say, they won’t even ask about Jesus. They will say, you were a pastor for 30 years? You, you poor dear, you come on in. Don’t send me letters, I’m kidding around. But one of the things that I noticed about being where I was is that I was right, that God’s Spirit informed me and that when I spoke from the pulpit, I spoke truth.
It’s the light that comes into the world,
John said in the first chapter of John.
and the darkness has not overcome it.
What’s the light? It’s truth and it’s grace and it’s love and it’s acceptance. And when that message is spoken, there is great power in that message because it is a true message. You ever wonder why the song Amazing Grace is perhaps the most popular, popular song in all of history? I mean, it’s sung in every venue, whether it’s pagan or Christian, and whenever it’s sung, if you’ll look around, there will be people who will have tears in their eyes. Where does that come from? Let me tell you where it comes from. It comes from the speaking of truth in the light, that God is a God who reaches out to his people and calls them to himself. And redeems them and clothes them in his righteousness. And that means we are right. And that means that the light is shining. Let me move on to another subject and we’ll just bring it up. But we’ll talk about it more tomorrow. Look at laziness and God, Proverbs 6:6 through 11.
Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Which having no captain, overseer, or ruler provides her supplies in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest. How long will you slumber, O sluggard? When will you rise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep. So shall your poverty come on you, like a prowler, and your need like an armed man.
That’s not the only place in Proverbs where it talks about laziness. You can find it in 10:4 through 5, 13:4, 14:23, 18:9, 19:15, 16:18 through 19, and it goes on and on. It’s important. Get moving. You think about that. Amen.
Thanks Steve. Steve Brown there teaching us about the danger of self righteousness as we continue in this series called Street-Smart Christians. And if you need our text again, well, this is probably a good time to remind you that you can listen to this episode and all of our episodes anytime you want at keylife.org hope you will join us again tomorrow. Well, if you were to ask me, do you ever feel distressed and distracted? I would say, yes, yes, I do. How about you? Is there anything we can do about the situation? Well, Adam Ramsey seems to think so. We recently spoke with Adam on Steve Brown Etc and he shared some really deep and Biblical insights on making peace with our limitations as humans. With all the hype right now about new habits and new goals. It’s something I think you’ll want to hear. Get your copy of that show on CD for free by calling us at 1-800-KEY-LIFE that’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail [email protected] to ask for that CD. If you’d like to mail your request, go to keylife.org/contact to find our mailing addresses. Again, just ask for your free copy of the CD featuring Adam Ramsey. Finally, if you value the work of Key Life, would you support that work through your giving. You could charge a gift on your credit card or include a gift in your envelope. Or simply pick up your phone and text Key Life to 28950 that’s Key Life, one word, two words. It doesn’t matter. Text that to 28950. Key Life is a member of ECFA in the States and CCCC in Canada. And Key Life is a listener supported production of Key Life Network.