Wednesday, March 16, 2011

John MacArthur Bread

“Walk . . . with all humility.”
- Ephesians 4:1-2

Avoid pride in your position, intelligence, or spirituality.

Years ago, when my children were young, my son Mark told my youngest child, Melinda, to take something out of the room. She said, “You’re not my boss.” Mark replied, “Dad is the boss of Mom, Mom is the boss of Matt, Matt is the boss of Marcy, Marcy is the boss of me, and I am the boss of you.” So Melinda obeyed. After that, Melinda decided she was the boss of the dog, and the dog was boss of nobody. No one wants to be on the bottom rung of the ladder!

Everyone holds a certain position in life, and everyone is tempted to take advantage of it. Look at Herod in Acts 12:21-22: “Herod, having put on his royal apparel . . . began delivering an address to them. And the people kept crying out, ‘The voice of a god and not of a man!’” He loved the attention. What happened? “Immediately an angel of the Lord struck him because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and died” (v. 23). Intellectual pride can also be a stumbling block. It’s easy for Christians to think their theology is perfect and they have all the answers. But the more I study the Bible, the more I realize how little I know. I feel like a child who fills a pail in the ocean. My learning is only a small bucket of water compared to the vast sea of knowledge. I know very little, and I’m still learning.

The worst type of pride is external spirituality without internal holiness. Jesus reserved His greatest condemnations for those who had such pride: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. Even so you too outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness” (Matt. 23:27-28). You may look spiritual on the outside, going to church and acting “Christianly,” but your heart may be full of sin.

Suggestions for Prayer:
Examine your heart, and confess any pride in your position, intelligence, or spirituality.

For Further Study:
Read in Daniel 5 about what happened to a king who took pride in his position. Notice how God humbled him. Such sin wasn’t trivial to God; it shouldn’t be to us either.

From Strength for Today by John MacArthur Copyright © 1997. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187,

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Spiritual Muscle

1 Timothy 4:8 "For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and life to come."

I thought this verse helped compliment Adam's post. Chew on it and spend time in prayer asking God to reveal an area of your life where you can build more spiritual muscle.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Spiritual goals

So, today is not my day to write but ive been pondering something so I wanted to run it by y'all? This time off has given me a chance to think about a lot of stuff. One thing ive been thinking about is the way I set my spiritual goals. Not just how do I set them but how do I keep them. And not just how do I set them and how do I keep do I react when I do or do not keep them? Here's what I mean. I usually start out each year saying I'm gunna read my Bible everyday, or pray for someone every day, or I'm gunna pray without asking for something at least once a day...etc. Well, the way it usually goes down is I'll revisit those goals in a few months and if I've been keeping my goals immediately I get prideful (only happened a few times cuz I usually choke.). Or I get discouraged because I haven't been living like I promised. Lose, lose either way. Pride or discouragement. So, my question is this...have y'all found a way to walk that line successfully? I think it's okay to be a little proud if I follow through, but not the way I usually do it. I know I need to just live in the spirit and God will keep me straight but it seems tough. Let's get some dialogue going....


Thursday, March 3, 2011

God - Doing His Thing

God Doing His Thing
Two Novembers ago I met a woman in Laguna Beach at a Hope International event that was bring awareness to providing micro lending to entrepreneurs in third world countries. In my conversation with her it came up that I had played baseball professionally for 9 years and was recently transitioning into business. She mentioned that she had a son who played varsity at Laguna Beach High School and he was a pitcher. I politely extended an offer to work with her son and give him some instruction. She was thankful for the invitation and took down my phone number however I never heard from her. Almost a year later I get a call from a father who I had met 1 time in my life at a 10 year old travel teams baseball practice. He was very nice and extremely likable so when he called I instantly remembered him. He asked if I was coaching and I said no, he asked if I had any interest and I replied that I did but didn’t have an ounce of time because I was busy building my business and spending time with my growing family. He invited me to coffee so I took him up on it. I showed up to coffee and he was there with the head varsity baseball coach and they politely cornered me and asked what time if any I could give them. I stretched myself to say 2 hours a week, 1 hour on 2 different days (Monday and Tuesday). I went on to add that if this in any way affected my commitments to my family and business I’d have to bow out. They jumped at the offer with two huge smiles and gave me a hug. Just to help drive home this situation, every varsity program has a full time pitching coach and most have 3 coaches here in Southern California. The fact that they were excited out 2 hours from me blew my mind. Fast forward 5 or 6 months I’ve been working with the kids for 5 months and they are an awesome bunch. I can tell that they are very well parented and all of them are hungry for instruction and show me tremendous respect. They take a team trip to Hawaii for the preseason and pay for my wife and I to go (extremely generous). Christy is thrilled and I’m excited but worry about leaving work for 5 days. We get over to the Island and we’re short pitching due to injuries. On the second day we already used up 75% of our guys and we’re only half way into our games. Needless to say I need somebody to step up and throw a lot of innings and be conservative with their pitches which can be tough with teenagers. I get an unbelievable outing from one of my favorite kids who had never pitched 3 innings before. He battles so tough for 6 innings we had a heartfelt moment after the inning and I hugged him because I was so proud of him. Days later we were boarding the plane to go home and a mother came up to me and said “Ben, I’ve met you before, I met you at 3 Arch Bay in Laguna Beach for the Hope International event. My heart sputtered as I realized that God had orchestrated this detailed plan to get me to coach this team and influence these kids. I was blown away by His power and grace. The fact that God is using me and the way in which He has done it blows my mind. How great is our God? I hope you all enjoyed this story as much as I did realizing it. Praise to the king!