Friday, October 13, 2006

Empire Building

A devotion for today.

Empire Building

Read: Daniel 4:28-37

Those who walk in pride He is able to put down.

After being warned by Daniel about his pride, the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar was struck with insanity. The Lord restored his mind, but only after he spent 7 years in a field thinking he was a wild animal.

Nebuchadnezzar went from boasting, "Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for . . . the honor of my majesty?" (Dan. 4:30) to a humble prayer: "I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven" (v.37). He had repented of prideful empire building.

Bible teacher J. Vernon McGee expressed concern about empire building in the church today. He advised Christian leaders, "Don't try to build a little empire of your church. I started out with that viewpoint, and I had never been more unhappy." He encouraged them to "build into the lives of people" and leave the results to God.

When a church devotes undue energy to statistics, buildings, and programs, pride can enter in and the needs of God's people can be forgotten.

Jesus never forgot the importance of individuals. He invested His time in 12 men (Mark 3:14). Paul discipled Timothy who in turn discipled others (2 Tim. 2:2). God's kingdom grows when we invest in people. ~Dennis Fisher

Churches grow when people pray
And pastors preach the Word,
When love for Christ seeks out the lost
To win them to the Lord. —D. De Haan

Poor is the church that values programs above people.


Elizabeth Ellen Moore said...

I agree, Zachary. Pride does go before a fall. It happens over and over again. That's why it is always important for us to check our own hearts. It can creep into churches and people very subtly.

Kaitlin said...

Wonderful! Pride is everywhere nowadays - often running the church services too.

Keith M. said...

What you said is true, when the church focuses too much on trying to get programs to satisfy those who are cold and only going to church for the programs, it falls apart. We go because of Christ and the knowledge of HIM not some fun activity.