In Recognition of PRIDE Month

If you must have a parade to tell us how proud you are of yourself, you’re not proud of yourself.  If you must convince people that you feel good about yourself, you don’t feel good about yourself.  The truth is that deep down inside, you know that there is something wrong with yourself.  Such is as it should be.  Because we are created in the image of God, we are rational beings with moral natures, each of us bearing a conscience.  This is what separates us from the animals.  We know there is a God who is righteous and just, almighty and all-knowing.  We know that there is right and wrong, and try as we may we can’t escape this knowledge.  We also know that we are separated from this God because of our sins.  Indeed, we know that our problem is not only that we sin but that we ARE sinners—that our very nature is crooked, turned in on itself, and morally depraved.  And we even know that this righteous God from whom our sins have so separated us shall one day judge the world—that is, ourselves.

One might think that such knowledge would make a man repent, run to this God begging forgiveness, and promise to love Him above all things.  But such is the broken and sinful nature of a man that he will not do this.  Instead, the man turns away from God clinging to his sin—for he loves his sin more than he loves the true God.  And in an attempt to live in his sin with a clear conscience, he creates his own god, an idol, who will approve his sin and even cheer him along his way.  The man does not know that behind this false god which he has created lies a very real demon.  And even if he did know, he would not care so long as this demon allowed him his pleasures which demons are naturally gratified that he should indulge.  One day he might not even feel that pang of conscience or hear that inward voice that has cried out for so very long that something is terribly wrong with himself.  The true God whom he despised has justly given him over to his sinful devices and he is now a prisoner to his passions, a lecher, the image of God within so withered that hardly a man is recognizable at all.  And so the man gratifies his whims all the way to hell (Romans 1:18-32). 

But to the man who still hears that voice of conscience, who knows he’s not right, indeed even hates himself (for every true believer first hated himself before he came Christ, and after coming hates his sin all the more), to that man there is hope.  Indeed, it is God’s greatest gift to you that thus far you still suffer your alienation from Him for your sin.  And now this great God comes to you with open arms imploring you to come and trust Him to cleanse, restore, and save you from your sin and final judgment.  Will you be completely healed of your sinful desires?  Maybe, maybe not, but He will put you on the path to healing so that as time goes by you will grow in His grace so that you will look less like yourself and more like Him. 

The good news is that you no longer have to pretend you are proud anymore: “The Spirit and the Bride say, ‘Come.’  And let the one who hears say, ‘Come.’  And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price” (Revelation 22:17).

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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