PRIDE and Why God Hates It

Isaiah 2:12

The LORD Almighty has a day in store for all the proud and lofty, for all that is exalted (and they will be humbled)

In what is referred to as the “7 Deadly Sins” in Proverbs 16:16-19, each one of these sins are things that have their foundations in pride;

“There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.”

So, we as Christians must fight the urge to be prideful; unless we’re too proud to.

~ Randy Hurtado, Five Crowns Int’l Ministries

Forgive Yourself?! What?!

For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Matthew 6:14-15

Ever had someone tell you, “Before you can ask for forgiveness, you must first forgive yourself”? Yeah, we’ll stop listening to that nonsense. As believers, we can’t both be the sinner and the forgiver in the same situation. If we sin against man or God, they are the forgiver. A lie of this world is to “forgive yourself” and move on without fixing the relationship you soiled, whether it’s with God or man. So, ask for forgiveness and forgive others, but stop believing the lie that you can forgive yourself.

~ Randy Hurtado, Five Crowns Int’l Ministries

Conviction of Things

Can a believer be both consumed in doubt while holding on to their faith? That’s like asking if a person can remain dry while being doused with water. Fear and uncertainty is a natural way of thinking in a broken world. If we are believers in Christ, we must fight the urge to doubt and stand in faith that God’s perfect will is being done. God bless you.

~ Randy Hurtado, Five Crowns Int’l Ministries

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 – Be A True Valentine!

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
~ 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Valentine’s Day is today.. remember what true love is made of!

~ Randy Hurtado, Five Crowns Int’l Ministries

Philippians 1:21 – Could You Allow Yourself To Die For What You Knew Was False?

Following Christ’s death, resurrection and eventual ascension, his apostles went throughout the region and shared the message of Christ to anyone and everyone who would listen. Besides there being a Biblical record of such proselytizing, extra-Biblical historical evidence supports this claim. For this, they paid the ultimate price; death.

The question I often ask non-believers is; “Would you die for something you know to be a lie?” The Apostles didn’t just die quickly either. Below is an account of how they were killed for sharing the truth of Christ.

HOW THE APOSTLES DIED.

1. Matthew
Suffered martyrdom in Ethiopia, killed by a sword wound.

2. Mark
Died in Alexandria, Egypt , after being dragged by horses through the streets until he was dead.

3. Luke
Was hanged in Greece as a result of his tremendous preaching to the lost.

4. John
Faced martyrdom when he was boiled in huge Basin of boiling oil during a wave of persecution In Rome. However, he was miraculously delivered from death. John was then sentenced to the mines on the prison island of Patmos. He wrote his prophetic Book of Revelation on Patmos . The apostle John was later freed and returned to serve as Bishop of Edessa in modern Turkey . He died as an old man, the only apostle to die peacefully

5. Peter
He was crucified upside down on an x-shaped cross.
According to church tradition it was because he told his tormentors that he felt unworthy to die In the same way that Jesus Christ had died.

6. James
The leader of the church in Jerusalem, was thrown over a hundred feet down from the southeast pinnacle of the Temple when he refused to deny his faith in Christ. When they discovered that he survived the fall, his
enemies beat James to death with a fuller’s club.* This was the same pinnacle where Satan had taken Jesus during the Temptation.

7. James the Son of Zebedee,
was a fisherman by trade when Jesus called him to a lifetime of ministry. As a strong leader of the church, James was beheaded at Jerusalem. The Roman officer who guarded James watched amazed as James defended his faith at his trial. Later, the officer walked beside James to the place of execution. Overcome by conviction, he declared his new faith to the judge and knelt beside James to accept beheading as a Christian.

8. Bartholomew
Also known as Nathaniel, he was a missionary to Asia. He witnessed for our Lord in present day Turkey. Bartholomew was martyred for his preaching in Armenia where he was flayed to death by a whip.

9. Andrew
Was crucified on an x-shaped cross in Patras, Greece. After being whipped severely by seven soldiers they tied his body to the cross with cords to prolong his agony. His followers reported that, when he was led toward the cross, Andrew saluted it in these words: ‘I have long desired and expected this happy hour. The cross has been consecrated by the body of Christ hanging on it.’ He continued to preach to his tormentors for two days until he expired.

10. Thomas
Was stabbed with a spear in India during one of his missionary trips to establish the church in the sub-continent.

11. Jude
Was killed with arrows when he refused to deny his faith in Christ.

12. Matthias
The apostle chosen to replace the traitor Judas Iscariot, was stoned and then beheaded.

13. Paul
Was tortured and then beheaded by the evil Emperor Nero at Rome in A.D. 67. Paul endured a lengthy imprisonment, which allowed him to write his many epistles to the churches he had formed throughout the Roman Empire. These letters, which taught many of the foundational Doctrines of Christianity, form a large portion of the New Testament.

Perhaps this is a reminder to us that our sufferings here are indeed minor compared to the intense persecution and cold cruelty faced by the apostles and disciples during their times for the sake of the faith.

Mark 13:13 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: But he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

Matthew 10:33 If you deny me in front of your friends, I will deny you on the day of judgment

-Randy Hurtado, Five Crowns Int’l Ministries

(Sources: Holy Bible (ESV), http://www.bibleprobe.com/apostles.htm)