Matthew 23:12 NKJV
And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.
Whoever exalts himself [with haughtiness and empty pride] shall be humbled (brought low), and whoever humbles himself [whoever has a modest opinion of himself and behaves accordingly] shall be raised to honor.
"Father, thank You for this reminder that You reward or punish us for what we do in this life. If we are humble, You will raise us to honor. But if we are haughty and full of empty pride, You will bring us low. The last will be first and the first will be last, as Your Son said. May we remember this when we are tempted to be haughty and prideful. In Jesus' Name, Amen."
So the term 'exalt' here doesn't mean the same thing as when we exalt God, or call Him 'O Exalted One' or anything like that. In reference to God, it means that we're praising Him, putting Him 'on a pedestool'. When doing it to ourselves, it's a bad thing: we're being haughty and prideful when we have no right to be.
If we exalt ourselves, we will be brought low. But if we're humble, we will be raised to honor. There's also two definitions of 'humble' in this verse, one good and one bad. If we exalt ourselves (bad) we'll be brought low (bad). But if we're humble and behave with a modest opinion of ourselves, (good) we'll be raised to honor (good). See how that works? We'll be rewarded with more of the same kind of thing we gave to ourselves, either good or bad.
Where's the encouragement in this? If we do good in this life, and have a modest opinion of ourselves and such, we'll be brought to honor.
In His Service,
Response Question: What does 'humble' (in the 'good' definition of the AMP version) look like? How do you identify it?