Tuesday, March 01, 2011

March 1, 2011 … Grace to the Humble

Passage of the Day: James 4: 6But He gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." [quoted from Prov. 3: 34]

My Journal for Today: This month I (we) will be looking at one of the most important attitudes a Christian can foster in his life … that of HUMILITY. Why is it so important? Well, come along with me this month as we answer that question, always with the help of John MacArthur in his Strength for Today devotional book.

And today, the first day of March, we begin with the teachings of James, the half-brother of Jesus and a leader of the early church in Jerusalem, … not the Apostle James, who was the brother of the beloved Apostle John. However, even though the author of the Book of James was not the brother of the Apostle John, I’m convinced that James, the New Testament author, and Simon Peter were close. If you read today’s verse and then you read 1st Peter 5: 6, you’ll see that Jesus’ brother and the Apostle John were in total accord with the Old Testament when it came to their opinion on how to unlock God’s treasure chest of sanctifying grace. They both quoted the same verse from the Old Testament in Prov. 3: 34 about this matter, teaching that God’s grace can only come to the humble and that it is withheld from the proud. And so, for the Christian who desires to capture as much of God’s grace as he/she can, growing in Christlikeness, this becomes a key truth – i.e., that humility is the key to God’s grace.

It certainly was the key that unlocked God’s saving grace for me, when, on April 13, 1983, I was finally able/willing to humble myself and receive Christ as my Savior and Lord. For years I had let my pride get in the way of pursuing Christ. But when I finally became humble enough to recognize and repent of my sinfulness, God poured His saving grace into my life. And now, in my discipleship and growth as a Christian, I’ve discovered that this truth ALWAYS applies for God’s enabling grace as well. Pride shuts the door to God’s shower of grace; and humility opens it!

My sinfulness prior to 4/13/83 was immense. I certainly didn’t deserve God’s saving grace; but He offered it anyway (see John 3: 16 and Romans 10: 9 – 13). And when I was able to recognize my sinfulness, repent, and reach out in humility to receive God’s gift of saving grace (Eph. 2: 8 - 9), God’s gift of grace was there for me; and my life has never been the same. Oh, most certainly, I’m still battling my sin nature. All Christians do. However, I now know that as long as I can remain humble before God’s throne of grace, He will pour His enabling grace into my life to help me overcome my sinfulness and to walk in a manner worth of His grace (Eph. 4: 1, 2).

So, if you’re reading this, you must first ask yourself if you’ve humbly come to God and asked for His saving grace. If you have done that and you know that you’re saved, perhaps you desire more of Gods’ enabling grace in your life – the grace that gives you power to overcome your weaknesses (see 2nd Cor. 12: 9). And, if that’s the case, it would behoove you to look at your attitude about living. Are you letting your pride block the treasure of God’s grace which awaits the humble servant who is willing to serve others before self? If you’re willing to live by Luke 9: 23, the words of Jesus to His disciples about being His follower, then you will have all the grace you need to follow our Lord [also see 2nd Peter 1: 3 – 4].

My Prayer Today: It’s a scary prayer, Lord; but help me to be humble! Amen

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