Tag Archives: favor

Humility – God’s Help or My Own?

What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word humility?

  • Weakness?
  • The opposite of pride?
  • Having a low opinion of yourself?
  • Inability?

Does the word have a positive or negative connotation?

In my younger years, I thought of “humility” as a weakness rather than a great strength. However, with time and especially through humbling circumstances, God has shown me that humility is something to be desired rather than avoided. I have heard it said that you can either “be humble or be humbled”. Life has a way of taking the wind out of your sails and humbling you, doesn’t it? You can be humbled by:

-Loss

-Illness

-Financial instability

-Unmet expectations

-Broken relationships

-Weakness of mind or body

-Others poor choices that affect you

Yet, could it be that God uses the harshness of life to get you to a place where your only option is to be humble and rely upon Him rather than yourself?

Yesterday, in my Bible reading, I came across a familiar verse . . . James 4:6, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

As I studied the key words of this verse further, this is what I found:

Opposes = to range in battle against, to oppose oneself, resist

Proud = with an overweening estimate of one’s means or merits

Grace = the aid of divine grace

Humble = lowly in spirit

When you are “proud” by relying upon your own strength/abilities, not only are you limited in your own abilities, but in fact, God Himself is in opposition against you. What a sobering and scary thought that God could be against you, all because you rely upon yourself rather than Him.

So how do you turn it around and allow God to be on your side? The answer is actually quite simple, (though not always easy) you admit your need for Him. You rely on His wisdom, strength and ability more than you rely on your own wisdom, strength and ability, which in comparison is quite limited.

When you do this, something wonderful happens. God no longer opposes or resists you, He is for you. He steps in with the help of His divine grace and favor. What was too difficult for you is possible with Him. He gives you His ability to face what life throws at you with dignity and grace.

Do you want God to be for or against you? Do you want to rely upon the benefit of your own (limited) help and resources alone, or do you want to rely upon the true benefit of God’s (unlimited) resources and help?

Humility is the key that unlocks the door to God’s help and favor!

James 4  6 Humility

Heavenly Father, thank You for this reminder!  Please forgive me for the many times that I rely upon myself, rather than humbling myself and relying upon You.  I don’t want to “be humbled” to come to You, I just want to “be humble” and come to You.  Thank You that as I do, You give me Your unlimited resources, help and favor.  May your Spirit continue to draw me to Jesus.  It’s in His name I pray, Amen.  

Your Friend in Ministry,

Name3

Preparing for the Holidays, Part 6 – The Twin Virtues of Grace & Peace

Hi friends! Have you been lighting your candle of peace? Let me encourage you. Often times, when you try to excel in the virtues of God, such as peace, circumstances come your way to test and try you. This happened to me yesterday. Shortly after my son lit the candle of peace, things became very stressful in our home. I wanted to give up and just go back to bed (and almost did!). However, I knew God was calling me to be a peacemaker. It was difficult, but with the Holy Spirit’s help, we were able to turn things around in our home. When things are anything but peaceful, don’t give up! Press through and be the conduit of God’s peace.

This morning, as I was reading the Bible, I came across the twin virtues of grace and peace. In the first couple verses of many of the Epistles, we see grace and peace coupled together:

  • To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be his holy people: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 1:7
  • Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 1:3
  • To God’s holy people in Colossae, the faithful brothers and sisters in Christ: Grace and peace to you from God our Father. Colossians 1:2
  • To Titus, my true son in our common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior. Titus 1:4

We have already talked about peace. So, let’s look at grace for a moment. What is grace? One common definition of grace is – “getting what you don’t deserve”. This is true. You can see this definition of grace through the act of God sending Jesus, His Son, to pay your penalty so that you get what you don’t deserve, freedom and the gift of a full and abundant life that will last for all eternity. That’s grace! However, not only did God show us grace. God Himself is Grace. I love how God describes Himself in the Old Testament as He is meeting with Moses, “And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, ‘The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.’” Exodus 34:6

We serve a gracious God. He is a God of grace. The amazing thing to me is, not only is He a God of grace, He allows His grace to rest upon us. Stop and consider the weightiness of that statement. God’s grace is upon you. His loving-kindness, His blessing, His favor covers you like a warm, comforting blanket.

Why does God allow His grace to descend upon you and take up residence in your life? I believe the answer is two-fold:

First of all, because He loves you! When you love someone, you want to show them your love. God shows you His love through His grace.

Secondly, however, God’s grace rests upon you so that His grace can flow through you. The goal of grace is to pass it on.

  • Because you’ve been loved, you love.
  • Because you’ve been forgiven, you forgive.
  • Because you’ve been blessed, you bless.
  • Because you’ve been given what you don’t deserve, you treat others better than they deserve.
  • Because you’ve been shown great kindness, you are kinder than most people would be.
  • Because you’ve been given the benefit of the doubt, you give the benefit of the doubt as well.
  • Because God has spoken graciously to you, through His Word, you speak gracious words to others (or you keep your mouth shut, which can definitely be an act of grace! *smile*)

Grace is God’s gift to you and it is meant to be a gift that keeps on giving. Who will you give grace to today? A family member? A stranger? Someone who drives you crazy? Yourself?

May God’s grace rest upon you today, and as it does, may it be followed by its twin virtue, peace!

Phil 1  2

Join me next time, as I continue this theme of preparing your heart for this holiday season.  I will be sharing about the time my joy broke.  Until then, may God’s grace be yours in abundance!

Your Friend in Ministry,

Name3

images[3]