Friday, January 29, 2016

Grace to the Humble

1 Peter 5:5 All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”

This week, Michael tells the story that there was a man who was successful by the standards of the world.  He started a popular and practical magazine. He also built and staffed dental centers as a profitable business venture. He decided to dedicate his life to Christ and became involved with Junior High children's ministry, directing camps at Hume Lake for about 10 years. After many years in ministry, He moved to Hawaii to start dental practices. He did not plug into a church and instead backslid, bought a Penthouse and joined a local tennis club.  At the club he started dabbling in the use of cocaine. Once someone came up to him and asked him if he would get him a bag of cocaine. He was eager to please and hated to say no, so he sold a bag to the person that asked him. The buyer turned out to be a narcotics officer. Although this was his first offense, He was convicted and spent two years in prison. Before his conviction, people perceived him as the life of the party...  gregarious, engaging, and an easy conversationalist. He wrote, "Please hear what I'm saying; you think that I'm confident and self assured, but I'm hiding behind a mask so that you won't think of me what I think about myself.  In reality, I'm insecure, hiding behind a facade of false bravado. I'm afraid that if you laugh at me, I'll be devastated because I need your validation. You alone can break down the wall and the mask behind which I'm hiding.  However, a lifetime of building tall, strong walls is difficult to penetrate."  He used his prison time as a time of solitude and reflection ... to set his heart upon the things that really matter in life. He found deliverance in an Alcoholics Anonymous twelve-step program at church and by returning to fellowship with other Christians who knew that they were sinners who were broken. Shame and humiliation produces humility to turn from the darkness of sin to the light of the Word and the fellowship of believers.

James 1:22-24  “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.”

People in times of true introspection, understand that "in my flesh dwells no good thing."  Many people who profess to believe often are burdened beneath a load of guilt and shame. Even though the Bible says we're worthy, our own hearts often condemn us. However, according to 1 John, "even if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart and knows all things." Humility results from the brokenness in the sinful flesh desires of the natural man. God has made us as jars of clay, vessels that need to be broken in order for God to mend us and reconcile us back to Himself. Therefore, be sober, be vigilant for your adversary prowls about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. The question is not whether we will fall, but what we allow God to do in us and through us when we fall. God will allow the devil to bring us down when we allow pride to lift us up. Pride goes before the fall. God resists the proud but gives grace unto the humble. 

James 4:6 He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud,
But gives grace to the humble.”

May God richly bless you.
Your brother in Christ,


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