Friday, October 30, 2020

The Vision (10.30.20): But he giveth more grace


Image: Sunrise, North Garden, Virginia, October 30, 2020

Note: Devotion taken from last Sunday's sermon on James 4:5-7.

James 4:6: But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.

In James 4:1-5, the apostle describes man’s dilemma in sin, including the lusts that war in his members (v. 1).

In v. 6, however, there is relief: “But he giveth more grace.” This refers to God’s saving grace (cf. Eph 2:8-9). He gives to those who are his own grace that is greater than all our sin. John 1:16 says: “And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.” Some modern versions render that last phrase in John 1:16 as “grace upon grace.” The idea here is grace piled on grace, grace heaped on grace.

What if you had a huge debt. It was like a cloud hanging over your head every day. It made you to lose sleep. The harder you worked the further behind you got. But then someone comes along and says, I have paid off all your debt and, what is more, there is a huge surplus left over, and I have transferred this to our account also.

Our sin is great, but God giveth more grace.

James cinches his point by citing Proverbs 3:34, “God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” This fits with Christ’s teaching in Matthew 23:12: “And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.”

Likewise, in Matthew 18, we are told how Christ once set a child into the midst of his disciples and said, “Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matt 18:3-4).

A child is generally not too proud to ask for help. An infant will, in fact, wail and cry till his needs are met. Even though a toddler cannot articulate the words, he can extend his arms and ask to be picked up and comforted. It seems the older we get, the more prone we are to pride. The man who stiffens his back in pride against God will be broken in his obstinance, but the man who humbles himself will be saved.

Yes, our sin is great, but God giveth more grace. Let us then humble ourselves, child-like, and extend our arms to him.

Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle

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