Friday, December 11, 2009
Jas 4:6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
Jas 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Jas 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
Jas 4:9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.
Jas 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
Grace has been defined as God's unmerited favor to man.
The old acrostic has it this way:
The older I get, the more I understand and depend on the wonderful grace of Jesus to help me make it through the amazing maze of life. I realize that I must submit myself to the Lord, to His agenda, to His leadership, to His wisdom. On my own, I have neither the strength, resources, nor the brain power to make it through.
It is scary to think about where this old sinner would be had it not been for God's amazing grace upon my life.
I see in today's passage that I have a few responsibilities in regards to procuring God's favor on my life.
1. I must humble myself before God. I think of II Chron 7:14, If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
Pride is a divider. It is the sliver just under the skin which festers, causes irritation and disrupts normal activity. It has to be removed before comfort can be realized once again. As long as foolish pride remains in my life, God cannot give the grace that is sorely needed.
2. I must submit myself before my Master. How often I forget, He is the Commander in Chief, I am a foot soldier. He must lead, I must follow. He must increase and I must decrease. I need to die daily. I must lay my agenda, my desires, even my hopes and dreams at His feet and shoulder His yoke of meekness.
3. I must resist the devil! That is, I need to stand against him, oppose him at every turn. I have to withstand his onslaughts. God seems to shower His grace upon us when we say yes to Him, no to the enemy. I need grace to do spiritual battle, grace to withstand.
4. I must draw nigh to God. If I am to experience the riches of His grace, I have to snuggle up near to the heart of God. The closer I get to Him, the closer He gets to me. This is where the grace falls like rain upon our lives.
5. I must cleanse my heart and purify my mind. Simply put, repent and deal with sin and be consumed by the Word. Again, James tells us that we are either going to be friends with the world or with God, there is no middle ground. Befriending one entity negates our friendship with the other.
6. And finally, to be the recipient of God's marvelous grace, I must weep and carry the burden over that which breaks God's heart.
Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.
People have made a mess out of their lives, they are headed for a devil's hell and we Christians go merrily along the way as everything was hunky-dory. We need to “see the need and spread the seed!” Only God's grace will deliver these needy souls and we are the agents of change.
Psa 126:5 They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.
Psa 126:6 He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.
Our tears, watering the Word of God that we plant in the hearts of others will result in an abundance of grace.
Father, gracious Benefactor of grace, I depend on your grace to take me through this day. Slay my pride as I prostrate myself before your emerald throne. I submit myself before you today. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth and in my life. Grant me greater grace that I may stand against the onslaughts of evil. Draw me close to your side so that we may be as one. Cleanse me from the filth of this world. Wash me once again in Calvary's flow and fill my heart and mind with righteousness. Lead me to souls this day to souls for which you died, souls who need an infusion of your grace. Empower my witness with the Holy Ghost's fullness. Thank you for your amazing, marvelous, wonderful grace! In Jesus' mighty name, Amen!