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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Know Pride, No Grace; No Pride, Know Grace

My pride gets in the way. It gets me in trouble. It makes me speak when I need to be quiet and makes me quiet when I need to speak. It keeps me from listening. It makes me take offense when no offense is given. It makes me a jerk when I am really a great guy- oops, there goes the pride again!

Pride does so much more damage than what others feel about me. It makes God opposed to me. It keeps me from His grace. It keeps me from seeing the things He has for me. It keeps me from accepting them. It makes me think I am too good for some things and keeps me from the best things.

I heard the story of a minister who would not accept a position at another church because the new church wouldn't pay him what he was already making. The opportunity has passed and he still does not know that it was God's will that he should have gone. The resultant years have been very hard for him. He has been financially decimated by circumstances. He does not realize that he could not believe that God would provide for him and his family if he followed God's will. He seized what should have been God's and stayed in his present place of service.

Most people think that he just couldn't believe God would provide. They say he has a lack of faith but I see it differently from the consequences. The man is in need of God's provision. God's provision is His grace. The prolonged lack of provision is God's means of teaching the man something that he needs to know. A brief period of time is a test of faith. A prolonged lesson is one of teaching humility. The need of this man was to submit to God's will regardless of the amount he was going to be paid. God would rather give this man grace but is prevented by the man's continued lack of humility.

I came to my present church for a salary less than I made in the last. I knew it was God's will to come. I obeyed even though I made less money and my house payment went up more than a thousand dollars a month. Yet, God has provided everything I have needed. I even have an abundance. Now, that's grace!

James 4:6 (NIV)
6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."

James 4:10 (NIV)
10  Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

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