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But God gives us even more grace, as the Scripture says, “God is against the proud, but he gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6 (NCV

I have a friend I’ll call Jim. Jim is one of the most kind, gentle and wise men I know. He’s got a very demanding job and even though it gets stressful, I’ve heard him comment on the struggles of his job, but never the people he serves. I’m guessing from the way I see him interact with his wife of 30 years that he’s a good husband. They still hold hands, still talk openly of their love for each other, still respect the opinions of each other. Looking at his children, he must be a good dad. Family time is frequent and even though they all have families of their own, joint family vacations are an annual event. Watching the glee with which his grandchildren scramble to him, he’s a good grandpa too.

On a spiritual plane, Jim not only knows the Bible, he has the uncanny ability to take some of the most complicated truths of God’s word and bring them to a level even a child could understand. He’s a great teacher in his words as well as his actions. He doesn’t get into meaningless arguments and when he speaks, his words are hard to refute.

So why to I give you all this information? Because Jim is constantly talking about his need for grace and how undeserving he is of God’s love! I still shake my head on that one. He’s the most humble and faultless man I know. Sure he’s human, but compared to some others I know (especially me) he’s the most deserving person I know to receive God’s grace.

Human logic would agree with me that people like Jim are deserving of grace and receive more grace because of the way they act. James 4:6 would even appear, on the surface, to support that notion.

The problem with that argument is that God has given each of us the full measure of his grace available. People that are humble don’t receive more grace, they are more aware of their need of grace.

Too often people confuse being humble with being humiliated. To be humiliated means that my opinion of myself, or the opinions others have of me tells me that I’m completely worthless and hopeless. I have no future. I am of no earthly value.

Being humble, on the other hand, means I’m well aware of my inability to live the life I desire apart from the power of God. I have worth. I have ability. I have gifts and talents the benefit mankind. But I have them simply because of God’s grace. Humility simply means we realize our need.

The more humble we are, the more we realize our need for forgiveness and the effect our weaknesses have on our relationships with God, others and ourselves. The more we realize our need for forgiveness the more willing we are to forgive those who don’t deserve our forgiveness. The more we realize our need, the more patient we are with the faults and shortcomings of others.
Does God favor the humble more than others? Certainly not! The humble person favors God more because he realizes that without God he can never realize the potential he has through God.

The more we realize our need for God’s grace, the more that grace becomes available to us.

PRAYER: Lord God, I thank you for who I am. I thank you for my gifts, my talents, my abilities. I thank you that I am your masterpiece. But most of all, I thank you for your grace that empowers me to live to my fullest potential through your power, not my own. Help me live grace-fully in the presence of others so they are drawn to you. Amen.


Because the Sovereign LORD helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame. Isaiah 50:7

There are times in each of our lives when we feel inadequate for the task ahead of us. It happens to all of us. We feel inadequate in relationships, in our jobs, in our classes. The feeling of inadequacy can attack us at any time and in any place.

We feel in adequate as parents when our children make poor choices or challenge our authority; or when the boss gives us a new job we aren’t trained to do; or when we are forced to do something that is out of our comfort zone; or when we are challenged to try something new and risky.

Our past can make us feel inadequate as well. When we are growing up the reaction we sense we get from parents, teachers and friends can have a life-long impact on what we believe about our abilities. The mistakes we make as youth can haunt us and be a constant voice that tells us that there’s a big ‘L’ on our forehead and it stands for LOSER! Try as we may, we can’t help noticing the ‘L’, and if we let affect us it will change our lives forever.

Isaiah gives us a better way to think. Imagine that ‘L’ on your forehead stands for LOVED! If God is sovereign (and He is) then everything that happens in your life is ordained by Him. That doesn’t mean everything that happened in your life will necessarily be seen as good. What it does mean is that nothing can happen in your lifetime that God is not aware of and that He won’t see you through.

Following God in the tough times isn’t easy, it takes guts. It takes faith. It takes trusting in a power that is far great than us. But the rewards for following Him are eternally blessed. When we put our faith in what we know to be true about God, regardless of what society may say, we will never ever be put to shame. We aren’t called to perfection, we are called to live for Him to the best of our ability knowing that no matter how often we fail, He still loves us and still desires to have us in relationship with Him.

Isaiah says, “I set my face like flint”. The word picture he gives us is to ‘harden your face’ against those who may attack you. When we really come to the place where we realize how much God loves us we will not be afraid of the attacks of others. We won’t be dismayed when we are harassed or teased for our beliefs. We know who the King is and He’s our daddy!

When you feel completely overwhelmed; when it seems like the world is stacked against you, remember that the Sovereign God, the creator of the world, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords is not only on your side. He’s madly in love with you. When you choose to follow Him the adversity and trouble of life will be easier to take because you are resolved to follow Him.

PRAYER: Holy Father. I thank you for the promise you made to always love me and protect me. Thank you for the patience you’ve shown to me by putting up with my failures and rebellion. I ask that you would enable me, by the power of your Holy Spirit to live a life that is free of shame because I have set my face like flint to follow you.


The LORD upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down. Psalm 145:14

What a marvelous promise from God! In verse 13 the Psalmist reminds us that the Lord is the same from generation to generation. The older I get the more I’m amazed at the amount of change going on around me.

When I was growing up portable phones were the sizes of suitcases and had a range of a few hundred feet. Now we can talk anywhere on little boxes that you can slip into your pocket. Not only that but our ‘phones’ surf the internet, take pictures, do business and most anything else you can imagine.

With all the change going on around us there is one constant. We serve a God that never changes. Technology changes. Political regions change. The environment changes. Relationships change. But God never changes, yet at the same time He remains relevant and in touch with everything that we see around us. He’s the only one that not only keeps up with technology, he’s ahead of the game!

When David wrote this song of praise he was writing to us, to believers and followers of Jesus Christ. He tells us that God ‘upholds all those who fall’. The word picture here is meant for those of us who struggle with life. We are tired. We are weak. We find ourselves doing the same destructive things over and over again.

The message is clear. When we fall, when we can’t seem to get the ‘Christian life’ right, He is there to hold us up. Our past can’t keep us down. Our human weakness can’t hold us back from following after Christ. We have a God that supports us.

The second message of this verse is that God ‘lifts up those who are bowed down’. He lifts those who are struggling under the burdens placed on us by others. He picks up the weary, the abused, the battered, the homeless and the grief stricken.

We serve and awesome, loving, compassionate God. The enemy would have you to believe you can’t go on. He’ll remind you of your mistakes. He’ll throw temptation and worry in your way. He’ll constantly try to keep you bound by guilt, shame and remorse. Don’t listen to the enemy’s lies about you. You are a child of the King! Adversity and failure will come, but God will always be there to lift you up.

Lean on your Heavenly Father. Feel His strong, loving arms lift you up. Rest in the promise that because of Him you are free. Truly free!

PRAYER: Heavenly Father. I think of what this verse really means and I’m humbled, yet at the same time so encouraged. You know my weaknesses. You know the pain I’m under. You alone know the feelings I have of failure, guilt, and shame. I ask that you would help me to lean on you during the hard times. Help me feel your arms of love lifting me up when I can no longer stand alone. Thank you for Jesus love and forgiveness. Amen.

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