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Grace for the Humble

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

There are two things which attract the attention of God in this verse.

Pride and humility.

God resists the proud. He gives grace to the humble.

We talk of salvation by grace. We talk about a loving, caring, redeeming Savior who gave his own life for man. We say that if you were the only person in the world to save, God would have gone to the cross just for you. I don’t know how we could describe the overwhelming love, the unfathomable grace, the inexorable power of God to save the lost, with more compelling and passionate tones than we have always preached it.

Yet, there is something called pride that stands in the way. Pride is so evil, so stubborn, so unreasonable that it turns back the grace of God.

Pride makes a person an enemy of God. That’s what the Bible means when it says, “God resists the proud.” It’s one thing to ignore God. It’s another thing to have God as your enemy. The proud will not break through God’s defenses. They will not claim God’s territory. They will not steal God’s supplies. They will not escape God’s retribution.

The Jews in the O. T. found out haw much God was against their pride.

Leviticus 26:19 And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass:

Pride lies at the core of Satan’s rebellion against God in heaven.

Isaiah 14:12-16 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! 13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. 15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. 16 They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms.

Pride leads to the fall of kings.

Daniel 4:30-33 The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty? 31 While the word was in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee. 32 And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will. 33 The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles’ feathers, and his nails like birds’ claws.

Pride is at the root of most, if not all, human failures. When Cain’s pride was insulted, he murdered his brother. When Absalom became proud of his talent and looks, he lost his life.

The Bible shows us the devastating results of pride.

  • Ps 10:4 The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.
  • Ps 31:20 Thou shalt hide them (blessings) in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.
  • Ps 59:12 For the sin of their mouth and the words of their lips let them even be taken in their pride: and for cursing and lying which they speak.
  • Prov 11:2 When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom.
  • Prov 13:10 Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.

As I look at the world of the lost, and if I could change one tendency in the heart of man, it would be the element of pride.

It is pride that keeps people from submitting to God. It is pride that won’t allow people to admit they are wrong. It is pride that prevents people from worshipping God. It is pride that causes people to reject the truths of God’s word.

If pride didn’t stand in the way, God could touch your heart. If pride didn’t stand in the way, God could take away your destructive habits. If pride didn’t stand in the way, God could mend your broken marriage. If pride didn’t stand in the way, God could bring peace to your family. If pride didn’t stand in the way, God could restore love and joy to your life.

If you are to overcome pride, you need to know what it is. Pride is not just thinking you are better than anyone else.

Pride is when you have to be right, regardless of the consequences. Pride is when you won’t let go of the past. Pride is when stubbornness is the best word to describe the way you act. Pride is when you won’t stop sinning, just because you don’t feel like it. Pride is when you won’t let anyone tell you what to do. Pride is when you get offended at the least word or actions of others. Pride is when you would rather go down in flames than say you are wrong. Pride is when you refuse to let anyone know you are really weak.

Prov 16:18 Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.

If you hang onto your pride, ma’am, sir, you lose the favor of God!

1 John 2:15-17 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

It is humility that brings the favor of God.

  • 2 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.
  • Job 22:29 When men are cast down, then thou shalt say, There is lifting up; and he shall save the humble person.
  • Ps 10:17 LORD, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear:
  • Ps 34:2 My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.
  • Prov 29:23 A man’s pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.
  • Matt 18:4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
  • James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
  • 1 Peter 5:6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

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