6-Week Series: Against All Odds

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Summary: The importance of being humble in our interactions with others to prove the grace of God within us.

Humility Brings a Greater Grace

CCCAG August 4th, 2019

God’s Grace: Humility Brings A Greater Grace

Just to forewarn you- we will be examining a lot of scripture today! Reading/summarizing

Prayer

If you were here last week, we talked about how grace is closely tied to a pretty expansive list of spiritual attributes that are pleasing to God and help us reflect His character and nature to the world.

This week we will focus on one of those spiritual attributes as it works with and through grace. We are going to explore the connection between God’s grace and humility, along with the great enemy of God’s grace, human pride.

There once was a little boy who attended a Christian school. In second grade, they were doing a study on the character attributes of spirit-filled Christians, and for one month they focused hard on humility. One of the assignments was to write a report and to do an action that demonstrated biblical humility.

At the end of that month, they a chapel service where they named the winner of the “Humility Award”, and this boy won the award. As he reached up to take the award from the principal, the principal took the award back and said he now lost the humility award for accepting it.

It’s a funny little story to illustrate some of the conflicting ideas Christians entertain regarding what it means to be humble.

The Apostles Peter and James both quote the Old Testament in their epistles saying, “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” It’s notable that two of God’s chosen leaders in the early church spoke about this subject using the same scripture, so it must be an important that our character reflect humility as we grow in God’s grace.

Here are a few questions to consider about grace and humility-

Where do we get our ideas about humility?

Why is this important to grace?

The bible says that God gives grace to the humble. If we take that as biblical truth, and we should, how can I eagerly pursue his best for me without falling into mere self-interest?

First, the bible tells us that God gives grace.

God giving grace is one of the bible’s central messages. It’s what God does.

But does God give grace as a wave, or as a targeted stream of water? Is grace tsunami that engulfs everything, or a focused stream that comes out of a garden hose and hits only what He aims at?

This verse gives us the answer- God gives grace to certain kinds of people—humble people.

It also tells us that God can withhold grace from another kind of people—the proud.

Three times the scripture reminds us of this fact.

“God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

Three times! Prov. 3:34, James 4:6, and 1 Peter 5:5.

This means there is a link between humility and grace. When the Father sees his children willing to take the low place in the family, he pours out a special portion of grace to strengthen us in service to one another.

Humility draws the blessing and favor of God. The same one who stripped to the waist and washed the feet of his disciples will rejoice when we learn be humble and serve one another.

On four separate occasions Jesus employs this phrase, “the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

These passages are not simply repetition caused by the gospels writers retelling the same story.

Each passage is unique (Matt. 18:4, Matt. 23:12, Luke 14:11, and Luke 18:14).

Four times Jesus lays out the challenge, humble yourself, and, by grace,

God will exalt you. But how?

For times sake, we will summarize these four scriptures but I encourage you to write them down and read them on your own.

The first is

Matthew 18:1–4: Lay aside dreams of greatness and embrace dreams of dependency. This is the highway of the kingdom of heaven. Jesus said that, among men, there was none greater than John the Baptist, yet the person who was “least” in the Kingdom of Heaven was greater than John. Living in the kingdom requires God’s intervention every day. We cannot “make the kingdom happen,” we can only proclaim that the kingdom of heaven is breaking in, and then depend on him to invade the ordinary with his presence and power.

The second is found in

Matthew 23:1–12: Jesus tells us to Lay aside the thrill of recognition and find the joy of serving. If we are honest, we will recognize ourselves in the people Jesus describes; those who strive for recognition by the way they dress, or where they park, or by the titles they hold.

Meanwhile, the servants come and go in the midst of all the clamor, quietly attending to the master’s business. Those are the people who experience God’s grace in it’s fullness

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