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Devotionals :: Day by Day by Grace :: Today's Reading

Hoekstra's Day by Day by Grace (February 5th)

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Humility and Grace

Be clothed with humility, for "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble." (1 Peter 5:5)

We have considered that humility and faith must be developing within our lives, if we are going to grow in grace. Let's take a few days to reconsider both, looking first at humility. "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble."

Pride leads the list of things that God despises. "These six things the LORD hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look, a lying tongue" (Proverbs 6:16-17). God wants our lives to be edified; pride is destructive. "Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall" (Proverbs 16:18). The Lord desires that people be established in truth; pride is deceptive. "The pride of your heart has deceived you" (Obadiah v. 3). It is God's will that we grow in things that are honorable; pride brings disgrace. "When pride comes, then comes shame" (Proverbs 11:2). Our Lord does not want His name dishonored or our lives destroyed by pride.

On the other hand, humility is a character trait that God loves to develop in us. Note the terms God uses in His word to describe humility. "Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud" (Proverbs 16:19). The Lord reveals that it is better to be a humble person, who associates with modest people, than to partake of the wealth that the arrogant can often accumulate.

Also the Lord says, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5:3). Here we are told that humility is a blessing, because the kingdom (the spiritual realm of God's rule and provision) is given to the humble.

Elsewhere God revealed, "I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones" (Isaiah 57:15). Although our Lord is most fully revealed in His heavenly abode on high, He also dwells with the humble and the broken on earth below, bringing them spiritual revitalization.

Of course, we cannot manufacture humility. It is a relational reality that results from getting to know the Lord. Isaiah discovered this. "I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up…Then I said: 'Woe is me, for I am undone'!" (Isaiah 6:1, 5). When the Lord was revealed in all His glory, Isaiah responded in profound humility. This can happen in our lives, as we get into the Scriptures, seeking a deeper relationship with the Lord. As He is increasingly revealed to us, our response will be increasingly characterized by more humility.

O God Most High, I repent of those many times when pride was the despicable attitude I displayed. Lord, teach me to despise pride as You do. Stir in my heart a growing appreciation of humility. I desire to be clothed with humility. I humbly seek You afresh that I might live by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.

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