DAILY DEVOTIONAL SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2020

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But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (4:6)

Although humans are living in imperfection, being mentally bent toward evil, and possess such harmful behaviors as envy, we are not abandoned in a difficult position without help. Yes, God’s grace is far greater but should never be taken as an excuse for badness. God makes allowances for our imperfections. God “is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and rich in faithful love. He will not always accuse us or be angry forever. He has not dealt with us as our sins deserve or repaid us according to our offenses.” (Psa. 103:8-10, HCSB) King David goes on to write, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” (Psa. 103:12) Plainly, the distance from the East to the West is the greatest distance something can be removed. Isaiah says God has “thrown all my sins behind your back.” (Isa. 38:17) The sense is that if our sins are behind God’s back he can no longer see them and will call them to mind no more. Micah says God “will hurl all their sins in the depths of the sea.” In those days, whatever is thrown into the sea will never be recovered. All of the above is based on how we deal with our inherited sin. If we were unrepentant, it would not apply. If we were not working toward getting our envious spirit under control, it would not apply. If we are using Spirit-inspired Scripture in our lives in a correct and balanced manner, the above will apply. The apostle Paul tells us “walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.”–Galatians 5:16.

If our envy has moved us to seek out persons in the world, who are influential and prominent, hoping that their success will become our success, we will be making ourselves a friend of the world. Rather, we should humbly walk with God and his people, as any perceived losses that we have suffered due to the faith will never be missed upon Christ’s return. We need to give of ourselves fully, knowing that God’s grace is abundantly available to help us conquer the world.

“God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble,” is a quote from a Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament (c. 280-150 B.C.E.), known as the Septuagint. It is a translation of Proverbs 3:34. The humble one will seek God, looking for help through prayer, as well as acting on behalf of that prayer. In other words, he will apply God’s inspired Word, and if necessary, seek the counseling from the pastor. Whatever is needed in order to overcome an envious spirit, he will do with the help of God and God’s people. The apostle Peter tells us “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” – 1 Peter 5:5.

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