Humility And Grace
Let humility and dependence on God be the only way you can succeed at life. God resists those that don't need Him and gives grace and help to those who are humble. Real humility involves turning over every area to God.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again radio friends. How in the world are you? You doin’ all right? This is your good friend, Bob Cook. I’m glad to be backwith you. Just been praying that God would put His truth, and love, and blessing, and power in my voice and in my thoughts and the words I say and the way I say them.
You’ve noticed, haven’t you, that you can say a word in different ways? The word ‘what’, “What is the matter?”, “What are you doing?”, “What do you mean?” (Laughs) What? One little word, the way you say it. Oh yeah! So, every time I approach these microphones I pray that God the Holy Spirit who indwells the believer may control what I have to say to you. May that be true today. I hope there’s something there just for you, beloved friend.
We’re in 1 Peter 5, walking on through that last chapter. And we’ve come now to the last half of verse 5. He says, “All of you be subject, one to another, and be clothed with humility for God resisteth the proud and giveth grace to the humble.” I told you that meekness is a man-ward virtue, subject one to another. A meek person is willing to let the other person have his way. You don’t always have to lead the parade, you don’t always have to be right, you don’t always have to be chairman of the committee, you don’t always have to be thanked for making the Chop Suey for the church dinner.
Let the other person have some of the sunshine. For he says then not only relationships with people, but he says, “Be clothed in humility.” Humility is the quality of depending on Almighty God every split-second of the time, knowing that you have to have God or you’re a failure. “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves,” Paul says in 2 Corinthians 3, “not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves, but our sufficiency is of God who hath made us able ministers of the New Testament.”
Our sufficiency’s of God – we’re not sufficient even to think anything of ourselves, that’s what Paul said. And he had a greater mind than any of us, to be sure. Be clothed whit humility. Let the quality of depending on God be like the clothing on your back; covering every part of you and, and being involved in all that you do. “Whatsoever you do, do it all, in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him.”
“Whether therefore,” Paul said to the Corinthians, “whether therefore ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” Humility brings God into all of living. Now why? He said, “God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble.” God reserves the right to interfere in human life. He does take a, a position vis-à-vis human beings. And he sys, “He resists the proud.” A person who says, “I don’t need God,” God says, “All right, you don’t need Me. I’ll, I’ll just, I’ll, I’ll let that be and you’ll find out.” He resists the proud.
But he says, “He gives grace to the humble.” Now, why is there a contrast between ‘resist’ and, and ‘give grace’? Because the only way God can deal with fallen, sinful human nature, is grace. The only way God can deal with fallen, sinful human nature – yours and mine – is to give us His grace. Now pride says, “I can do it, God, if You’ll, if You’ll just give me another chance. I can do it. I don’t need any more help.” God says, “All right, do it.” He resists the proud. But a person who knows that he needs the Lord, and who comes to God for help…
The Bible says, “Call unto me and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not. Call upon me in the day of trouble and I will deliver thee, and thou shall glorify Me,” you read in the Psalms. So, the person that knows he needs God, and in that sense of humility calls on God, he gets grace – ‘God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense’ – G-R-A-C-E, ‘God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense’. God does it for you because of Jesus. “We’re justified freely by His grace,” Romans 3:24. “We have access by faith, into this grace wherein we stand,” Romans 5 has that, 5:2. “We receive abundance of grace. Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.” That’s also in Romans 5.
Grace will reign through righteousness, unto life. You’re not under the law, but under grace. The, the grace given unto… “I say through the grace given unto me,” Paul says in Romans 12:3, “to every one of you not to think more highly that he ought to think, but to think soberly according as God hath given unto every man the measure of faith. Having then gifts, differing one from another, whether prophesize, let us prophesize according to the proportion of faith,” and so on.
The grace of God gives you His gifts, special things that you can do for God’s glory. The grace that’s given unto you. “Abundant grace,” 2 Corinthians 4; “The grace of giving,” 2 Corinthians 8. God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that ye always having all sufficiency in all things may abound to every good work,” 2 Corinthians 9:8. God has called you to His grace, and God called you by His grace – both of these from Galatians 1.“The riches of His grace,” Ephesians 1:7.
“And God gives His grace to the least of all saints; to me who am the least of all saints is this grace given,” Paul said. Don’t worry about your position vis-à-vis other people. You may the, be the least, or the most; and every one of us is a candidate for the grace of God. The Lord gives us good hope through grace. You’ve been to Calvary and had your sins forgiven, and you’ve become a child of God; you have hope – “A living hope,” Peter says, “by the resurrection of Christ from the dead.”
Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. There’s strength in depending on the grace of God. That’s from 2 Timothy 2:1. Justified by His grace, and we come boldly to the throne of grace. When you, when you have to pray about something, realize that it’s God’s grace that enables you to come right into His presence and say, “Abba, Father, Papa, God,” just like some little child running into the office of a judge in the Supreme court. Papa, Father, throne of grace. Grace to serve God.
And then there’s always more grace. James 4:6, “He giveth more grace.” Thank God there’s no, no end to His grace. We’re heirs of the grace of life, and we have the chance of growing in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. I just ran down some of those verses – precious, precious verses, aren’t they?
Now he said, “God gives grace to the humble.” Start here, beloved. Do something about this in your own life. Start here, start turning over to God’s control all the areas of your life. Tell the truth. There are areas aren’t there, in our lives where we like to run things ourselves. And there are great areas of feelings and memory and thoughts that we sort of keep to ourselves. Humility, real humility consists in turning over to God the control of those areas that we would otherwise manage ourselves. And when you do that, you have the delightful experience of receiving a new outpouring of His grace.
You know after the, after the disciples and followers of Christ had had that big prayer meeting that’s recorded in Acts 4; the persecution was on and Peter and John reported all that had been done to them the, the night they spent in jail and the cross-examination afterwards, and the threats that people had made. Said, when they heard that they lifted up their voice to God with one accord and said, “Lord, Thou art God.”
It’s a great prayer there. You preachers can preach on that. If you ever preach on prayer, that’s a great prayer they prayed. “You’re the God of creation, you’re the God of the Bible, you’re the God of the incarnation, you’re the God of Christ in Calvary, you’re the God of the resurrection, you’re the God of the impossible. Now grant unto Thy servants that with all boldness they may speak Thy Word, and that signs and wonders may be done in the name of Thy holy child Jesus.” And when they had prayed it says, the place where they were assembled was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost and they did speak the Word of God with boldness – now here’s your phrase – “and great grace was upon them all.”
When you turn things over to God, His grace is on your life. Oh I want that for Bob Cook, you know that? And I want it for you. When you turn things over to God specifically, His grace is upon you. They’ll be gracious words. They said of Jesus, “They marveled at the gracious words that proceeded out of His mouth.” Paul says to the people in Colossae, “Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer everyone, every man.” Gracious words; speech with grace. Seasoned with God’s saltiness, but gracious words.
What I say ought to remind people that salvation brings them in touch with a loving God because of what Jesus has done – ‘God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense’. Gracious words. Great grace was upon them all. Let that be your experience as you turn things over to the Lord Jesus Chirst. Clothed with humility, why? Because that’s the only way God can deal with fallen human nature, is on the basis of His grace. He can’t deal with you on the basis of His justice – you’d be in hell already if He did. He has to deal with you on the basis of His grace.
So, how do you get it? On your knees, with a heart that’s bowed in submission, confessing your sin, turning from it, trusting God to cleanse you; and depending on Him to lead and guide you, and control you every split-second of the time. True humility opens the door to the grace of God. It’s simple and yet profound, isn’t it? Will you try it for yourself? Try it on for size in your own life. “Be cloth with humility for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.” So he says, “Humble yourselves.”
Now then, this is something. You don’t pray for humility; this something you do – humble yourselves. It’s a, the reflexive form of the verb – ‘you do it’. “Humble yourselves therefore unto the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in good time.” How do you humble yourself? You take sections of your life and by faith, you turn them over to God. And you keep on doing that as a lifestyle. You form the habit of referring to God’s will in every decision that you make. “What does the Lord want me to do about this?”
This doesn’t make a neurotic out of you. Nor indeed a, a useless idealistic mystic. What this does is to put you in touch with the guiding power of the indwelling Holy Spirit at every step along the way. “Pray your way through the day,” I’ve always said to my students. Pray your way through the day. Turn heavenward and ask for God’s guidance on matters that are not religious, but that make up the, the fabric of the decisions in everyday life. “Humble yourselves,” said he, “under the mighty hand of God.” You do the humbling, God does the guiding and the blessing, and the rewarding. Why don’t we come back to verse 6 the next time we get together.
Blessed Jesus, we love and adore Thee. We pray that our hearts may be humbled before God, that Thou mayest guide and direct us. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing
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