“But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.” James 4:6 (NASB)
Grace is that one ingredient that enables a person to change. Once received, it changes your heart, empowers you to change your behavior, and enables you to live out the life you were made for. With it, intimacy with God is a reality. It is the key to eternal life. And the best part – GRACE is easily obtained and freely given by God.
Even though it’s easily accessible it was quite expensive. So expensive that you and I could never afford it. That’s why Jesus had to die on a cross. Holiness demands justice and sin demands a payment of death. Jesus gave His life in exchange for ours. Some have therefore defined GRACE with this acrostic:
God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.
So, you may ask, if it does so much and is so easily accessible to us why doesn’t everyone grab it and run with it?
The answer is a simple one – we are born sinners. The consequences of sin in the Garden of Eden have been passed on to all of us and transformed us into self-centered, self-absorbed, and grace-repelling creatures. The apostle Paul put it this way,
“Professing to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures…For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator…” Romans 1:22-25 NASB
The door slammer to the entrance where grace is distributed is called PRIDE. The reason we fall short of God’s incredible plan for our lives is sinful pride. God loves us and offers forgiveness and a new start. And yet, our pride keeps us from becoming a recipient of His amazing GRACE.
PRIDE REPELS GRACE. But, HUMILITY INVITES GRACE.
“Fishers of men” would do well to remember this truth. Once you’ve received His grace, you can’t imagine why anyone would reject it. But never forget how long you rejected it before you humbled yourself and received it. When sharing Jesus Christ with others, be patient, be gentle, communicate clearly, and don’t take their rejection personally. When they reject the message of grace, they are slamming a door shut that God, not you, has opened.
The “fisher of men” must continue to encourage the one in need of grace to go through the door that God has opened. It will require that they humble themselves before God. It is never easy…but there is no other way.