by the Rev. Henry Huenemann
But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble (James 4:6).
1From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?
2Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.
3Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
4Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
5Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?
6But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
7Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
8Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
9Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.
10Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
11Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.
12There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?
13Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:
14Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
15For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.
16But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.
17Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
"Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord." "An high look, and a proud heart . . . is sin." Man's first sin was really a sin of pride: he wanted to be like God. But man's true happiness consists in being subject to God. "God resists the proud, but giveth grace to the humble." This truth is brought out again and again in Holy Scripture. "Thou hast rebuked the proud that are cursed." "The Lord will destroy the house of the proud." "The most proud shall stumble and fall, and none shall raise him up." On the other hand the humble are blessed of the Lord. He shall save the humble person. "A man's pride shall bring him low, but he that is of a lowly spirit shall obtain honor." "For thus saith the high and lofty One . . . whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones." Why then so proud, O man! All the proud have come to naught, and the humble and contrite have found grace to cover all their sin. May we then humble ourselves before God, and remember that "the Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit."
O God, our God, grant us, we pray, true humility of heart. May we remember that we are but dust. Help us also to remember that the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart Thou wilt not despise. Forbid that we should seek our own favor, knowing that without Thee we can do nothing. Wilt Thou then graciously work in us both to will and to do of Thy good pleasure. And unto Thee shall be the praise. Amen.
Scripture in Devotional: Prov. 16:5; 21:4; James 4:6; Ps. 119:21; Prov 15:25; Jer. 50:32; Job 22:29; Prov. 29:23; Isa. 57:15ff; Ps. 34:18.
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