The Book of James – He gives us more Grace

God is love. He loves us in our good moments and not so good ones too.

In the latest passage in James, we looked at what it means to pursue friendship with the world (Constant draw of worldliness) and how that causes us to be hostile towards God. When we falter, what does God call us to do – Turn to Him.

Humility and Grace

James 4:6 says “But he gives us more grace. That is why scripture says, ‘God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble’.”

Do we get to go on sinning knowing that God gives us more grace? Paul was faced with this same question, when he writes in Romans 6:1-2

“Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?”

Paul here talks about unchanged behaviour, intentionally continuing in a lifestyle of sin thinking that the grace of God will continue to cover the sins. We are not without sin and know that there are moments when we give into our anger, envy, materialism, gossip, harsh words and such.

His grace does cover our sins but as James writes, our posture/response to receive His grace is important and that is one of humility. He gives grace to the one who humbles himself before God.

Humility, besides being described in the dictionary as not being proud, haughty, arrogant, or assertive, is also described as reflecting, expressing, or offering a spirit of deference or submission.

Humility is how we relate to God, seeing oneself for their own sinfulness in light of God’s perfect righteousness and recognizing His grace and goodness towards us. It is the positioning of our heart before God. It is our response to Him, his glory and purpose.

Submitting to God

Can true submission come without humility?

Humility leads us to Repent. Repentance too often is misunderstood for remorse. Repentance does not end with an emotion/feeling but sparks a change within and without. It begins with shedding our pride and taking up a humble position before God.

In Luke 9:23 Jesus says, “Deny yourselves and take up your cross and follow me.”

Denying oneself, involves a submission of self to the authority and work of Christ in us. By submitting, we lay down our pride and desires. But that surrender never comes easy, there is always a resistance. A resistance to not want to go through the challenge of being sifted and shaped by God. It is never easy and there in comes the hesitation. And the enemy will try to insert justifications and reasoning for not submitting – maybe not now, there is no harm in this and such.

Resist the Devil

James writes in 4:7 “Submit yourselves then to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”

The most powerful way to resist the devil is from a place of submission to God. When we are surrendered to God, the enemy finds no room for a foothold in our lives. Our safest place, our victorious place is in submission to God. That is when the enemy flees. It is not you he fears but under whose wings you take refuge and dwell.

Psalm 91:4 says, He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.”

Submitting to God, places us in a position of strength to resist the devil, the coupling together of these two puts the devil to flight.

Drawing near to God

How do we remain in that position of strength – by staying near to God.

James 4:8says, “Come near to God and he will come near to you”.

The promise if we draw near to God is that he will draw near to us. In the story of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32), would the son have restored his relationship with His father and received all that his father gave him if he chose to remain away and not come back to his father. When he drew closer to his father, he encountered his father looking and waiting for him and the father runs and embraces him. That is the heart of our heavenly Father, when he sees that our hearts are truly seeking Him, he draws near.

Practical outworking of our Repentance

James writes in verse 8b, “Wash your hands, you sinners and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”

Repentance involves both heart and action. Our forgiveness and redemption cost no less than the blood of Jesus, and so true repentance should rightly cause one to grieve over their sinful actions hence James writes in verse 9 “Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom.”

We grieve over our sin, but we also rejoice in the grace received as God exalts those who humble themselves before Him.

Our true repentance begins from within but has practical outworking (verse 11) and James reminds us that there is only one true Judge and that is God himself (verse 12).

One Lawgiver and Judge

James ends this passage with a question, “But you – who are you to judge your neighbour?”

A reflective question that reminds us that we only stand in any position of strength or righteousness because of what God did for us. Our enablement to live out God honouring lives comes from the grace of God. That sobering truth should help us never throw proverbial stones on others allowing ourselves to think we stand upright in any way because of anything from us.

When the woman caught in adultery was brought before Jesus (John 8:1-11), Jesus asked the one who is without sin to throw the first stone at her. When the people heard this, no one among those who accused her cast a stone at her. It was only Jesus she was answerable to because only he held the power to forgive her of her sins.

Self-righteousness is easy to slip into and often without being too self-aware of it. God has forgiven much in us, and we have no right to throw stones at anyone else.

May we remember that repentance before God should lead us closer to Him, to be more like Him. And the closer we get to Him, the brighter his light shines and we realise how densely speckled with sin we still are. And so, rather than feel elevated relative to others when we right ourselves before God, let His light illuminate our insufficiency, our need for Him and a desire to point others towards Him.

God Bless.

47 thoughts on “The Book of James – He gives us more Grace

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    1. Thank you Lucy. May He indeed help us stay humble and may we always remember how much grace we received from him and extend that towards others.
      Blessings to you 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  1. This post has been humbling in and of itself. Too often I allow my pride to get in the way, and I know this affects my relationship with the Lord. But God! I love the way James said God gives us MORE grace. I especially loved that you pointed out that we can turn to God with a humble heart and He will give us that grace. I also love the picture you painted about God covering us with His wings. “Our safest place, our victorious place is in submission to God.” Such a beautiful, yet powerful, point. And I also appreciate how you mentioned that we should not throw stones at others. This can be so easy to fall into. But if we truly are walking from a place of humility, this will help us to see just how much we needed God’s grace ourselves. And then in turn, we can also extend grace to others. Thank you so much for this. I am loving this series, Manu. You always give me much to ponder. God bless you, dear friend! 🦋

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Pride is something I think we all struggle with. And I am so thankful that the Lord gives us more grace when we humbly turn to Him and repent. And may we remember that and extend that towards others.
      Thank you my friend. So glad you are enjoying this series, I find that very encouraging. I am enjoying it too.
      Have a wonderful weekend 🤗💙

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello Manu! I am always in awe when I read your posts. The depth and eloquence in your posts are moving. I love the topic of grace; it’s one of my favorite. I want to highlight what you said, “Submitting to God places us in a position of strength to resist the devil, the coupling of these two puts the devil to flight.” That’s such a beautiful quote. Continue using your gifts to the glory of God. Be blessed!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Hi Manu, A great post on grace, humility, resisting evil, and submission to God. The book of James offers practical advice and actions for growing in Christ. Thanks for the needed reminder to be open-hearted and continue to grow closer to God. ❤️🌹💐🌺

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I enjoyed this. When you speak of drawing near to God, it reminds me of how we must be intentional about seeking Him daily. And humility and repentance are a necessity to get closer to Him. Thanks Manu ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  5. It seems like the most godly people don’t compare their spiritual walks to others because they are only looking at Jesus, and they see all their speckles, like you mentioned. Great post, Manu! The last paragraph was especially powerful.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. “May we remember that repentance before God should lead us closer to Him, to be more like Him. And the closer we get to Him, the brighter his light shines and we realise how densely speckled with sin we still are.” Amen and amen 1000times over! I am going to put this in my journal with your name on it. Well written post! Lord of love, hugs and blessings!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hope you had a wonderful time travelling. I am well thank you for asking. Here in Australia, it is winter so not much outdoor activities going on as it is cold, rainy and windy.
      Grace- the receiving of it and the extension of it is instrumental for a healthy relationship.
      Blessings to you my friend 💙

      Liked by 1 person

  7. “The most powerful way to resist the devil is from a place of submission to God.” SUCH essential truth! I have seen too many people trying to resist the enemy’s attacks without that essential heart posture of submission to God. Great post, Manu!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Revisiting this again. I had a nudge to visit your blog, and it immediately caught my eye because earlier today Holy Spirit nudged me to write a post for release Friday, about resisting the devil based on this passage. I had completely forgotten, at that moment, about this series you are doing! So, I just read this again was newly blessed, including by the confirmation. This time this line really jumped out: “ It is not you he fears but under whose wings you take refuge and dwell.” So beautifully expressed and powerfully true!

    Liked by 1 person

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