James 4: 6 and 10; “But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: ‘ God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.’
Somebody said that grace is “undeserved favor”. Sometime when I was pretty young, I figured out that “undeserved favor” means this: When you’re going through your life, and you do something that is really bad, something you know you weren’t supposed to do, something your momma has lectured you about over and over, something you are really ashamed of because you knew going in that it was wrong, and that you were going to have to pay if anybody found out; and you did it anyway. (On purpose, not accidentally) And when you got caught, you were really sorry, and you were ready to admit it, and confess it, and accept the punishment, and pay the penalty. And even though you’re willing to pay, and prepared to pay, God says, “This is your lucky day! You don’t have to pay. Even though you deserve all the punishment I could give you, You Don’t Have to Pay!”
Of course I guess you can’t tell your children this, for fear they’ll run off and do a bunch of very stupid stuff, and you’ll lose all control. Question is, “Did you ever have any real control anyway, beyond trusting God?” And wait! What happened to the rule that (sooner or later) we all have to take responsibility for our own actions? We can’t run around thinking God is going to save us every time we do something stupid. And even though God DOES forgive us for our sins, the consequences of our actions are something we have to deal with every time, because that’s the way God designed the universe, to run according to rules, just like gravity. Well that’s not what this verse says. It sayS if we’ll humble ourselves, God will give us MORE grace, (undeserved favor). And throughout the Bible it says, in a hundred different ways, that if we’ll just trust Him, He’ll take care of us. (Seems to me like through Jesus, that’s the central theme of the Bible, and it is certainly the central theme of this message.) So even though this is against all the rules, I still believe that God is God, and He can do whatever He wants, even help us when we don’t deserve it. The God I serve is a God who really does deliver me from evil, even when I’ve done something really stupid. That’s grace. I like grace.