Thursday, August 13, 2009

Growing in Grace

"He who grows in grace remembers that he is but dust, and he therefore does not expect his fellow Christians to be anything more. He overlooks ten thousand of their faults, because he knows his God overlooks twenty thousand in his own case. He does not expect perfection in the creature, and, therefore, he is not disappointed when he does not find it. When our virtues become more mature, we shall not be more tolerant of evil; but we shall be more tolerant of infirmity, more hopeful for the people of God, and certainly less arrogant in our criticisms." - C.H. Spurgeon

I read the above quote today, immediately after entering my office in a huff over the glaring fault of another Christian. His flesh and my flesh had collided (in my head) and I found myself angrier than I have been in a long time.

It's just like Father God to use that occasion to teach me something about me and to remind me - once again - that IT AIN'T ABOUT ME! Now surely we all agree that is a no-brainer. Of course it's not about me. Yet, here I am, annoyed, irritated and hindered by policies and/or procedures that don't make sense. Top that off with here is Father reminding me that I am but dust, dust in need of a spiritual, Holy Spirit vacuum.

So what is today's encouragement toward living in visible victory? Simply this:

"So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure." ~~ Philippians 2:1-131

"But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, 'God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.' Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you." ~~James 4:6-102


1 (bolded emphasis mine)
2 (bolded emphasis mine)

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