Favor to the Humble
Date: March 10, 2023
I use the BLESS method every morning for my devotional.
B - Bible Verse
L - Listen for God's Word and pray
E - Explore the History and meaning
S - Study and savor
S - Summarize and Share
You can read more about it by going to: What is a Faith Journal?
Bible Scripture Verse – James 4:6
"God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble."
Listen for God’s Voice
Gracious Heavenly Father, I know that I am nothing without you. Your Word reminds me that you oppose the proud but show favor to the humble. Help me to always walk in humility before you, recognizing that all I have and all I am comes from you. Forgive us for the times when I’ve thought that I can do things on my own strength and wisdom. Take away any pride that I have in my heart, and replace it with a deep sense of humility and dependence on you. Help me to trust in you completely, knowing that you will guide me and provide for me as I follow your lead. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.
Explore History – Who wrote it, when and to what audience? Key people in the story?
This book was written by James, the brother of Jesus in the mid to late first century AD, making it one of the earliest books of the New Testament. James wrote it to the Jewish Christians who had been scattered throughout the Mediterranean region due to persecution.
James was encouraging the readers to resist the temptation to pursue worldly pleasures and instead draw near to God in humility. Over the years, this verse has emphasized the importance of humility and dependence on God in sermons, devotionals and all kinds of spiritual writings encouraging readers to resist the temptation of pride and seek a deeper relationship with God through humility and submission.
Study and Savor – Key Words
"God opposes the proud," James is indicating that God actively works against those who are full of pride and self-reliance. Pride is often seen as a negative quality in the Bible, and James is warning his readers not to become so proud and self-sufficient that they begin to think they don't need God.
On the other hand, when James says that God "shows favor to the humble," he is indicating that God extends grace and mercy to those who are humble and dependent on Him. Humility is seen as a positive quality in the Bible, and James is encouraging his readers to develop a deep sense of humility and submission to God.
Summarize and Share
We are constantly bombarded with messages today that tell us to be proud of our achievements and to take credit for our successes. We are encouraged to believe that we are solely responsible for our own happiness and that success is measured by those accomplishments and our material possessions.
But that kind of thinking can be a major obstacle in our spiritual lives. When we are overly focused on our own accomplishments, we become prideful and forget that everything we have and everything we are comes from God. We start to believe that we are self-sufficient and don't need His help or guidance.
This is where James 4:6 comes in. It reminds us that God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. We are called to humble ourselves before God, acknowledging that all good things come from Him. This doesn't mean that we can't take pride in our work or accomplishments, but we must always give credit where credit is due. We must recognize that without God's help and provision, we would not be where we are today.
It's a fine line between being proud of something we do and making sure God gets the credit. We must remember that our accomplishments are not solely our own, but rather they are a result of God's blessings and grace. We can take pride in our work and the gifts that God has given us, but we must always give thanks to Him and acknowledge His role in our success.
In today's culture, it can be challenging to maintain this balance. We are constantly bombarded with messages that tell us to take credit for our accomplishments and to put ourselves first. But as followers of Christ, we are called to live differently. We are called to put God first and to humble ourselves before Him.
So how do we do that, how do we remember to do that daily? We can start each day with a prayer of gratitude and surrender. We can acknowledge our need for God's grace and guidance and ask Him to help us stay humble and focused on Him throughout the day. As we go about our daily tasks and interactions, we need seek to reflect God's love and grace by putting others first and giving credit where credit is due.
Bible Cross Reference
Proverbs 3:34: "He mocks proud mockers but shows favor to the humble and oppressed." This verse reinforces the idea that God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. It highlights the contrast between those who are arrogant and those who are willing to submit to God.
1 Peter 5:5-6: "All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, 'God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.' Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time." This passage echoes the message of James 4:6, emphasizing the importance of humility and submission to God. It encourages us to humble ourselves before God and trust in His timing and provision.
Philippians 2:3: "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves." This verse reminds us that true humility involves not only submitting to God but also putting the needs and interests of others before our own. It encourages us to seek the good of others and to avoid selfishness and pride.
Matthew 23:12: "For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted." This statement of Jesus reinforces the principle that God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. It reminds us that if we seek to exalt ourselves, we will ultimately be humbled, but if we humble ourselves before God and others, we will be exalted in His sight.