There is a vanity associated with someone who has been saved by the grace of God, but who does not appropriate the grace of God. Ironically, they believe in Jesus for the forgiveness of their sin, but they do not behave like they believe. Pride has a way of working itself back into the good graces of a life that is not governed by God’s grace. Humility, on the other hand, flourishes in the hothouse of a heart that appreciates and applies God’s grace.
We are all in danger of forgetting how faith in Christ changed us and brought us into a place of grace. The flesh forges ahead of faith and facilitates graceless living. Before we know it we are back to bad habits, putting grace on the back burner of our belief. Hence, we need reminders of the transformational work of the Holy Spirit that seizes the heart of a life in submission to Almighty God. Grace empowers a humble heart.
“They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.” Mark 7:7
Furthermore, grace becomes vain when it is crushed under the weight of loveless legalism. Grace converts knowledge about God into knowing God. You are protected from man-made rules that grasp God’s glory when you use grace as a filter for your faith building. For example, your family may need your financial support, so make sure you do not feed the poor in Africa and ignore your relatives at home. Legalism is hard and inflexible—grace is gentle and moldable. Legalism lacks compassion—grace gives grace.
Graceless living loses Christians creditability. Are you a church member who gossips in the name of prayer or are you a gracious saint who prays with quiet confidentiality? Are you a religious person who holds a grudge or are you a gracious Jesus follower who forgives freely? Are you a proud and self-centered believer or a sinner saved by grace? Praise the Lord, that we the redeemed are a container and dispenser of God’s grace. You are a cherished co-worker with Christ—His grace grows in your humble, teachable heart.
“But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “ GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.” James 4:6, NASB
Prayer: Heavenly Father, by faith I receive Your grace, so I can extend Your grace.