Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Friday, 22 March 19:
Deuteronomy 9:1, 6 – Go in to dispossess nations greater and mightier than you…. Know, therefore, that the Lord your God is not giving you this good land to possess because of your righteousness, for you are a stubborn people.
Humility is at the heart of Christian faith. How easy is it for us to lose sight of our total dependence on God’s mercy and grace. Today, we read how God was going to lead the Israelites to a victory they could never have achieved without Him, that He would be glorified through them. However, God also knew that the Israelites would grow prideful in the success He provided them, as if they had anything to do with it. Similarly, we have a tendency to grow prideful, which leads to self-righteousness and self-centeredness. “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:11) “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (James 4:6)
Pride makes us judgmental of others and unforgiving, and Jesus reserves some of his harshest condemnation for those who receive mercy, grace, and forgiveness from God but then refuse to give the same to others. This is why Jesus teaches us to pray to the Father, ‘Forgive us of our sins in the same way we forgive others.’ In our reliance on grace, we have no right to offer anything other than grace to those who offend us in some way. See how many different ways Jesus reiterates this point as we continue to read this year.
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 22 Mar 19: If you feel you’re humble, that is a really good sign you aren’t. Repent, receive forgiveness, and give forgiveness to others unconditionally. Observe how much grace you naturally give to others as an indicator of how appreciative to really are for the grace you have received through Christ. – “Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” (Luke 7:47)