20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, GRACE did much more abound: 21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might GRACE reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord. 13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. 10 But by the GRACE of God I am what I am: and his GRACE which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the GRACE of God which was with me. Romans 5:20-21; Phil 2:13; 1Cor 15:10
Are congratulations in order??? Or, is it time for praise and thanksgiving to the Most High? Beloved, I firmly believe that we simply don’t understand the concept of God’s grace. It is grace that should get the credit for all our successes. Even, despite our general poor and miserable performance overall, yet still somehow by God’s amazing grace, we are getting the will of God done, building his kingdom, and are lavishing in the abundance of his mercy and blessing. And, in the face of all this, we are giving one another high fives, patting one another on the back, hobknobbing in this mutual admiration society, and telling each other, “You deserve it.”
If you believe the testimony of our opening verses, it is not our own good conduct or will power, but God’s sovereign grace in us that guarantees our success. Ephesians 1:6 says, it is “To the praise of the glory of his GRACE” that all our thanks, honor, and credit should go. I have to say in all candor, as a seasoned servant of the Lord, we are a very bragadocious, heady, and proud generation of Christians. And, let me tell you, despite the custom and beliefs of Americans, “pride” is never a good thing. This is so elementary. Get a King James or authorized version of scripture (so many of our other favorite versions are corrupted with man’s presumptuous and bogus rendering of verses), and tell me how many positive references to pride or being proud you can find. Answer: NONE, not a one, zero, zilch, goose egg, empty city, nada!!!
Without exception, every single reference from Genesis to Revelation is negative. We’re so used to mimicking the culture around us, that we have embraced along with it, admiration for those things which God expresses nothing but contempt for.
16 These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: 17 A PROUD look… 5 Every one that is PROUD in heart is an abomination to the Lord… 5 For God sets Himself against the proud (the insolent, the overbearing, the disdainful, the presumptuous, the boastful)—[and He opposes, frustrates, and defeats them], but gives grace (favor, blessing) to the HUMBLE.
Prov 6:16,17; 16:5; 1Peter 5:5 AMPC
Beloved, let us put on a new mind, and a new manner of speaking. It is a godly thing simply to be thankful, humbled, and full of praise for every blessing in our life, and be gratified by the accomplishments of our lived one’s. But, let us save the praise for God, who makes all our success possible by his grace. Bless His name. Amen.