02 Feb Day 10
Scripture: James 4:9-10 NLT “Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.”
Observation: James, the brother of Jesus, writes of the importance of humble confession before the Lord in order to receive abounding forgiveness for our sins. When we confess our sins with humility, we are forgiven for our sins, and we are lifted up in honor and in God’s perfect timing. It is important for us to humbly acknowledge the weight of our sins but also to remember that there is no sin too big for God to cover on our behalf.
Application: In my experience, humility is a quality that has to be cultivated. As a young man, I was overconfident, self-reliant, and thought I had it all together. My athletic ability, academic success, and friendships convinced me that I could do it all without help from anyone else; by worldly measures this approach worked for me for a long time. When I had the opportunity to begin a career as a pilot, I thought I would continue to find success all on my own will. I didn’t need anyone else, especially God.
All of this changed half way through flight school, when I had a “come to Jesus” moment. I had a terrible week of training, nothing seemed to be going my way, and I was out of answers. It looked like my career as a pilot might be coming to an end. In that moment, I realized that I had spent too long trying to do life on my own, and I needed more help than I could get from any human being. I found myself on my knees, in tears, grieving. It was there that I acknowledged the weight of my sin, recognized that no amount of sin is too great for Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross for me, and prayed desperately for forgiveness. My life was forever changed.
I’ve learned that although we don’t always get it right all by ourselves, God also doesn’t want us to walk around in shame. God calls us to acknowledge the magnitude of our sin, but also realize that no sin is greater than God’s ability to cover it with his perfect love. As believers in Jesus, we can exercise humility on a consistent basis by expressing gratitude to God in our slot and spot. In prayer, we can recognize God’s presence and his goodness and thank him for those things. Through this process, humility is the first step, forgiveness comes next, and honor is what we will receive in God’s timing.
We all want respect and honor, whether we admit it or not. Trusting in God’s timing as to when we receive that honor is true humility!
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I acknowledge your presence and I am eternally grateful for the unconditional love you give to me. Thank you for forgiving my sins, no matter how great I think they are. I love you and I pray for the wisdom to consistently humble myself before you. Amen.
- The best way I have found to cultivate a rhythm of humility, forgiveness, and honor is to practice the consistent habits of gathering on the weekends, connecting in a J-Group, and serving on the J-Team. When we build relationships with other believers and put the needs of others before our own, then we begin to exercise true humility.
- What area of your life do you still need to humbly surrender to God?
- What steps are you currently taking to cultivate a rhythm of humility, forgiveness, and honor?
Reed Fleming/ERT Area Coordinator, Evening Program Class of 2022
Reed is a C-17A Evaluator Pilot in the United States Air Force. He currently serves in Journey Students and as an Area Coordinator for the ERT (Emergency Response Team). He is grateful that he gets to do life with this community of faith and for how serving has enhanced his connection with others. Reed is a huge supporter of J-Groups (and encourages you to join one!); he is part of a marriage J-Group with his wife and leads both a J-Group in Journey Students and the “Breakfast with the Boys” men’s group.