January 25, 2021

Grace Seeks Humility

But of you I will not make an end. I will chastise you in just measure, and I will by no means leave you unpunished. 
Jeremiah 30:11
To the woman at the well, Jesus said that "those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life." With 2000 years of history behind us, we know something that the woman had to learn: The water he spoke of was a metaphor for grace.

And it's a wonderful metaphor: clean, fresh, life-giving water flowing out of a never-ending spring. What a wonderful word-picture of God's eternal love. Believe it or not, the image of the spring of living water is also the perfect metaphor for humility as well, for, as Rev. John Jowett said, "Grace ever seeks out the lowliest" (1906). Just as water flows down mountains and seeps into valleys, so God's grace looks for humility. God can do anything God wants, of course, but nowhere in the scriptures do we find salvation for the haughty or grace for the one who thinks they deserve it.

Just as we need to express our gratitude for God's blessings, and lift up to God our brothers and sisters in need, so we also need to admit to God our wrongdoings. Only those with the humility to admit their inability to save themselves can ever be lifted up by the power of God.

Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time.
 1 Peter 5:6
Prayer after thinking about today's devotion:
Most merciful God, I confess that I am in bondage to sin and cannot save myself. I have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what I have done and by what I have left undone. I have not loved you with my whole heart. I have not loved my neighbors as myself. For the sake of Jesus Christ, have mercy on me. Forgive me, renew me, and lead me, so that I may delight in your will and follow in your ways, to the glory of your holy Name.
 UCC Book of Worship (alt.)
After your own thanksgivings & petitions, close with the Lord's Prayer.
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