We’ve got your daily encouragement, written by Matt Chow.

 

Bible Reading:

James 4:6

But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:

“God opposes the proud
    but shows favor to the humble.”

Word:

Summer is about at the halfway point or more for most people in the United States. For the past month, we have been putting our kids in swim lessons. Our goal is just to get them comfortable with swimming so that if they accidentally fall into the water, they can safely get themselves out.  

In today’s Bible verse, James is reminding us about God’s never ending grace. In order to receive God’s grace, we must humble ourselves before God. James is warning his readers not to live according to the wisdom of the world and on self-reliance. Even if we have been living this way, God still offers us his grace when we put our trust in him.  

Back to the swim lessons, it’s been amazing to watch our kids swim on their own. But in order to swim, they have to choose to listen to their instructor. There have been times where they did not listen to their instructor and boldly jump in to start their lap. In the middle of going from one end of the pool to the other, they stop and scream for help. They thought they were ready to do it all on their own, but they weren’t and the instructor has to jump in and help them finish the lap. 

When we rely strictly on our own abilities, we are doing the same thing to God. The good news is that God offers his grace to us all the time, even when we mess things up. Our kids can swim a lap on their own, but they have to listen to their instructor guide them with how to breathe and the timing of moving their arms and legs together. When we stop demanding our way or swimming on our own and trust in the ultimate instructor, He will lead us to the ending we all want to have.

 

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank you for the grace you give me every day.  I pray that I will not rely on my own power but instead always submit to your will.  I will pay attention to the warnings that you give me against my own ego.  Let your will be done in my life today and forever. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

 

Skillwork:

Reflect on your own life and things that you have not handed over to God.  Are you swimming on your own terms or do you have a lifeguard watching over you?  Repent if you need to and ask him to take over the parts of your life that you haven’t let go control of.

 

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