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1/9/20

More Grace

But he gives more grace.
James 4.6

In the midst of a section of James’ letter about relational wisdom (the kind of wisdom we can have because of a relationship with Jesus and applying his teachings to real life), James tells us about what is at the heart of our conflicts. Our conflicts erupt in our lives because we want something, and we cannot get it. We fight with one another, when we find someone else blocking what we want.

Not only is James’ focus on the heart so important and perceptive –the heart of the matter of every conflict is a matter of the heart—but what he says about God when we are in the midst of conflict is astounding.

James tells us that even in the midst of our conflicts, even when we have said things we wish we wouldn‘t have said, God is present in our conflicts to give us grace.

The grace that God will give in our conflicts is both a forgiving grace and an empowering grace.

It is a forgiving grace, because no one is sinless in conflict. When we are in conflict, we sin against one another either in deed or in heart motivation. When love meets sinful people, grace is the result. God’s grace to us is to forgive our sins against him and others, when we sin in conflict with one another. When you recognize that you are sinning against someone else in your conflict, pause as quickly as possible to ask God for grace—grace to forgive your sins against your “enemy.”

But God’s grace is also a power—an undeserved power, because grace is always getting better than we deserve.

God’s grace is a power not to excuse our sin, but to help us change from sinning against, to loving our neighbor with whom we are in conflict. God desires to help us in our conflicts and give us the grace to humble ourselves and to seek relational harmony in the place of conflict.

So today, if you find yourself in a conflict, or a quarrel, or a fight with someone, ask God for grace.

Ask him for grace to see where you might need to be forgiven for your attitudes or deeds and ask him for grace to be humble and seek restoration. God is always ready to give grace to everyone who asks for it!

Tim Porter

Lead Pastor for the Mission

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