Would you like your ministry to be full of grace? Your life? Your relationships?
In the previous post, we noted four ways we hinder God’s grace. We boiled them all down to one—pride—and saw then that the answer is to humble ourselves.
But if we could name several manifestations of pride that hinder God’s grace, are there not also several ways we can express the humility that invites God’s grace?
I believe there are, and we see these throughout the New Testament. Here are four in particular:
1. Obey the Holy Spirit
Unquestioning, immediate obedience to God is an expression of humility. It shows that we believe God knows best and are surrendering our will to His.
If you want a life and ministry full of grace, obey every impulse of the Holy Spirit. Run to do what He tells you.
Philip did this even when it had to have felt awkward. Yet because of his obedience to the Holy Spirit, God’s grace flowed freely through him—to the salvation of the Ethiopian eunuch, and likely through the eunuch into the continent of Africa. You never know how God will bless grace-filled obedience.
Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest?—Acts 8:29–30
2. Give Forgiveness Daily
You cannot be in the ministry without experiencing hurts. And you cannot have the grace of God without learning to forgive.
Nothing is more distasteful than an unforgiving Christian. Spiritual leaders must be the people in the church who remind others of the grace and power of God by modeling consistent forgiveness.
And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.—Ephesians 4:32
3. Avoid a Judgmental Spirit
Spiritual Christians do have standards. But the difference between a spiritual Christian and a legalistic Christian is that legalistic Christians are proud of their standards and look down on others that don’t have the same standards.
It is God’s grace that brings Christians to Christlike maturity. The people you lead will grow at different levels and speeds. To see the grace of God work in their lives, you must let it work. This doesn’t happen when you force change through a judgmental attitude.
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 laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed.—1 Corinthians 15:10–11
4. Enhance Biblical Synergy
When it comes to those you labor alongside, don’t compete; complete. Be the one on the team who rejoices to see others succeed and even labors to contribute to their success.
The actual context of the verses from 1 Peter that we often quote regarding pride, humility, and grace is in having humility one toward another. It is this kind of team spirit that God greatly blesses.
Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.—1 Peter 5:5
Like you, I desire to lead in a Christlike way and to lead others to Christlike maturity. For this to happen, however, we must be full of not only truth, but also grace.
As you read the verse below, ask yourself, “Is my life, my ministry, full of grace?”
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.—John 1:14