Thursday 14 August 2014

The Secret of Growth in the Christian Life

What is the secret of growth in the Christian life? We might think it is deciding to be holy, or deciding to be active in ministry of one kind or another. We might consider that it is found in attending many Church services, or in learning hymns and prayers. All of these, and many more practices and disciplines of the Christian life are necessary aspects of what it means to be a Christian.

But having become a Christian, this verse provides the secret to growth in the life in Christ.
God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. James 4:6

Why is this so important? It is because without grace there can be no growth in the Christian life. Grace is the divine life of the Holy Trinity manifested in our lives and hearts by the presence of the Holy Spirit. Without grace there is no Christian life, and we may only receive this grace as a gift. We cannot demand it. We do not deserve it.

God gives this grace to those who are humble. This is the secret. The humble Christian is the one cheerfully who puts themselves last and does not expect to be the centre of attention. The humble Christian is the one who knows that they are entirely dependent on God for every moment of their life. The humble Christian is the one who continually prayers with love and hope - Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me. The humble Christian is the one whose life is given over to the service of others.

Who is the one that God resists? It is the one who can never receive grace because he demands it of God. It is the one who is proud and full of themselves. It is the one who has the appearance of being a Christian but who is concerned entirely with self. The one who is proud may be popular and well thought of. The one who is proud might seem to achieve much. But without grace such a one is devoid of that divine life by the Holy Spirit which is what it means to be a Christian.

To grow in the experience of the Christian life must mean nothing other than to continue to grow in the experience of humility. As it is written, it is no longer I who lives, but Christ who lives in me. If the Christian life is all about me then I am not humble. If it is all about God and about others then perhaps we are beginning to become humble. And if we are humble then God will give grace.

1 comment:

  1. Amen, for He resists the proud and gives grace to the humble. The humble at heart, in seeing himself as unworthy and as written in one of the apostolic epistles of ST. Paul, that deep down he is nothing but the first of all sinners.

    This humility also leads to asking of the intercession of those have victoriously finished the race and entered into eternal rest, being eternally in the presence of the almighty God, they are capable of interceding on our behalf - and if there intercession while in the flesh worked miracles, then how great must there intercession be when they are eternally in the divine presence!

    There is a recent intercession miracle, with a Coptic bishop in Egypt who has asked our mother the holy virgin, the mother of God to intercede for him in oder to live so long until the project of her church building - i.e. in her name is successfully finished, however; due to his strict ascetic life, he falls ill on many occasions and one day, he while being seriously ill finally departs his frail body while in the company of many of his beloved.

    Seeing himself departing his own frail body, he goes up to heaven and while in his ascent to heaven he witnesses the holy virgin mother in between him and the throne of God interceding that his life may be prolonged until the Church project is finished - he then hears a graceful voice from heaven in response to her intercession : "it is granted" and on this divine announcement, the bishop's precious soul returns to his body and he is alive and healthy once again to perform his episcopal duties for his flock, among which the big task of the Church building project.

    After the Church project was finished, as he was given the time of his departure, he then forever departed to eternal rest - the land of the living. May his prayers be with us all - amen.