Humble Grace

James 4: 6 “But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."

A couple of Sundays ago, I preached from the pulpit about Xiao Min, the Chinese peasant farmer’s daughter who has written 900 hymns for the Underground churches in China. She is a modern equivalent of Joan of Arc and the Christians in China have experienced a new hope through her worship songs that they call “The Hymns of Canaan.”

Her hymns and influence is so widespread that the anti-religious authorities in China are reacting violently to house churches in local towns and villages. The mighty dragon is being tamed and brought down by a tiny mosquito. Twenty million people have been converted to Christ through the singing of Xiao Min’s songs. She is stirring a new hope for freedom and faith throughout China. She is a supreme example of what happens when God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.

In our cozy Western churches, we have forgotten about the energy, dynamism, and strength that persecution can bring to the faithful. We forget too easily that Christianity is radical by nature and should confront evil in every generation, culture or civilization. For too long, we have been standing still, hoping to keep the peace and remain undisturbed. We have been asleep at the wheel as far as the direction that our society has been traveling. We have become ineffective and irrelevant in our own eyes because we have listened to what the world has to say about our faith, instead of showing what our faith can really do to change the world.

We should all learn to sing the songs of Canaan that are part of our own hymns. We should remember, recall and revisit the promises of God which lead us to a land of milk and honey, to a land of freedom and faith. If a peasant farmer’s daughter in an obscure part of China can reach 20 million souls through the grace of God, then who or what can stand against us when we open our hearts, minds, and souls to do the same here?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, You give us the Hope of all hopes, the Life of all Lives, the Freedom above all other freedoms. We have forgotten the joy of salvation, the gladness of grace, and the blessings of the Gospel. Revive our faith and strengthen our spirits so that we can begin once more to move this land and every land closer to You. In Your Holy Name, we thankfully pray. Amen.

John Stuart
Knoxville, Tennessee, USA

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