James 1:9

Sunday, 9 June 2019

Let the lowly brother glory in his exaltation, James 1:9

In the Greek, there is a conjunction which is left out here. It says, “But let the lowly brother…” The person referred to here is set in contrast to the double-minded person just mentioned. The “lowly brother” isn’t speaking of someone who is humble in spirit, as one might suppose. Rather, it is referring to a person who is truly poor, in difficult straits, afflicted, etc. It is a literal state of lack which exists in his life. For such a person, James says that he should “glory in his exaltation.”

The idea here is not that he goes from his state of poverty to that of becoming wealthy, but rather that in his poverty he has been exalted through the gospel. No matter what a person’s state is in this physical world, if he is a saved believer in Jesus Christ, that person can glory in his exaltation. He has acquired the greatest riches of all which no amount of gold or silver could purchase.

Life application: What James is essentially saying here, and in the coming verse, is in line with literally dozens of verses of the Bible. Someone who lacks humility is there to please himself or to let others know how great he thinks he is. Such a person can’t be pleasing to the Lord in any way. This is because a person like this thinks he “deserves” heaven. But we all fall short of God’s glory. A person who is humbled in his life’s estate will understand this. Moses was such a person –

“(Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.)” Numbers 12:3

Moses was exalted because he understood that he was just a mere man – no better than any others and not deserving of any special consideration. The arrogant and boastful feel they deserve such consideration. The Psalms speak a good deal on humility, but in particular this verse fits what James is saying quite nicely –

“For the Lord takes pleasure in His people;
He will beautify the humble with salvation.” Psalm 149:4

Only when we realize our own fallen and lowly state will we ever come to the foot of the cross and ask Jesus to save us. As long as we feel we merit God’s favor, we will never do this. But by bowing down to Jesus, God crowns us with salvation. Have you come to the end of your own arrogance and haughtiness? If not, God can’t look upon you with favor. Hand over your boastfulness and acknowledge Jesus is your only hope… and He will satisfy your soul.

Lord, may our souls not be haughty or arrogant in Your presence, but rather may we understand our lowly position. You are God; we are the work of Your hands. May we never be presumptuous or boastful about that which You alone have bestowed upon us in our lives. In the end, may You alone be glorified through who we are and what we possess. Amen.

6 thoughts on “James 1:9

  • Sunday, June 9th, 2019 at 7:58 am

    sorry to hear of your loss john praise GOD she is in a better place , praying for family . will continue to pray gordon for your daughter . love and prayers

    • Sunday, June 9th, 2019 at 9:48 am

      Thank you Dan, love you brother! God is good, and he is thrilling sister in law Cynthia today!

  • Sunday, June 9th, 2019 at 8:02 am

    The arrogance of this world is on full display. The other day I was watching YouTube videos of the X Factor, America / Britons got talent, there are some amazing acts there but I started looking at the videos of contestants arguing with the the Judges OMG so full of pride and arrogance and it’s all about me me me it was actually freighting to see it on display in its raw ugliness. It looked like demon possession because I was dumbfounded at what I saw. Now imagin a world full of these people…..it’s coming to a tribulation near you any time now. Thank you Jesus for the promise of bring us home before this becomes the full blown norm for this world. If not for your promise to save us I would be looking to end it here and now as this attatude and arrogance is so alien to my way of thinking that it is physically painful having to deal with it. The promise of the rapture keeps me going, To know that jokeing off the cuff remark I made when I first heard about the rapture 40+ years ago is now a very very real possibility for me, that is being taken in the rapture before I die here. Wow I am just blown away as I look back and see how I got to this point in my life and how my faith in God has grown over the years. Thank you Jesus for hanging in there with me and picking me up when I fell down, for getting me back to the middle of the path to you when I strayed off of it and guiding me through the potholes of life. Thank you lord for all your blessings on your people.

    We ARE another day closer to home
    Grace mercy and peace on you and yours
    God bless my friends we fly soon

    • Tuesday, June 11th, 2019 at 5:13 am

      I never get time to watch those things, but I imagine the pride-factor is huge. A little humility in our approach with others would be rather wonderful. But it is almost a lost thing in this world.

  • Sunday, June 9th, 2019 at 9:49 am

    BLESS GOD PRAISE JESUS! Yes condolences John . And always praying for my sw family.


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