Happy Wednesday! There have been times in our lives where we looked back at our life journey and thought about all the things that we have been through. We think of the good, the bad and if we are saved by grace we think about our redemption story (the moment we accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior). We all have a story. In fact yesterday, we read in 1 Corinthians 15:9, Paul’s statement to the Corinthian church “For I am the least of all the apostles. In fact, I’m not even worthy to be called an apostle after the way I persecuted God’s church.” Paul’s conversion was powerful and filled with God’s grace. Join me as we continue reading 1 Corinthians chapter 15.
“10 But whatever I am now, it is all because God poured out his special favor on me—and not without results. For I have worked harder than any of the other apostles; yet it was not I but God who was working through me by his grace. 11 So it makes no difference whether I preach or they preach, for we all preach the same message you have already believed.” 1 Corinthians 15:10-11 NLT
Paul knew his past did not justify him, it was the grace of God. God used Paul in spite of Paul’s past persecution of the church and murderous actions. Paul became one of the greatest Apostles, wrote most of the New Testament, founded the most churches and we still read about his suffering during that time. Paul was on fire for God, the Gospel Message/Good News and faithfully preached Jesus Christ crucified and resurrected.
Paul could have easily taken all the credit or boasted about his success, but he didn’t. He pointed to God. Paul knew that it was only through God’s favor on his life and he followed through with what God had called him to do.
Sisters and brothers, as I mentioned before God knew our redemption story before we were even born. He knew the grace we would need long before we admitted that we needed a Savior (Christ Jesus). The Lord wants to use us, our life story and gifts to bring more people into relationship with him, to build the church and encourage one another. God wants to work through us, but it all brings with our relationship with Him first. God loves you unconditionally and there is no greater freedom than the freedom that we have in Christ Jesus. Therefore:
- Keep believing the message – the Good News!
- Trust God’s grace on your life.
- Receive God’s favor with a grateful and humble heart.
- Allow God to use your whole life story to share the grace of God’s redemption power in your life. “God’s grace is acknowledging your whole life story.” – Brennan Manning
Father God, we thank you for your amazing grace. Lord, we thank you for taking us from the pit of hell and saving us from destruction. Lord, forgive us for boasting about our own accomplishments and our own power. Lord, we recognize that it is you who gave us the ability to accomplish and do things with power. Lord, you have been so faithful to us, even when we weren’t faithful to ourselves or have taken credit for things you have done. Lord, you have brought us a mighty long way and you continue to grow and stretch us beyond what we could ever imagine. Lord, thank you for your grace and mercy on our lives. Thank you for your favor. Lord, teach us your ways and strengthen our faith to faithfully follow after you. Lord, go before us today and show us where and how you want to use us. Lord, equip us with the tools and talents to bring light in dark places. Lord, give us favor in every area that is aligned to your will. Lord, we trust you, your plan, your purpose for our lives and the lives of our loved ones. Lord, heal the sick, feed the hungry, keep the homeless warm and comfort those who are grieving. Lord, soften our hearts to be more obedient to you in Jesus name we pray, amen.
Keep praying! Keep Trusting! Keep believing!
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