~ The Outworking of God’s Grace ~
Key Scripture ~ “For I [the Apostle Paul] am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. Therefore, whether it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed” (1 Corinthians 15:9-11).
Comment ~ God’s grace that has been received and appreciated always works it out in terms of service to others and the furthering of God’s kingdom. We have an example of the Apostle Paul who persecuted the early Church, received God’s grace, recognized how he was unworthy of God’s grace (“I am the chief of sinners” – 1 Timothy 1:15), and was in the process of being transformed into Christ’s image, and later in life summed it up this way:
“Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:12-14).
Contemplate This ~ “We are [being] transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as [the grace of] God enters our lives and we become like Him” (2 Corinthians 3:18b, The Message).
“This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I [the Apostle Paul] am chief. However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen” (1 Timothy 1:15-17).
~ Robert Lloyd Russell, ABUNDANT LIFE NOW
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