“But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.” (1 Corinthians 15:10).
As I read this verse, I found myself pondering over Paul saying that who and what he is now, is only because of God’s grace and that gift of Grace on him has not been wasted, it has not been without effect.
Grace is unmerited favour that we receive from God. It is something that is not earned. Paul did not just reform himself but the effect that God’s grace has on him is that he was completely transformed (I am what I am because of God’s grace).
Firstly, let’s look at God’s sufficient grace, it reached a sinner such as Saul, a former persecutor of the church and was enough to forgive, heal and restore and make him an apostle. Jesus met him face to face and Paul yielded his life and allowed HIM to work in him and through him.
No one and nothing in your life is beyond HIS grace. Let every hurt, every doubt, every wound and every heartache be touched by HIS grace and healed.
Secondly, there is power in living with an awareness of God’s grace. Our view of who God is and what he has done and keeps doing in our lives has a very pronounced role in how we choose to live. Paul’s life was marked by God’s grace and his response to that grace.
God does not want us to not be changed by HIS grace. His grace encourages us to live a life transformed. In light of Christ’s sacrifice, be changed, be transformed and live a life reflecting HIS wonderful grace. Let it be plainly obvious to all around that God’s grace is a gift that can match no other.
Paul knows the source and sustainer of his transformation and gives all credit to the only one who truly deserves it; God. Yes, God’s grace is powerful and transformative but did Paul just sit back and assume he had to do nothing. No, he says that he laboured hard so that the grace given him will not be in vain. Paul did not take that gift of grace for granted. He asserts that he worked harder than other apostles but that God was the source and not himself. God enabled and equipped Paul to do what he was called to do. There is a clear reliance on God’s grace to produce the desire, capability and willingness to lead a life in obedience to God. John 15:5 says “Apart from me you can do nothing.”
HIS grace towards Paul was not without effect.
So, what effect does God’s grace have on you?
Let HIS grace be not without effect in us. Like Paul, let us recognise God’s grace, cherish it and act on it.