When I did my morning devotion about two days ago from Our Daily Bread, I was moved by the insights I got from 1 Corinthians 15:1-11, especially what I learned from Paul’s example.
Paul is the one who never took God’s credits and cheers though he was such an inspiring & influencing apostle in his context & era. His faithfulness, his encouraging words, his firm & sound doctrines, his father-mother kind of love, and his determined & passionate heart to preach & teach, have been blessings to many of Christians now & then. He could boast & be absolutely proud of those qualities but he didn’t.
Not that he underestimated those excellent qualities, but he knew where he got it and realize much where the applause should fly to: God himself.
“But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.”
This example is good for anyone especially for those who feel they have done many things for God (call it in a Christian ministry or on a daily basis), for those who sacrifice everything to God, who do their best in everything God called them to, for those who feel that they are spiritually healthy, for those who may see the fruit of their every faithfulness in following Christ.
Paul’s example is balance–uhm I think ‘balance’ is not quite suitable for what I mean. He didn’t stuck on these two extremes: first, being too proud of himself, or the second feeling too inferior (until it frustrates him) because of God’s grace.
I mean, God’s grace that is with us–is truth–and I always believe that truth sets us free. We know we can do many things with God’s grace & strength (I might add) without feeling superior when we’re fruitful, but we also won’t be ashamed & embarrassed if we’re not fruitful yet–by any reasons we could mention. Because our fruitfulness is also according to God’s grace–nothing we can do to decide when or where we could see that.
This is freedom, the true one: I’m just His messenger–yet not I, but the grace of God that is with me. Acknowledging God’s grace in everything is the sign of our spirituality–how we understand and know God in a way He wants us to.
Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.