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The Daily Fountain Daily Devotional of the Church Of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) 25 April 2019 – By The Grace Of God
TOPIC: By The Grace Of God
READ: I Corinthians 15:1-11 King James Version (NKJV)
- Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand,
- by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.
- For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
- and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,
- and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve.
- After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep.
- After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles.
- Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.
- For I 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.
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Our study this morning will be focusing particularly on verse 10. Grace means unmerited favour. What does this mean for us today? We may not be able to understand what this means unless we try to understand what it meant for the Apostle Paul in his day. Saul, later Paul, was a Pharisee who believed that God’s salvation must be achieved through tedious human efforts (Philippians 3:1-7). He eventually became one of the harshest persecutors of the early Christians. In fact, he described himself as the worst of all sinners (1 Timothy 1:15). Despite all, God still forgave him! Not only did God forgive him, but God also took him and shaped him into a great apostle.
This is unmerited favour!
God is willing to do the same to each one of us who truly turns to Him. The unmerited favour of God does not, therefore, give room for pride, as Paul himself points out here: but by the grace of God, I am what I am (verse 10a, ESV).
A prideful person is a person who does not really understand the workings of God’s grace. God’s grace is meant to humble us (no matter who we are) and to motivate us towards selfless living and service, as Paul says in verse 10b. Knowing and encountering the grace of God should motivate us to hard work and selfless service.
Prayer: Lord, fill me with the spirit of humility and service.