9/7/16: His Grace Toward Me
We think quite a lot of the apostle Paul and well we should. Here was a man who humbled himself so completely to God’s service that he ended up writing most of what we now have as the New Testament. He suffered many things for the sake of the Gospel, planted churches wherever he went, and mentored young preachers. If some of us could dedicate ourselves to God even a fraction of as much as Paul did, we’d really make some headway. Then, knowing some of us, we’d get pretty cocky about all God was doing with and through us.
Paul, however, was very clear about himself. I Corinthians 15:9 – 10 says, “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” (NKJ).
Let’s learn some things from Paul:
- He remembered the base-ness of his sin.
- He acknowledged the basis of his situation.
- He recognized the balance due to his Source.
A quick recollection of where we were when Christ finally got through to us should be enough of a memory-jogger to put us where Paul was. Paul never forgot the base-ness of his sin. He had persecuted the church. You know what happens when you threaten a man’s woman, and Paul had raised his hands against the bride or Christ. Jesus had to deal with Paul personally by knocking him off his horse and temporarily blinding him to get it through his thick head that this just wouldn’t be tolerated. Paul didn’t forget that encounter; nor should we ever forget how bad off we were when Jesus finally got our attention.
Second, although Paul acknowledged his apostleship, he still realized that he was in the job he as in thanks to the grace of God. He didn’t shun the job nor make excuses for it, but he knew he didn’t deserve to be there. God’s unmerited favor was allowing him to do all he was doing. So it is with us. The basis for our situation in Christ is God’s grace.
Finally, Paul says, “…and His grace toward me was not in vain…” Paul continued to work realizing the balance that was due to his Source. Paul’s service was a repayment of a debt, so to speak. He always felt indebted to God; his service was a perpetual thanksgiving for all God had done for him. Again, as with Paul, so it should be with us. We serve God because we owe unending thanksgiving for His marvelous grace.
Let’s keep working and serving, but be careful not to get it twisted. Maintain the attitude Paul wrote about in another place in Scripture. “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” Galatians 2:20 (NKJ).
Mission Trip Update! 33 days to go! NOW THERE’S A $1,000.00 MATCHING GRANT! All donations sent between September 1 – September 26 will be matched up to $1,000.00. That means you’ll actually be helping with double the amount you send! I still need $1,800.00 – $2,300.00 for the hotels, food, visas, etc. Please do not hesitate. I really need your financial donations now. Donations so far have covered my air travel and my vaccinations.
The trip has been narrowed down to KENYA and ZAMBIA! I’ve seen the proof of the posters that will be passed out and the billboards that will be placed throughout the cities. I will be teaching at the Leader’s Seminars, encouraging the ladies at the Women’s Seminars, and preaching at the evening crusades. People travel all over the world every day, but it’s my first time and I’m pinching myself being sure it’s all actually real! Thank you in advance! You can give three ways:
- Via Paypal through my ministry website: http://www.lifethatmatters.net. Click “Donate.” [Remember that Paypal charges a 3-4% fee on my end.]
- By check sent to my post office box: P.O. Box 1519, Inglewood, CA 90308
- Via Paypal through the HSBN.tv website. (Be sure to let the network know your donation is for Rev. Sharon Elliott’s Africa trip.)
Links you won’t want to miss:
- Watch Sharon in two shows on The Holy Spirit Broadcasting Network:
- Life That Matters with Sharon Norris Elliott, and
- A View from the Upper Room
from any internet-connected device at www.HSBN.tv.
(Stream current show or view past episodes anytime!)
- Pick up a copies of Sharon’s books for yourself and as gifts for your family members and friends!
- Why I Get Into Trouble link to our eStore: https://www.createspace.com/5131814
- Boomerangs to Arrows: A Godly Guide for Launching Young Adult Children available from Judson Press (http://www.judsonpress.com/product.cfm?product_id=17387),
Boomerangs Videolink: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2JH_gbinMk
- Power Suit: The Armor of God Fit for the Feminine Frame from New Hope Publishers (http://www.newhopedigital.com/2010/08/power-suit/)
Sharon’s other books still available: