“But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me.” – 1 Corinthians 15:10
This part of the letter from Paul to the church in Corinth (1 Corinthians) really hits home for me. Not because I ever persecuted Christians in the way that Paul did, though for many years my actions mocked the sacrifice of Jesus. Just before the verse above, Paul wrote about how he considered himself the least of the Apostles because of his past and his persecution of the church.
It’s not that I need to perform works to prove myself to God, because He knows my heart. It’s a feeling that I spent so long “asleep” as Paul put it, or even blatantly disrespecting Him that causes me to want to work harder than I ever have before. I believe it’s the Spirit, and I believe it is meant to push me further and further into relationship with God. That’s what it’s all about.
I can (and maybe many of you also) relate to how Paul didn’t live or dwell on his past life in a way that prevented him from doing the work of the Lord that he was called by the Spirit to do, but that it served as a reminder of why we need Jesus!
We glorify a God of healing!
We serve a God who redeems all things for His glory!
We love a God who first loved us!