One of the wonderful attributes of God’s grace is that it empowers us to do His will, fulfill our “God-dreams” and even find great success in life! Look at what Apostle Paul said…
1 Corinthians 15:3-10 NASB
3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; 7 then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; 8 and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also. 9 For I am the least of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 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.
Paul gives us this list of great-men in the kingdom. Cephas (Peter), the rest of Jesus’s personal disciples, James… an impressive group. Then Paul recognizes himself as last and least… even citing his unfitness to be a minister.
Don’t you feel that way sometimes… or more like, often? Unfit… the least. I know I feel that way. I honestly know that I’m less talented than my creative friends, not as eloquent as my preacher friends, not as smart as my educated friends… and my “godliness” is far behind most of my friends. I constantly feel behind, lacking and under-qualified.
However, I am constantly amazed at how God is using me. I have a fruitful ministry, abilities that I don’t remember acquiring (they just showed up) and much favor with man. The former (what I am) doesn’t produce the later (what I have).
I’ve always been fascinated with music. I love music. As a boy, I never had an overwhelming amount of musical talent… my family isn’t musically talented… actually most of them are musically challenged. A few months after becoming a Christian, I started learning how to play the electric bass… which I never mastered… but something about the instrument came so natural. The next year (when I was in the seventh grade) I woke up one morning and I could sing. I know that sounds funny, but I went to bed unable to sing (I would talk the words to songs) and I woke up able to sing! Music theory, which most find difficult, has always been like a second language to me… I just understand it. Even now, I’m not a master-musician, but God has given me favor with many master-musicians.
Isn’t that weird… While I didn’t have the makings to be a musician… it just happened for me. It’s a grace that God has given me.
I use my musical background to illustrate, but honestly… I’ve seen this in many areas of my life.
You know, God never created you to be qualified. God’s big plan wasn’t, “I’ll create man and see if they can make something of themselves.”
No, Romans 8 says…
20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.
God has created us in such a way that we must depend on Him for our qualification!
That’s what Paul and myself have experienced. We are what we are by the grace of God! The product of my life is not a result of the seed of natural flesh… but God has graced me into an honorable life, though my make-up deemed a dishonorable life.
Against all odds, Paul didn’t only, “labor even more than all of them,” he eventually had more influence. The least qualified has been the most influential person to Christianity, second only to Jesus.
I can only imagine what God, through His grace, will empower you and I to do.
Praise the Lord!