You Are A Testimony Of His Grace
Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and remained with him fifteen days. But I saw none of the other apostles except James the Lord's brother. (In what I am writing to you, before God, I do not lie!) Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia. And I was still unknown in person to the churches of Judea that are in Christ. They only were hearing it said, “He who used to persecute us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” And they glorified God because of me. — Galatians 1:18-24
Sometimes when people see me, all they see is my natural self. They default to noticing my natural speaking, writing, or leading abilities. Because of this, people miss a huge part of what makes me — me. Here's an example. Today I conversed with a guy at a local breakfast bar who asked me what I do for a living. I told him what I do with men, and he was immediately interested in the skill, education, and training that led to my work. I tried to explain my training while illustrating the spiritual purpose of my gifts. But he couldn't get beyond the skills I had honed over the years. I realized that all he saw was a very natural man, and thus he missed the supernatural part of me (which is a big part of who I am).
I think this same thing is happening with Paul. Some of the believers in Galatia perceived Paul to be an educated Jew who was now a re-educated Christian. Essentially he had become a follower of Jesus by his means through the teaching of men like Peter and James. But Paul is debunking that. He wants them to see that he spent no time being trained by men and a lot of time being taught by Jesus in the Arabian desert. And he does this because he wants them to see Jesus and not just him. Yet he has to work pretty hard because it's easier for them to see a natural man and a natural process. Grace is hard to see. But Paul will work hard at it because he knows if they can unlearn this natural understanding that they will unlearn legalism, and he hopes they will learn about God's grace that leads to spiritual life. Not a life lived by a natural ability built on human training, skill, and preparation. But rather a life given by God, empowered by grace, that redeems a man's gifts, abilities, and talents and uses them for a supernatural effort.
Today I want you to ponder how God's grace is daily redeeming your gifts, abilities, and talents for his purposes. Then I want you to praise God for this by sharing how God does this in the comments below. I am sure it will be a moment of praise for you, but it might also stir up someone to live in his grace today. Just like Paul is trying to do for the believers in Galatia.
ASK THIS: How is God's grace working through your natural skills, abilities, and talents?
DO THIS: Share it below.
PRAY THIS: God, may I lean on your grace and see your grace working through me today!
PLAY THIS: Unspoken - Call It Grace.
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Read through the Bible daily with Vince Miller.