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"But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace to me was not without effect" (1 Corinthians 15:10).
I have a friend in New England with a wonderful testimony. Peter is a living demonstration of God's grace. He's a big man, having played tackle in college football and working as a "bouncer" in a Boston bar. He lived hard in the worldly ways until he was 25. At that time he met Christ and at his conversion he changed dramatically and now bears a strong, bold witness for Christ. He says of his faith, dedication to Christ and His cause, "I'm no moderate." He lived all out for the world and now he lives all out for Jesus Christ. What a joy to see the long-term effects of God's grace in an individual!
Today let's focus on the phrase, "His grace to me was not without effect." Here Paul is sharing his personal testimony. The biographical information we have in the Book of Acts and Paul's letters truly indicate that the grace of God made a wonderful change in his life. This one time persecutor became the persecuted. He who had consented to the stoning of Stephen (Acts 8:1) was himself stoned (2 Corinthians 11:25). Should it have been written at that time Paul surely could have sang the grand old gospel song, "What a wonderful change in my life has been wrought since Jesus came into my heart!"
I wonder how many times people who had not heard of the Apostle Paul's background put their hands over their mouths as he shared his testimony exclaiming, "O, I can't believe he was ever like that." In his own written testimony he states, "I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man" and "the worst of sinners" (see 1 Timothy 1:12-17). But in the daily text he was able to say; "His grace to me was not without effect." What a dynamic transformation had taken place in his life and years later he was able to declare this marvelous truth.
Authentic grace always makes a difference. Titus 2:11,12 states, "For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age." For some the change is more dramatic than others, but grace will always bring about change in every recipient.
What about you today? Do you need to submit to Him? Repent! Has Christ changed your life? Rejoice! Is He still working on you? Respond! Be resolute in your walk with Jesus! I join with Paul and each of you as we proclaim together, "His grace to me is not without effect!"
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily Prayer: Father, only through the death of Your Son could we know the full extent of Your grace. Though our sins bring untold loss, Your grace brings infinite gain. Your grace exceeds our rebellion and points us to the Refuge for our sinful souls. Thank You, Father! You don't grant a partial pardon, but You extend a full pardon to all who call upon Your name. Your grace is incomprehensible, infinite, and indiscriminate to all of Your creation. Help us to extend grace to others as You have richly extended Your grace to us. Amen.
As we prepare today's message on God's grace a song comes to mind that we enjoy and have used before in this series. "Your Grace Still Amazes Me" Video Audio
Brooksyne's Note: We received a number of requests for either a recording or manuscript of my Pilgrim presentation that we wrote about yesterday. Unfortunately none of the above are available. But due to some earnest requests I am preparing a manuscript that may be of use to those who requested this information. More importantly I will include some excellent resources for both children and adults who are interested in learning more about this most important part of our history. I am presently working on it and will make it available tomorrow.
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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