We are taking a bit of Lenten quiet on Mondays here until Easter. I’m posting a verse, a devotion I wrote for my church’s Lenten booklet and a prayer. Peace be with you, lovely friends…
But whatever I am now, it is all because God poured out his special favor on me – and not without results. For I have worked harder than any of the other apostles; yet it was not I but God who was working through me by his grace. So it makes no difference whether I preach or they preach, for we all preach the same message you have already believed. (1 Corinthians 15:10)
I don’t know about you, but when things are going well for me, I often credit myself and my own efforts and forget all about God. I love this verse because it reminds me that God’s abundant and ever-flowing grace is behind every good and positive thing we do and receive. All of our accomplishments, successes and even “good deeds” are the result of God’s blessings and His grace – we can’t take credit for any of it. It’s not simply my good work; it’s the power of God working through me.
I appreciate this verse, too, because it seems like Paul might struggle with this concept of grace a bit. I see him wrestling here, wanting to take credit, reminding us that he has “worked harder than any of the other apostles,” yet in the next breath, acknowledging to both himself and us that he cannot, in fact, pat himself on the back. All the praise goes to God alone. The next time we feel smugly satisfied about a job well-done, let’s stop for a moment of thanksgiving to give credit where credit is due: to God.
Lord, You know my prideful tendency to want to pat myself on the back. Give me a humble spirit, Lord, so that I will praise only You. Amen.
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