Who are you? What are you? Actually I know that if you're reading this post you are at least a human being. If I don't know you personally, I probably don't know who your are. There is One however, who knows who and what you are, because He created you in Christ to be that way.
Who are you? Are you the product of your past? Do your past failures define who you really are? Do your accomplishments and works define what you are? The truth is, it's time for we followers of Jesus Christ to understand who and what we are...in Him. It is not by our bad works, or good works that we are defined...but by His grace. The real you has nothing to do with you, and everything to do with Him!
The Apostle Paul wrote two thirds of the New Testament. He was used mightily of God to do great exploits. The life Paul lived still greatly impacts the church today. But listen to what Paul writes: "For I am the least of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God." (1 Cor. 15:9)
Obviously Paul considered himself to be one of the least of the Apostles because he was way down on the list of those whom Jesus appeared to (Chronologically speaking). He was not one of the original Apostles, even though God used him more than many of them. Paul did not consider himself fit to be called an Apostle (much less actually be an Apostle) because he had persecuted the newly born church with fervent zeal. He put folks in prison for believing in and serving Jesus. He even persecuted some to the death. He was on his way to Damascus with authorization to persecute Christians there, and to drag some back to Jerusalem, when Jesus invaded his life. Paul was drastically changed by the Lord Jesus. He was never the same after that divine confrontation on the road! Grace is what changed him. God's grace.
Paul was well aware of his past mistakes and present struggles with them. But he didn't let them define who he was, or what he was. He went on to say, "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 (other apostles), yet not I, but the grace of God with me." (1 Cor. 15:10) No matter how evil or good (by religious standards) Paul's past was, and how much he struggled with it as a Christian, he understood the defining power of grace. It was the grace of God that made Paul who and what he was. He was secure in that!
Are you struggling with sins or mistakes of your past? Do you struggle with your humanity? Are you struggling with the fact that you are struggling? You are not alone.The fact that you struggle doesn't make you saved or unsaved. God's grace is what saves. God's grace is what defines who and what you are because you are saved.
And finally, I have a feeling Paul struggled with the fact that he persecuted the church. I'm sure the enemy reminded him constantly of what he did. But what Paul did has no bearing on who and what he now is in Christ. "He (God) made Him (Jesus) who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." (2 Cor. 5:17) As a born-again follower of Jesus, you are the righteousness of God. Even when you stumble and fall as a follower of Christ....who and what you really are is the righteousness of God. By God's grace you are what you are. By God's grace you are who you are. It is time for you (and me) to walk and live in that grace.
|If Not for the Grace of God Learning to Live Independent of Frustrations & Struggle
By Joyce Meyer
You may have heard the term grace defined as "undeserved favor." While this is true, grace is much more than that. It is the power of God available to meet all your needs. Everything you receive from God must come by grace through faith. In If Not for the Grace of God, bestselling author Joyce Meyer explains the power of the grace of God and how you can receive it through faith. Joyce teaches the difference between having faith in God, which will bring you into peace and rest, and having faith in your own abilities, which will bring you into frustration. By applying the principles outlined in this book, you will learn what grace is, the power of grace, how to be free from worry and frustration, how to live a holy life by grace and much more.
|If Not for the Grace of God: Learning to Live Independent of Frustrations and Struggles - eBook
By Joyce Meyer