One thing I wish I knew when I started sharing my faith was that it’s not all about me, but it is all about God’s grace, “by the grace of God I am what I am” 1 Corinthians 15:9-11
Paul makes a most profound statement to the Corinthians. He recognises that God has transformed him from being as one ‘abnormally born’ to an apostle. The difference between the two is the grace of God as Paul says, ‘I am what I am by the grace of God and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them – yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.’
I wish someone had told me when I first started out in ministry that it is not all about me but it is all about God’s grace. The key to God’s presence and understanding God’s calling is the word ‘thank you’. We so often think that it is all about us, our gifts, our abilities and our ministries. If only someone had told me early on that it is all about God’s grace and his choice to use us and bless us. And when he does use us to call others to himself, even then it is the grace of God. When you see your gifts being used, it’s always because of the grace of God.
So let’s realise we just live out what God has done within us, and we achieve only what God does through us. If I’d learnt that early on, it would have taken a lot of pressure off. No need to waste energy competing, judging and thinking it was all about me.
Out of all of the ministries that I have been made aware of, and all of the leaders that I know who finish well, their success comes from being dependent on the grace of God. Paul said he worked harder than all of them, yet even that was down to the grace of God. It’s a great way to live, recognising that it is God’s unconditional love that gifts us and equips us to do what he has called us to do. Living in these grace gifts means that we need to constantly give him the credit, so that we walk humbly with the God who called us into this.
Like any truth I wished I’d known that when I first started, I also need to live in that truth today to fulfil my calling and ministry.
1. Has God called me into anything? (A work place? A ministry? To a city? etc…) Am I still living out that calling or have other things distracted me from it?
2. “The key to God’s presence and understand God’s calling is the word ‘thank you'”. If you were to have only what you’ve been thankful for in the last week, what would you have?
3. Where is it I need to let go of control and recognise it’s not through my efforts, but it’s down to God’s grace?
Written by Roy Crowne. Roy works as the HOPE Together Executive Director which he began in March 2010. Prior to this Roy was the National Director of Youth for Christ in Britain for 12 years and one of the founders of HOPE 08. Roy continues to preach, teach and mentor younger leaders and is married to Flossie his wife, who he lives with in Rugby.