Yield to Grace, See the Change

Daily Devotional: Day 177

“For I am the least of the Apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me” (1 Corinthians 15:9-10, NKJV).

Writing to the Christians in Corinth, Paul acknowledged that he didn’t deserve to be called an apostle of Jesus Christ because of his former life. He persecuted Christians, threw some in jail and had others executed, including Stephen, who was stoned to death (Cf. Acts 7:58-60; 8:1-3). Paul is not alone. Our calling, our election, our ministry and the favors we enjoy, it is all by the grace of God. Today’s message is about knowing what the grace of God can accomplish in your life if you yield to Christ.

Paul, like he does in some of his other writings, talks about who he was before knowing Christ, and who he became after being saved by grace. He says, “By the grace of God I am what I am.” It is as if he said, “See what grace has done with me now, compared to who I was before.” From being a fierce persecutor of Christianity, Paul became a fervent and holy follower of Christ. He explains that the grace of God toward him was not in vain. This is an important point, for it is possible to receive the grace of God in vain. Paul yielded to God’s grace, and the results were amazing.  He worked harder than all the apostles before him. That’s an impressive record, given the caliber of apostles like Peter, John, James and others who knew Christ long before Paul did.

What God’s grace accomplished for Paul, it can accomplish for you, too. All you need to do is yield to Jesus. You need to decrease; better still, you need to ‘disappear’ (figuratively speaking) and let Jesus fill the whole page of your life (cf. John 3:30). Herein lies the secret to bearing fruits of grace. Once you yield, Jesus will take it from there. And, you will be amazed at the transformation that will occur in your life. If you don’t see notable transformation in your Christian life, you most probably are still holding on to your life and not letting Jesus take over. Those who receive the grace of God in vain are those who resist Jesus. They love the free gifts Jesus brings to the table, but they won’t let Jesus rule over them.

But, if you want results, you need to yield and let Jesus be Jesus. When you do that, the full power of grace will  flow through you. Like Paul, you will walk in radical newness of life, and people will notice it. You will shine, and your light will be noticed. Loaded with grace energy, you will work hard in the Lord’s service, yet you will feel so refreshed. That is Isaiah 40:31 being fulfilled in your life: You shall renew your strengthyou shall mount up with wings like eaglesyou shall run and not be weary; you shall walk and not faint.” Just yield.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be your shield and strength today. Amen.

For further study: Acts 26:1-29

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