1 Corinthians 15:1-11
15 Brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the good news I preached to you. You received it and have put your faith in it. 2 Because you believed the good news, you are saved. But you must hold firmly to the message I preached to you. If you don’t, you have believed it for nothing. 3 What I received I passed on to you. And it is the most important of all. Here is what it is. Christ died for our sins, just as Scripture said he would. 4 He was buried. He was raised from the dead on the third day, just as Scripture said he would be. 5 He appeared to Peter. Then he appeared to the 12 apostles. 6 After that, he appeared to more than 500 brothers and sisters at the same time. Most of them are still living. But some have died. 7 He appeared to James. Then he appeared to all the apostles. 8 Last of all, he also appeared to me. I was like someone who wasn’t born at the right time. 9 I am the least important of the apostles. I’m not even fit to be called an apostle. I tried to destroy God’s church. 10 But because of God’s grace I am what I am. And his grace was not wasted on me. No, I have worked harder than all the other apostles. But I didn’t do the work. God’s grace was with me. 11 So this is what we preach, whether I or the other apostles who preached to you. And that is what you believed.
Later in this passage, Paul declares two seemingly juxtaposing statements – “…I am the least of the apostles and don’t even deserve to be called an apostle…” followed up by “…by the grace of God I am what I am…no, I worked harder than all of them…”. Usually, in my experience, when someone believes they are the least effective and undeserved at something, they bow out and never try again – whether it be a sport, a subject of learning, a new project or job, or a relationship. Yet Paul is saying; I am the least apostle, completely undeserving, and yet I have worked the hardest of them all, by God’s grace.
This tells me a few crucial things about God’s grace – God’s grace is both for the least, and the undeserved, but God’s grace doesn’t leave us there if we truly receive it from Him. God’s grace transforms the least and undeserved amongst us into incredible hard workers and contributors to His cause in the earth.
Being the least qualified, and most undeserving of something, is no longer the limiter I’ve often claimed it to be in my own life. In this new era of grace, if God’s grace is actively directing me to do something, I MUST…I MUST get on and do it. Taking up that new opportunity; sharing my faith; becoming a new version of me. Why? Because that’s what God’s grace is for – transforming the least qualified, and undeserving, into glorious new beings that serve Him powerfully and remarkably amongst their generation.
Bring it on Lord.
Written by Ps. Rob Waugh