But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.
You don’t need a caption under this image to know that it is a rose, even though there is no other rose like it in the world. Each variety of rose shares some of the same characteristics - petals, thorns, leaves - but each one is unique in how these characteristics show up. Christians are like this. We are each unique in who we are and how we come to Christ but we all have experienced the risen Christ in our lives. Still, we all search for our identity and an understanding of who we are in Christ - what is it that makes us a rose. Paul found that identity in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. In the words of Lewis Galloway from Feasting on the Word, Year C:
Just as Paul did not hide his past, stifle his personality, or suppress his anxieties, so Christians today can recognize that they are who they are by the grace of God. Each person’s struggles, pains, joys, accomplishments, and dreams are stories of the gospel that can light the way for others.
We are each saved by the grace of God and it is by this grace that we understand who we are, who God made us to be. Only when you look at your life, your failures, your sin, your personality, from the perspective of Christ’s death on the cross and resurrection will you be able to say with Paul, “but by the grace of God I am what I am.” Because you have received much grace and have much to tell, work hard to share that grace and tell your story to others knowing that you can do this through the power of the grace of God.
Lord Jesus Christ
Help us to find our identity, our purpose, in you. Give us courage to tell our stories of grace to light the way for others.
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