Am What I Am
Apostle Paul was, indeed, an apostle.
He met all the requirements of an
apostle and served like an apostle
should. But there were those who
questioned his apostleship. Even
Paul said in 1
Cor. 14:9: "I
am the least of the apostles and
do not even deserve 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 to me was not without effect."
What a declaration! And
what a humble servant.
though he was an apostle, he never
used that for leverage to get out
of something or to get something
he did not deserve. In the very
next sentence, he states: "No,
I worked harder than all of them
-- yet not I, but the grace of God
that was with me."
student went shopping for a fancy
homecoming dress that her father
had promised. When she returned
from the store, she called her dad
to confess that the one she had
picked was more expensive than what
he had allotted. She quickly offered
to pay the difference but her father
replied, "Don't worry about
it. Just work hard and make good
grades. That will be payment enough."
There was an uneasy silence on the
phone; then she asked, "Dad,
couldn't I just pay you back instead?"1
that funny? For Paul, though, the
privilege of working hard for God
was indeed a privilege.
But some, it seems, are afraid of
a little hard work, at least for
the church. Believe it or not, I
know some wealthy people who would
rather pay someone else to do their
church work rather than work hard
themselves. Paul sets for us a great
example. And something else that
speaks to my heart through verse
10 is that he did it without complaining.
are we doing? Take a moment to think
about those who do a lot of the
work in the church you attend. Are
you in that group? If not, why not?
Is there more you could be doing
for your family of faith that you're
just not yet doing? Please ask God
to reveal to you which group you're
in; there are three.
there's the group that does little
but receives a lot.
there's the group that does a lot,
and then complains about it.
there's the group that follows Paul's
example and works hard, does it
for the Lord, and doesn't complain.
God reveals to you that you're in
the first group, please ask Him
to show you what He would have you
to be doing for Him through your
church...and then get to work in
obedience to Him.
you're in the second group, pray
that God will regain control over
your attitude and then restore your
joy. If indeed you're doing too
much, and then complaining about
it, ask God to forgive you; and
then ask your Pastor who might give
you some relief.
you're in the third group, pray
that God will keep you there and
keep a close watch on your attitude
so that you don't slip into one
of the other categories.
all need to spend quality time before
the Lord daily seeking His face
about how He wants us to serve Him.
And then, like Paul, we need to
do it with all our hearts to the
glory of God.
Digest, Dec. 1996, p. 202.