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SIH’s Think On These Things: 1 Cor 15:9-11

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1 Cor 15: 9-11  For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet 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 which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.  Therefore, whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed.

Paul tells us of the nature of his revolt against God (and the people of God) which took place before his salvation.   He was guilty of committing the murder of God’s people (Acts 8:1, 9:1-19, 22:4, 22:20).  These outward acts of rebellion were a display of his heart’s hatred against God.

In spite of Paul’s pre-salvation hateful actions of murder, he was still used greatly by the Lord.  How could this be?  Paul plainly declares that it was an act of God’s grace!  It was entirely of God’s grace that brought Paul to Christ, changed Paul’s rebellious heart, forgave Paul of his sin, and equipped Paul for servant-hood.

If you are like me, we look back at our lives with regret knowing that, in many cases, we have horribly failed our Lord by rebelliously going apart from His desires for us.  In some cases, we may feel as if we have totally ruined our lives and disqualified ourselves from future service for Him. If this takes place… just take a moment to think of Paul and the supremacy of God’s grace!

May the Lord bless each one of us as we “Think On These Things”.

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org


15 Comments

  1. Leon Maiolo says:

    Thanks for that great and thoughtful reminder. God Bless.

  2. Debbie says:

    How encouraging , Rob . . .thank you! Now you have me thinking of all that God did through a surrendered and forgiven Paul. . .and can do through me too! God bless you and your thoughts of Him!

  3. I think the older we get, the more regrets we have about things we COULD have done. However, those things have been dealt with and we must remember than confessed and forgiven sins are as if they’d never been committed in the eyes of the Lord. What right do I have to remember them when He doesn’t?!
    Now, my goal is to live in such a way that I will not need to regret. May I be alert to His voice and promptings and quick to obey!

    • Rob Barkman says:

      You are exactly right… it is an absolute necessity but very difficult. Satan tries to remind us at every turn of our past failures and current faults. We are in need of God’s grace to give us the victory. Lord bless

  4. jeff says:

    Fully agree with the sentiments regarding Paul’s service. A good reminder for us to be willing to forgive leaders who take tumbles.

    At the same time, what about the guys that made mistakes that disqualified them for service, King Saul for example. Could it also be true that staying out of further “ministry” could be an act of God’s grace, perhaps preventing a person from giving a reason for the Gentiles to blaspheme God, as David’s mistake did? God does forgive, but men don’t always. Wondering your thoughts on that sort of thing.

    • Rob Barkman says:

      Jeff,

      Each situation has to be judged based on the circumstances… I believe the issue with King Saul’s elimination from service was his non-repentant attitude. IF he had repented and bore fruit worthly of that repentance, it is possible he would have allowed to continue in service.

      You bring out a really important point…. it is so true that God forgives but we, as fallen mankind, are not so easily forgiving. That is why it is so important that we guard against sin in our lives… although the Lord forgives us, others (especially ourselves), arent as forgiving. Those who do not forgive can blaspheme God using our actions as the excuse. The issue here is not that we are eliminated from service, but that it makes it more difficult for us to serve with all the past “baggage” in our lives.

      It is difficult for me to say in any instance that, after repentance and giving time to prove we have truly repented, we can no longer be used of the Lord. It may be more difficult but we can still be used of Him. No past sin (that has been forsaken) is so great we can no longer serve our Lord.

      Thank you for your comments. Lord bless you

  5. jeff says:

    I agree. Life is complicated and I think our default mentality toward others is forgiveness and mercy since this is what we desperately need from God and others. If we should lean one way to a fault, it should be toward grace and mercy. Doing this in such a way that upholds justice and righteousness is where it gets tough. God pulls it off, and this is one of our primary struggles in faith, I think.

  6. pj54 says:

    Talk about great minds thinking alike! LOL! I just finished commenting on another one of your posts about the same subject. How I felt “ashamed” because of how long it took me to develop a real relationship with God. That while I had not been not done horrendous things such as murder, or blasphemed, I still looked at Him as a distant being who watched over us. I am so thankful that He woke me up and helped me to realize how much a relationship means to Him.
    God Bless,
    PJ

    • Rob Barkman says:

      I think most of us felt that same way about the Lord at one time or another in our lives. I just thank Him for being a personal Lord who has individual relationships with each of us! Lord bless.

  7. granbee says:

    Indeed, it is ONLY by the Grace of God that ANY of us are used to build His Kingdom–and we CAN have that Kingdom here on Earth–Praise BE to God!

    • Rob Barkman says:

      What a blessing it is to be able to experience His reign in our hearts and lives now. What a more wonderful blessing it will be to be eternally in His perfect kingdom! Lord bless.

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