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Grace And Good Works

The grace of God is not only His dynamic for producing spiritual fruit in our lives, but it is also His means of developing good works in us as well. The Apostle Paul had a powerful testimony to this truth. Paul became an early church leader who was engaged in more good works than any other believer. “I laboured more abundantly than they all.”
No one worked harder in ministry than Paul did. He travelled the known world preaching the gospel. He discipled those who put their trust in the Lord Jesus. He gathered those believers into churches, often functioning as their initial pastor. Then, he would appoint leaders and even visit them on occasion for further encouragement and training.

Additionally, he wrote major portions of the New Testament, typically while locked up in prison.Yes, Paul “laboured . . . abundantly.” In another letter he wrote: “To this end I also Labour, striving” (Col_1:29). Elsewhere he stated: “For you remember, brethren, our labour and toil; for labouring night and day . . . we preached to you the gospel of God” (1 Thessalonians 2:9). As he wrote the believers in Corinth he recalled: “Are they ministers of Christ . . . I am more: in Labours more abundant . . . in journeys often . . . in weariness and toil” (2Co_11:23, 2Co_11:26-27).

How startling to learn that Paul was not the cause behind this wondrous effect. This seen in his confession: “yet not I.” Paul exerted himself for the sake of the gospel of Jesus Christ. How can a man labour actively and yet not be the cause of it all? The answer is in the remainder of his testimony: “yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.” God’s grace at work in Paul’s life was the effective dynamic that brought forth such godly labour here on earth. “But by the grace of God I am what I am.” If we put our hope in the Lord, His grace will prove effective in our lives as well, giving us a testimony similar to Paul’s: “and His grace toward me was not in vain.”
Access to this transforming grace is once more linked to the two relational realities of humility and faith. Paul humbly admitted this fact:” yet not I.” He also exercised faith in this outcome truth: “but the grace of God which was with me.”

Prayer Confession
O God of all grace, I cry out to You to work Your grace in my life, producing abundant good works in me, as You did in Paul. Lord, I desire to Labor in Your service. I am encouraged to see that I do not need to measure up to Paul myself. I only need to trust in Your grace, the same grace that was not vain in Paul’s life. So, humbly confessing my inadequacy, I exercise faith in Your effective grace, in Jesus holy name, Amen.

Further Bible Readings, Col_1:29, 1 Thessalonians 2:9, 2Co_11:23, 2Co_11:26-27

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