GOD LOVES US FOR WHO WE ARE (Lessons from Paul 2)
Most of those Jesus chose to follow Him were blue-collar workers, men and women who worked with their hands. But Paul was totally different. He could work with his hands making tents (Acts 18:1-4) but he was very well educated and trained, a high-ranking Jew who outdid others in keeping the law (Philippians 3:4-9). He was a natural leader. He was gifted, talented and very productive. Yet he doesn’t see himself as special or better than others. In his letters he introduces himself as “a servant of Christ Jesus” (Romans 1:1).
Paul knows he still has room for growth (Philippians 3:12). If there was anyone who could boast about what he was before salvation, or what he did for God after salvation, it was Paul. But he never did so. He recognized that all he had was by God’s grace (1 Corinthians 15:10). He admitted he still struggled with sin (Romans 7:15). He didn’t want to fail in his service for Jesus (1 Corinthians 9:27). He didn’t let his achievements make him think he was better than others or special.
Paul is a good example for us today. Too often we define ourselves by what we do, either by our job or our achievements. We evaluate others by what they do. Many feel that pastors and missionaries are the most spiritual, then come other church leaders and workers. Last are those who “just” attend church. That can make us feel proud of ourselves if we are active in church, or like second class citizens if we aren’t. But when we make popularity equal to spirituality, we are missing all Jesus said about humbly serving God and others.
Do you think God loves you more when you do something special for Him, or loves you less when you fail or sin? Remember, there is nothing you can do to have God love you any more than He now does. And there is nothing you can do to have Him love you any less than He now does. Our worth is not based on what we do, but on who we are. Who we are is a blood-bought child of God, forgiven and destined for eternity in heaven with God. That’s who we are. Nothing we do can add to that or take away from that.
Philippians 3:12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.
1 Corinthians 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.
Are you guilty of evaluating others by what they do? Do you assign more worth to those who are ‘successful’ in life or busy in church activity?
Do you define yourself as a person or Christian by the things you do instead of by who you are as a person?
cto Rev. Dr. JERRY SCHMOYER
Christian Training Organization
(India Outreach, Spiritual Warfare, Family Ministries, Counseling, World View)
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