“For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect…” 1 Cor 15:9-10 NIV 2011
You are who you are. Paul says that he doesn’t feel like he is worthy to be called an apostle. He’s saying, “I am not deserving to be who I am.” He knows his own thoughts (sinful and treacherous as ours are at times), he knows his past (that he was a murderer, a hypocrite, a stumbling block for many to know the true Messiah), and He knows his own limitations – the thorn in the flesh, what he can’t do because he doesn’t have the skills…and yet he comes to this conclusion: “By the grace of God I am what I am.”
He doesn’t deserve to be an apostle, he doesn’t deserve to be counted among the giants of the early faith, those that were part of the 12…and yet, God made him an apostle. God said, “Paul, in spite of all your reasons for not being worthy or capable of being an apostle…you ARE one of the apostles.” You are this.
The phrase “by the grace of God I am what I am” stopped me in my tracks this morning. I think I struggle at times like others in believing “I am that?” It’s almost like, God made a mistake in putting me in this position, by giving me this dream, that vision and purpose, or God ran out of the best qualified people for this place in life so he had to go with the b team of which I am 3rd string on.
At some point, we have to choose, I believe, to be “what I am” by the grace of God. It’s a confidence that says, “I’m going to be who and what God has made me to be” by His grace. You are a dad, an accountant, a leader, a school teacher, an administrative assistant, a coach, a friend, an entrepreneur, a pastor, a mechanic, a stay at home mom, a maintenance worker, a counselor, a single mom or dad, a construction contractor, an artist, a small group leader, a politician, a writer, a dreamer….by the Grace of God. Be who He made you to be and NOT who He made someone else to be. Be what you are by the Grace of God for the Glory of God.