Sunday, February 07, 2016

The Grace of God That Is With Me

By Melanie Rigney

Anton Losenko (public domain), via Wikimedia Commons
Then one of the seraphim flew to me, holding an ember that he had taken with tongs from the altar. He touched my mouth with it and said, “See, now that this has touched your lips, your wickedness is removed, your sin purged.” (Isaiah 6:6-7)

In the sight of the angels I will sing your praises, Lord. (Psalm 138:1c)

For I am the least of the apostles, not fit 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 has not been ineffective. Indeed, I have toiled harder than all of them; not I, however, but the grace of God that is with me. (1 Corinthians 15:9-10)

They came and filled both boats (with fish) so that the boats were in danger of sinking. When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at the knees of Jesus and said, “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.” For the astonishment at the catch of fish they had made seized him… Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.” (Luke 5:7-8, 9, 10)

Lord, I ask for the grace to put my fears and false modesty aside and serve You.

Isaiah knew he wasn’t worthy to have seen the Lord; he called himself part of “a people of unclean lips.”

Paul knew he wasn’t worthy in and of himself to be called an apostle; after all, he’d persecuted Christians.

Peter knew he wasn’t worthy of Jesus’s gifts; after all, he had grumbled about futility before obeying his friend and putting out the nets one last time.

And yet—each is rewarded, not punished. A seraphim heals Isaiah’s wickedness; Jesus counsels Peter and the others not to be afraid; and Paul realizes his public ministry has come not by his work, but by grace.

It’s so much easier to contemplate our imperfections, our sorry earthly inabilities, our insignificance, than it is to shoulder those burdens, those demons, and follow and serve. And yet, if we are to catch people for the Lord, there is no option. He will make the most of what we have, if we have the faith to follow.

Just for today, put aside your doubts about the Lord’s plan for you. Believe. Be. Act.

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