Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "I Love To Hear The Story"1 (Lyrics)
Galatians 1:15-16 – But when God, who set me apart from my mother's womb and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, my immediate response was not to consult any human being. (NIV 2011)
This verse of Scripture reminds me of my childhood and makes me look back at my life. Did God set me apart from birth and call me by His grace? Dad was a minister and all three of us children were raised as believers. It was taken for granted, never doubted, that we loved Jesus. Did I really understand back then what being a follower of Jesus really meant, or was it just that it was dad's way and we had better respond accordingly? Don't take me wrong. I loved my parents, but it was only at age twelve that I had my first opportunity to kneel before Christ and rise up to face all things by His grace. Do any of us really know what it means to be "called by His grace"?
I now realize that God had set me apart from my mother's womb and called me by His grace. He was pleased to reveal His Son in me. I understood that I was to please Him all the time, and my immediate response was not to look to any human being, but to see Jesus Whose grace held all life's answers. I don't remember talking with anyone about this during my teen years. I just felt that in God I could trust and study under His leadership. I loved the hymn, Trust and obey, for there's no other way. I took that literally. I could trust the Lord Jesus with my life.
Looking back on my years in the ministry, I can now tell the difference between what I struggled to do myself and what God did through me by His grace. In those days, I was never alone — I was able to depend on others to respond positively as we, through God's grace, built Jesus' church together. Yes, I was struggling to start new things but there was never the feeling that I stood alone. But now, in my 80s and aging, I am feeling alone and, yes, very frail. Now I am totally dependent on God's grace to carry me through these difficult years. Undoubtedly, it is my new frailty that brings to the fore God's grace. I could do very little of substance without God's grace wrapping me in His love, and making everything come together in His Spirit. Instead of giving up, I leave it in the grace of God to do whatever He wants of me.
Oh, Jesus, let Your grace be upon me, and touch the others who are reading this with Your wonderful grace. Set our spirits free from all worry about our future and our general health. We are not alone. You are with us. Your grace is upon us. Thank You, Lord!
Prayer: Dear Lord, by Your grace, teach us how to follow You. May we always turn wholeheartedly to You, seeking help with whatever is bothering us. Proverbs 3:5 tells us that we must trust in the Lord with all our hearts and lean not on our own understanding. We commit our way to You, Lord, as You direct our paths. We don't have to lean on our own understanding. Thank You, Lord! Amen.