Grace and Purpose
While Paul was out persecuting Christians with great zeal, Jesus appeared to him, and Paul’s life was forever changed.
"But rise and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of the things which you have seen and of the things which I will yet reveal to you." —Acts 26:16
Years later, Paul would reflect on his new life and calling:
"But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me." —1 Corinthians 15:10
While Paul’s experience and his call may be exceptional, it is not unique.
Everyone who is born again by the Spirit of God through faith has a purpose. God’s grace toward us creates vision, motivation and direction.
Paul’s response to his born-again experience was to “labor more abundantly than they all.” This isn’t speaking of works so he would be accepted by God or be loved by Him. This is referring to Paul’s cooperation with God’s purpose for his life and the abundance of grace that was upon him for that purpose.
Grace didn’t make Paul passive.
We all have a purpose—a reason why we are alive. Part of that purpose involves our relationship with God, and part involves our expression of God’s love to the world.
Your purpose may evolve over time. You are graced to be a wonderful spouse or parent. You also may be graced to be a leader, a helper, a giver, a teacher or a business person. (See Rom. 12:6-8)
By God’s grace, you are who you are, and you are equipped to do what He has purposed for you.
Don’t allow His grace toward you to be in vain.