We are still in the Easter season serving and trusting in the power of the resurrected Lord. It is very important for every individual to know that our service is futile without the grace of God. It is by grace that we are saved. Service begins at the cross of Jesus where he emptied his life as a ransom for all of us. We were wicked, helpless and without hope. By grace Christ died for us so that through him we can have eternal life.
Therefore what is grace?
• Unmerited favor’ or ‘getting what you don’t deserve
• Grace is love coming at you that has nothing to do with you, it is about God
• Grace is an influence or a force or a power or an acting of God that works in us to change our capacities for work, suffering and obedience.
It is important to know what grace is not in order to serve better.
• Grace is not a license to sin: “For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.” Romans 6:14
• It does not neglect responsibility:
• It does not facilitate rebellion
Grace ushers us into Service– “As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” 1 Peter 4:10.
What we are talking about is offering your life, your gifts, time and space to work for the Lord. Paul knew that his service for the lord was entirely and act of grace. A prominent lawyer, meeting Jesus along the way and by grace he was changed from a killer to an evangelist. It is indeed amazing that God would take a Hebrew of the Hebrews, a Pharisee, and a persecutor of the church to be the main minister of the mystery, of the work of the gospel in bringing Jew and Gentile together into one new body. Paul called himself a prisoner of Christ Jesus sent to the Gentiles: During his Roman imprisonment Paul was under house arrest. In the day he was free to move around the house with the supervision of soldiers, but every night he was chained to a soldier to make sure he did not escape before his trial before Caesar. Yet he saw himself as the prisoner of Jesus Christ and knew that Jesus was the Lord of his life, not the Roman government.
A steward of the grace of God understands their mandate and trusts God for direction. This God was revealed to him by Jesus and his assignment was to the Gentiles.
Through the gospel, the gentiles became partakers of the grace of God, they are joint heirs with Christ. By grace we are all children of God bought by the precious blood of His Son. We are all called to serve as a means of appreciating the grace extended to us through Jesus Christ and are partakers of the promise in Him.
Conclusion: It is evident that our service to God is not by our own ability but by the grace of God. The Jews were the original recipients of God’s Grace through Jesus Christ from the root of Abraham but in this passage we see the Gentiles being included in the agenda of salvation. Paul clearly puts it that serving God and preaching to the Gentiles is a gift of God’s Grace through God’s power. Dear brothers and sisters, have you ever desired to serve God? I would like to encourage you to pray for God’s grace and divine ability, through a sound relationship with Jesus Christ in your life. Blessings.
The Very Rev. Canon Dr. Rebecca Nyegenye,