Journal Entry // August 18, 2022
And they glorified God because of me. (ESV)
A changed life is what Paul is speaking about in this passage. A life that he once thought was dedicated to serving God but was actually persecuting the Son of God. A life that was full of zeal and passion for the things of God but was so full of pride and self-righteousness that then led him to work against the gospel and the Kingdom of Christ. It was not until Paul encountered the risen Jesus and was given a new heart and had become a new creation that Paul was then able to see Jesus as his true and only Savior. His life changed instantly and completely. The man who once sought to destroy the church of Christ was now not only a part of the congregation, but one of its leading advocates. This complete life change, that was only by the hand and appointment of God himself, is the canvas that was used to demonstrate the power and grace and mercy of Christ. And it was this godly life changing picture that encouraged and motivated the people to glorify God because of Paul. Not because of what he had done, but because of what God had done.
This is the motivation I need every day. I am a canvas that the Lord is using to paint a picture of his goodness and kindness and mercy and grace. Each stroke he makes upon this canvas of my life is important. There are no stray strokes or meaningless additions. My canvas is being filled by the righteous holy working of the Lord’s artistry and pleasure. Isn’t that an amazing thought? Every person’s life is a different picture that reflects our Creator and Savior. Each individual is unique and displays the grace and goodness of Christ in a different manner. All of my life circumstances and decisions and actions, my character and abilities, my passions and desires are all a part of the beautiful painting that the Lord is working in and through me. All for his glory alone.
Yet, he allows me the opportunity to participate in the painting. He allows me to be part of the process of developing and growing in righteousness and faithfulness. He takes my imperfect strokes and offerings upon this canvas and weaves them into the perfect story he is telling through my life. He takes my fears and guilt and shame to be a part of his story of redemption and forgiveness and humility. Every breathe that I take is a purposeful and thoughtful stroke upon the canvas and important to the overall picture of my life. This picture is not defined by the sin and errors that I have brought upon myself. No, this picture is defined by the grace and steadfast love of Christ for me through it all. The picture that is being painted is a reflection of the gentle heart of my loving Savior. All for his glory alone.
This is what I want to always remember and keep at the forefront of my mind. I want to truly understand the grace and mercy of grace working in my heart. When I fail, I should not hide but seek the steadfast love of Christ. If it takes 100 times today, then I need to turn to Christ 100 different times for forgiveness. His grace and mercy is a vast and bottomless sea that has no shore. His grace and mercy are never diminished. His grace and mercy only increase as he lavishly wraps his arms around me. This is the glory of Christ revealed in me. A sinner saved by grace through faith in Christ alone. A man who wants to be humble and desires only to serve his good and kind Master. A man that seeks only one thing in this life… “And they glorified God because of me.”