“But by God’s grace I am what I am, and His grace toward me with not ineffective.” (1 Corinthians 15:10a CSB)
Personally experiencing the grace of God is one of the bedrock truths of who we are as Christians. Paul understood this truth with great depth as he tried to express the concept to the Corinthians. He recognized that his entire identity was shaped by the grace of God and bonded to the grace of God. He had once persecuted the church, but experiencing God’s grace “up close and personal” effectively changed him, his identity, and his entire life-orientation. The old had gone, and the new had come.
We also who have personally experienced God’s grace and continually do so have been shaped by it and are still being shaped by it. We are a work in progress. Grace has had its impact. And it still does. We are who we are by God’s grace. And what we will be continues to take shape. God alone knows what this is, and He will keep working on it.
Someone once asked Michaelangelo how he sculpted such beautiful pieces such as the Pieta. His response was, “I see the image in the rock and remove what doesn’t belong.” Sometimes God’s grace involves removal of what is not needed. Sometimes it involves adding what is.
We thank You, Lord, for Your grace and for the effectiveness it has in our lives. Amen.