EPH 3:8 To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ,
EPH 3:9 and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God, who created all things;
EPH 3:10 in order that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.
The least of all saints was given the most vital mission. If we are honest and forthwith with the reality of our calling (to be Christlike in each of our everyday lives) we must conclude that we also have been given, blessed with, the most vital mission. And none of could say that we are any better than Paul, the least of all saints. If we’re all equally depraved and alienated from God at birth, then mathematically, we are all equal as the least.
How do the unworthy walk worthy of God’s calling? The grace (unmerited favor) of God put into operation.
How can we, all unworthy and without anything to offer God, be so wonderfully holy, powerful, and wise? The grace of God. How can we continue to be so when we fail to do it often enough that despair and withdrawal are tempting? The grace of God.
Follow the One who never needed to repent.
And in a personal way, deep within our hearts, only known to those who have done it often enough, there is a looking to Jesus, the Author and Ruler of our faith, in Whom we find the desire and tenacity to press on and grab hold of the grace given to us.
The unworthy, empowered by grace, love others.
Enmeshed within the desire and the ability to go on with joy and perseverance, there is the mercy and grace shown to all of our brethren.
GAL 6:1 Brethren, even if a man is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, lest you too be tempted.
GAL 6:2 Bear one another's burdens, and thus fulfill the law of Christ.
GAL 6:3 For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.
GAL 6:4 But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have reason for boasting in regard to himself alone, and not in regard to another.
GAL 6:5 For each one shall bear his own load.
Only those who take seriously their calling in Christ know how bad they are. They who desire purity are the most aware of their own failure to do so consistently.
We are all unworthy nothings who have been blessed by the grace of God, and with that grace we live in holiness and purity in the same pattern seen in our Lord. When we take that calling seriously, meaning that we choose to strive in it every day, with every person, in every circumstance, we lose all illusions of self.
We must bear our own load, the results of our own decisions, good and bad. In compassion and grace, knowing our own unworthiness and our own forgiveness, we bear the burdens of others when we find them failing and weak. Not comparing ourselves. That is the one thing we must not do. Comparison with others is a manifestation of the great sin in the Bible - pride.
Pride is essentially competitive, only finding pleasure in having more than the next guy.
Pride is competitive by its very nature. Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man.
We say that people are proud of being rich, or clever, or good-looking, but they are not. They are proud of being richer, cleverer, or better-looking than others.
Pride has been the chief cause of misery in every nation and every family since the world began.
Other vices, wrong as they are, can sometimes bring people together: you may find a certain fellowship of jokes and friendship among drunken people or unchaste people. But pride always means enmity - it is enmity; and not only between men, but to God as well.
In pride the wicked hotly pursue the afflicted;
The proud look of man will be abased,
And the loftiness of man will be humbled,
And the Lord alone will be exalted in that day.
And Christ comes into this world and crushes man’s pride.