Day 3: Enabling Grace - Victory - Honor God. Make Disciples.
ENABLING GRACE 8-min read

READ: 1 CORINTHIANS 15:1–11

1Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 2and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. 3For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 5and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 7Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. 9For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. 11Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.  1 CORINTHIANS 15:1–11

People are usually known by two things—who they are and what they do. Most of us define who we are based on history, because it has a way of shaping who we think we are. But one thing that changes or redirects how we see ourselves is the grace of God. His grace enables us to be who we are meant to be and to do what He wants us to do.

Even though we have a sinful past or a past that makes us think we’re not worthy to be recipients of God’s grace, He freely gives this grace to us. The apostle Paul’s transformation through the grace of God may be one of the most radical. He was probably the most feared persecutor of the followers of Christ in his time. He would go from city to city to hunt Christians down and have them stoned to death. Yet, when he encountered Jesus on the road to Damascus, he put his faith in Him.

Grace also affects what we do. What Paul did after his encounter with Christ followed his new identity. He worked harder than all the other apostles to do what God called him to. He became a prolific church planter, wrote most of the New Testament, and raised multiple church leaders. He couldn’t have done any of these apart from the enabling grace of God.

Like Paul, our past is not a hindrance to the new identity we have in Christ. As Christians, we need to understand that we certainly were what we once were, but now we are what we are only by the grace of God. Grace is a reset button for us because it literally resets our identity, so like Paul we can declare: “I am who I am by the grace of God.”

REFLECT

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Knowing that God’s grace changes your identity, there may be some beliefs or mindsets that need to be broken in your life. Identify how you view yourself. If this is contrary to what the Bible says, write a Scripture next to it that gives you a godly perspective. Ask God to reset your identity and declare: “I am who I am by the grace of God.”

What do you believe God’s grace will enable you to do in the coming days, weeks, and months?

The call and purpose of God in our lives is impossible to fulfill without His grace. Ask God for the boldness to preach the gospel or your personal testimony to a close friend today. Write the person’s name on the space below and share some verses that you will be sharing with him or her.

PRAY

Thank You, God, for Your enabling grace. Despite my past and my sins, You have shown grace toward me. I pray that as I pursue Your purpose in my life, I will always remember that it is not my works that changed me but only Your grace. May I walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which I was called, so that Your grace toward me will not be in vain. Every day I will declare that I am who I am by the grace of God. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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BIYAYANG NAGBIBIGAY-KAKAYAHAN 8-min read

BASAHIN: 1 CORINTO 15:1–11

1Mga kapatid, nais kong ipaalala sa inyo ang Magandang Balita na ipinangaral ko sa inyo. Ito ang aral na inyong tinanggap at hanggang ngayon ay pinaninindigan ninyo. 2Sa pamamagitan nitoʼy maliligtas kayo kung panghahawakan ninyong mabuti ang ipinangaral ko, maliban na lamang kung hindi talaga tunay ang inyong pananampalataya. 3Sapagkat ibinigay ko sa inyo ang pinakamahalagang aral na ibinigay sa akin: Na si Cristoʼy namatay upang iligtas tayo sa ating mga kasalanan, ayon sa Kasulatan. 4Inilibing siya ngunit muling nabuhay sa ikatlong araw, ayon din sa Kasulatan. 5Nagpakita siya kay Pedro, at sa iba pang 12 apostol. 6Pagkatapos, nagpakita rin siya sa mahigit 500 na mga kapatid na nagkakatipon. Karamihan sa kanilaʼy buhay pa hanggang ngayon, ngunit ang ilan sa kanila ay patay na. 7Nagpakita rin siya kay Santiago, at pagkatapos sa lahat ng apostol. 8At sa kahuli- hulihan ay nagpakita rin siya sa akin. Ang katulad koʼy isang sanggol na ipinanganak nang wala sa panahon dahil biglaan ang aking pagkakilala sa kanya. 9Ako ang pinakahamak sa mga apostol at hindi nga ako karapat-dapat tawaging apostol dahil inusig ko ang iglesya ng Diyos. 10Ngunit dahil sa awa ng Diyos sa akin, naging apostol ako. At hindi nasayang ang biyayang ipinagkaloob niya sa akin, dahil higit akong nagpagal kung ihahambing sa ibang mga apostol, bagamaʼt itoʼy sa pamamagitan ng tulong ng Diyos at hindi ng aking sarili lamang. 11Kaya nga, walang pagkakaiba kung sila o ako ang nangangaral sa inyo. Ang mahalagaʼy iisa ang aming ipinangangaral at iyon din ang inyong pinananaligan. 1 CORINTO 15:1–11

Ang mga tao ay kadalasang nakikilala sa dalawang bagay—sino sila at ano ang kanilang trabaho. Karamihan sa atin ay kinikilala ang ating sarili ayon sa mga nangyari sa nakaraan dahil malaki ang epekto nito sa paghubog sa pagkakakilala natin sa ating mga sarili. Subalit ang isang bagay na bumabago o nag-iiba ng direksyon kung paano natin nakikita ang ating sarili ay ang biyaya ng Diyos. Ang biyaya ng Diyos ay nagbibigay sa atin ng kakayahan upang maisakatuparan kung sino tayo ayon sa itinakda Niya at upang magawa natin kung ano ang nais Niyang ipagawa sa atin.

Kahit pa mayroon tayong madilim na nakaraan o nakaraan na nagbibigay sa atin ng kaisipan na hindi tayo karapat-dapat na tumanggap ng biyaya ng Diyos, ibinibigay pa rin Niya ang biyayang ito sa atin. Ang pagbabagong naranasan ni apostol Pablo sa pamamagitan ng Biyaya ng Diyos ay maaaring isa sa mga radikal na pagbabago. Malamang ay isa siya sa mga pinakakinatatakutang taga-usig ng mga mananampalataya ng Diyos noong panahong iyon. Pinupuntahan niya ang bawat bayan upang bihagin ang mga Kristiyano at ipapatay sila sa pamamagitan ng paghagis sa kanila ng bato. Subalit nang makatagpo niya si Jesus habang siya ay papunta sa Damascus, nanampalataya siya sa Kanya.

Naaapektuhan din ng biyaya ng Diyos ang ating mga ginagawa. Ang ginawa ni Pablo matapos niyang makatagpo si Cristo ay umayon sa bago niyang pagkakakilanlan. Naging masigasig siya nang higit pa sa ibang mga apostol upang magawa ang iniatas sa kanya ng Diyos. Nagkaroon ng maraming bunga ang pagtatatag niya ng mga iglesya, isinulat niya ang karamihan ng mga aklat sa Bagong Tipan, at nagsanay siya ng maraming mga tagapamahala ng iglesya. Hindi niya magagawa ang anuman sa mga ito kung wala ang biyaya ng Diyos.

Gaya ni Pablo, ang ating nakaraan ay hindi hadlang sa bagong pagkakakilanlan na mayroon tayo kay Cristo. Bilang mga Kristiyano, kailangan nating maintindihan na bagama’t totoo kung ano man tayo sa ating nakaraan, tayo ay nagbago na. Nangyari ito sa pamamagitan lamang ng biyaya ng Diyos. Ang biyaya ng Diyos ang reset button na maaari nating pindutin dahil ito ang tunay na bumabago ng ating pagkakakilanlan upang tulad ni Pablo, magawa nating ihayag na kung ano man tayo ngayon, ito ay dahil sa awa ng Diyos sa atin.

PAGSASAPAMUHAY

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Dahil sa kaalamang binabago ng Diyos ang iyong pagkakakilanlan, maaaring may mga paniniwala o kaisipan kang kailangang buwagin sa iyong buhay. Isulat kung paano mo nakikita ang iyong sarili at kung ito ay hindi naaayon sa sinasabi ng Bibliya, magsulat sa katabing hanay ng isang pahayag mula sa Bibliya na nagbibigay ng maka-diyos na pananaw. Hilingin sa Diyos na i-reset ang pagkakakilala mo sa iyong sarili at ihayag mo na: “Kung sino man ako, ito ay ayon sa biyaya ng Diyos.”

Ano ang pinaniniwalaan mong magagawa mo nang ayon sa biyaya ng Diyos sa darating na mga araw, linggo, o buwan?

Ang tawag at layunin ng Diyos sa ating buhay ay imposibleng matupad kung wala ang Kanyang biyaya. Hingin sa Diyos ang lakas ng loob upang ipangaral ang ebanghelyo o kaya ay ang iyong personal na patotoo sa isang malapit na kaibigan ngayon. Isulat ang pangalan ng taong ito sa nakalaang puwang sa ibaba at ilang pahayag mula sa Bibliya na ibabahagi mo sa kanya.

IPANALANGIN

Maraming salamat, O Diyos, sa biyaya Mo na tumutulong sa amin. Sa kabila ng aking nakaraan at mga kasalanan, ipinakita Mo pa rin ang iyong biyaya sa akin. Idinadalangin ko na habang tinutupad ko ang Iyong layunin sa aking buhay, lagi kong maaalala na ako ay nagbago hindi dahil sa anumang ginagawa ko kundi dahil sa Iyong biyaya. Nawa ay mamuhay ako nang naaayon sa tawag Mo sa buhay ko, upang ang biyaya Mo sa buhay ko ay hindi mawalan ng saysay. Ihahayag ko araw-araw na kung sino man ako ngayon, ito ay dahil sa awa Mo. Sa pangalan ni Jesus, amen.

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GRACE THAT ENABLES 8-min read

READ: 1 CORINTHIANS 15:1–11

1Brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the good news I preached to you. You received it and have put your faith in it. 2Because you believed the good news, you are saved. But you must hold firmly to the message I preached to you. If you don’t, you have believed it for nothing. 3What I received I passed on to you. And it is the most important of all. Here is what it is. Christ died for our sins, just as Scripture said he would. 4He was buried. He was raised from the dead on the third day, just as Scripture said he would be. 5He appeared to Peter. Then he appeared to the 12 apostles. 6After that, he appeared to more than 500 brothers and sisters at the same time. Most of them are still living. But some have died. 7He appeared to James. Then he appeared to all the apostles. 8Last of all, he also appeared to me. I was like someone who wasn’t born at the right time. 9I am the least important of the apostles. I’m not even fit to be called an apostle. I tried to destroy God’s church. 10But because of God’s grace I am what I am. And his grace was not wasted on me. No, I have worked harder than all the other apostles. But I didn’t do the work. God’s grace was with me. 11So this is what we preach, whether I or the other apostles who preached to you. And that is what you believed. 1 CORINTHIANS 15:1–11

The heroes we see in movies usually have two identities: their real identity and their identity as a hero. Spider-Man’s true identity, for example, is a teenage boy named Peter Parker. But Peter first encountered a radioactive spider that bit him. This gave him powers that changed the way he saw himself and made him into the hero called Spider-Man. In the same way, when we experience God’s grace, it changes how we see ourselves and enables us to be and do what He wants us to be and do.

The apostle Paul had one of the most amazing transformation stories in the Bible. Christians of his time were terrified of him because he would hunt them down and kill or imprison them. But when Paul encountered Jesus on the road to Damascus, he put his faith in Jesus and was totally changed.

Not only does God’s grace change our identities, it also affects what we do. After becoming Spider-Man, Peter Parker had new and bigger goals. He no longer lived the way he used to. In the same way, Paul now worked very hard to do what God called him to do. He was an excellent preacher, wrote most of the New Testament, and raised many church leaders. But he couldn’t have done any of these without the enabling grace of God.

Like Paul, what we did in the past cannot stop us from fulfilling our new identity in Christ. God’s grace is like a reset button that allows us to start with a new identity. Like Paul, we can declare, “Because of God’s grace I am what I am.”

REFLECT

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In your journal, draw how you imagine you looked before and now. Can you describe how you used to view yourself (e.g., scared, unimportant)? How do you view yourself now that you know your identity in Christ (e.g., courageous, helpful)? You can be creative and become a hero yourself!

PRAY

Thank You, God, for Your enabling grace. Even with my past and my sins, You have shown me grace. I pray that as I live for Your purpose in my life, I will always remember that it is not my works that changed me, but only Your grace. I pray to live and act the way You want me to every day. Thank You for the grace that reminds me of who I am in You.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

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