The Perfect Measure of Grace
Paul understood that without the gift, there would be no grace. This is why Paul warned against those who would forbid marriage (1 Tim. 4:3). We have seen in the modern Roman Catholic Church priests who have been forbidden to marry, though many have neither the gift nor the grace to remain single. The result has been an appalling international scandal that has shamed Christianity and landed many priests behind bars. Paul's singleness was a gift, and with the gift God had given him the grace. Without the grace Paul would not have seen his singleness as a gift but as a burden.
There is also another interesting side note here. Because Paul was given the calling, the 'gift,' and the grace to lead a celibate life, he said, 'I wish that all men were like I myself am.' I have noticed that when the gift and grace are on a person's life to do something, it seems so natural and obvious to them, they think everyone else should be doing it as well. There are two lessons to learn from this principle.
With grace you are able to do with joy what would seem difficult or even impossible to others.
First, don't make the mistake of trying to force those around you to do what God has called you to do, and don't look down on them for doing something other than what you think is so important. Recognise that, as Paul said, 'Each has his own special gift from God, one of this kind and one of another' (1 Cor. 7:7, amp). And second, if you think everyone should be doing one particular thing, chances are, that is what you are called to do! If you think everyone should be an evangelist, you are probably an evangelist. If you think everyone should be a political activist, then that is probably what God is calling you to do!
When God's gift and grace are resting on a person for a certain task or calling, he is able to do with joy what would seem difficult or even impossible to others. It is interesting that as a boy I dreaded the thought of being sent into the jungle in obedience to the call, but today I often go to the 'jungle' preaching the gospel in Africa and around the world'”and I don't know of anything I would rather do. I love my life, and I love my calling as a missionary-evangelist. What I had not taken into consideration as a child was this great truth: the grace comes with the gift, and the grace makes all the difference.
With this understanding, you never need to be afraid to discover God's will for your life. If He calls you to do something, He will also give you the grace to do it. When you are in God's will, covered by His grace, it is the most wonderful place to be in the whole world.
Are you experiencing the joy of living in God's will and being surrounded by His grace? Share your stories below and encourage others.
God has a plan for everyone.
Do you know yours?
This Bible Study has been taken from Chapter 4 of Daniel Kolenda's book, LIVE BEFORE YOU DIE, which is not only a 'wake up call' for you but also offers practical and scriptural insights on how you can discover and fulfil God's will for your life.