Today's Bible Reading
     II Samuel 4-5
     I Corinthians 15
     Ezekiel 13
     Psalms 52-54
   ''But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me." (I Corinthians 15:10)
In her testimony, Ethel Waters said, ''God never made no junk. "When you put yourself down, that is what you are expressing about yourself - that you are junk.
      As the great Apostle Paul reflects on the life of Jesus, he comes now to a presentation of His resurrection and the power of that resurrection for each of us. As he considers the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus, he is astounded that he would be included among those who saw the Lord in His Resurrection glory. He still felt deep remorse for persecuting the church.  He also recognized the privileges afforded him, of being a recipient of the grace of God.
      Paul knew he was more than just a sinner saved by grace. He was a great sinner made into a great saint by the grace of God. The way we continually talk about our own inabilities is an insult to our Creator. The complaint over our incompetence is to accuse God falsely of having overlooked us.
      It is time we begin to see things from God's perspective.   Some of the things you say about yourself seeking to
sound humble to others are unbelievably inappropriate and disrespectful to God. You are a saint, you are sanctified, and you are somebody - because of His grace.
      To even think for a moment that you are incompetent to serve the King of Kings with great effectiveness and
success reveals an attitude of defiance before God. It may sound humble to others, but you are defying what God has created in you to be used mightily of Him.
      Never be ashamed to say to people, ''Thank God I am saved and sanctified."  That simply means that you have completely surrendered yourself to God and you know He is true. Never worry about whether what you say sounds humble before others or not, but always be humble before God and allow Him to be your all in all.
      There is really only one relationship that matters. That is your personal relationship to your personal Lord. Maintain that at all cost and God will fulfill His purpose through your life. By His grace your individual life may be of priceless value to God's purposes, and to enriching all of those whose lives you touch with yours. There is no limit to what you may become and accomplish by His grace.
      In the Republic of Burundi in Africa, only about 7% of the Twa are Christian. Pray for them and for refugee camps in Tanzania in the Congo, where spiritual life is tough, and where it is difficult to maintain a clear witness. Pray for the churches there.  Pray also for the displaced refugees within Burundi. In this country, the Muslim community, which though small, is growing because of the bad witness of the many Christians ''involved in the killings." Over 700 Muslims perished in the 1995 killings in Burundi.
      ''When we stand before the judgment seat of Christ, He is not going to look for medals, but for scars. Who of us can say with Paul: 'I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus'."(Galatians 6: 17)
W. B. Knight