Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.
For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.
God created all things, so that all things not only belong to God through creation, but also are from God, and through God. So strictly speaking, all of life is a gift from God. What we do with the gift is another thing altogether, and it’s quite evident that humankind’s stewardship of God’s gift is a mixed bag, with much good done, along with evil. And with a pull toward what is not good, essentially toward idolatry as we put ourselves and other gifts above the Giver.
What we all need is a special grace beyond creation into the new creation in Jesus. For us to carry on in God’s will at all will require the grace not only given to us in creation, but in new creation in and through Jesus and his death and resurrection.
God meets us with that grace in and through Jesus in our time of need, which actually includes every moment in everything. That we can do anything at all ourselves is due to the God who in Jesus holds all things together, giving us existence. And we need much more than that: sins forgiven, new life which begins in this life, and yet preparing us for the life to come. Through simple faith we enter in to this special realm of grace, and we continue on, come what may, confident not in ourselves, but in God, and the grace God has promised.
The grace of God in and through Jesus our Lord.