“For I am the least [worthy] of the apostles, who am not fit or deserving to be called an apostle, because I once wronged and pursued and molested the church of God [oppressing it with cruelty and violence].
But by the grace (the unmerited favor and blessing) of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not [found to be] for nothing (fruitless and without effect).
In fact, I worked harder than all of them [the apostles], though it was not really I, but the grace (the unmerited favor and blessing) of God which was with me.
So, whether then it was I or they, this is what we preach and this is what you believed [what you adhered to, trusted in, and relied on].”
1 Corinthians 15:9-11 (Amplified Bible)
“I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little.
I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.
You can be sure that God will take care of everything you need, his generosity exceeding even yours in the glory that pours from Jesus.
Our God and Father abounds in glory that just pours out into eternity. Yes.
Philippians 4:11-13, 19-20 (The Message)
Take a good look, friends, at who you were when you got called into this life. I don’t see many of “the brightest and the best” among you, not many influential, not many from high-society families.
Isn’t it obvious that God deliberately chose men and women that the culture overlooks and exploits and abuses, chose these “nobodies” to expose the hollow pretensions of the “somebodies”?
That makes it quite clear that none of you can get by with blowing your own horn before God. Everything that we have—right thinking and right living, a clean slate and a fresh start—comes from God by way of Jesus Christ.
That’s why we have the saying, “If you’re going to blow a horn, blow a trumpet for God.”
1 Corinthians 1:26-31 (The message)
“What joy for those whose strength comes from the Lord,
who have set their minds on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.
When they walk through the Valley of Weeping,
it will become a place of refreshing springs.
The autumn rains will clothe it with blessings.
They will continue to grow stronger,
and each of them will appear before God in Jerusalem.”
Psalm 84:5-7 (New Living Translation)
“The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know.
Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble contemplation.
This is the way our Savior God wants us to live.”
1 Timothy 2:1-3 (The Message)
But because God was so gracious, so very generous, here I am. And I’m not about to let his grace go to waste. Haven’t I worked hard trying to do more than any of the others?
Even then, my work didn’t amount to all that much. It was God giving me the work to do, God giving me the energy to do it.
So whether you heard it from me or from those others, it’s all the same: We spoke God’s truth and you entrusted your lives.
1 Corinthians 15:10-11 (The Message)