Ephesians 3:7-8 Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power. Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.
The grace of God is not only saves us but enables us to faithfully serve the Lord. The apostle Paul realized grace was a partner with him and a co-laborer with him. Everything Paul did was enabled by the grace given. That grace enabled him to preach. Grace enabled him to labor more abundantly, to excel, or to do more than most. First Corinthians 15:10 says, “But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured (kopiao – to work hard to the point of fatigue or exhaustion; to toil; to bestow labor; to be wearied) more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.”
We need to realize that we are who we are by the grace of God, and we will do what we are called to do by the same grace. The grace given Paul was not in vain. It would be in vain to have been given the grace to do something and never do it. As stewards of the grace of God, we have been entrusted with grace and it is not to be in vain. God’s grace can be in vain or it can be frustrated (Galatians 2:21). You can be trying to do what you are doing outside the grace given, enabled by your own effort, sufficiency, and strength. The labor acceptable before God is to be enabled by grace. That is why the Word is so important. It’s where we gain knowledge of His grace Acts 20:32. That is why prayer is so important. Prayer is not where we earn God’s grace, but where we learn of God’s grace, in communion with Him. God wants nothing empowered by us. This takes real humility to realize and maintain this.