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By the Grace of God (2003-11-30 - 8:32 a.m.)

“By the grace of God, I am what I am.” That is the title of the Chambers reading for November 30. The first sentence says, “The way we continually talk about our own inability is an insult to the Creator. The deploring of our own incompetence is a slander against God for having overlooked us.” We say these types of things in order to sound humble in front of men. We say things like, “I’m not a saint,” thinking to sound humble, when in reality, we offend God, who has, in effect, made us saints. It is an attitude of defiance. Of course, the opposite is true, as well. Things that sound humble before God may sound arrogant before men. But then, we shouldn’t really be worrying about how we sound before men.

Christ told Peter, in John 21, what kind of death he would experience. John added to it by explaining that Peter would glorify God by this death. The key to this passage is that Christ was telling this to Peter after he, himself, had risen from the dead. This fact should have given Peter the encouragement to go ahead and meet that death, which he did. History records that Peter was crucified upside down (by his own request, as he did not think himself worthy to be crucified in the same manner as his Lord) during one of Nero’s persecutions in the mid-sixties AD. How will we face death? Will we glorify God with our own death?

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