For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles. Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you, that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly.
Fred A. Canfil, then United States Marshal for the Western District of Missouri saw a desk sign while visiting the Federal Reformatory at El Reno, Oklahoma. It inspired him to have a slightly different sign made for his friend, President Harry Truman. His “The Buck Stops Here” sign says so much in just a few words.
How does a President get power and authority? Where do they come from? Power and authority are given to the President. They come from the voters, Congress, and The Constitution. But once he receives them, he has responsibility for using them wisely.
Paul’s saying something similar here. He received grace from God. He didn’t earn it, it was a gift. But that’s only the start of the story. Paul has an active partnership in what happens now. Where and how God uses them.
When God gives us his grace, we also receive the God given responsibly of using it. We need to seek God’s face to answer these questions.
How do we use it?
Where do we use it?
When do we us it?
When Paul received the administration of God’s grace, he not only got his grace, but responsibility for using it. Paul’s accountable for how he publicly uses God’s grace, gifts, talents, abilities. Paul’s been given authority before God for the management, overseeing, and administration of God’s grace given to him.
Administration does not stop with receiving. It’s the jumping off point, but not the journey or destination. Yes, administration starts with using what God has given, but goes forward from there. It includes development, strengthening and discipline required to grow and maintain what God has given.
Yes, God is the source of all grace, power, and truth. And he gives most graciously. But when we receive from God, we have choices to make.
If and how we respond – Do we step forward in faith, depending on him, when an opportunity comes up?
If and how we search – Do we patiently look for new opportunities to use what God has given us?
If and how we exercise – Do we develop strength, endurance, and expertise by repetition and learning new skills?
If and how we invest – Do we spend time, energy, and money to refine existing abilities while learning new ones?
Consider the gifts, talents, and abilities that you have. Think back on how you got them. Think about how they appeared. How’ve they’ve grown, blossomed, and produced fruit over the years.
If you’re anything at all like me, you’ll be totally blown away at how God has moved. How we’ve grown and changed. All that we’ve learned. How he’s used us in the lives of people. And all of it is for his glory and the good of many people.
But at the same time, I see where he’s acted even though I was out to lunch spiritually. So many missed opportunities where I didn’t choose to act or think for him,. Or missed openings where I let my pride get in the way and shut God out.
It makes me fall down before God in confession, acknowledging my selfish ambition, wanting the attention and glory.
It makes me admit my daily, hourly need for him in every nook and cranny of my life.
It makes me look up in utter amazement at his forgiveness and not giving up on me.
It makes me more energized and determined than ever before to live for him, wherever and however he wants.
To say the least, I haven’t arrived. Sometimes I think I haven’t even gotten off the starting line. But God has stayed with me all these years. He’s never abandoned me.
The promise of God is there for you too. In Jesus Christ, he’s given you gifts. Now is the time to start using them in a new and superb way. For his kingdom, For his glory. For the good of those around you.
How can we not give him everything we have and are? It all comes from him to start with.
How does God want to actively show his grace to you?
In what ways can you display and deliver God’s grace to others?
Who are the hardest people to show God’s grace to? Why?
 Unless otherwise noted, all Bible references are from the New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.  https://www.trumanlibrary.gov/education/trivia/buck-stops-here-sign