Daily D – 1 Timothy 1:15-16
This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all. But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life. 1 TIMOTHY 1:15-16 (NLT)
Bad to the bone? Paul says he was before he met Jesus. He thought he was righteous and doing the right things the right way for the right reasons. Then his worldview changed forever. Some things become crystal clear when the only way you can look is up (Acts 9:4).
A great reversal took place in Paul’s heart and mind as he laid there flat on his back. In a moment, in that instant, he realized all he was focused on was wrong. His legalistic righteousness, his meticulous keeping of the Law, had hardened his heart toward God’s love for all people everywhere.
He was blinded by the light. Then when he met Jesus and received his gift of grace, the scales fell away and he could see clearly. No doubt he often wondered how he could have felt so right when he was so wrong.
Reflecting on his life many years after that wake-up call on the Damascus Road, he could put everything in the right perspective. He, the worst of sinners, was the case study for true transformation by the grace of God. He was the prime example of God’s loving patience. If God could save him, he can save anybody.
If God can reorient a death-breathing terrorist, he can change you. Since God saves black-hearted sinners, he can also save respectable sinners. He can save nice people and naughty people and nobody people and somebody people. No one is beyond his reach.
If you are tempted to give up on yourself, know that God has not and will not. If you are tempted to give up on a loved one or friend, know that God has not and will not.
Jesus came into the world to save sinners, even those we have given up on. Who do you know who needs to hear this good news? When will you tell them?
I will tell the good news that Jesus came into the world to save every sinner who will receive his gracious gift.
Our Father, thank you for saving me. Like Paul, I recognize my sin nature. Thank you for your loving forgiveness that is greater than all my sin. Make me an able communicator of this good news of grace and love. Amen.
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Isaiah 41:10 Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will hold on to you with my righteous right hand. (CSB)
Isaiah 38:2, 3 Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD. He said, “Please, LORD, remember how I have walked before you faithfully and wholeheartedly, and have done what pleases you.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly. (CSB)
Isaiah 30:18 Therefore the LORD is waiting to show you mercy, and is rising up to show you compassion, for the LORD is a just God. All who wait patiently for him are happy. (CSB)