God’s Glorious Grace
Gracious Lord, I praise You for Your boundless mercy and grace that You’ve shown me in Your Son, Jesus Christ.
Read 1 TIMOTHY 1:12-20
 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service.  Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief.  The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.  Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners-of whom I am the worst.  But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life.  Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.  Timothy, my son, I give you this instruction in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by following them you may fight the good fight,  holding on to faith and a good conscience. Some have rejected these and so have shipwrecked their faith.  Among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectHow does Paul describe God’s actions on his behalf?
“Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst” (15). Paul calls himself the worst of sinners despite his exemplary Jewish background, his training from Gamaliel—a highly respected teacher—and despite being himself a Pharisee. Probably Paul calls himself the worst of sinners due to his persecution of Christians before his conversion.
I think it’s amazing that God would choose Paul for a major role in his Church. Can you imagine a major politician choosing a fierce opponent to serve on his staff? Paul blames his former actions on ignorance (13). We may also have done things we regret, but because of God’s grace and mercy all our sins are forgiven through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Paul warns us in v. 18 to fight the good fight. As Christians we should not just cave in when we come up against the spiritual obstacles and challenges the devil can put in our way. Jesus is a great example to follow in this: whatever challenge he had to face, he kept on following the Father, just as we should, too.
Meditate briefly on how God has blessed and used you in spite of your sin and failings. Give God the praise.
Pray for God to guide you through any challenges and include two or three you’ll face over the next few days.
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