A TRUSTWORTHY SAYING
Thank you, Jesus, for your grace and mercy that have been poured out in abundance for me, allowing me to know you and grow in you.
Read 1 TIMOTHY 1:12-20
The Lord’s Grace to Paul
12 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me trustworthy, appointing me to his service. 13 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. 14 The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.
15 Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. 16 But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. 17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
The Charge to Timothy Renewed
18 Timothy, my son, I am giving you this command in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by recalling them you may fight the battle well, 19 holding on to faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and so have suffered shipwreck with regard to the faith. 20 Among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme.
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Ponder the goodness of God; may praise flow in response. Amen.
I recall being on my knees at the Mercy Seat during a Salvation Army meeting as the officer recited five Scriptures over me. The trustworthy saying recorded in verse 15 was the third of them. Of this verse, Spurgeon writes, “This is one of the ‘little Bibles,’ as Luther used to call them, the gospel in a verse, the essence of the whole Bible is here.”1 Paul is dwelling on the glorious gospel – words of gratitude and praise flow. We will encounter a further two ‘trustworthy sayings’ over the course of these next few days in 1 Timothy.
Having reflected on the grace and mercy of Christ that stretched deep enough to reach even the worst of sinners, is it any wonder that Paul broke out into spontaneous praise (v 17) as he magnifies the eternal, immortal, invisible, and unique characteristics of God? This is an appropriate pattern for us to follow as we recall the grace and mercy extended to us. Maybe take a moment to pause and reflect on the goodness of God toward you. I wonder if there is a song of praise bursting from your lips.
The chapter ends with Paul encouraging his protégé in the battle that lies ahead. The challenge is not small for Timothy, but Paul has spelled out to him the resources he has in the God he serves. As good spiritual mentors do, Paul reminds Timothy of the promises of God previously spoken into his life (v 18). Paul is not specific about the nature of the fight ahead, but he exudes confidence in Timothy’s ability to stand firm. There may be a casualty or two along the way (Hymenaeus and Alexander), but this confidence in Timothy for the fight ahead is found in the armory of faith and a good conscience (v 19).
As many of us face battles, may we, with the psalmist, know ourselves equipped by God with strength.
Thank you, heavenly Father, for who you are and for all you have given me. Help me to tell others about your might, your love, and your salvation.
1 Charles H Spurgeon, Evangelistic Sermons, Marshall Morgan & Scott, 1965, p80 2 Ps 18:39
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