Lord, thank You for overlooking my past and saving me.
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.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Review how you came to faith, asking God to show you how he was at work. Express your thanks for how his grace has been seen in your life.
Having urged Timothy to pursue the “stewardship of God in faith” (4), which means resisting anything that does not conform to the healthy teaching of the Gospel (10), Paul talks about how God’s way of ordering things has worked out in his own life. He hints at parallels between his state before conversion and that of some of the straying leaders: he, too, was a blasphemer (13,20) and violently persecuted the church. The difference is the grace of Christ: rather than rejecting Paul, a fitting end for such a sinner (15,16), the Messiah, Jesus, saved Paul for his own sake and as an example of his love and grace.
Not only did Jesus save him, but he also considered that Paul could become quite useful, calling him into his service. What happened to Paul shows the boundless patience of Christ, that even such a violent enemy as he could be reconciled to Jesus and receive eternal life.
There is only one fitting conclusion to Paul laying out the stewardship of God in his life: he is carried away into glorifying God for who he is and for what he has done (17). Even such a doxology still expresses a confrontational truth: the only way forward is proclaiming the Gospel boldly, for the God who is known through the Gospel is the only God there is to be known. The implication is clear: everyone must ensure that they are reconciled to God’s way of ordering things, for everything else invites destruction (19,20). Paul’s story holds out hope for leaders who have gone astray—but Timothy is given a clear mandate: confronting false teaching is the
only way of restoring God’s household in Ephesus.
We remember the utterly unexpected turnaround that happened when Paul came to Christ. Pray with confidence for God’s grace to reach those known to you who seem far from Christ.
Lord, thank You for considering me worth salvaging and placing me in Your service.