I Am What I Am
Continue to work in and with me, Lord, because I love You, and desire to serve You fully.
Read 1 TIMOTHY 1:12-20
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.
“Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now am found; was blind but now I see” (John Newton).
Paul continues his theme that true teaching and sound doctrine are what really matter. His life is proof that the gospel of God’s grace really works: he had been a campaigner on behalf of the law in his previous life, but now he knew that obedience to the law was insufficient. He emphasizes the importance of the gospel with the “trustworthy saying” that Christ came to save sinners (15).
There are two clear themes which we need to note: the need for an honest evaluation of ourselves, and an awareness of how God has richly provided for us. Paul knew himself and he knew God. Certainly, God had called him (11), but alongside the sense of privilege and stewardship was an acute awareness of his unworthiness (13,16). As a former persecutor, he was the worst of sinners. Now he knew that God’s grace provided all that he needed: first, strength (12) — God’s power enabling us to carry out the work to which God has called us; second, mercy (13) — God’s action of free forgiveness. If God had forgiven Paul, no one can say they are beyond God’s mercy (16). Of course there’s grace (14) which God lavishes upon us. It is true for us, whatever we might face today.
Every Christian needs this dual understanding, of ourselves and of God. The worst thing in the Christian life is the arrogant Laodicean conviction that we are rich and have need of nothing. The best thing in the Christian life is to live by Jesus’ first manifesto statement of the kingdom of God: “How blest are those who know their need of God” (Matt. 5:3 NEB). None of us can say that our God-given work is beyond our abilities if we realize our dependence on him and receive the resources that he longs to give us.
Pray for God’s resources to be evident in your life today and every day. “Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power” (Eph. 6:10).
Amazing God, when I think of my salvation, this is my prayer, “Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.”
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