Monday 13 February 2012

Bible Book:
1 Timothy

"The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance, Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners - of whom I am the foremost. But for that very reason I received mercy, so that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display the utmost patience, making me an example of those who would believe in him for eternal life." (vv. 15-16)

1 Timothy 1:1-17 Monday 13 February 2012


Paul knew where he had come from. Here was the arch-enemy of theChurch, transformed into arguably its most influential voice andevangelist. He remembered well the cruelty he had shown toChristians he pursued with such vigour. It's difficult tooverestimate the brutality of Saul (as he was then), as by his ownadmission he was a very violent man (verse 13).

After his Damascus road experience everything changed (Acts9). Interestingly it is the patience of Jesus that Paul was sothankful for. Despite the damage he had done to the fledglingChurch, Jesus had a plan for his Paul's life which he had to pinchhimself at times to comprehend.

Paul saw his experience as an example of how great was God'spatience and grace. He offered up his life as an example of apattern that others might see in their own lives. If someone likePaul could be loved and used by God then there was hope for all ofhumankind!

Paul didn't claim to have chosen Christ. It was Christ who chosehim at the point he was throwing his life away, and he was foreverthankful that Christ not only chose him, but trusted and appointedhim to be his ambassador (verse 12).

There is much within this passage which speaks of the value of allhuman beings. The early Christians were wary of Paul when he cameto them not as a persecutor, but as servant and teacher (Acts9:21). It was the presence and power of God's Spirit in hislife, and the love he showed that convinced them he was on theirside!

This is a timely reminder not to write anyone off as being beyondredemption, and also not to underestimate the grace and power ofGod to transform a life that is lost, into a life of service.

To Ponder

How often do you give thanks for the work ofgrace that God has done in your life and that of your Christianfriends?

Have you ever written someone off as 'beyondredemption'? Is so, what does Paul's story say to you?

God calls all kinds of people to a life ofservice or ministry. Have you ever considered the possibility thathe might be calling you? And what might that be?

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