Monday 13 July 2015

Bible Book:
1 Timothy

“I am grateful to Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because he judged me faithful and appointed me to his service, even though I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and a man of violence. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.” (vv. 12-14)

1 Timothy 1:12-17 Monday 13 July 2015

Psalm: Psalm 150


To coin an old phrase: when the heart speaks, the heartlistens.

In today's passage we see the apostle Paul being completelyhonest about his past. He was a blasphemer, a persecutor, a violentand ignorant man. The worst of the worst. And yet he is notashamed, because God's mercy and Christ's sacrifice are enough toredeem even him. Genuine contact with Christ is nothing less thantransformational - if anyone could testify to that, it was Paul.And, presumably, those around him must have been astounded at thedifference: "Golly, he's changed!"

But instead of divorcing himself from his past, blotting it outfrom memory, Paul almost seems to wear it as a badge of honour:"Look how far I've come!" Although he has new identity in Christand will never return to the old ways, he cannot deny his past. Heembraces it as an essential element of his story - a story thatcomes from the heart and speaks powerfully of the miracle ofChrist's love.

It strikes me that perhaps vocation begins with gratitude - anunderstanding of the magnitude of what Jesus has done for us and adesire to respond appropriately. I also believe that vocation isabout 'owning' our own stories, but not allowing ourselves to beowned by them. Paul may have been a violent man, but his past didnot dictate his future. Letting your story speak into your life andthe lives of others can be astonishingly powerful. It doesn't haveto be Paul's story, it doesn't have to be dramatic or unusual - itjust has to be genuine.

When the heart speaks, the heart listens.


To Ponder

  • What is your story?
  • What has Christ done for you?
  • How might you respond? 
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