Grace for the Worst

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope…

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service. 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. The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.

Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners-of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen. (1 Timothy 1:1, 12-17 NIV)

Have you ever wondered why God chose you? Maybe you have read that Jesus said in John 6:44, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him…” You might have even heard that if Christ is ‘lifted up’ He will draw all people to Him (John 12:32). But, why did God choose us, individually, to be drawn to Himself. The answer is actually very simple. God chose us so that we can be an agent to draw others to Him. God granted us His mercy and forgave our sins so that we might testify of His goodness and compassion to others. And as a result, others will be drawn and come to Christ as well.

Paul echoed this thought in his first letter to the young minister, Timothy, who was like a son to him. He explained to Timothy his past persecutions and violence against the believers and how he was once full of wrath. Seemingly, Paul (whose name had been Saul back then) had no conscience. That is, of course, until God took hold of his life! Everything changed in Paul’s life and word spread that the man who once raised havoc in Jerusalem trying to arrest the believers (see Acts 9:20) was now fully committed to the teaching of Jesus as the risen Christ, the Son of God and Savior. In recounting this to Timothy, Paul said that it was because of these things in his past that he was called into Christ’s service, that he might proclaim that the very same mercy and forgiveness shown to him was available to everyone else as well. He felt that he was the worst of all sinners and that if God’s grace could save and restore him, it would certainly do the same for everyone else.

Friend, that same grace is available to us today. What is more is this…that same grace needs to shine through us today as well.

So why would God choose us? He chose us so that He could show His glory to the world. No, we might not have been as mean and wrathful as Paul, but while we were sinners (while we were still practicing our sins as Romans 5:8 points out) God still chose to offer us His grace. God took hold of our lives and now we too can say that things from our old lives have changed. Others have noticed—or will notice—those changes. Now, because they can see the changes in us, they may be drawn to God as a result!

Let that be our aim—our prayer—today and have a wonderful day in His grace!
Ron sigimg1

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