1 Timothy 1:12-20 – Grace for the Biggest Sinner

“This saying is reliable and deserves full acceptance: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I’m the biggest sinner of all.” (CEB)
 
            Toward the end of his life, the Apostle Paul reflected upon the grace given to him by God.  In writing to Timothy, his protégé, he distilled his reflections into one short succinct phrase: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. 
 
            Before Christ got a hold of his life, Paul actively opposed Christians as much as he could.  He had the persecution of Christ’s followers down to a science.  But God had mercy on Paul and delivered him from his misguided and tortuous ways.
            Paul was forever grateful for the grace of God.  He knew he didn’t deserve anything from God.  Paul knew firsthand the words of the Lord Jesus: “I didn’t come to call righteous people, but sinners.” (Mark 2:17)
 
            Once your heart has been captivated by God’s mercy, you are never the same.  Your life has a new and wondrous perspective.  Your soul is filled with love.  Your mind is changed and charged with the realization that God is not only good but has given you a status as his beloved – a privilege and a position which you neither earned nor deserve.  Gratitude erupts from your lips: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, to save me, the chief of sinners!”
 
            You don’t need a past like Paul’s to know God’s grace.  Whether you are now a follower of Jesus after having lived a life far from God; or, you can’t remember a time when you didn’t know God; or, you grew-up in faith, walked away from it all, then were captured by grace and came back to Christ; from whatever backgrounds we all come from, it is the saving grace, the delivering mercy, the infinite love, the abiding compassion, and the undeserved kindness of Jesus Christ which makes your world spin the opposite direction on its axis.
            Take time throughout the day to utter that simple phrase over and over: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.  What does this mean for the world as it is right now? What does it mean for you?

 

Loving Lord Jesus, there are not words to express my gratitude for your salvation given to me.  I was once lost, but now am found by the endless mercy of God.  May sinners be saved, as was your servant Paul, so that the world will be undone and changed forever by grace.  Amen.

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