I was reading this passage and thinking of how we are all indebted to Jesus. We have done terrible things in our lives but He showed us such love and grace that we could only respond in humility and gratitude. There are times when my past comes back to haunt me but then I remember Jesus’ love and forgiveness.
Paul writes to Timothy about his past. He shares how he was once an enemy of the church. He blasphemed the Lord and persecuted His people but it was done in ignorance. How many of us have not done things that we later regret out of ignorance?
Paul spoke of how Jesus poured out His grace on him. “He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry.” How many of us are called into ministry after the Lord has shown us mercy? I have heard of men who once on the wrong side of the law become pastors. At a Women’s Ministry program, a speaker shared her testimony of how life was for her before she found Jesus. She used to be a drug addict.
It doesn’t matter where or how we encounter Jesus. What matters is that once we surrender to Him, He can do remarkable things in our lives. When people see how the Lord has transformed a person you never would imagine would become a Christian, they can’t help but be amazed and curious. When Paul began preaching after his conversion, many people were amazed. They couldn’t believe that it was the same person who used to a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man. In his eyes, he was a chief sinner among the sinners whom Jesus came to save. I can almost hear the regret in his words but he sees something positive in this. As the worst sinner of them all, he can be used to demonstrate how patient Jesus is towards the worst of sinners. He, Paul will serve as an example to all who in the future should trust Jesus for eternal life.
We, like Paul, are indebted to Jesus for His love, kindness, mercy, grace and patience. He loved us even when we were rejecting Him. All that time when Paul was persecuting the church, Jesus loved him. He knew Paul’s heart. He knew that Paul was acting out of ignorance and He knew that He could redirect that zeal. This explains why Paul was so passionate in his work as a minister. He testified, “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me” (1 Corinthians 15:10). It is as if he were working hard to show Jesus that His mercy toward him had not be in vain.
Let us show the Lord how much we appreciate His grace toward us. Let us do this by the way we live, how we treat others and in whatever work He has called us to do.
Thank You, Jesus for saving us and using us to bring other lost souls to You.