Grace for Paul, Grace for Us
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.
1 Timothy 1:12- 14
The Apostle Paul has quite a story.
He was very religious, certainly a zealous keeper of the Law. His heart was cold. He constantly ridiculed Jesus’ followers. He participated in the murder of Stephen, a Christian, by holding the coats of the other religious leaders as they threw the deadly rocks that killed him. As a Pharisee, he had a title, which caused him to be prideful, arrogant, and self-righteous, but he had no relationship with the God he supposedly served.
Considering Paul’s past, do you notice that phrase in middle of his comments to Timothy: “even though I was once …”? In spite of making a declaration of his former life, Paul clearly does not let his past history define his future story.
Paul moves forward in faith. No longer ignorant of the life, death, burial and resurrection of Christ, the Holy Spirit drew him to faith on a desert road. A blinding light brought new life to this former persecutor of Christians. As a result, Paul became a passionate follower of the very one he fought against. His unbelief changed to complete trust in the saving power of Jesus Christ and the sustaining presence of the Holy Spirit that flows abundantly to all of us
What will be your story today? Will you follow Paul’s example and trust by faith in Christ’s abundant grace for you?
Today’s Prayer: Dear God, help me to let go of what I used to be and trust Your grace to develop what You want in me. I believe. I want to receive Your grace in a new way this day. In Jesus’ name, Amen.