The Holy Bible (New Century Version – 1 Timothy 1:15-16): 15 What I say is true, and you should fully accept it: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the worst. 16 But I was given mercy so that in me, the worst of all sinners, Christ Jesus could show that he has patience without limit. His patience with me made me an example for those who would believe in him and have life forever.
Thoughts: I believe that these verses speak very loudly to both the believer in Jesus Christ, and to the non-believer (if they would read and accept the written Word of God).
To the believer: I believe that Paul is helping his associate, Timothy, know that he needn’t go into ministering and causing folk to believe that he is superior in faith to them. To us (believers), I believe that God wanted Paul to get across to us that sin is sin, and where God brought us from is no better than where we see those that we are witnessing, or ministering to. However, we are reminded that because of the grace of our Lord Jesus, He looked down in mercy, and because of our separation from God, our unholy lives bore no resemblance to His, however in mercy He heard our prayer, forgave us of our sin and crowned us as children of the King of all kings. As we constantly remind ourselves of where we came from, friends we will better identify with the needs of the unsaved, and we can more readily share with them the kind of loving, merciful, forgiving God that we are recommending to them. Just as Paul shared, we are plain evidence of God’s love and mercy, and we were no more special than the person we are witnessing to, other than we humbled ourselves and surrendered to His call. We gave up that old life and now stand as princes and princesses of the greatest King, only God and Creator, Jesus the only Son of God! Praise be the name of the Lord forever!
To the unbeliever: I believe it is evident that God wanted Paul to make it clear that the same power is available to the unbeliever today that saved Paul, a sinner who was feared by the church because of his undying desire to persecute the church and destroy anything or anyone who claimed the name of the Lord. Yes, in the eyes of many you may be considered a very bad person, but God sees you as His creation, one for whom He allowed His only Son to die on a cruel cross, and one for whom God loves way too much to see you die and go to Hell. Friend, I can safely and accurately tell you this from my personal experience, because I realized some 40 years ago that I needed Christ, and He looked down in love and accepted my plea for forgiveness and oneness with Him. He did it for me, for Paul, and I have every confidence that He will do it for you also friend. Jesus is patiently waiting for your word, what will it be today? Remember, no word at all means ‘No’, and I believe that anyone led to read this devotional today will not make that kind of decision! May God deal gently, but boldly in your heart today, is my sincere and humble prayer for you friend …. because I know that God loves you, and so do I!
Prayer: Jesus, thank You for going to such an extreme to show Your unswerving love for me and all of mankind. Please help me to never forget where You brought me from, in hopes that I can better identify with those that might be far away from You today. I am concerned for my family, friends, coworkers and church attendees who still have not accepted You as Lord, because I firmly believe that Your return is not only eminent, but will happen at any time. I want to meet around Your throne with all my family and friends present. I plead with You today to please melt their hardened hearts and create a desire in them to fully surrender their lives to You, like Paul did and like I and many others have already done. May this be the day of salvation for them today, please, dear Lord. May the unsaved see Your mercy and grace in action today through the many miracles You perform each day in and around us. I bring my praises, these petitions and awesome thanksgiving in the name of the only Savior, Jesus my Lord, AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!