DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2020-08-26
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL
BIBLE REFERENCE: 1 Timothy 1:15-16
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)
BIBLE TEXT: 15 This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all. 16 But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life.
OBSERVATION: Things often happen in life so that…. As we meditate on this Scripture today and really become reacquainted with the conversion of the greatest of sinners, the apostle Paul, I believe this will cause you to reflect on scenarios in your own life where strange things happened for unknown reasons. Perhaps you might be enlightened to the reasons God really had in mind at the time that major change came your way!
APPLICATION: People often question ‘Why do bad things happen to good people?’, while others may question ‘How Could something so wonderful happen to such an evil person’. These are questions you may often ponder as you look around you each day, but the story of Paul is a very interesting turn of events that we learn from the Bible. For Paul was known as the chiefest of sinners in his day. His mission was to destroy the Christians and stop the work of the Lord in his region. Wait a minute, you might say, isn’t this the same Paul that wrote most of the New Testament? And the answer to that question is a resounding ‘Yes’. Can’t you see that we are reminded once again why there is a God, rather than us doing the judging and sentencing, based on our personal opinion? I’m sure that Paul wouldn’t have stood a chance with us, but God – so rich in mercy, and full of grace, He saw great purpose in saving Paul and using Him in the very ministry that he was determined to destroy. But notice Paul’s take on this in our Scripture today. God didn’t save him so that he could increase his bank account, nor to save him from harm throughout the communities where he would continue to work, nor to keep him safe from the authorities, but in Paul’s words, Jesus saved even him, even in his sinful state – a persecutor of God’s children, so that others might see this and know that if God did such for Paul, there was still a chance that they too might be forgiven and accepted by the Master. In applying this Scripture, I want to share a story about a cousin who fell to his death from an electric pole, and he died. I’m not sure of his age, but I would guess that he was in his early 30’s. A definite tragedy for the whole family. However, the day following this tragedy, my dad went to his farm, as usual, but on that day God met him in a very real and personal way. Upon returning to our hometown, my dad didn’t stop by our home, but went straight to the church and met with a lay leader, who shared Christ with Dad, and he walked out of that church that day as a born again Christian. Some 50 years later and I still remember the family meeting that dad called that night, as he wanted to share his story with all of us. Dad was a Christian leader in his home, and a leader in his church. Most of his children accepted the Lord, and one has been heavily involved in leadership in his church. Only God can say if He took my cousin’s life so that my dad could accept Jesus as Lord, but praise God that through that tragedy my dad’s life was saved, and consequently most of his children. So should we question God when bad things happen to ‘good’ people? I’m sure that God will understand our sorrow, disappointment and our distraught, but we must always look for the good that will come from circumstances in our lives. We must not dare question the God of this universe, for what He does is well done. We will probably never praise Him for our loss, but hopefully we could praise Him day and night for touching the lives of our loved ones, through our loss. It is also imperative that we recognize that the miraculous transformation in Paul’s life, showed many others that it was not too late for them. They too could seek the Master and ask for His forgiveness of their sin. Our unsaved loved ones may have heard about Jesus, but often it is not until they see Jesus in action, that they are convinced that He could just as easily save them as He did for Paul and other family members. So please don’t keep your salvation buried inside. Let the whole world know, as you ask God to work on the unsaved who are looking for proof.
PRAYER: Thank You Lord for looking down in total grace and saving our Brother Paul. We could see clearly that his salvation experience helped to save many others who felt hopeless from the sin that held them back. Praise God, You also saved many of us as well, and people all around us still need the Lord. Oh that they may see proof that Jesus exists, because they see ongoing evidence in our lives. Please strengthen the witness of my readers and I as we seek to represent You well, and share Your love for us with all those that we come into contact with – until the whole world knows! AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might 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 Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while you be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!