I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service, though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. —I Timothy 1:12-16

The Apostle Paul is a prime example of God’s patience.  Paul acknowledges that he was the foremost of the worst of sinners.  He had a proper view of himself and also acknowledged that he formerly “was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent.”

  • A blasphemer by word and action— “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads…  ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’” —Acts 26:14-25
  • A persecutor— “For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it.” —Galatians 1:13
  • Insolent/violent— “On the authority of the chief priests I put many of the Lord’s people in prison, and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them. Many a time I went from one synagogue to another to have them punished, and I tried to force them to blaspheme. I was so obsessed with persecuting them that I even hunted them down in foreign cities.” —Acts 26:10-11

But Paul, like us, “acted ignorantly in unbelief.”  We, like Paul, received mercy (not getting the judgment we deserve) and the Lord’s grace (His undeserved favor upon us) overflowed to us.  Now He has filled us with faith and love.  “Jesus came into the world to save sinners.”  Paul is an example of how patient our Lord is with people and how our Lord saves those who believe in Him for forgiveness of sin and eternal life.

            Have you called on His Name to save you and give you eternal life?  Have you acknowledged that you a sinner and need to be forgiven?  If not, do so now.  Why wait if you understand what Jesus has done for you?

Dear Father thank You for drawing me to Jesus.  Oh, be pleased to work through me to encourage others to do the same.  May this be so by the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Your Precious Son Jesus.

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