1 Timothy 1:12-17
12 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me trustworthy, appointing me to his service. 13 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. 14 The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 15 Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. 16 But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. 17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
I wonder if you are ashamed of your past. Do you have a past that you would prefer to hide? Currently I am leading an Alpha group and what makes me cry, (yes I cry at the videos), are the testimonies of people who have come to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour and been totally transformed. Many have had a background of abuse, drugs, crime and found Jesus in jail whilst doing the Alpha Course.
They cannot speak of Jesus’ love, grace and transformation without tears rolling down their cheeks. They are so grateful to have found His love, been accepted in a church and found the love of a community, a wife and a family. They are so desperate that their lives will not be repeated in their children’s lives. They seek to please God in every moment and share His gospel of love and grace. They hold Christ’s message as the number one priority in their lives to live for and speak about.
As I read what Paul has written to Timothy (his spiritual son), you hear the same testimony. I was a blasphemer, a murderer, a persecutor, UNTIL CHRIST… The words “But God had mercy on me…” is written twice this passage.
One day when you and I stand before Jesus, He will not look at what we have done before knowing Him, He only will look on what we have done since knowing Him.
Lord with all that I am help me to declare in all situations “But God had mercy on me”. Help me to win the lost and be your hands and feet wherever you take me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Written by Ps. Sue Botta