A Great Perspective on Life
1 and 2 Timothy are wonderful letters that the apostle Paul wrote to a young man named Timothy; who Paul had taken under his wing and mentored. They are rich letters; filled with doctrine and exhortation. In 1 Timothy 1 Paul writes about his life before and after he received Jesus. Let’s read those words here: 12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry, 13 although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. 14 And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. 15 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. 16 However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life. Paul has the right perspective on life. Before Christ he describes himself as a blasphemer, persecutor and insolent….those are terms that would fit any one, especially an adult, before he/she became a follower of Jesus. So often it seems that people are reluctant to see themselves as God sees them apart from Christ. Then Paul states that his salvation was because of the grace of the Lord. Paul understood that he was not saved because of his own effort.
This is a great perspective on life. Before Christ we are blasphemers, persecutors and insolent. That’s who we are. Then, God reaches into our lives, because of His mercy, and changes us from the inside out. Even more, Paul sees himself as a pattern. Because of Paul’s life of persecution and hatred of Jesus before he became a follower of Jesus, no one could say, “I’m too far gone” to be forgiven. Jesus showed His patience with Paul and He is patient to those we know and love who are rejecting Him now. Of course, that’s not a reason to wait to receive Jesus. We cannot presume upon God’s mercy but I find great encouragement in the way Paul sees his life as part of God’s redemptive purpose. May each of us be able to see and say the same thing.