“Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy… ” (1 Timothy 1: 15-16)
Any time I find myself reading, again, these words that Paul wrote to encourage Timothy, I am filled with excitement. I think it’s the portion that says “but for that very reason” I like the most. It reminds me of the words in the Book of Acts after Paul’s conversion (previously known as Saul) when God instructs Ananias to go find Saul because this man was his chosen instrument, to carry the message to the Gentiles. (Acts 9)
I guess I love this because it’s so vastly different from how the world would pick “chosen instruments.” The world (and us humans) tend to look at the past resume and, typically, the murderers are the first ones eliminated as possible candidates. BUT…not in God’s world. God says, that through Jesus and the work He did on the cross, even someone with a horrendous past can be used for God’s purposes and glory.
Whenever I think about this again, I am incredibly thankful God’s chosen instrument was not someone with a squeaky clean resume. I’m grateful God’s instruments can come with unfixable looking dents and scratches. I am overjoyed that His instruments can be completely out of tune…or (as in the case of Saul) be walking to the beat of an entirely wrong song and God can come along and say: This one right here…is my chosen instrument!
Redemption and hope…glorious redemption and hope.
“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. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen” (1 Timothy 1: 16-17)