“The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.”
1 Timothy 1: 14
1 Timothy 1: 12-17
Sometimes we witness an occurrence or behaviour (in person or through the media) that seems so unbelievably abhorrent that we ask ourselves, “How can a person do that?” There are times also that we are equally disgusted or disappointed with ourselves. As a Police Officer and in my Priestly role (far more the former) I have dealt with people who had committed atrocious acts. In the main though, when interacting with them, the phrase, ‘there but by the grace of God go I,’ would resound in my mind and heart; it was easy to see how many of us could end up in the same situation given different life situations and choices. In our passage today Paul describes himself as the worst sinner (vs. 15-16), recalling his past violence, unbelief in Christ and persecution of others (vs. 13). The truth of Romans 3: 23 is plain to see, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
How tragic if this was the end story for the human race! BUT NO the answer to our lost state comes in vs. 14, God pours out His grace, faith and love in Christ Jesus ABUNDANTLY. Paul then gives one of his ‘trustworthy sayings,’ Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners (vs. 15)! Paul, on the road to Damascus (Acts 9: 1-31), intent on further persecutions, met the Lord Jesus Christ; his life was changed for ever. Repentance, in addition to its normal sense, means to turn and go the other way. Paul literally did an ‘about turn’ in life as he repented, received forgiveness by God’s Grace and grew in an incredible faith soaked in the love of Jesus. This is the grace filled salvation God gives in Christ.
So be encouraged my friends, no matter our state there is a way to forgiveness and new life, nothing can separate us from the love of Christ (Romans 8: 35). Paul’s past was a motivation for him to love and obey God as he saw and understood the abundant grace poured out upon him. More than that though, he realised that he had been chosen, trusted, appointed and empowered for service (vs. 12). Imagine as well as being forgiven to have such purpose and joy in life. Well, stop imagining, open your arms and receive God’s abundant Grace then live a life of purpose in the service of His Kingdom. Sing with Paul in real praise, “Now to the King Eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen,” (vs. 17)
N.B. Praise Him in these words with the hymn selection today, see below
To Ponder: Not forgiving others or ourselves can blight life and lead to bitterness that becomes engrained; joy and peace are lost. Do you know the freedom that God’s forgiveness brings, do you in Him need to forgive others or yourself? How does today’s reflection help, what are your next steps?
Prayer; Most merciful God we confess to you, before the whole company of heaven and one another. That we have sinned in thought, word and deed, and in what we have failed to do. Forgive us our sins, heal us by your Spirit and raise us to new life in Christ. Amen
Praise: Immortal, invisible, God only wise – links to 1 Tim. 1: 17
Link - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c59R-Ry8q50
Amazing Grace, my chains are gone
Link - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbe7OruLk8I
Incumbent at St Aidan's Anglican Church,