Today's reading: 1 Timothy 1:12-20
Paul gives thanks to God for saving him and then using him to spread the Gospel and minister to others. As part of his thanks, he looks back at the substantial nature and incredible depth of his sin ("I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent"), and how in spite of it all, God extended mercy. What a picture of God's great love for us.
It's not too difficult to get caught up in the mindset that we, or someone we know or love, have done too much wrong for God to love, forgive and accept us. That's simply not true. No matter our past, God loves us and welcomes us with open arms when we ask for forgiveness and surrender our lives to Him. This statement from Matthew Henry's Commentary on 1 Timothy 1:12-20 explains it well.
"The greatness of sin is no bar to our acceptance with God, no, nor to our being employed for him, if it be truly repented of." (Matthew Henry’s Commentary, www.biblegateway.com)
How does knowing that God saved and then mightily used Paul (a great sinner) encourage you about the plans God has for you as you serve Him? Who do you know that needs to hear that regardless of what they've done or how they've lived, God loves them and wants to forgive, save and use them? Tami
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