We are spending some time studying the Bible in a particular way. We are reading smaller segments but spending more time on reflecting on the Word and praying through what is laid on our hearts and minds.
For instance, today I spent time reflecting on 1 Timothy 1:15-16 and I thought I would share some of it with you.
As Paul is writing to a dear friend and disciple of his, he shares this “The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.”
As I broke it down on paper, there were some good truths there that still stand true for us today. Let me give you a short version of my notes as I share.
He starts with a “trust worthy” statement that is “deserving full acceptance” that “Christ Jesus came into the world” “to save sinners” “of whom (Paul) is the foremost ”
In other words, we can fully know and accept that Jesus decided to sacrifice heaven to come to this earth. He decided to sacrifice the throne for the common place.. He decided to sacrifice the fullness of all things to enter the muck and the mire of the fallen creation. Why in the world would He ever take that huge of a loss?
Paul tells us his motive is to save the lost! He came to save sinners! He came to offer us salvation from what this world has to offer and what we give to ourselves. Paul tells us in his letter to the Romans that if we just acknowledge Jesus is the Son of God with our mouths and believe in out hearts that He died and rose again, we are saved. This is not a casual statement since believing such things means changing your life and submitting to Him but it leads to the life you were created for and an intimacy with God.
Now many pastor types would stop right there. They would present the global message of salvation putting it on you alone but Paul goes a step further. He personalizes the message. He realizes the sin in his own past as Paul was one messed up man before coming to Christ. He says before this section that he was a blasphemer, persecutor, and an insolent opponent of Christ and this is true. If we are honest with ourselves, in our own sin and actions, we can see the same in our pasts and maybe even our present state. This should drive us to start to ponder what this means to us personally instead of keeping “Jesus came to save sinners” as a truth that we hold at arm’s length.
“But I received mercy!” and “for this reason, that in me” “Jesus might display his PERFECT patience as an example to those who would believe for eternal life“.
Everything changed when Paul received God’s mercy and the same is true for you and for me. I did a word study on mercy before (just means I looked it up in the dictionary to see what implications the different definitions might have and I found this….)
Mercy – kind and forgiving treatment of someone who could be treated harshly, help to someone in a desperate situation, compassion shown to an offender, compassionate treatment of those in distress.
That’s what God offers to you today and what He has given me countless times over in my life. This is a loving act for several reasons including the new start He wants to give to you in freedom. However, He also wants to show through you, what He will do for others if they turn to Him.
Many people are only interested on how to get their “get into heaven” card but He invites us to more. His purpose is deeper. It is to give us freedom through His ways and heart today while also sharing our stories with others so they are reached as well.
– Have you accepted Jesus as Leader and Forgiver in your life? Do you mean it and let it impact you? Does it drive you as you follow Him? Grow in Him? Is there some new decisions you can be making today for freedom’s sake? Do you need to plug into Christian community through a church to get support? Where is new life and mercy trying to come to you today?
– Are you living in such a way that people see that change and find it attractive for themselves as well? Are you telling people about the mercy Christ has given to you and how it impacts you? Are you leading people to Jesus or pushing them away?
I am so thankful that God has given me forgiveness in spite of my short comings, my unworthiness, and my sins. I am so thankful for the life He breathes through me. I am so thankful that His hand is upon me and life is more abundant than I ever have had before. I am so thankful for MERCY!
If you are struggling or hurting and want what you see God is doing in my life. If you want salvation from sin and the day-to-day grind also… touch base with me. I’d love to share more with you about the victory that Christ brings into your life!
Read the Word
Reflect on the Word
Pray over the Word you Received
Pastor Tom Hypes