1 Timothy 1:12-17
I am grateful to Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because he judged me faithful and appointed me to his service, even though I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and a man of violence. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the foremost. But for that very reason I received mercy, so that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display the utmost patience, making me an example to those who would come to believe in him for eternal life. To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
Reflection. Maybe we would not describe ourselves as blasphemous, persecutors or people of violence; however, none of us are blameless with regards to sin. As an old prayer says, 'we have all erred and strayed from thy ways like lost sheep. We have followed too much the devices and desires of or own hearts and there is no health in us.' We are all desperately in need of the redemptive work of Christ.
St Paul describes himself as the foremost of sinners and lays out the depth of forgiveness he has experienced. That he is now right with God, because of Jesus, is a useable example of how great is our God's love and mercy.
Here's a question to ponder; are we as conscious and grateful as Paul for the great mercy and love and forgiveness that has been poured out upon us?
Thanksgiving. Thank you for working your forgiveness in me. Thank you, thank you, thank you Jesus. Amen.