It may be the ‘Christianese’ thing to say but I truly have my mind blown every time I open the Bible. I randomly felt like reading 1 Timothy today and came upon verses 12-20. Paul is writing Timothy in concern with issues that were arising in the church of Ephesus. Now, remember; Paul is the man. He is on his game. The guy is known as the greatest missionary of all time. He wrote two thirds of the New Testament. So when he says something, it’s not a bad idea to read it
twice five times and study the heck out of it.
So he’s writing to Timothy and in verse 12, he begins by thanking Christ “because He judged me faithful, appointing me to His service, though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent.” Y’all… Paul killed Christians. Do you really, truly grasp that? He had no respect for Christianity. He hated it. He mocked it. He spit in the face of believers and then had them murdered. There are mothers out there who watched their sons and daughters be killed due to believing in Christ. Just sit and think about that for a bit. Now think about this: v. 13b “But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, v.14 and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. v.15 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.”
Can. Not. Handle. It. What really shakes me to the core is the thought of Paul sitting at a cafe, eating breakfast with friends and then seeing someone walk into the cafe of which Paul killed their family member or friend. What would he have said? Would he have said sorry, bought their meal, hugged them begging forgiveness? Or maybe he simply summarized the verses above: Christ came. I was an idiot and did horrific things. Christ then showed me mercy like He does everyone. He died for all sinners including me who is arguably “worse” than everyone else.
So, I end with this: Every single day I remind some guy in the church that they are forgiven of the things they have done; the cheating, the yelling, the anger, the feeling of not being good enough. Men of Hope, men of Cleveland County, men of the entire world, know that no matter what you have done… Christ died for you. He died for all of us. Simply acknowledge it and accept it.
Peace and blessings to you all,