Derek Smith, Lead Pastor LHBC
1 Timothy 1:12-17
12 I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service, 13 though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, 14 and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 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. 16 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. 17 To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
In Paul’s first letter to Timothy he started his exhortation to him with a look back on his own testimony. Paul was not suggesting that he had received this call to ministry because God thought so well of him. He was amazed that a man with his checkered past would ever be entrusted with the gospel at all. He was overjoyed at God’s demonstration of confidence in him by placing him, a man of violence and a persecutor of Christians, in a place of service for the Kingdom. He was amazed at the grace of God shown toward him.
The great english pastor of old, Charles Spurgeon, once said this, “God’s mercy is so great that you may sooner drain the sea of its water, or deprive the sun of its light, or make space too narrow, than diminish the great mercy of God.” American pastor and originator of the famous Scofield Study Bible, C.I. Scofield, once stated, “Grace is not looking for good men whom it may approve, for it is not grace but mere justice to approve goodness. [Rather] it is looking for condemned, guilty, speechless and helpless men whom it may save, sanctify and glorify.” It’s been said that grace is God’s riches at Christ’s Expense. As the old country preacher once said, “Everything short of hell is grace!” Paul never got over the grace of God shown toward him; in fact, as he says here, it was that grace that motivated him to live boldly and consistently as a witness for Christ Jesus.
Child of God, have you gotten over the grace of God? Do you remember what it was like to be lost and what the Lord Jesus saved you from? Were it not for Jesus, where would you and I be right now? What kind of life would you be living? The truth is, without His saving grace we would not have true joy, peace, or purpose for living. Our lives would still be broken and filled with sin. Paul is so overwhelmed here with the grace shown him by the Lord that he explodes into a crescendo of praise! He breaks forth in a doxology of worship that can only be attributed to a heart full of gratitude.
How do we show we are overwhelmed and overjoyed by the grace of God? First, we witness. Paul said that Christ came into the world to save sinners like himself. When I’m truly grateful for the grace of God I can’t help but speak of His goodness to all I’m around. Secondly, we show our gratitude for the grace of God through praise. He is the immortal, invisible, eternal King of Kings and Lord of Lords! When I consider all He has done for me a worship service ought to break out!
When Clara Barton was engaged in Red Cross work in Cuba, during the Spanish-American War, Colonel Theodore Roosevelt came to her desiring to buy some delicacies for the sick and wounded men under his command. His request was refused. Roosevelt was troubled; he loved his men, and was ready to pay for the supplies out of his own pocket. “How can I get these things?” he asked. “I must have proper food for my sick men.” “Just ask for them, Colonel,” said the surgeon in charge of the Red Cross headquarters. “Oh,” said the Colonel, “then I do ask for them.” Grace is God’s riches to us at Christ’s expense, not our own. There is nothing we can do to earn it. Nothing we can do to lose it. All we had to do was ask and He lavished His grace on us. Daily He continues to lavish His grace on us as we simply ask Him to. May we never get over the grace of God.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Father God, You are my immortal, eternal, invisible King, and You deserve all praise, glory, and honor. Thank you for saving a sinner like me. Today, help me display Your glorious grace to others through a life of praise and thanksgiving. In Jesus name, amen.
MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK:
1 Timothy 1:17
To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.