“Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the
worst of them all. But God had mercy on me so that Christ
Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great
patience with even the worst sinners. Then others
will realize that they, too, can believe in
him and receive eternal life.
(I Timothy 1:15-16)
Thoughts… If God could save Paul, God can save anyone. He was a super-pious religious zealot who thought he was doing God a favor each time he imprisoned, persecuted, or killed a Christian. He was intolerant, close-minded, bigoted, and arrogant—on a good day.
And yet God reached him. Actually God slapped him up side the head on the Damascus Road one day. You can read that dramatic story in Acts 9. Paul was radically and completely transformed by his encounter with the risen Savior. He had met Jesus, and in that meeting, he didn’t stand a chance. He became a trophy of God’s grace.
Now the truth is, you weren’t any better off that the pre-converted Paul before God found you. Neither was I. We were dirty rotten sinners, too, but now we are trophies of God’s grace. We were messed up, sin prone, hell bound sinners who deserved nothing but eternal punishment. But we were just the kind of people that Jesus came into this world to redeem. And for that, you and I will give thanks before the throne of God for all eternity.
So here’s the deal: If God could save dirty, rotten sinners like Paul, you and me, he can save that resistant sinner that lives in the same house as you, or who lives next door, or who goes to your school, or works in the office next to you. You have been praying for them, but there seems to be no response, no interest, not even the slightest crack in their spiritual armor.
Don’t give up! They may be just a prayer or a kind act or a verbal witness away from getting totally messed up through a radically transforming encounter with Jesus. That’s why he came: To save sinners just like them. He saved Paul, didn’t he? He saved you, didn’t he?
Maybe that dirty rotten sinner you’re praying for is next!
Prayer… Dear Father, thank you for your redeeming grace in my life. I will never get over that. Throughout eternity I will fall before your throne in humble gratitude for saving me, the worst of sinners. Now Lord, release your saving grace to those dear people in my life who do not know you. Confront them with your love—today. Make them the newest trophies of your grace.
One More Thing… “Either sin is with you, lying on your shoulders, or it is lying on Christ, the Lamb of God. Now if it is lying on your back, you are lost; but if it is resting on Christ, you are free, and you will be saved. Now choose what you want.” —Martin Luther