Hopefully, you had a great Thanksgiving day and enjoyed your family and friends! As we wrap up this week’s posting, I want to encourage you to live a life of gratitude with a few gleanings from the Apostle Paul in 1 Timothy 1:12-17. The Apostle Paul, provides us with a vivid example of what it means to be thankful! He gives us seven reasons for being thankful to God.
1) God has enabled me (vs. 12)! In other words, I am who I am and what I am doing by the power of God! “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. (I Corinthians 15:10 NKJV); of which I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effective working of His power. To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, (Ephesians 3:7, 8 NKJV); for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. (Philippians 2:13 NKJV)
2) He counted me faithful (vs. 12) – It is in God’s math and accounting that I have been chosen for not only salvation but this ministry. “yet I give judgment as one whom the Lord in His mercy has made trustworthy.” (I Corinthians 7:25b NKJV)
3) He put me into ministry (service, kingdom labor) (vs. 12) – of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God which was given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God, (Colossians 1:25 NKJV); God had given him a divine assignment in his kingdom!
4) In spite of Paul’s past, God saw some thing in him worth saving (vs. 13)!
5) For His exceeding abundant grace (vs 14) – His undeserved favor outweighed my sinful life! This was Paul’s testimony. “Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, (Romans 5:20 NKJV); This produced faith in Paul instead of his former doubt and unbelief and love in contrast to all the evil and hurt he had caused! This made him a friend and no longer a foe! Because all those who are not with Christ, He said are His enemies.
6) For saving me from being the chiefest of sinners (vs. 15) – This is why Christ had come and Paul recognizes it. “And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21 NKJV); But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” (Matthew 9:13 NKJV);
7) He gave me, made me a living testimony (v. 16) – Paul’s conversion encourages other sinners and even some saints! Since Christ saved and is using the worst of sinners, He can save and use anybody!
Paul concludes his message with a crescendo of praise in recognition of who God is and says, “unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.” We too should continue to be amazed and allow this to cause us to be mindful of what Christ has done for us!
Until next week, Stay on Target!