Our verse for today is from 1 Timothy 1:15-16, ” Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners – of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display His unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on Him and receive eternal life. “
You know what they say, the rich get richer. Or maybe they say it takes money to make money. Little kids will say it takes one to know one. But anyway you cut it, the normal inclination is to get more of what you’ve got. And if you’ve got nothing, then there’s a whole lot more where that came from. But what about if you are nothing? What does the one say who is more of a statistic than a person, a bottom dweller and an outcast? Like Paul was. Paul, the Pharisee, Roman citizen and educated Jew, says that in God’s book, he was dead last. Linus would say, of all the Charlie Browns in the world, he was the Charlie Browniest. And what did that get Paul? From the One whose book is the only one that matters, did Paul receive more of what he already had? What treatment did the worst of the worst get? Oh, he got the best. Of all the sinners, which includes murderers, rapists, child abusers, and terrorists, he said he was the worst. And what did he get? Mercy. Unlimited patience. Eternal life. The gospel. That’s what Paul received. He was a dead man walking that green mile, and God gave him the only thing that mattered.
But our tendency is the opposite, no? We are more comfortable being kind to the kind. We struggle with the golden rule, rather abiding by the fool’s gold rule of doing to others as they do to us. The friendly and well- known get more friends and more known, while the challenging and needy get more challenges and more need. We have the worst of the worst all around us. He’s in the mirror every time I look. He’s there at work, struggling with his teenage kids. He’s in line at the grocery store, running up more debt. He’s at the game, hung over from the night before. And he’s in a shelter somewhere, tasting rock bottom first hand. What do we have for them? Mercy? Patience? The gospel that brings eternal life? You’re giving them something, even if it’s nothing. What example are you displaying? Christ used the worst to display His. How am I displaying mine?
As we seek Him today, believe that you have something to offer someone else. But don’t wait for them to ask, go see what you can do for them. Go display something that is not of this world.
Also published on : Medium.com.