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Thursday, 14 May 2020 1 Timothy 1:1-20

“Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life.” -1 Timothy 1:16 In today’s reading, Apostle Paul explains his credentials as a minister of the Gospel. In 1 Tim.1:11 he says he was entrusted with the glorious gospel of God. In verse 15 he declares who he was – a sinner!! A sinner being entrusted with the Gospel? What is the Gospel? In his own words, Paul explains the gospel in 2 Timothy 2:8: "Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descendant of David.” The birth of Jesus, the death of Jesus and the resurrection of Jesus- He was born to save people from their sins; He died to pay the penalty for sins and He rose again taking victory over sin!! That is the Gospel –anyone who accepts that Gospel and repents will receive eternal life. Who is the minster of this Gospel? Paul, a former sinner!! That’s God – He chooses the weak, the foolish and demonstrates His power. God is speaking to us today through this message – He will use each one of us for His glory, provided we are available for Him!! Being available also implies that our availability is according to His terms. In Romans 9:22&23 Paul illustrates the same principle of God – a vessel of wrath is turned into a vessel of mercy. Whoever we may be in our past life before knowing Christ (a vessel of wrath), the mercy of God is sufficient to turn our position to a vessel of mercy! In our key verse, Paul states that "I found mercy.” Also in verse 13 Paul says “…even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy…” Dear brothers and sisters who read this writing today, please be assured of the fact that God’s mercy is sufficient to turn your past life into a testimony for God! Listen to what Paul says – mercy was shown to him (V.13) and he found that mercy (V.16). Maybe you are a person who knows nothing about the mercy of God, even then there is God’s mercy available for you to change your life! You can find that mercy in Jesus Christ!! When you find the mercy of God and surrender your life at the mercy seat of God, you who may be a blasphemer now will be changed to a proclaimer of the same Gospel; you who are a sinner now will be turned into a saint; you who are a violent aggressor will be turned into a silent warrior of love!!  How is that possible? Paul gives the answer in verse 14 “…and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus.” God loves us through Jesus Christ – and hence He extends His grace and mercy towards us, which are able to penetrate into any unrepentant heart and change any hardened mind and make him into a vessel of mercy!! Finally Paul says “I am an example” for you to believe that it is possible! Also that poses a question to us - will you be an example for God to demonstrate to this world what He can do through the life of a person?

Can you & I be an example to demonstrate this statement? “It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners...” (1Timothy 1:15)

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