This year I shared with you some of my worst days ever. Circumstances brought out the worst in me- I was angry a lot, frustrated a lot, complained a lot, secretly cussed people off in my heart a lot, and called people “idiots” more times than I would like to admit. Yes I know, those were not some of my finest moments and yet, God never decreased his grace and mercy upon my life. All year round, through my best days and my worst, God’s love remained constant and He did not deal with me like I deserved. Instead he saw me through His eyes of mercy and His grace covered me.
In today’s readings Paul eloquently shares this same sentiment:
I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me trustworthy, appointing me to his service. Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.1Timothy 1: 12-14 NIV
Yes, we know Paul who was once Saul of Tarsus, was not a great guy. He was very strongly opinionated as many of us are and did terrible things to the Church of Christ because of the things he once believed to be true. Frankly we have all been there… I have been judgmental, I have acted holier-than-thou and sometimes I have been a downright know-it-all. But the great news is that even Paul to whom at some point Jesus had to say to, “you have persecuted me enough.. haba!” (paraphrasing Acts 9:5)- even that Paul found grace and mercy.
God poured out his grace upon Paul abundantly; how much more you and I? There is nothing, absolutely nothing that you or I can do to deserve this grace and yet it is poured out for us so freely each and every day. Think back over the year… Can you identify specific areas where God’s grace was abundantly poured on you? Let’s give God praise for his unmerited grace and mercy.