Paul was “the worst sinner of them all!”
Okay, that’s definitely not the way I would describe him. I’m guessing it’s not how you would describe him either. He wrote a huge portion of the New Testament and I believe a case could be made that no one other than the Lord, Himself, has had such a profound impact on the growth of Christianity.
So, who in the world described Paul as “the worst sinner of them all”?
It turns out, Paul said this about himself!
This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all.”1 Timothy 1:15
Paul lived with the memory of the fact that he had persecuted Christians prior to meeting Jesus on the road to Damascus. He had been complicit in the imprisonment and death of an untold number of believers.
Yes, he was painfully aware of his past and present sins.
But rather than allowing his past to become a paralyzing burden of guilt and shame, Paul thought of them as the overwhelming measure of God’s extraordinary grace, mercy, and love.
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.1 Timothy 1:16
That is God’s Good News!
You and I can be assured that no matter what we have done, we are never beyond the reach of God’s love and forgiveness. Our Lord wants us to know that He came to remove the burden of sin.
Jesus invites us to bring the burden of our sins to Him:
“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”Matthew 11:28
And once we have given them to Him in humble repentance . . . we are blessed to receive peace and rest knowing:
He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.Psalm 103:12
Are you carrying around a burden of guilt? Are you weighed down by shame over your past? God loves you! He is merciful! And He wants you to KNOW the truth of His healing mercy and grace. He wants you to KNOW you have a beautiful story of faith and life to share. Your testimony of God’s love and forgiveness through Jesus is the Good News of His life-changing power available to everyone . . . even if you think you’re like Paul, “the worst of them all.”
A Prayer to Let Go of the Worst Sinner Label
Through God’s Love and Forgiveness
Father, I remember the day I realized the greatness of my sins . . . the day I carried the burden of my flaws and failures to Jesus with heartbroken tears. For years, I thought I was being a “good girl.” The enemy had fed me a lie. No one stands before You unstained by sin. No matter how hard we try . . . it is impossible to obey Your commands perfectly.
I come to You overwhelmed that Jesus would suffer my punishment. That He would live a perfect sinless life and, through Your love and forgiveness, cover me with His holiness. I kneel in prayer next to Paul saying, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all.”
Thank you! I am unworthy but I am so grateful. I want everyone to know the greatness of Your forgiveness and love. I want every person I know to carry their burdens of guilt to You in repentance . . . trusting Your promise to give them rest and that You will remove their sins as far as the east is from the west and give them a future filled with hope and promise.
By Your grace, may I live each day proclaiming with Paul, “All honor and glory to God forever and ever! He is the eternal King, the unseen one who never dies. He alone is God. Amen.” (1 Timothy 1:17)
Dear friend, remember that no matter what you have done, you are never beyond God’s mercy, grace, and love. Our Lord and Savior wants you to know that He came to remove Your burden of guilt and sin. And His Spirit is faithfully at work in all who have turned to Him with a heart of repentance in faith . . . He is alive in you making you beautifully brand new.
That is God’s Good News! News that is too good not to share!
On today’s note write:
Praise God, Jesus came to save the worst of sinners like me!
May God bless you today as you celebrate the lightness of living each day without the burden of guilt. Celebrate that through Christ, you are forgiven!
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