This morning I had the privilege of preaching from 1 Timothy 1:12-17. One of the things I brought out of the passage was Paul's description of his state before God, including both his state before, and then after, his salvation. Prior to his salvation Paul said that he was a "blasphemer, persecutor and insolent opponent" of God. But God didn't give Paul what one would assume would be reasonable in the form of a response. He didn't punish Paul for the way Paul behaved towards God.
In Paul's case God chose to do something quite different. In His mercy He poured out His grace on Paul. God's grace "overflows" onto Paul. God's grace was more than enough to cover every sin Paul ever committed against God.
God, through the way He treated Paul, gave Paul a powerful faith story. And as a result Paul had the ability to share the Good News of Jesus in a very personal way. He could say something along the lines of, "I was a sinner and far from God, and then God rescued me, and now I am different in these particular ways."
One of the key parts of this passage from 1 Timothy is in the center of verse 15,
"Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners."
The things that Jesus did in His earthly ministry, the healings, the teaching, the praying, the miracles, every bit of it, all pointed toward one purpose, the saving of sinners.
Like Paul, every person who has been touched by the saving love of God in Christ Jesus has a powerful story to tell. And the telling of that story may be the means used by God to touch, and save, the life of another sinner.
Where are you seeing the opportunity to tell your story? Who will feel the touch of God on their heart after hearing the way in which He has touched your heart?
(My previous post, connected to this, is Stories, part 1)
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.