Mind Games | Voices From the Past | Sinners
“Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all. 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. 1 Timothy 1:15-16
Maybe your past makes you shudder. Or maybe doesn’t look so bad to others, but you know how you really are. Why would God want you when He knows all about that? He saved you, barely, because He’s so nice. But you’ll always be B team. Minor league. No way could someone with your history be useful to God’s kingdom. Maybe you’re the worst sinner who ever lived.
Sorry, that title was already taken by a man who hunted down Christians and had them beaten, arrested, and executed. And to make it worse, he was convinced he was doing the will of God. He was a jihadist before there were Muslims. He was an approving witness to the murder of the first Christian martyr, Stephen, and set out to make more martyrs. Then Jesus stopped him in his tracks and made a Christian out of him. No one appreciated grace like Paul, who considered himself the worst of sinners. But he spent the rest of his life magnifying Jesus, strengthening Christians, and writing 2/3 of the New Testament. He says to the rest of us who wonder if our past excludes us from becoming world-changers: Your past does not disqualify you unless you continue it. Only those who know they are the worst of sinners can become the greatest of saints.
Final Thought: As long as your past remains your past, God will use it for good in His kingdom.
Prayer: Father, thank you that you take the worst of sinners and clean us up. If you could use Paul to do such amazing things, you can use me. Here I am, past and all. I surrender to your plan. Use me for your kingdom’s sake. In Jesus’ name, amen.