I am a man who will rely on the strength of the Lord

"I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that He considered me faithful, 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. Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners--of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display His unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on Him and receive eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen." - 1 Timothy 1:12-17

Sometimes I wonder if I compare myself to Paul, if I might be worse than he was. He was a blasphemer, persecutor and violent opposer to Christianity, but he acted without true knowledge of who Jesus was. I grew up believing the right things, knowing who Jesus was and knowing what I was called to be. Yet despite my correct knowledge, I rarely lived from that position. Even though Paul had Christians sentence to death, he faithful and zealously acted on his beliefs. On the other hand have lived selfishly and lazily when what I believe in, commands against it. Which is worse?

Don't be so quick to defend me and possibly yourself. Think about how terrible and stupid we are when we are so hypocritical.

The glorious and gracious fact is that Paul's story does not end there, and our story does not end there. Jesus came to save all who opposed God in sin. I think only in the light of our actions being as bad as Paul's, can we see how wonderful the Gospel is, and from that position live it out faithfully and zealously.

Always remember though that we can not live it out by our own strength. That is where I think most of us fall short, we have a high view of ourselves and a low view of sin and the flesh that we battle with. Once we correct our perspective we will see the unlimited patience and amazing strength that we have been given. We must stop forgetting that the strength given is for us to be faithful servants and God's patience is for us to be examples to all.

Let's live in the strength which comes from all the power of His might. Let's live in the perspective that our trusting in His grace is only way we can please the eternal, immortal and invisible God and King.

"And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light." - Colossians 1:10-12

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