The Worst of Sinners
“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
The apostle Paul is one of the greatest influences in the New Testament. It is likely that his writings are among the most read in human history! God used, and continues to use, Paul’s ministry to reach many and to bring them back to the feet of Jesus. However, before being known as Paul, he was referred to as Saul of Tarsus. He was a man who persecuted Christians, and in so doing, persecuted God. Acts 7:58 tells us that the witnesses at Stephen’s death by stoning, laid their coats at Saul’s feet, which means he was in full approval of these murderous actions. Later we see how Saul begins to destroy the church, going from house to house, putting both men and women in prison.2 He was a man to be feared.
Then one day, God knocked him to the ground (literally!) and Saul’s life was transformed. His education, his background as a pharisee, and his Roman citizenship were all used by God in making Paul’s missionary journey successful. Paul had been many things, and had done many things, which I am sure he was not proud of. He referred to himself as the “worst of sinners”, but God forgave him, and Paul became a devoted missionary and a great example of faithful service in the face of persecution.
Friends, there is no sin too big and no evil too wicked, to keep us from the grace and love of Christ. If, like Paul, we repent of our sins, God is faithful to forgive and cleanse us. He can take all of our messy experiences and use them for his glory. If you have thought of yourself or someone else as the “worst of sinners”, keep faith and take hope in knowing that we serve a God who transforms and makes all things new. When we are forgiven much, we will love much. And God’s love is the foundation for a successful ministry.
Suggested prayer: Dear God, whatever the situation is in our lives right now, thank you for the reminder that no sin is too great to prevent us from receiving your forgiveness and grace. Your love covers a multitude of sins! You take even the “worst of sinners” and use them for your glory when we confess and turn away from our sins. Use my past mistakes and experiences to be a testimony to others and bring them to you. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. In Jesus’ name, amen.
1 Timothy 1:15 (NLT).
Today’s Encounter was written by: Crystal B.
All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.