Focal Passages: 1 Timothy 1:3-7, 12-20
When I was in seminary I worked at UPS. While at UPS I had the opportunity to share the gospel with numerous people. Most of the people were receptive, or at least kind enough to listen to me.
There was a man named Ross that I had been witnessing to for several months, and on April 1 he came to work all excited. He said, “Bartley, I’ve got great news! God did a wonderful thing in my life. I got saved this weekend!” I immediately began to congratulate him with a hug and handshake and shared how excited I was for him.
As we went back to work he turned to me with a smirk on his face and said, “Hey Bartley, April Fools!”
It is difficult to express how I felt at that moment. My heart sank into my stomach.
I was angry that he would treat Christ so flippantly.
I was also angry that throughout the course of our working together I treated him with dignity and respect and now he was making a mockery out of the thing that was most important to me. How would you have responded to that situation?
If you are unsure, God’s Word can give you help.
In a letter to Timothy, the Apostle Paul reminds us about the power of the gospel and why Christ came to earth.
He wrote, “The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost” (1 Timothy 1:15, ESV).
Prior to this verse, Paul described his life before Christ saved him. He was a blasphemer, persecutor of the church, and insolent opponent of the gospel (1 Timothy 1:13).
Paul’s point is simple. Regardless of how wicked we are, God’s grace is more than sufficient to radically change our lives for the glory of Christ.
After reflecting on Ross’ comments for a few minutes, I went from anger to having great pity for him. I remembered the Apostle Paul and my own life before Christ saved me.
I, too, was the chief sinner.