Focal Passage: Rom. 7:9-25
I was once teasing a dear saintly lady of the church where my husband was pastor by telling her that there was only one thing in the Bible I absolutely did not believe. With a horrified look on her face she asked me what in the world that could be. I told her that I didn’t believe where Paul stated that he was the chief of sinners, because I know full well that I am (1 Tim. 1:15). She dissolved into relieved laughter, saying, “Oh, you silly! You had me worried.”
I heard her, throughout the morning, telling other women, “You know what Sharon said? She said she didn’t believe in the Bible where Paul said that he was the chief of sinners because she said that she was the chief of sinners.”
I did regret saying that to her because of the worry it initially caused her, but, nevertheless, it is true. I do believe that the title of “Chief of Sinners” belongs to me.
I was on the cradle roll of a Southern Baptist church. I accepted Jesus as my Savior when I was a little girl. I was at my church whenever I could be and loved every minute of being there. I attended and graduated from two of our Baptist colleges, and was a missionary with the Foreign Mission Board (now International Mission Board) in Africa. My brother has even said,
“You’re the good one of the four of us!” How could I be the chief of sinners? Very easily.
I know what Christ did for me in preferring to leave the riches of glory, living an impoverished life here on earth, and then dying a horrible death, so that I could be reconciled to my Father. I know that He loved me so much that He would rather go through all of that horror, than live without me in eternity. I have accepted His indescribably wonderful free gift of eternal life.
Yet, I still do not pray as I should, seek my Father’s guidance as I need to, study His word as I must, love people the way He wants me to. I know I disappoint my Lord again and again, but when I confess my sins, either of omission or commission, “He is always faithful and just to forgive me and cleanse me from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
I will never fully understand my Lord’s love for me, but I praise Him and thank Him with all my heart for His amazing love and mercy.