Grace for Sinners: Rough Grace?

“I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service.” (1 Timothy 1:12)

Paul is about to tell us how God gave him grace through faith in Christ, how Paul personally experienced receiving good from God in spite of NOT having done nothing good himself.

grace_350Remember how Paul came to Christ? You can read the whole story in Acts 9. Paul was on his way to arrest some people for believing in Jesus when Jesus showed up, knocked him down, blinded him, and told him to stop persecuting Christians – then made him the official “instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel.”

That’s not a gentle story of God wooing Paul to faith in Jesus. That’s grace – God’s good for Paul’s evil – but it sounds like a harsh grace. It’s abrupt and absolute. It probably didn’t feel good at first.

And in today’s passage, Paul says, “Thank you, Jesus.”

Think: Why do you think Paul thanked Jesus for appointing him to service? Has God ever used a harsh experience in your life to give you a good thing, even if it didn’t feel really good at the time?

Pray: If you are a Christian, thank Jesus for giving you strength and appointing you to serve him.

Do: If you haven’t recently, read through the story of Paul’s conversion in Acts 9:1-22.