I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me trustworthy, 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.1 Timothy 1:12-14 NIV
I love Paul’s words here. My experience has been quite different than his, and God has used us in very different ways. Paul was the apostle to the Gentiles. And God used him to proclaim the gospel to the Gentiles, establish churches, and write much of the New Testament. My service has been much more obscure, with nowhere near the impact of Paul’s.
I Am Grateful
Yet, like Paul, I am grateful that the Lord has counted me faithful. And that he has used me in the service of his kingdom. His grace has truly been poured out on me abundantly. When I look back over my life and see what God has done and how he has used me, I am humbled. God took a teenager with no God-honoring plans and transformed his life.
Fifty years later, I am still amazed at what he did and continues to do. I am so unworthy. I cannot imagine what my life would be like now if his grace had not been poured out on me. And my prayer is that he will continue to work in and through me in the time that remains for me in this life. And then, bring me safely into his presence. I do indeed thank Christ Jesus for all that he has done.