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Grace and Mercy

1Timothy 1:12 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service. 13Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. 14The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.
15Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.

These are the words of Paul. Remember the story from yesterday's blog and that dramatic conversion experience he had on the road to Damascus? Praise the Lord for Ananias and his willingness to obey the Lord and impart the power of the Spirit to Paul!

Paul reminds us that it doesn't matter where we have been or what we have done because God extends to us mercy and grace. Grace is what God gives that we don't deserve. Mercy is what God doesn't give that we do deserve. Mercy deals with what is held off and grace is what is poured out. And on us, God is ready to pour it out abundantly! Along with that grace comes some faith and love too! What a deal!

And then my favorite part of this text, Paul reminds Timothy of the main thing. We need to hear that too. Often we get distracted with church building project, worship bands, church decor,and new ideas and programs. But what never changes is the fact that Jesus came to the world to save sinners. And now, because He lives in us, that is our mission. YOU do make THE difference. And today I pray that YOU realize completely that God has given you strength and that He considers you faithful. You have been appointed to service and that means His mercy is working for you and that grace, faith and love is being poured out upon you.

It's a new day! Love because He loves. Serve because He gave. Live like you are free!