The Apostle Paul is a much-admired servant of God, extremely fruitful and powerful in his Christian service. He’s frequently held up in sermons as an example of how we should be wholly committed to God’s cause as he was. Paul saw himself as an example, however, for quite different reasons! He believed (and rightly) that God chose him to be an example to other believers, but not because he was so good. No, it was because he was so bad! If, as a persecutor of the body of Christ, a blasphemer, and an insolent man, he could receive God’s mercy and be transformed by the power of God, then there’s hope for the rest of us (1 Timothy 1:13).
Paul sometimes gets credit for many things I don’t believe he’d take credit for himself. I believe he’d rather point to God’s mercy. The thing I really appreciate about him is how he could see himself from God’s perspective. He saw himself as a helpless sinner in need of grace - a chosen instrument yes, but only because of his weakness - a man chosen by God, but one with many failings. It’s his complete honesty and humility which is so attractive.
In helping people reach out for God we’ve found these two key principles of honesty and humility are essential in finding God’s true healing. We must be able to humble ourselves before God, we must agree with Him on how He sees us and we must be honest about how we see ourselves. God meets us in this place of truthfulness.
We’re privileged to see the Lord powerfully transform many lives, and those whom the Lord really touches and transforms have this in common: a humility and honesty about who they are, who they believe they are, deep on the inside.
Prayer: Father in heaven, thank You for saving and loving a sinner like me. Please help me not to pretend to be any better than I really am, not to cover up the person on the inside. I accept that You love me just as I am and I believe You can show Your mercy to the world by transforming someone like me. Amen.
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