We have been discussing guilt this week, and have seen that true or real guilt leads to repentance and many times to salvation; however, we saw that false guilt is used by Satan to hinder a believer’s maturity, but God’s grace is greater than our sin and guilt; so let’s focus our thoughts on God’s grace a few minutes. Grace is defined as the unmerited favor and love of God given a person who deserves punishment, but is shown mercy instead.
In his first letter to Timothy, Paul explained that he thanked Jesus for putting him in the ministry, when he had been a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent, but he had obtained mercy because he did those things ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of God was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
Paul had done some horrible things, but after being saved he was one of the most faithful servants of Jesus and suffered many hardships. And he was aware of God’s grace: for before death he was able to write these meaningful words:
“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended, but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3: 13-14.
And because he had not allowed his past sins to fill him with crippling fear, as he faced death he was able to write,
” For now I am ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight; I have finished my course: I have kept the faith. Henceforth, there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day, and not to me only but to all also that love His appearing” 2 Timothy 4: 6-8.
Father, I thank you for Paul and his contribution to Christianity: even while in prison waiting to see Caesar, instead of bemoaning his unpleasant circumstances and environment, he wrote four letters: Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon. I admire him for saying he’d learned to be content in all circumstances; I am trying to do the same. Give me grace and patience I ask in Jesus Name. Amen.