Our scripture this morning is ‭‭‭‭1 Timothy‬ ‭1‬:‭12‬-‭17.

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength to do his work. He considered me trustworthy and appointed me to serve him, even though I used to blaspheme the name of Christ. In my insolence, I persecuted his people. But God had mercy on me because I did it in ignorance and unbelief. Oh, how generous and gracious our Lord was! He filled me with the faith and love that come from Christ Jesus. This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all. But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life. All honor and glory to God forever and ever! He is the eternal King, the unseen one who never dies; he alone is God. Amen.

This letter to Timothy offers encouragement from his mentor Paul, who has chosen him to go assist churches that they have planted in Gentile lands. As Jesus did, Paul gathered partners to go with him to spread the Gospel of God’s love for everyone. Now he writes to Timothy to share his experience.

Paul is a perfect example of a life changed by Christ. He was once an enemy of the church, believing that he was doing God’s will by opposing this new group of believers, but an encounter with Jesus made him a believer as well. Now he is an energetic worker for the church, bringing the Good News to new places.

Even as believers, Jesus has more to teach and show us, and wants us to be part of the ongoing work of God’s kingdom. We can draw strength and wisdom from being part of the body of Christ, learning from each other. Now we are blessed to go in His name, bringing the joy we have found to everyone.

Loving Lord, we are grateful for the gift of Your son who came to show us Your grace and mercy. Help us to be like Paul and Timothy, lifting each other up and sharing Your love. Amen.

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