God’s work of grace
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. 1 Timothy 1:12-16 From the text, Paul expressed his testimony of how God’s grace transformed him. He recounted his past that would have precluded him from serving God yet by His grace, God used Him for His service. His life was an example of the difference God could do to those that placed their lives in Him. Everything changed when God saved Paul. He found that it will not be by his own persistence he would attain his own salvation. It is only by His grace that salvation becomes possible. “God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it” (Ephesians 2:8-9). When Paul embraced the life God gave him, he showed the same zealousness he had before pursuing his own salvation in serving God. No matter how small or large the task God gave Him, he showed joy and faithfulness working for His glory. He looked at all that God gave Him as opportunities for service so he could manifest the power working through him. God in His grace poured out faith and love in his life. Our ability to serve is not based on our merits and accomplishments in the past. It is based on God’s grace and on how we allow Him to lead us. Paul was grateful for God’s grace that he decided to commit his life to God in obedience to Him. Our character and lifestyle are results of our beliefs. If we claim that we believe in the God of the Bible, then our actions should be in harmony with what we claim. Our life and belief should complement each other. Let us not slack off in serving God instead let us count the opportunity to serve as a privilege to experience His abounding grace working in us. “Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him” (Philippians 2:12-13).
Noel De Guzman