A Grateful Heart: From "Once Was" to a Living Testimony
And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry."
(1 Timothy 1:12
In this moment of reflection, I am compelled to express my deepest gratitude to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. His transformative power has changed me from the inside out, strengthening me and enabling me to embody a living testimony of His love and faith. The echoes of Paul's words to Timothy in 1 Timothy 1:12 resonate in my heart as I consider the profound impact of Christ's work in my life.
In the subsequent verse, (1 Timothy 1:13-15) Paul shares what I like to call his "not what I used to be" statement. It serves as a powerful reminder that when we look back at our past, our gratitude should ignite into joyful expressions of praise for the mercy and grace bestowed upon us.
Paul openly declared himself as the worst of sinners, yet God, in His infinite mercy, chose to use him as an example for others to believe in Jesus and receive eternal life. It's a comforting truth that extends beyond titles and roles; whether pastor, missionary, or an individual without a designated office, we can all serve and affirm these same sentiments.
God can use our "once was," our "not like I used to be" as a compelling example of His transformative power. The essence of Jesus coming into the world was to save sinners, and by His mercy, He can use anyone, even those who were once blasphemers and persecutors of the Church. Our personal stories become a beacon of hope for others, a testament that there is redemption for every soul.
As we give thanks, let us acknowledge that our transformation was not achieved through our own strength but by the grace of Jesus Christ. Someone is undoubtedly observing your life right now, witnessing your "not what I used to be" testimony. What a beautiful example of Christ actively working within us!
Our witness is genuine, acknowledging that we can't generate enough love or faith on our own. Therefore, let us offer thanks for the incredible gift of salvation, for the boundless grace that has shaped us into who we are today. May our lives continue to reflect the transformative power of Jesus, inspiring others to believe and find hope in Him.
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Gracious Heavenly Father,
Gratitude fills my heart as I reflect on the privilege of being used in your service to share the message of your salvation with others. I acknowledge that your saving grace extends to all. Please, continue to work through me, providing the necessary grace and strength to bring glory and honor to you. When they see me, Lord, let them see you.
In the name of Christ Jesus, I pray, Amen.