“Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.” 1 Timothy 1:16
It is funny how we can read the Bible a million times over and the very verse that you have read so many times, never speak to you until it does. So, this morning I felt lead to read 1 Timothy chapter one. As I read the chapter my plan was to note it in my prayer book as usual and go right back to sleep (that can happen after doing a 12-hour shift at work the day before). But we all know how the Holy Spirt works and so my plans to go back to sleep came to a halt.
As I read verse 16, I became fascinated and inspired and decided to use it as my topic for today’s word. So here Paul in 1 Timothy 1:15 stated that he was the chief of sinners and continued in verse 16 to say that, though he obtained mercy, yet in him first all longsuffering is shown, as a pattern for those who will follow Christ. In other words, Paul saw himself as the pilot project, or the example of what longsuffering can look like for the believers in his present time and likewise for us today and the generation to come (if the Lord tarries).
All of us as Christians should make it mandatory to read about the life of the apostle Paul so that we can prepare ourselves to endure longsuffering for the sake of Christ. No one wants to suffer but that is a part of your faith walk and it is also one of the fruits of the spirit mentioned in Galatians 5:22. Many of us (including myself) sometimes fail to remember that. And so, every wind of trouble comes our way, we began to fast and pray for God to take it away. While we may never stop asking God to take away our pain because of our human nature, we must still be mindful that whatever we are experiencing, may be for us to endure by God’s grace, so that the power of Christ may rest upon us (read 2 Corinthians 12:1-11). That was the conclusion that Paul came to after he discovered that it was more important for him to have the presence of God with him and in him, even if he had to suffer, than to have a peaceful, stress-free life without Christ.
Today, let us get back to basics. Let us begin to focus more on living a life to please God, gladly enduring our challenges if it means that the power of Christ will be with us and in us.
Let us pray: Lord, please forgive me of my sins today. Thank you for your word. Lord, I know no one wants to experience sufferation or pain in any form. It is not in our human nature to endure such things. But if you are with us then we know that your grace will be sufficient, according to your word. Please help me to be like your servant Paul, and rejoice even through pain that you allow, if it means that I will be drawn closer to you in Jesus’ name. Amen. Until next time. God bless you.
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