Scripture Read: 1 Timothy 1:15 It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all.
Application: Father, in this little passage, one of the greatest examples of what kind of growth in character we should see in our lives as we walk with Christ, is modeled. This is Paul at the end of his life. He has gone through countless trials, many life threatening, and full of suffering. He has traveled the world, making disciples and seeing the good news of the gospel spread to everyone. When I think of what it would be like to spend a week with Paul, I know one of the most obvious things I would notice would be his lack of sin. Paul was such a mature and godly man, I am sure I would be very convicted about my own life. So here is Paul, what all of us would agree must be a very godly man, yet look at the estimation he has of himself. “It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all.”
Paul saw himself as the worst sinner of all! The more he grew and became intimate with Jesus Christ, the more ungodly he realized he actually was! It is clear this was an out-showing of the fruit from his growth in knowledge and understanding of Christ. In 55 AD he had written the Church of Corinth and stated: 1 Cor. 15:9 For I am the least of the apostles, who am not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. “The least of the apostles” clearly humble, but just to be an Apostle, wow! Then in 60-62 AD he wrote the Church of Ephesus and stated Ephes. 3:8 To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, Here, he was less than the least saint – after years of growth he still saw himself as less. Now we find him in 67 AD he has suffered more and continued to grow in godly character, but he says he is the Chief of Sinners! The closer he got to Christ, his estimation of himself became less. This is spiritual growth, becoming more Christ-like, yet seeing yourself as the sinner you are. Not being puffed up from holy living and bragging about it. Father, true spiritual growth involves becoming godlier while at the same time becoming more humble. Others will only notice this, not ourselves. If we notice how humble we are becoming – WE ARE NOT humble! Father, create in us this same desire Paul had, forgetting ourselves and just pursuing You!
Meditation Questions: How godly do you think you are? Do you ever compare your spiritual life to others? What does that say? Have you ever been listening to a message and you keep thinking that “so & so” should be here? What about you? Did God want you to hear the message? Did you get it or were you too busy thinking about how someone else should be there? When was the last time you did not consider yourself when involved in ministry? Did not think how it would affect you, benefit you, or make you look? What does that show?