This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. ~ 1 Timothy 1:15-17
For Paul, the past was opposition to the Gospel and Jesus Christ. As a Pharisee, Paul witnessed and held the coats of those who completed the stoning of Stephen, the first Christian martyr, brutally murdered. Paul reflects upon his life, the past from which Jesus rescued him. He confesses that he was chief of sinners, persecuting and killing believers. Jesus met him on the road to Damascus and his life was forever changed.
Paul undoubtedly had a passion for life and godliness, for Jesus and the power of His resurrection. He charges young Timothy with the same passion. Share the Gospel. People are perishing and living hopeless lives. Engage in the good fight and show people the hope and peace found only in Jesus Christ.
As we look at our own lives, do we have the same passion that Paul passed to Timothy? Are we excited about how God will use us? Or are we more concerned about getting a house payment and a car payment made rather than sharing the Gospel with others. If we truly believe that the people around us, our co-workers, family and friends are perishing and destined to hell and hopelessness, then we will do anything, and pray continually, to see them snatched from such a fate. If you found a ladder out of a burning building, and your child was trapped inside, you would do anything to save them, before even thinking of your own life.
I want my life to count for Christ. I understand that we would be overwhelmed if all we thought of was people perishing. Jesus promises to give us joy as well. However, sharing your faith and the fact that Jesus’ death took all sin and His resurrection freely gives us a hope of heaven brings everlasting joy.