"Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. The grace of the Lord was poured out on me abundantly along with faith and love that are in Christ Jesus." 1 Timothy 1:13-14
Paul was Jewish from the tribe of Benjamin. He was a Pharisee who came in the name of God to protect and defend his religion. He was positioned to become a great leader in the Jewish faith. Although he was well trained in the word of God, he fully did not understand the fullness of what God had prophesied of the coming Messiah. He missed the mark though. He was functioning in self righteousness. Jesus came in the flesh to fulfill the prophecies given to the Jews to bring salvation to all. He not having understanding of the truth persecuted the Christians and even had them killed in the name of God. Yet, God who was rich in his mercy met him on the road to Damascus. Paul had the intent to continue to kill and throw the Christians in jail, but God had a different plan. Jesus met him on the road to Damascus and that is where Saul who became the Apostle Paul was converted. God revealed himself to him.
In the book of 1 Timothy, Paul was addressing Timothy as he began to encourage him. Paul's time here on earth was coming to an end. He was reminding Timothy about his calling and wanted to encourage him as he moved forward to carry on God's work. Paul knowing his time was short took time and he reminded himself along with Timothy of where he came from and the glorious calling that Jesus had on his life. He remembered how God extended his mercy to him although he was on the road to destruction. He also continued to reflect on the grace given to him because of God's great love. Paul shared this with Timothy knowing that he too may need to encourage himself in Christ.
What is your story? Like Paul, we sometimes need to remind ourselves of where we came from and of God's great goodness towards us. We need to take time and remember the mercy we were shown and the grace given to us. We were like Paul were on the road to destruction, but God met us on our journey on the road to Damascus to show us his great love and salvation. May we give thanks today!