Patience to Even the Worst Sinners

1 Timothy 1:12-16 (NIV)
"I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that He considered me faithful, appointing me to His service. 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 our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners--of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display His unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on Him and receive eternal life."

Some Christians continue to live in guilt for the sinful lives they lived before accepting Christ. Even though they have received forgiveness as a result of repentance, they continue to let guilt blight their Christian experience. They fail to trust Jesus and experience His love and mercy.

In our everyday lives as Christians, we all sometimes lose sight that Christ entered the world to redeem sinners. That those who accept Him enter a more abundant life that never ends. Sometimes we focus so much on past sins that were already confessed and dealt with that instead of experiencing redemption, joy and peace in Christ, we live miserable lives. We often fail to remember that no sin repented of, no matter how great, will prevent us from being accepted by God.

When we learn to experience mercy and forgiveness in Christ Jesus, we can put aside guilt over past sins and be witnesses to the saving power of God. We can be a testament to God's kindness and patience to even the worst of sinners so that others may know that eternal life may be theirs if they but answer God's call to repentance and reconciliation.

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