1 Timothy 1:13Â “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.”
1 Timothy 1:16 “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.”
Defination of Atonement: To make amends. Â Reconciliation between God and Humans.Â Redemption. Satisfaction for sin. Reparation for an offense.
Have you ever done a terrible thing? Maybe a lot of terrible things. Things that you aren’t proud of…things that you can not take back. Sometimes things we say and do just can’t be erased. No matter how hard we try to cover them up, run from them, redeem ourselves, or seek acceptance….they just linger and follow us wherever we go. The choices we make in this life have real consequences. They effect us and the people we care about. They effect people we come into contact with and they even effect strangers.
This week I spent some time reflecting on my conversion, my life prior to salvation. I spent a few days pondering all of the ways in which I was the “worst of sinners” …I found myself in awe of His grace. How and why would God use someone like me?? Why would He want someone like me?? How could He love someone like me?? My life before Christ was worthless…I was a lost soul with no hope.Â It is truly amazing what GodÂ does to restore a life. Maybe that is you today. Looking at what is left of the life He gave you and feeling truly lost and hopeless. If so, stop trying to hold the puzzle pieces together….you wereÂ never meant to go thru this life alone. Stop hiding. Stop running. Stop pretending.
You see God can redeem anyone. He can use anyone, any situation, any wrong doing for His good and for His purpose. He can give your life new purpose and you will never be the same. When you make a bad choice it may be a thorn in your side for the rest of your life…you may always feel its presence and may wish it would just go away. But God can use that thorn as a reminder to you. That you were lost and now you are found. What the World left for dead, God used for Life and Life in Abundance! Â I don’t have to live in the bondage of my sin anymore. No matter how visual your sin may be to others…or how hidden….when God forgives and redeems… IT IS FINISHED! And when it is finishedÂ a new lifeÂ has truly just begunÂ because when He has started a work in you….He will never leave you.
My thorn is a reminder of who I used to be. ItÂ is a reminder of who I never want to be again. My thorn is a reminder of how our God is an awesome God and how He saved a wretch like me. My thorn is a reminder of the Grace and Mercy that He covers me with every day. It is a reminder to me to come to my knees every day and thank Him for what He has given me and what He has done for me. My thorn is a reminder that I did not know, what I did not know. I was ignorant.Â Its a reminder of the person I want to be today and everyday.Â I am still a work in progress and the Lord is not finished with me yet… I will sin day after day without wanting to…but I bring my burdens to Him and HeÂ will restore me,Â He will convict me, He will be my defense andÂ He will redeem me day after day.
2 Corinthians 12:7-10 “Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.Â Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.Â But he said to me, â€œMy grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.â€ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christâ€™s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christâ€™s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”