When I started seriously seeking the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, I learned something that has given me great comfort. I lived a pretty sinful life for lots of years, even after I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. Some of the things I did I figured would make the Prodigal Son look like a choir boy.
But something Paul said helped me reconcile my sin with His grace. Even after years of seeking to follow Jesus, I kept being haunted by the memory of some of the awful things I used to do. I kept being drawn into the pit of those memories. More than once those prodigal memories kept me in a pit of despair. I thought more of the sins than I did of His grace. Then I read and dwelt upon these verses of Paul’s.
I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service, even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief; and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus.
1 Timothy 1:12-14.
Paul considered himself a “sinner among sinners” BUT (and this is the beauty of the scripture to me) Paul acknowledged the depth of his sin. In the same breath that he acknowledged his sin, he gloried in the abundant grace and love of Christ Jesus. If it weren’t for the depth of his sin (and mine) Paul (and I) would probably not appreciate and marvel at the grace and mercy of God showed us.
Despite how sinful Paul (and I) had been, God’s mercy was greater than our sin. And for Paul (and me) God’s love and grace becomes even sweeter.