Thursday, November 09, 2006

. . . . and I read about me

I had one of those rare moments wherein I was overcome with self-revelation. That is, I was reading the Bible, a quiet-time before work, and this particular passage really "spoke" to me:

"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."

This passage from 1 Timothy 1:12-16 hit me in so many ways. I thought about the line "appointing me to his service." Just last Sunday in the junior high room at church I got all teary-eyed because I was so blown away by how rewarding my service in that ministry is for me. As I read this section of the Bible, I feel some sense of bewilderment that I could be utilized by God in such a way to bring him any benefit.

Mercy and grace are perhaps the two most amazing words in our language and I am so thankful for receiving them both in abundance. The more I ponder this small piece of scripture, I am certain that everything I thought I knew about God's grace and mercy is entirely inadequate to even begin to scratch the surface of just how great and generous and loving God really is. Although I thought I had covered these topics over a decade ago, I found myself going to the dictionary and then found myself thinking: "It's one thing to 'refrain from inflicting punishment or pain to an offender' but it is quite another all together to be able to show 'favor and goodwill' instead." I wonder: What does this look like when it's played out in my home, my classroom, and on the street?

I reread and I'm struck by the phrase "has given me strength" now. I cannot describe this tremendous sense of strength I've been feeling for months now. The best way that I can even begin to articulate what I even mean by this is that I feel like I have moved beyond self-controll (a concept I'm beginning to realize is totally bogus and unobtainable anyway) to being Christ-controlled. Now, I am scared to even type that, okay, not scared to type it, but hesitant to "publish" it because it sounds arrogant, but I actually feel powerful. I feel like am beginning to finally begin to tap into the spirit of strength God has placed within me as is promised in the scriptures. It feels good! I feel very grateful for this strength as I reread the words of Paul here. Do me a favor? If you see me faltering, remind me of this spirit.

Finally, it's like I never saw this line before in all my life. Paul writes here about Christ displaying his "unlimited patience" through him. Who am I kidding? This is about me. I recall this Steven Curtis Chapman song that begins, "Started out this morning, in the usual way, chasing thoughts inside my head of all I had to do today . . . . I opened up the Bible and I read about me . . . ." Instead of being all teary-eyed now, I'm chuckling to myself thinking about what a great vehicle I have been for Christ's patience. I've given Him every opportunity to be patient with me. "Why was/am I so stubborn?," I'm thinking. But, I find great hope in thinking that maybe, like Paul, God is using my very weaknesses to bring glory to Himself? It's baffling really.

Many times when I read the Bible, I gain information, sometimes insight, sometimes it's just going through the motions, but this particular morning I was reading about me and I wish I could actually describe to you what it feels like when you're thinking, really believing, "This was written about me, for me, and nobody in the history of the world has ever found this secret place that I'm in right now."

Labels: , , , ,


Blogger Summer said...

I, too, had a "reading about me" moment this morning. I'm so thankful that God's Word is "living and breathing." I'm thankful that God aims His Word directly at my storms or mountains or valleys - whatever it is each day, and brings the calm of His peace and strength and understanding to my soul.

Excellent post - may God continue to work in and through you.

In His care,

6:42 AM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

tiffany and co, polo outlet, nike air max, replica watches, longchamp outlet, louis vuitton, tory burch outlet, nike air max, longchamp outlet, louis vuitton outlet, nike outlet, prada handbags, ray ban sunglasses, christian louboutin, michael kors outlet store, kate spade outlet, louis vuitton, michael kors outlet online, louis vuitton outlet, oakley sunglasses, christian louboutin outlet, burberry outlet, christian louboutin shoes, uggs outlet, jordan shoes, chanel handbags, replica watches, ray ban sunglasses, louis vuitton outlet, ugg boots, nike free, ray ban sunglasses, cheap oakley sunglasses, christian louboutin uk, oakley sunglasses wholesale, gucci handbags, michael kors outlet, tiffany jewelry, longchamp outlet, michael kors outlet online, michael kors outlet, burberry handbags, michael kors outlet online, uggs on sale, ugg boots, prada outlet, polo ralph lauren outlet online, uggs outlet

6:58 PM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

true religion jeans, nike air max, true religion outlet, burberry pas cher, vans pas cher, oakley pas cher, coach outlet, nike air force, polo ralph lauren, new balance, michael kors pas cher, timberland pas cher, sac hermes, longchamp pas cher, north face uk, nike air max uk, michael kors, michael kors, nike roshe run uk, ralph lauren uk, hollister uk, hollister pas cher, sac longchamp pas cher, air max, nike air max uk, nike tn, converse pas cher, true religion outlet, guess pas cher, ray ban pas cher, jordan pas cher, nike roshe, nike free uk, louboutin pas cher, nike free run, north face, ray ban uk, polo lacoste, mulberry uk, sac vanessa bruno, lululemon canada, hogan outlet, true religion outlet, coach outlet store online, abercrombie and fitch uk, nike blazer pas cher, michael kors outlet, coach purses

7:04 PM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

valentino shoes, nike air max, hollister clothing, ghd hair, vans, soccer shoes, timberland boots, longchamp uk, ferragamo shoes, converse outlet, ralph lauren, nike air max, herve leger, mcm handbags, celine handbags, converse, nike roshe run, bottega veneta, jimmy choo outlet, baseball bats, chi flat iron, louboutin, vans outlet, hollister, hollister, north face outlet, new balance shoes, oakley, asics running shoes, mac cosmetics, wedding dresses, babyliss, mont blanc pens, abercrombie and fitch, ray ban, giuseppe zanotti outlet, north face outlet, lululemon, gucci, iphone 6 cases, instyler, beats by dre, reebok outlet, nfl jerseys, hermes belt, p90x workout, insanity workout, soccer jerseys

7:15 PM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

swarovski crystal, michael kors outlet, michael kors handbags, moncler, replica watches, juicy couture outlet, coach outlet, moncler, moncler uk, thomas sabo, doke gabbana, louis vuitton, ugg uk, montre pas cher, links of london, louis vuitton, moncler, supra shoes, canada goose outlet, michael kors outlet online, canada goose, pandora jewelry, wedding dresses, doudoune moncler, canada goose, karen millen uk, barbour, louis vuitton, lancel, swarovski, moncler outlet, barbour uk, ugg pas cher, pandora uk, marc jacobs, canada goose jackets, canada goose outlet, pandora charms, canada goose uk, moncler outlet, canada goose, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, pandora jewelry, juicy couture outlet, louis vuitton, hollister, moncler, ugg, toms shoes, louis vuitton, canada goose outlet

7:24 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home