Lent: Time of Transformation
St. Thomas MTC, New York
15 The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the foremost. 16 But for that very reason I received mercy, so that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display the utmost patience, making me an example to those who would come to believe in him for eternal life
In this passage, Paul recalls the sinful life he led prior to his transformation in Christ. Paul, formerly known as Saul, persecuted the followers of Jesus. When Jesus called him on the road to Damascus, he fell to the ground, was blinded and spent three days reflecting on his past and how his actions hurt God. He knew he didn’t deserve forgiveness and God could have easily condemned him. Paul knew he was unworthy and undeserving of God’s mercy. But God was patient with Paul and brought him to a transformational experience to know the true God. Paul’s life was used as a testimony to show the glory of God.
Sometimes we believe we are so unworthy because of our past. Sometimes we think we are the worst of all sinners like Paul. Just like grace and mercy transformed the life of Paul who didn’t deserve it, the same grace and mercy is available to us. We may have trouble accepting how gracious God is to His children because of who we are and what we have done. We are set free because of Jesus' death on the cross and we no longer have to bear the burden of our guilt and shame.People who knew the old Saul couldn’t believe the transformation that had taken place in him. The persecutor became the man most eager to share the gospel of Jesus. Paul demonstrated love and acceptance instead of anger and hatred. Sometimes we may need God to stop us in our tracks to have the Damascus experience. Have we let go of our former life of sin? Does our life demonstrate someone who is transformed in Christ? This Lent season let us remember that Jesus doesn’t look at our unworthiness. Through His love, we can be used in His kingdom. Others will see what God has done in our lives thereby bringing others to the experience of a living and forgiving God.
PRAYERLord Jesus, we remember Your death on the cross to save us from our sins. We commit ourselves during this Lent season to a new beginning. We are not worthy but You have shown Grace and Mercy towards us and called us to be Your children. Help us to live our life conscious of our words and actions so that people who see us, see Christ in us. Amen.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:If you will transform your mind, God will transform your life. – Joel Osteen.