I thank Messiah Yeshua our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, appointing me to service— even though I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and a violent man. Yet I was shown mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed with the faith and love that are in Messiah Yeshua. Trustworthy is the saying and deserving of complete acceptance: “Messiah Yeshua came into the world to save sinners”—of whom I am foremost. Yet for this reason I was shown mercy—so that in me as the foremost, Messiah Yeshua might demonstrate His complete patience, as an example for those about to put their trust in Him for eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. (1 Timothy 1:12-17)
Paul had done much violence to the believers, arresting, imprisoning them and even agreeing to their death. He realized that he was a sinner and deeply valued the mercy of God to save Him. Too often, we look at others and think ‘that person isn’t open to the Gospel’, or ‘that person wouldn’t want to hear me’, or ‘that person is too hard hearted.’ God’s mercy to Paul, and to me, to each of us, should remind us that His hand is NEVER too short to reach into the pit of our lives. His love can melt stone into flesh. Only God’s Spirit can search hearts and, by grace, give us words of wisdom and discernment. Paul’s example encourages us to share His LOVE and Good News with every person without judging them by outward appearances or how they seem to respond. May God use our lives to touch hearts with His unending mercy.