“From ‘Worst’ to Faithfully Appointed.”


“I am grateful to Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because he judged me faithful and appointed me to his service.”  -1 Timothy 1:12

The man once named Saul, persecutor and murderer of Christ-followers has been redeemed.  Now, Christ’s ambassador, a humble servant renamed Paul writes to Timothy his protege and for all intense and purposes adopted son.  Paul is nearing the end of his life.  He knows that time is now running out for him.  He isn’t bitter.  He isn’t scorning and cursing his captors – Rome, instead he is making the most of his remaining time.   He writes this encouraging letter to Timothy as a father would lovingly pen words on a page to a son.  Paul considers himself the worst of sinners and even says son in his letter to Timothy.  

Is there regret from his previous life, before Christ cast his light of salvation on him on a dusty Damascus road?  Yes.  But has this regret stopped Paul from living for Christ alone?  No!  Though Paul considered himself the worst of sinners, he indicates to Timothy that Christ had also deemed him worthy of calling. 

What made Paul worthy?  Was it his own hard work and effort to be ‘good’?  No.  How can a killer of Christians now be considered worthy & faithful?  It becomes a matter of the heart.  What lives inside our hearts only we and God know.  What we feed on within out thought processes only we and God know.  Paul was convinced, and the evidence of his ministry results are apparent, that Christ had judged him faithful and appointed him to serve.  

What about us today? 

Do you feel worthy of being called by God?  Are you willing to serve Him wholeheartedly like Paul did?  We don’t need to have a theological degree to serve Him.  We don’t need to be highly educated to gather a towel around our waist and wash the feet of those around us for His glory.  We don’t need to be preachers like Billy Graham to share this message of hope to the world around us.  We just need to be faithful.  Christ Jesus can and will strengthen you as well, just as He did with Paul.  If we say ‘yes’ to His calling (whatever that calling looks like that enables us to serve Him) he will judge us faithful and then also appoint you as well to whatever task He needs you to serve Him in.  

You may consider yourself in your own minds to be the worst of sinners also.  You may think that God cannot forgive you for what you have done in your life…and you would be wrong!  Christ is willing to forgive you if only you will let Him.  When we open ourselves up to Him and His holy cleansing we will find love, grace and hope…we will find new life!  And in this new life, we too will be judged as faithful servants of the Most High.  

Are you willing today to trust Him?  Are you willing to allow Him into your life?  If you say yes to His calling on your life, watch out!  You will never be the same again!  Because the Apostle Paul said ‘yes’ to Christ many, many lives for changed including Timothy who did carry on in Paul’s footsteps.  Because Paul said ‘yes’ to Christ the very world was changed because of His testimony.  Today, this world needs more Pauls to boldly step up and say ‘yes’ to Christ…may you be a Paul today in your answer today!

-Just a thought.  


When we utter “Why me God?”


When do we utter “why me God?”  Sometimes It happens when we have felt His calling on our lives to do something for Him.  Other times we utter it out of frustration at life’s circumstances.

If we are honest with ourselves, at times, we doubt that God even has a plan for us.  This doubt may appear and disappear in a moment but still it is present in our thoughts and lives.  We fear and sometimes question if God truly knows what He is doing with us.  Don’t take this the wrong way, but faith sometimes makes it hard for us to grasp the tangible of the unseen.  Does it mean that God isn’t there or He doesn’t know what He’s doing?  Certainly NOT!

Let me be clear, God has a plan for each of us, you can be certain of that!  Does it necessarily mean that He  is involved in all of our steps?  I don’t think so, be His presence is certainly there.  Rather in the grand scheme of our lives He would love nothing more to forge us into His holy image and guides our steps in that matter.

How should we then respond to God in our circumstances and in His calling on our lives?

There are two biblical examples that I would like to draw from:

1) Samuel

He didn’t quite know who was calling him initially.  It is recorded in 1 Samuel that the word of the Lord was very rare in his day…so God calls Samuel in the middle of the night.   Samuel thinks that the high priest Eli is calling him.   So Samuel gets up and makes his way to Eli, but Eli awakens and says “I didn’t call you.  Samuel gets called two additional times, and each time he awakens and goes to see what Eli wants.  Finally Eli wises up and says;   “Samuel when you hear the voice calling you again say ‘Speak Lord for your servant is listening‘”.  (1 Samuel 3:1-10)  And so God calls to Samuel again and this time Samuel doesn’t respond with “Why me God?” but instead he responds just as Eli instructed him to.  Thus begins the calling and ministry of Samuel and his willingness to obey the Lord when He called.

2) Isaiah

God gives Isaiah an epic vision of heaven.  God is on His throne, and all around there are angelic creatures and angels calling out in worship to God, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies!     The whole earth is filled with his glory!” As Isaiah is viewing this majestic scene, he quickly realizes that he is doomed to be in the holy presence of the Almighty.  He is confronted with his own sin and the sins of his people.  How could he possibly compare to the perfection of God who is in the very room as he?  And so Isaiah, perhaps wants to utter “Why me God” but he can’t because He is blown away by God’s very presence and Isaiah’s utter failings and sin.  In response to his damning pronunciation one of the Seraphim  flies over and brings a coal from the altar of the Lord and touches Isaiah’s lips.  Isaiah is purified of his sins and is finally able to respond to a question that God then asks; ” Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?”  Isaiah doesn’t say “pick someone else“, nor does he say “why me?“, but rather he simply says, “Here I am, Lord send me.”  (Isaiah 6:1-8)

What happens when God calls us?

What is our response to His holy calling?  Our response ought to be similar to Isaiah’s response “Here I am, Lord send me!”  There might be times when we doubt.  There might be times when we feel like asking “Why me God?”  Yet when He calls to us and asks something of us, even despite our doubts, the appropriate response is “Here I am, send me!”

This response is a dangerous response.  It is a response that says, “Lord I’m going to trust you fully“.  It’s a response that says “despite the places and the people you send me to I will go!”  Yet the journey will be rewarding…not always but in the long run so very much more rewarding than refusing to go.  We aren’t forced to go where God tells us to go.  Nor are we robots in our decisions.  God listens to us and to our concerns.  He hears our worries and our desires.  Faith leads us into a deeper relationship with God.  Faith helps us to realize that His plans are perfect, He can use us and we can be worthy of His calling.

What will our response be to His calling?  Will it be “Why me God?”  Or will it be “Here I am, Lord send me!”

send me

Ashamed? Hell No!

2 Timothy 1:5-8 (NIV)
5 I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. 6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. 8 So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God,

I hope I didn’t offend you…not my purpose.  My purpose in my title is to ask which do we prefer Eternity in Heaven or Eternity in Hell.  My choice?  Hell?  NO!  Heaven?  Yes!  From this perspective I will not be ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ!  I know in whom I have placed my trust and I will not back down from that!  

The Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy to remind him to carry on the mission of Christ…to fan it into flame to ignite others and to never be ashamed of the Lord.  I can imagine the early Christians facing all kinds of ridicule, mockery, imprisonment and death…Paul’s words go beyond basic embarrassment or  shame it picks at the very heart of being a Christian.  We are to be in essence gate keepers of heaven…guides if you will to the one who holds the keys of heaven and eternal life – Christ himself.  

When we shy away from this role, when we passively allow injustices to occur and we look the other way because we’re afraid to get involved or how it will look we may as well be gate keepers of hell.  I know that sounds pretty harsh but we have to stand for something or else we’ll fall for anything or allow anything to go in this life.  And if we’re wise in our understanding of scripture we ought to acknowledge that scripture certainly doesn’t endorse an ‘anything goes’ notion in this life.  

Timothy took up the gauntlet from the Apostle Paul.  He did continue in spreading the word of Christ to all the world.  He was a pivotal early church leader.  

In our lives are we ashamed of Christ?  Are we afraid to share our faith of Him to those we meet?  I’m not talking about handing out “Get Saved Or Else” pamphlets here.  I’m talking about developing trusting relationships with people so that when you present the gospel you are making a lasting impact on them.  Being unashamed is a part of the role of a Christian.  We can’t do this in our own strength however.  We need the strength and power of the Holy Spirit to get it right and to be effective.  

Ashamed?  If we allow hell to prevail…I say Hell no!  Stand up, be bold, be unashamed..and heaven Yes!   

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