Ephesians 3:8 – 9 “Although I am less than the least of all God’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things.”
Have you ever done something that has later brought you great shame and guilt? Paul had. Before surrendering his life to Christ, he had searched out and killed Christians, all in the name of religion. He was responsible for taking the lives of people simply because they loved Jesus. Now, he was trying to win people to Christ.
When Paul came to Christ, he was forgiven of all his past wrongs – just as we all are. God has no desire for His children to walk around with dark clouds of guilt and shame over their heads. He forgives us, He wipes the slate clean, and we are given a fresh start in Christ. We are “born again,” so to speak, with everything new.
Yet, Paul was the first to tell everyone about his past. He was the first to admit that he was undeserving of such love and forgiveness. Paul didn’t talk about his past out of guilt or shame, but rather, out of gratitude! He knew how far God had to reach to grab hold of him. He knew that he was a murderer, and yet God had given him a chance to work for the very cause he had once worked against.
Friends, it doesn’t matter what we have done or where we have been. God wants to pull us out of whatever muck and mess we have found ourselves in. He wants to clean us off, set us on our feet, and give us each a fresh start. And then, for the rest of our days, He wants us to forget about the past. But He doesn’t want us to forget the forgiveness that has been offered. He doesn’t want us to forget where we’ve come from, because it is only in remembering that we can appreciate our current status as children of God.
God wants us, like Paul, to tell others what God has done for us. He won’t call us all to be full-time missionaries or evangelists or pastors, but He does want us to spread the word. God loves people. He wants to give each person a fresh start. And He was willing to die, to give us each that chance.
Dear Father, I know I don’t deserve Your love and forgiveness, but You have given it freely. Help me to be bold as I tell others what You have done for me.