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Daily Reading: Jeremiah 28:1-29:32 ESV, 1 Timothy 1:1-20 ESV, Psalm 86:1-17 ESV, Proverbs 25:17 ESV

Daily Verse: “The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.” (1 Timothy 1:15 ESV)

PROTOS (4413): “IN time, place, order, or importance.  In 1 Tim. 1:15-16, of a sinner.”[1]

First place.

Paul calls himself the prize winner for sinners.  Considering he killed followers of the Way before meeting Jesus, I would give Paul the trophy if one existed.  Thank God, Jesus forgives our sins and cleanses us, making us new.

And thank God for Paul, whose life changed so drastically; he truly does set an example of a new creation.  From killer to a preacher, Paul’s meeting with Jesus made the difference between the two extremes.

Paul’s decision to follow Christ meant doing things differently.  In the same way, I decided to do things Jesus’ way in my late 20s after spending a decade following my desires, ending in despair.

Discover joy.

Life didn’t become one long vacation when I placed my faith in Jesus.  No, God gives us purpose.  Allowing Christ to prompt me from within made me think differently; instead of putting myself first, I began to put others first.

Following Jesus helped me learn to set boundaries.  Christ taught me unhealthy people couldn’t have healthy relationships.  Jesus continues to teach me that I’m not the Savior.  My purpose on earth doesn’t include running it, but God does expect me to love the residents.

Every day, I continue to learn as I pursue life with Jesus.  Going deeper in my relationship with the Lord takes me places I didn’t want to go.  But only by trusting God can I find healing from the hurts. 

As you journey with Jesus, you discover His joy.  Amid heartache, God’s peace descends, helping us out of the pit.  Forgive yourself for the sins God forgave long ago.  Let go of the past and embrace the future, one filled with the hope of the Lord.

Admitting your sins will enable you to have life to the fullest in Christ as you embrace His grace and mercy, experiencing His joy.

[1] Strong, J., & Strong, J. (2010). The New Strong’s expanded exhaustive concordance of the Bible. Greek Dictionary of the New Testament (p. 217) Thomas Nelson

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