“Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief.” — 1 Timothy 1:13
Baseball is back! For nearly 150 years, teams have collected on grassy fields each spring to begin a season of hits, runs, victories and defeats. Opening Day reminds us of players of the past, and gives us hope for the future. Every team starts new and anything could happen this season.
For the follower of Jesus, we have an opening day too. The day we first stepped up and opened our hearts to receive Him. Can you remember the excitement? Anything was possible!
Perhaps no one had quite the “opening day” like the Apostle Paul. Acts 9 describes how he was on a mission to destroy the Church of Christ in Damascus. He suddenly saw a light brighter than stadium lights at any ballpark. The power of it knocked him to the ground. Jesus revealed Himself to Paul by asking, “Why do you persecute Me?”
I’m sure a million things were running through Paul’s mind, but maybe nothing bigger than this: “Who is this and what is he going to do to me?” Paul reflected on that moment in his letter to Timothy. His mind went back to the mercy. He deserved punishment. He was given grace.
Reflect back on your first day with Jesus. Were you a blasphemer, speaking against God? Were you a persecutor, pushing against the people of God? Were you violent, raging physically against everyone else? How were you acting in ignorance and unbelief? Praise God Jesus showed you mercy!
How far have you come since that first day? Have you been growing closer to Him, or do you need some more “spring training?” Do you still have that excitement and think anything is possible? Allow baseball’s start to remind you that God’s mercy is “new every morning” (Lamentations 3:23). Reflect how your season can be renewed right now.
Maybe you’ve never experienced that “opening day” with Jesus. Maybe you’ve never surrender and asked Him to forgive you from the ways you’ve been against Him. Maybe you’ve never asked to follow Him. Today could be your Day One. Just step up to the plate and ask Him. Jesus’s mercy is just a prayer away. Your new season can begin.
— Jeff Chaves
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