“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. The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.” — 1 Timothy 1:13-14
Peter and Paul
College coaches spend a lot of time recruiting. They want to find the best talent, but their best work is done when they develop a one-star athlete into an All-American.
That’s what Jesus did when he called his disciples for salvation and for training. As the wind pushed the water of the Sea of Galilee back and forth across the rocks and sand along the shore, Jesus walked along and called out to someone not expected to be a religious leader. Most people saw Simon as a good fisherman, but unpredictable like the weather. Jesus looked beyond Simon Peter’s faults. He turned a loud, fiery, overconfident man into a rock-solid leader for Christianity.
Jesus left His father’s carpenter’s shop and came to where Simon Peter was, and a common man became an outstanding leader. “As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. ‘Come, follow Me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will send you out to fish for people.’ At once they left their nets and followed Him” (Matthew 4:18-20).
Peter didn’t learn servant leadership in one day, but he did learn. Eventually, Peter taught others to be like Jesus. “In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.’ Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time” (1 Peter 5:5-6).
When Saul was on the Damascus Road, Jesus left the comfort of Heaven once again to change a hateful man into someone with a heart full of love for others. Later, Saul became Paul and he testified, “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. The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 1:13-14).
As Peter and Paul extended God’s grace, may we also be merciful to others as we pray for God to redeem every person in every place.
— Bill Kent, Pastor of Memorial Baptist Church, Sylvania, Ga.
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