1 Timothy 1:12-17
"You could try the patience of Job," my grandmother used to tell me when I was a child. It wasn't a compliment. It seems that I had a way of pushing boundaries and trying my family's patience. Their patience kept me from being thrown in the ditch. I'm not sure much of that has gone away. Ask my wife.
It was God's patience with him, the Apostle Paul said, that brought him toward God's mercy (1 Timothy 1:16). God's "utmost patience" with him, Paul says, serves as our example of God's goodness and love. Essentially, Paul is saying, "You think you are that bad? You think your sin disqualifies you from grace? Think again."
Have you messed up again? Friends and family may give up on you saying, "He'll never change." God never gives up on you.
Just as God extends patience to you, who needs your patience extended to them?
Gracious God, as I stumble along the Way of Jesus, thank you for being patient with me, picking me up, dusting me off, and continually guiding me in the presence of the Holy Spirit.
1 Timothy 1:12-17 (NRSV)
12 I am grateful to Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because he judged me faithful and appointed me to his service,
13 even though I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and a man of violence. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief,
14 and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.
15 The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the foremost.
16 But for that very reason I received mercy, so that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display the utmost patience, making me an example to those who would come to believe in him for eternal life.
17 To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.