A New Path

1 Timothy 1:12-14
And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.  And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.

Paul was definitely not seeking Jesus when he encountered Him on the road to Damascus.  He probably could have never imagined living a life of service and sacrifice for Jesus.  The path he was on in life was basically going in the opposite direction of that.  Everything he was pursuing and focusing on was directly opposing Christ.  But Jesus met Paul in that place of rebellion and persecution.  He met Paul in the midst of his fury and zeal for the destruction of the saints.  The course Paul’s life was taking would have never led him to be a church planter, a missionary, an apostle, a defender of the faith without the merciful intervention of Jesus Christ.

So if we find ourselves on a road going nowhere, Jesus can find us where we are and take us somewhere we could have never imagined going, doing something we couldn’t have foreseen for ourselves.  He makes us more than we are, and He will use us if we are willing to be used.  If we respond to Him when He steps into our paths, He opens up a whole new life for us.  He changes our course and gets us heading in the right direction, changing us and molding us and enabling us to serve Him and live for Him.

Everything about Jesus is “exceeding abundant.”  He is always more—more than we might expect, more than we can imagine, more than we deserve.  And Paul experienced that abundant grace in his life because he was willing to open his heart to Jesus when He came to him.  And we can do the same thing.  Our past doesn’t have to be a barrier to our future because the grace of Jesus is bigger than whatever we have done.  We, too, can obtain mercy and move forward without God holding our past against us.

We may not be as influential as Paul was, but God places us all into the ministry in some way.  As His redeemed children, we are all to serve Him however we are able and in whatever He asks of us.  He has given each of us a place in His church to be used for His glory and to reach others for Him.  So let us embrace His calling for our lives.  Let’s abandon those former paths we were on and follow Jesus faithfully for the rest of our lives, enabled by His grace to be more than we ever thought we could be.