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WOAT(worst of all time) vs GOAT (greatest of all time)

When you think about one of the most impactful individuals in the Bible, who wrote most of the New Testament and spread Christianity to the Gentiles, you don’t think about that kind of person being the WOAT or worst of all time when it comes to being a sinner.  But these words came from Paul’s own mouth and are recorded in 1 Timothy 1:2 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service, 13 even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief; 14 and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus. 15 It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all.  You see the GOAT letters being used a lot to describe different people or events and the sweeping meaning of those letters is very deceiving at best.  There is no GOAT or greatest of all time, but Jesus, and that’s it.  It stops there. BUZZKILL!!!   But there is a WOAT or worst of all time ( at least in his own eyes) and his name was Paul.  Paul was the guy who took letters from high officials with permission to do whatever it took to stop the Jesus movement in his day.  And do whatever it took was just what he did. Here is one of the results of Paul’s interaction with  Stephen.  Acts. 7:54 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the quick, and they began gnashing their teeth at him. 55 But being full of the Holy Spirit, he gazed intently into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God; 56 and he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened up and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” 57 But they cried out with a loud voice, and covered their ears and rushed at him with one impulse. 58 When they had driven him out of the city, they began stoning him; and the witnesses laid aside their robes at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59 They went on stoning Stephen as he called on the Lord and said, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!” 60 Then falling on his knees, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them!” Having said this, he fell asleep. and Acts 8:1 Saul was in hearty agreement with putting him to death.And on that day a great persecution began against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. 2 Some devout men buried Stephen, and made loud lamentation over him. 3 But Saul began ravaging the church, entering house after house, and dragging off men and women, he would put them in prison.  So if you identified with Jesus you would get the hammer and Paul was that hammer!!  

But even Paul was not beyond the grace of God!!  Even Paul’s life was changed for good when he was met by Jesus on the road to Damascus.  Even Paul was called to do a “new” work for the Lord and Paul gave his total life to following Christ and in following him changed our world forever.  We look at the dedication of Paul and it causes us to marvel at the extreme change that took place.  So when you read 2 Corinthians 12:9 as written by this same Paul it MEANS  something…..It means everything!! Here is what it says. And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.  Paul was a man who walked with God and felt the full hammer blow of God’s grace and it changed him forever.  Even with all evidence that God’s’ hand was on him in a mighty way Paul still gave all praise and honor to Christ.  Wow!!

There is a great truth found in the realization that without Christ we are nothing, but because of Christ we can do all things in total freedom.  Our past sins are forgiven and all is made new and focused on Jesus Christ and His will.  You are no different than Paul.  When I realized that I was a sinner per the scripture in Romans 3:23 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,  I knew I was in trouble and I needed a Savior to step in for me and Jesus did just that.  His grace was made complete in my life and the rest is history.  It wasn’t necessarily for the specific sins I had committed that caused me to see I needed Christ, but it was the condition of my sinful life that made me feel like I was the WOAT and I needed help.  I turned to Christ and His great forgiveness freed me from the penalty of sin and redirected my life,  Praise God!!!  In my life He took someone who wanted to be a singing star from the time he was 10 years old.  Who studied music for one reason; to be a professional singer.  He took that person and redirected my life for His purposes and now my life is “full on” for Christ.  I am still singing, but just singing His praises.

Do you want to experience this freedom I am talking about that radically changed Paul’s life?  If you do, then come to Jesus and admit you are a sinner and repent and trust in Him by faith and your new life will begin.  Paul’s radical transformation is no different than what God will do with your life if you will just turn it over to Him.  He is waiting and all you need to do is realize you are WOAT and God is the GOAT and line up with Him.

The Pilgrimage continues…..

David Warren

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