(sermon by Andrew Allison – continuation of the series, Words to a Young Leader)
We spend a lot of time impressing each other. We are in hot pursuit of honour and glory.
Paul, the author of this book, knew the glory and honour game. For much of his life, “he was a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man”. (vs.13) He acted in ignorance and unbelief – so much so, that he was committed to bringing glory and honour to himself by speaking lies about Jesus.
But he was shown mercy. He came clean and admitted that he was the worst of sinners. (vs.16)
As a leader, you are loved, precious and delighted in more than you can imagine – but there is no competition. There is no comparison. You are no better than anyone else.
God uses the unlikely to do the impossible – Moses the stutterer, Ruth the widow, a little shepherd boy to take down a giant…and Paul, the blasphemer, a man who told lies about God.
God spared Paul from what he deserved and gave him what he didn’t deserve.
What changed Paul? He saw the cross.
The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. (vs. 14)
Paul became a display for Jesus, to show God’s unlimited and immense patience to those who would believe on him and receive eternal life.
You are a display of Jesus.
You can’t handle glory and honour. They weren’t designed for you.
What an amazing thought – that we are a display of Jesus. I’ll be thinking about this all week.