“Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.” –1 Timothy 1:15
I’ll be honest, I don’t always have the humility necessary to think I’m the worst sinner. But the longer I’m in the presence of God’s perfection the more my many errors stand glaringly obvious. And unlikely as it is, that is the beginning of a lot of love.
Knowing of my many, many failings would, by itself, cripple me under its heavy weight. Except, I also know God’s grace, His forgiveness, is more than a match for everything I ever have done or ever will do.
And I love Him so dearly for it. I love Him because He loved me enough to die for me. (1 John 4:19, John 3:16). I don’t deserve it. My love is a direct correlation to how much I remember He’s paid for me. And I am the worst of sinners. That is a lot of love.
I can’t earn His love; I can never pay it back. God has bought my freedom and given it to me as a gift through Jesus Christ my Savior. All I can do is love Him and thank Him with my life, with my soul, with all that I am.
I’m reminded of two people in the Bible: the woman weeping at Jesus’ feet (Luke 7:36-50) and the man with leprosy who “threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked Him” (Luke 17:11-19). One shouted in praise, one wept in adoration. When I remember all that Jesus has saved me from, my response resembles theirs.
There are times my shout is “Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:25). And there are other times Jesus calms me in my tear-stained gratefulness.
We all have the opportunity to respond to God’s love with our own. He’s paid so much for each of us, the worst sinners. That’s a lot of love. As we remember just how vast His great love is, we have a lot of love to give back.
“Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him [a lot] and the other [a little]. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?” Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.” “You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.
“Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown.
“But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.” Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven. Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” -Jesus (Luke 7:41-43;47-48;50 emphasis mine)
How has God’s great love changed you? How do you find yourself responding in kind?