Read: 1 Timothy 1:12-14

I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service, though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. (vv. 12-13)

The apostle often inspires his young friend by way of personal testimony. Hear him as he models a grateful heart. Jesus is the one who has strengthened him, and placed him into ministry. In other words, Paul’s entire service as an apostle is by the Lord’s appointment. Jesus sends and equips him. And most amazing to Paul is this: the Lord considered him to be faithful, even though he had formerly been a vicious persecutor of the church. For all this, he says, “I thank Christ Jesus my Lord.”

Something of this grace and gratitude burst on me the night I came to trust in Jesus. The Scripture memory card my friend gave me contained Jesus’ words in John 15:16: “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.” God had given me something to live for that was bigger than my own success and security—what a gift! To be trusted and sent by the risen Lord as one of his servants is grace upon grace. Thanks be to him! —Bill Brownson

As you pray, confess your own sin and thank God for calling you to belong to his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.