The Text

1 Timothy 1:12-17 (CSB) I give thanks to Christ Jesus our Lord who has strengthened me, because he considered me faithful, appointing me to the ministry— even though I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an arrogant man. But I received mercy because I acted out of ignorance in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. This saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them. But I received mercy for this reason, so that in me, the worst of them, Christ Jesus might demonstrate his extraordinary patience as an example to those who would believe in him for eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

The Devotion

Titus 3:3-7 (CSB) For we too were once foolish, disobedient, deceived, enslaved by various passions and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, detesting one another.

But when the kindness of God our Savior and his love for mankind appeared, he saved us—not by works of righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy—through the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit. He poured out his Spirit on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior so that, having been justified by his grace, we may become heirs with the hope of eternal life.

Ephesians 2:1-10 (CSB) And you were dead in your trespasses and sins in which you previously walked according to the ways of this world, according to the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit now working in the disobedient. We too all previously lived among them in our fleshly desires, carrying out the inclinations of our flesh and thoughts, and we were by nature children under wrath as the others were also. But God, who is rich in mercy, because of his great love that he had for us, made us alive with Christ even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace! He also raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavens in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might display the immeasurable riches of his grace through his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift— not from works, so that no one can boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time for us to do.

Luke 18:9-14 (CSB) He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and looked down on everyone else: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee was standing and praying like this about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I’m not like other people—greedy, unrighteous, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of everything I get.’

“But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even raise his eyes to heaven but kept striking his chest and saying, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this one went down to his house justified rather than the other, because everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

The Prayer

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My Savior Lord God
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I was astray
  Coaxed by the world
  Deceived by Satan
  Corrupted by sin
  Hater of mankind
  And at war with you.

I have nothing in me
  My spirit was dead
  My soul was blemish
  My heart full of death 
  My sins could fill the galaxies
  My wickedness covered the earth
  I was prideful
  Arrogant
  Full of stupidity
  And surely I would have perished.

But you appeared
  came not to condemn
  But to save
  A wretch like me
  When you spoke my name
  You called me to come and die with you
  You beckon me to come and live in you.

I was the chief sinner
  Now you have made me a sweet lover
  because you are my Beloved
  And I am yours forever.

Lord,
  Make my life
  A living testimony
  To all of those
  Who say they have gone too far
  Done too many bad things
  Call themselves unlovable
  That my words and actions
  Would proclaim loudest
  You are the God who loves
  You are the God who reigns
  You are God who has more mercy
  Who gives grace upon grace
  And whose steadfast love never, ever ceases.

You are the King of my heart,
  My lot,
  My portion,
  My life,
  My joy,
  My pleasures,
  My satisfaction,
  My God,
  My Christ,
  My Spirit,
  My heart,
  My love,
  My All-in-all.

Jesus,
  You are the Lamb who was slain,
  Worthy is your name forever.

Amen.