I am the least of the apostles and don’t even deserve to be called an apostle…” (1 Cor 15:9 – written AD 53); “I am least deserving of all God’s people…” (Eph. 3:8 – AD 62); “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.” (1 Tim 1:15 – AD 65).


Lord Jesus, thank you for coming into the world to save sinners—to redeem those of us who don’t love God with everything we have and are—we who fail to obey our Father all the time in every way with joy.

This is the most inclusive group in all of history and humanity. None of us need to feel overlooked, left out, or rejected. Woohoo and Hallelujah… all of us qualify for your saving grace, and each of us can have it freely and fully. This is the best news ever. As dire as our condition is, your provision to meet our need is a “gazillion” times greater. What we could never do for ourselves, you have perfectly done for us, Jesus. Thank you! Grace saves to the uttermost.

And as these three verses from Paul reveal, grace saves us from first to last. The more of you we discover, Jesus, the more of you we need. In the timeline of Paul’s growth as a believer, we don’t observe him growing in self-deprecation but in Gospel-celebration. He didn’t backslide into sin; he front-slid into more grace—for grace always flows downhill.

Reveal more of yourself to each of us, Jesus. That’s how we become more like you—kinder and gentler, more humble and more loving, quicker at repenting and better at forgiving. None of us are as free, peaceful, and joyful as you intend. So Very Amen.