Thankful To Be Seen by Jesus
by Raema Mauriello on November 15th, 2016

(Today's scripture graphic is also a downloadable phone lock screen)

 
If I could get into a time machine, go back 15 years and tell my 19 year old self that I would become a mother of four, a Christian author and a pastor, I would have laughed my way all the way to the bar. I was living a life that was the polar opposite of those three things. As soon as I graduated from high school I began to run down a destructive road as fast as my legs would carry me, taking every opportunity to be rebellious and cursing the Lord every chance I could get.

I got married when I was 20, we had our first child when I was 21 and in the same year I found out that my husband had been unfaithful. My life shattered into a million pieces at my feet and that pain left me a hollow shell of a woman and I vowed to make him hurt the way he hurt me. I became bitter and rage overtook me. I was verbally abusive, I became an alcoholic, I was spiteful and then I chose to be unfaithful. I hit rock bottom and I dragged there for a while because my pride wouldn’t let me forgive or release the pain.

I knew I was undeserving of any type of grace or mercy Jesus was extending to me but when my eyes were opened and my heart was slightly receptive to Jesus He came in like a flood and I slowly started to walk down the path He originally designed for me. 

I love 1 Timothy 1:12 (ESV) because the Apostle Paul says, “I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service…” Paul was one of the least likely to be a Christ follower. Verse 13 tells us, “though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent.” He persecuted Christians, he was the one who approved the death of Stephen, he was greatly feared by believers until he had an encounter with Jesus that radically changed and transformed his life. This encounter took him from a path of darkness and placed him on the path which leads to life. If salvation was the only thing Jesus did for Paul it would have been enough but Jesus didn’t stop there, He assigned Paul to be His voice to the gentiles. Jesus knew what Paul had been guilty of and He still died for him and He still called him. Paul’s gratitude can be heard throughout this chapter because he openly admits his unworthiness of the call on his life but he quickly points to the grace and mercy that was extended to him and the source of his strength, Jesus.  
 

I have a hard time verbalizing how grateful I am that I have a savior who left His place in heaven, humbly clothed Himself in flesh, was rejected by His own creation and murdered, to make a way where there was no way. I am grateful for His arms that were outstretched on that cross, because it’s a constant reminder of how He accepts those who come to Him broken and lost, with arms wide open.

We can all look back on a time in our lives when we were unworthy of the grace and mercy of Jesus. I am so thankful He saw me, in my sinful state, and He still died for me. I am so thankful He has taken all of my sins and He uses them for His glory. I am so thankful that He chooses to work in and through me because if it were up to me, I would choose someone else. We all could make an exhaustive list of every thing we are guilty of and that list wouldn’t make the love Jesus has for us null and void. Even with all of our flaws, He has called each of us into His service whether we feel worthy of that calling or not. He has saved you and assigned you. He has radically set each of us free and now He uses each of us to play a part in radically setting others free.

When I reflect on what Jesus rescued me from I often hear the words to the old hymn ‘Amazing Grace’ and I rarely get through that song without crying because I can intimately relate to those words:

Amazing grace
How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost
But now I’m found
Was blind but now I see

When I am given the opportunity to be a light in someones dark world it is an honor. I look at the wretch I was and how He saved me, how lost I was and how He found me, how blind I was and how He gave me sight and I desperately want that for others. We were worth Jesus to God and so are they, now He wants us to humbly accept the assignments He lays before us, to be His hands and feet to a lost and dying world.


Here are a few things to reflect on:
1.      What has Jesus rescued you from?
2.      What has He assigned you to do to bring heaven to earth?
3.      Have you accepted that assignment?

Blessings Soul Friends,
​Today's blog is part of our #SoulDeep Scripture Reading Series : #EverydayThanksgiving
  
​Raema Mauriello is a mother of four and works as a staff pastor and project manager at Shoreline Dallas. She is the author of The Struggle is Real and Because Crack is Illegal and her career started as a Navy Journalist and a Search and Rescue Swimmer. She graduated from Liberty University with her Bachelors of Religious Studies, continues to serve in ministry and writes a weekly blog (www.raemam.com). 


Posted in Soul Deep Scripture    Tagged with #EverydayThanksgiving, 1 Timothy, grace


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