Today's encouragement comes from 1 Timothy 1:15, where we read these amazing words of Paul:
"This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief."
If we are sinners, and we know ourselves to be such--then there is real hope for us. Christ did not come to earth to save good people, (because there *are no* "good people"). Jesus did not come here to make people nice, nor civil, nor easy to get along with. Instead, He came to redeem real sinners from their real sin.
Who are the "chief" of these sinners, according to Paul? Not the slimy abortionists and drug-dealers (as vile as they are)--but rather the re-ligious pharisees, the theological "know-it-alls" who think they are better than God Himself. Paul was turned from one of those, into a true minister of Christ.
[Puritan quote of the day: "It is a Christian's duty to triumph, not only over the world, but over Satan." --William Bridge, in, "A Lifting Up for the Downcast"]