S (Scripture): 1 Timothy 1:15 This saying is trustworthy and deserves full acceptance: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” – and I am the worst of them! 16 But here is why I was treated with mercy: so that in me as the worst, Christ Jesus could demonstrate his utmost patience, as an example for those who are going to believe in him for eternal life.
O (Observation): Paul (author of our letter here to Timothy) used to be Saul. Saul persecuted / killed those who claimed that Jesus Christ was Lord / Son of God. Why? Saul was a Pharisee, and considered his slaughter of Christians a strong and powerful showing of the depths of his faith and loyalty to God.
And Paul recognizes that God has done soemthing extremely special here: God redeems Saul to show the world the depths of God’s saving power. That even in the midst of his sin, Paul was redeemed.
That was a big change from the popular thought of the Jewish (human-constructed) belief system. One showed their obedience to God and then was identified as a trusted member of God’s household of faith.
God, In Jesus, changed all of that.
A (Application): People make the wrong connections here. A lot of doubters say, “So I just do whatever I want, and God’s cool with that. God will just say, ‘Oh, I love you, do whatever you want.’ And then they are saved and can do it all over again.”
That’s precisely NOT what grace is about. Does God’s grace envelope you right where you are? Yes! Absolutely! But is that where you stay? No! Certainly not!
We are all called to repent and believe in the Good News of Jesus Christ. But before we repent, we have to know that there is something for which we are called to repent.
Usually, God catches our attention with a kairos – a moment in time that freezes us in our tracks, either a positive or negative experience. We can dive into those moments to process what’s going on. Since we mostly will NOT see Jesus face to face, as Saul/Paul did, we can share stories from the Scriptures and our own lives to help that person. Those moments are best spent with others in the faith to help the person having the kairos.
Can you name a kairos from your life? Can you point to a moment recently, that took your breath away, for better or worse?
My most recent kairos has to do with engaging in campus ministry at MTSU. In pursuing what God is saying to me, my close disciple-friends helped me to discern that God is promising to lay out a path for me. And God has done that. We begin working with campus ministry later this month!!! (The processing and communal support are key to dealing with a kairos!)
P (Prayer): Lord, you come to us, always. Remind us that we are yours and that we can hear from you any time and any place. Amen.