"God is my stronghold, my merciful God!" (Psalm 59:9,17).
has shown mercy to us. He has forgiven our sins. He gives us the
strength that we need to live as His faithful servants. This is the
testimony of the Psalmist. It's also the testimony of the Apostle
Paul: "I thank Christ Jesus our Lord that He has trusted me and has appointed me to do His work with the strength He has given me. In
the past I cursed Him, persecuted Him, and acted arrogantly toward Him.
However, I was treated with mercy because I acted ignorantly in my
unbelief. Our Lord
was very kind to me. Through His kindness He brought me to faith and
gave me the love that Christ Jesus shows people" (1 Timothy 1:12-14). Paul
looks back to what he used to be - "In the past ... ", and he says,
"Everything has changed." He tells us that this has nothing to do with
himself. Paul isn't saying to us, "Look at me. I'm a bit special." What
he's saying is this, "The Lord saved me. He called me to be His
servant." The mercy of God and the strength of God - This is not just
for people from a long time ago. It's for us. Whatever we've been can be
left in the past - This is the mercy of God. What about the future? -
God will give us the strength that we need to live as His faithful
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