A trophy of God's grace
1 Timothy 1:14-16 (NIV) The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners–of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life.
Paul considered himself to be a trophy of God's grace. His letters to Timothy were among his last letters written. Early on in his ministry, he described himself as the least of the Apostles (1 Corinthians 15:9). Midway into his ministry, he said he was the least of all God's people (Ephesians 3:8). Here at the end of his ministry, he declares himself to be the worst sinner.
Maturing in Christ means an increasing revelation of our sinfulness. At first we don't see ourselves as being so bad. We know we are in need of Jesus, but we almost think God made a good choice when He picked us. As we grow, the Spirit reveals more and more of our pride and selfishness. We start to wonder why God would choose us. Then, as our revelation of His holiness increases, we realize that we are the worst of sinners. We start to see that it is all about His glorious grace. He takes the worst and transforms them into the image of His Son. What an amazing God! How else could we understand how gracious and merciful He is?
Paul said God does this so that we can see His unlimited patience. I thank God for His unlimited patience! Everyone that sees a saint in progress should be attracted to the gracious loving God that would even choose that person.
Consider: Where are you in the process of the revelation of your condition without Christ? Has humility become your robe, attracting those who see it to the gracious God that is doing the work in you? Every transformed life is a testimony to unbelievers that God can save them too.