1 Timothy 1
12 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord,
who has given me strength to do his work.
He considered me trustworthy and appointed me to serve him,
13 even though I used to blaspheme the name of Christ.
In my insolence, I persecuted his people.
But God had mercy on me because I did it in ignorance and unbelief.
14 Oh, how generous and gracious our Lord was!
He filled me with the faith and love that come from Christ Jesus.
15 This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it:
"Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners"...
and I am the worst of them all.
16 But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners.
Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life.
17 All honor and glory to God forever and ever!
He is the eternal King, the unseen one who never dies;
he alone is God. Amen.
Let's not forget this about Paul when he was still called Saul of Tarsus...
He persecuted the early followers of Jesus.
He had them taken off to prison.
He condoned the stoning of Stephen – he was there when it happened.
The people he had thrown into prison probably died or were killed.
He was to awful a threat to followers of Jesus, that they thought when Paul first became a follower too, that he was using it at a play to capture & imprison them.
Paul was still Saul, he was NOT a nice guy.
But Paul says God saved him to show how bad people can be & still come back from that & be a follower of Jesus.
So, the next time the devil bashes you over the head with how terrible a person you are,
& how God can't love you,
& you're too bad for Him to be able to save you,
just remind him of Paul,
& the scandalous act of grace incident Paul had on the road to Damascus.
Just a thought...