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Devotional - week of January 14, 2007


spreading the message of grace

… I have sent Timothy to you, who is my beloved and faithful son in the Lord, who will remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach everywhere in every church.  1 Corinthians 4:17

 

Paul wanted Timothy to remind the Corinthians of how God changed him through teaching him his union with Christ. Paul reminds the Corinthians that he teaches the “in Christ” message in every church.

 

God had obviously changed Timothy through hearing Paul’s “in Christ” testimony. Paul knew this and knew that Timothy had a burning desire in his heart to teach the same message. In his second letter to Timothy, Paul wrote:

 

And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.  2 Timothy 2:2

 

When God changes the life of a believer by guiding him to his life “in Christ,” that believer should have a fire within himself to teach the same message to others. The message of grace was surely one thing Paul had in mind.

 

It is important for the present-day believer to understand that the message of oneness with Christ is not a popular message and it is not well-known. Understanding this will save him from heartache when a close friend who is a believer refuses to walk with him on this journey of the life of grace.

 

So what is a believer with a fire in his heart to do if only one or two are ready to hear the life-changing message? He should not be discouraged. He should rejoice that the door has opened to one or two.

 

Consider what Paul wrote to Timothy about sharing the message of oneness with Christ. Timothy was to share this message with other believers and then the new believers were to share it yet with others. With that approach, in teaching a few, Timothy would teach many.  

 

Believers whose lives have been changed by living out their union with Christ must remain faithful and teach the same message to whomever the Lord gives them. Also, they are to continue to grow in understanding and experiencing the life of grace—which will make them more effective teachers.