“I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service, though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.” 1 Timothy 1:12-14
Formerly Paul was a persecutor of the Lord’s church. He opposed the movement that was and still is changing the world today. He blasphemed the Lord. He was an opponent to those who were being the voice, the change, and the light of their generation. But the Lord crashed into Paul’s life. Paul experienced salvation. He received mercy. He was given a fresh start and new vision for his life. Paul did not forget what he formerly was. But he knew it was former. He knew he had become a new creation in the Lord Jesus Christ.
As a follower of Christ, the devil wants to you dwell on what you formerly were. But there is a key here. Remember your past. Don’t focus on it. Formerly you were. But now you are made new.
- Formerly you were lost. Now you are found.
- Formerly your foundation was movable. Now your foundation in Christ is unshakable.
- Formerly you were addicted to something. Now you have the power of Christ to conquer that addiction.
- Formerly you were a slave to sin. Now you have the freedom in Christ to live for what pleases him.
- Formerly you were selfish. Now a totally unselfish savior lives in you and is stretching you to be unselfish as he was.
- Formerly your marriage may have stunk. Now the Lord wants to restore your marriage to his glory.
- Formerly money owned you. Now you are called to be a generous giver and steward your money for the Lords purposes.
Get the picture? Formerly you were. And that’s all it is. Former. Formerly your were ___________. Now you are ___________. You fill in the blanks.
“The nations shall see your righteousness,
and all the kings your glory,
and you shall be called by a new name
that the mouth of the LORD will give.
You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the LORD,
and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.” Isaiah 62:2-3