Summary: There is a charge on our lives to recognize God’s calling. Once we recognize this calling we will be grateful that he was merciful to us when we were sinners.


I Timothy 1:12-20

January 28, 2009

Warden Assembly of God

Pastor John L. Harper


I. THE TRUST(vs. 12-14) (Be thankful)

A. Jesus enabled me

1. I give thanks for His power

2. He enabled me to preach His Gospel

3. His grace was abundant and overflowing with faith and love

B. Jesus esteemed me

1. He did not give up on me

2. He counted me faithful

3. I was not counted faithful by what I did, but by who He is

C. Jesus established me

1. He put me into the ministry

2. I was a blasphemer against God

3. I obtained mercy

II. THE TRUTH (vs. 15-16) (Be merciful)

A. Jesus came to save sinners

1. I was the worst sinner

2. I obtained mercy

B. Jesus came to extend His mercy

1. His mercy is for sinners

2. Ignorance of sin is no excuse for pardon, mercy is His to give

In the early years of World War II after the United States forces

invaded northern Africa, crude airstrips were established on the

desert, and bombing runs across the Mediterranean were begun on

Axis targets in Italy. "Lady Be Good" was a Flying Fortress, B-17

bomber, that was making these long and dangerous flights. The

night this plane was tragically lost the crew had made it to Italy

and was returning on a radio beam from the desert air strip. When

the beam would come on the Lady be Good made certain it was on a

straight line toward home. The crew never knew until it was too

late that they had a strong tail wind that brought them back much

sooner than expected. With no visual point of reference they

simply overflew the directional signal and kept straight on until

they ran out of gas and came down in the Libyan desert more than a

hundred miles south of the coast and water. They were LOST. They

simply disappeared off the face of the earth-- no one knew they had

overflown their base into the heart of the desert. Their plane has

been almost perfectly preserved in the dryness-- the men themselves

survived the emergency landing only to die of thirst in the desert

with no one knowing where they might be.


Luke 15: 1 - 10

I Timothy 1: 12 - 17

C. Jesus wanted to show His longsuffering through me

1. I could be an example of how God is patient toward the sinner

2. I could give hope to those who would put their trust in Christ

III. THE TASK (vs. 17-20) (Be vigilant)

A. Fight the good fight

1. Remember what was spoken over you (prophecies)

2. Follow God’s Word into “battle”

B. Face those who oppose you

1. Keep the faith and a clear conscience

2. Confront those who are shipwrecked who are misleading others

C. Fend off blasphemers

1. There are those who have suffered shipwreck and are lost

2. Warn them from deceiving those who are weak in faith

3. If they refuse turn them over to Satan

CONCLUSION: There are so many true stories that reflect that amazing grace, but I ran across one that really seemed to say it all. It is a story written by Elisha Coffman for Christian History Magazine, entitled “Beyond Pearl Harbor”. This story is how God caught up with the man who led Japan’s surprise attack. And it is a true story.

The man’s name was Mitsuo Fuchida. He grew up in Japan, hating America for the way we treated Asians. He graduated from the military academy and became a pilot in Japan’s Air Force where he excelled and by 1941, he became the best pilot in Japan. So, when the Japanese government decided they were going to attack Pearl Harbor, they chose Fuchida to lead the attack. It was his voice that radioed back to his aircraft carrier those infamous words, “Tora! Tora! Tora!” This let the carrier know the success of the mission.

Fuchida was to learn later that out of the 360 pilots that were in the mission, he was the only one to return. Upon returning from Pearl Harbor, he inspected his plane and found 20 large antiaircraft holes and the main control wire barely held together by a thread. Although he was not in any sense "religious," this was the first of a series of near-death incidents that made him believe something was watching over him.

He later had another close call when he was shot down in an attack against Americans on Midway, but even though he was injured, he survived. Still later, he was below decks in sickbay recovering from an appendectomy when Americans started bombing the ship. He crawled up to the flight deck just as another bomb hit, and he was blown into the air and when he landed, he broke both legs. Everyone below decks was burned to death. Fuchida wrote later that, even though he was not religious, he started believing that he had a destiny of greatness ahead of him.

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