I Cannot Help Myself
The apostle Paul had so much to be thankful for in his life. Jesus Christ had brought such a profound and monumental change to it. Before Jesus spoke to him, Paul was a violent and aggressive persecutor who hunted and imprisoned Christians. Forced them by threat to blaspheme their Lord, and consented to the deaths of many. Yet, after the road to Damascus we see a man who gave that same ferocity to his love for all the lost and for the Lord’s church. Yet, I do not believe a day went by that Paul was not amazed at the reality of Jesus’ love for him. It truly was amazing grace that saved him.
Even late in his life, Paul seemed to get caught up in his awe regarding our Lord and Savior. Twice in 1 Timothy, Paul seems to become distracted from his teaching by a need to give praise and honor to Jesus Christ. It is almost as if he could not help himself.
In 1 Timothy 1:15-17, Paul speaks of Jesus’ purpose in coming to the world to save sinners. Then in a very personal way he uses himself as an example of the greatness of Jesus’ saving power. It seems at that point, Paul is thinking about what Jesus did for him and suddenly breaks away from his point and says, “Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.” After this, he returns to instructing young Timothy to fight the good fight of faith.
In chapter 6, Paul is speaking of our need to be faithful till the Lord returns. Again, at the mention of the Lord’s return Paul suddenly breaks into praise by saying, “He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen.” Immediately again, Paul returns to his instructions telling the rich to trust in God, not uncertain riches.
I love this thought of Paul just getting so wrapped up in his reverence, love, and dedication to Jesus that he just has these apparent outbursts of praise. For us today, too many people are unable to worship God unless the singing is beautiful and the sermon is charismatic. Yet, we see Paul praising Christ at the simple thought of what Jesus had done for him. I doubt the singing or the message affected the quality of his worship. May we be literally bursting with praise every time we think of our Lord and Savior! May we simply be unable to help ourselves.