“And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry, although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief” (1 Timothy 1:12-13).
“Faithfulness” is an attribute that reflects the qualities of dependability, loyalty, reliability, and trustworthiness. This characteristic played a key role in Paul the Apostle’s call to ministry as noted in the passage quoted above (“He counted me faithful”). Empowerment through Christ followed next (“Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me”). Finally, Paul was given a position of service (“putting me into the ministry”).
These verses thus serve as an important reminder. If we are faithful to honor God, we make ourselves available for Him to enable us to do greater things. But if we are not faithful in the things He has already given us, it hardly seems reasonable to expect Him to entrust us with anything further.
One Pastoral commentator summarizes this idea with the following observation…
“The chief virtue of a Christian at work is faithfulness. In the letter to the Corinthians, the apostle writes that God has called us to be stewards of the mysteries of Christ. He goes on to say, ‘It is required of stewards that they be found faithful.’ That is what God values more than anything else. He does not ask us to be popular, or brilliant, or widely accepted, but he does ask us to be faithful in whatever ministry, task, or assignment he has given us. Faithfulness is what will win high praise at the throne of grace.” (1)
Therefore, we should faithfully serve God in the work He has given regardless of how small or insignificant it may seem. As Jesus Himself said, “…I can guarantee this truth: Whatever you did for one of my brothers or sisters, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you did for me” (Matthew 25:40 GW).
In the words of another source…
“Paul had long since discovered that Jesus Christ never gives a man a task to do without also giving him the power to do it. Paul would never have said, ‘See what I have done,’ but always, ‘See what Jesus Christ has enabled me to do.’ No man is good enough, or strong enough, or pure enough, or wise enough to be the servant of Christ. But if he will give himself to Christ, he will go, not in his own strength, but in the strength of his Lord.” (2)
(1) Excerpted with permission from The Early-Day Saints © 1987 by Ray Stedman Ministries. All rights reserved. Visit www.RayStedman.org for the complete library of Ray Stedman material. Please direct any questions to webmaster@RayStedman.org
(2) Barclay, William. “Commentary on 1 Timothy 1:2-17”. “William Barclay’s Daily Study Bible“. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dsb/1-timothy-1.html. 1956-1959.