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Who's Number 1
- 1 Timothy 1:15
"We're Number One!" I remember hearing the cheerleaders pronounce to the world how great our team was, even though we were currently trailing by 30 some points. Struggling through the season, they kept the crowd in it with their chants of victory and invincibility, neither which were true at the time. Of course it didn't matter that we weren't number one, the crowd got into it as well, brining posters and signs that showed our dominance in the conference, despite fighting to stay at .500.
It's funny how badly we want to be number one. We want to be the best, the best basketball player, the best basketball team, the best singer, the best artist, even the best comedian. Even the disciples wanted to be the best, they wanted to be the greatest (Luke 9:46).
Of course nobody wants to be the worst... you don't want to be the worst basketball player on the court- the guy everyone avoids throwing the ball to... you don't want to be the worst singer who is booed off the stage... you don't want to be the worst artist, one who's paintings are never displayed... and of course, you wouldn't want to be the worst sinner, or the person who has betrayed God the most.
How often do we seriously claim to be the worst? Sure we may say it, we may say "I am the worst singer ever," but do we mean it? We may say, "I couldn't tell a joke to save my life," but then the next minute we're trying to crack people up... And how many times have you considered yourself to be the worst sinner?
The thing that perplexes me about this verse, is I am sure Paul had heard of people who had committed "worse sins" than he did. I am sure he heard about rapists, prostitutes, thieves, and the like... and yet he boldly claims to be the worst of all the sinners. He doesn't say, "I am one of them He came to save," or even "I am one of the worse sinners," but instead he proclaims "I AM THE WORST."
Today we look at our lives, and we want to be the greatest, we want to be the best. We definitely do not want to be the worst, and so when we fall or look at our sins, we often remember those who have done "worse things." We look at our faults, and immediately compare ourselves to others (often those who make us look better).
Today, instead of comparing your life to others, instead of comparing your life to your friends, or to criminals on the street... compare your life to God. Put your life on a 1-1 scale with Him, and realize how much room for improvement there is. When Isaiah saw God in his vision, the first thing he could say was "Woe is Me!" (Isaiah 6:5) If you saw God today, what would you say? Would you say that you are the worst? Would you say "Woe is Me?" Or would you say, "But God, look at that other guy..."
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 Then there arose a reasoning among them, which of them should be greatest.
 Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.
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