Even though I used to blaspheme the name of Christ. In my insolence, I persecuted his people. But God had mercy on me because I did it in ignorance and unbelief. Oh, how generous and gracious our Lord was! He filled me with the faith and love that come from Christ Jesus. This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all. But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life. 1 Tim 1:13-16 NLT
What if like Saul who later became Apostle Paul, God has mercy on Shekau and chooses to use him “as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners”?
In this account Apostle Paul writes of the generosity and graciousness of God in saving someone like him who had been hounding and killing Christians just like Abubakar Shekau: leader of the dreaded boko haram extremist group.
Many today will not countenance the possibility of God saving such a vile person. This is understandable because, even back then when the only social media platforms available were the market squares, and synagogue courts; making it impossible for Saul to have been as well known as Shekau is today, many believers still kept a safe distance from him.
And immediately he began preaching about Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is indeed the Son of God!” All who heard him were amazed. “Isn’t this the same man who caused such devastation among Jesus’ followers in Jerusalem?” they asked. “And didn’t he come here to arrest them and take them in chains to the leading priests?” …When Saul arrived in Jerusalem, he tried to meet with the believers, but they were all afraid of him. They did not believe he had truly become a believer! Acts 9:20-26 NLT
But we speak here of the generosity and graciousness of God who promises that “even if your sins are as crimson, I will make you white as snow”. The amazing thing about grace is that it can save the mildest offender as easily it can save the vilest.
Oh what a powerful testimony to grace it would be if Shekau experiences it’s saving power and testifies of it. For when he like Apostle Paul says “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of which I’m chief”, it would reverberate all through the dinghy chambers of hell and weaken the devil’s hold on many.
Nothing will give me more joy than to see such a day that Shekau (perhaps now called Pastor Paul) will declare …” God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners.”