According to the journal I kept at the time, on Monday, July 25, 1983, I not only lived in Cincinnati, Ohio, but I was affected by reading First Corinthians, Chapter 15, Verses 9 and 10:
For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. (NIV)
Just for good measure, take a look at that in the Amplified Bible:
For I am the least [worthy] of the apostles, who am not fit or deserving to be called an apostle, because I once wronged and pursued and molested the church of God [oppressing it with cruelty and violence]. But by the grace (the unmerited favor and blessing) of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not [found to be] for nothing (fruitless and without effect). In fact, I worked harder than all of them [the apostles], though it was not really I, but the grace (the unmerited favor and blessing) of God which was with me.
My 1983 reaction to these words?
I am the least of the "servants" of God. I'm not even fit to be called a Christian because of my selfishness and lust. And yet, God's grace rains upon me and makes me acceptable. I certainly don't deserve it, but thank you, Lord, for forgiving me. Your love for me urges me to live for you more completely, but even in that I fall far short. Thank you so much for not giving up, even when I act like I have.
Truth is...it's a very good thing God's grace is timeless. I still need it 31 years later...and I imagine if I'm breathing and taking nourishment in 2045, I'll still be leaning on the everlasting arms.