“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this age, while we wait for the blessed hope-the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.” Titus 2:11-14
Sorry if I skipped verse 9 and 10, but God really hit my heart with these verses so much more.
What does this “grace of God that brings salvation” teach us?
-It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions.
-It teaches us to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this age.
You ever just had a hard time saying, “No” to someone? Or to something?
Every “age” has evil and selfishness. Throw in some people who have a loss of self-control and it can get a bit chaotic. And yet God calls us in the midst of possible chaos to live godly lives.
Talking about moving upstream!
What I am going to say is true so remember this.
It is truly hard to be good without Him.
It is truly hard to be good without Him in our lives, in us.
And by good, I mean godly, loving, patient, peaceful, joyful, kind, faithful, loyal and anything else that can go in that category (look up fruits of the spirit). Even Jesus said that without Him, we can do nothing.
Why is that?
Our natural man tries to take the reins. Our desires and tendencies are for our own “good” (whatever our personal definition of that means) and not for the good of others without it somehow giving us a personal lift. If we want to be really honest, it isn’t really for our own good, but for our own wants and desires most of the time, even when we help others so that we can “feel good” about ourselves.
When we start following that natural part of us and move away from the Holy Spirit’s leading it’s a downhill cycle from there.
I feel like I have always been a follower of Jesus from age 14 and up. I just loved God. I wanted God. I wanted to please Him and do whatever He asked me to do. I still do. But I can’t say I’ve done it right. There have been times where I have fallen, said hurtful things to people, got too in peoples faces and have done some pretty stupid things, but I knew and believed God loved me. And, praise God, each time He would help me get out of the mess I made.
Ultimately, it is Him that picks us back up again and again and puts us back on the right path.
That’s the God I serve.
I want to hear His voice and be directed by Him. I want to give up self and run whole-heartedly after Him, “waiting for the blessed hope-the glorious appearing” of Jesus, just because He has done so much for me! I don’t deserve half of it and I am thankful just for each new day.
He loves us so much that He challenges us to get out of our comfort zone because He KNOWS the benefits of what He is asking us to do.
He asks us to go beyond ourselves.
He asks us to love and trust Him and know that He will be with us.
That love is crazy and amazing!
Let us be eager to do what is good-in our own lives, in our own families, in our own communities, allowing the Holy Spirit to lead us. Because when we do, lives are changed and the transforming power of God is amazing to behold.
Be inspired today!