God’s Grace; April 17, 2020

Titus 2:11-13 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 present age, while we wait for the blessed hope–the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.

After writing about specific instructions for specific groups of people, Paul here goes into what applies to them all, and to us all. He is careful to say that God’s grace teaches us to live like he describes here. We are all adept at pointing fingers at other people, saying how they should or shouldn’t live, but failing to examine our own lives in the light of God’s grace. God’s grace indeed teaches us to live like this describes, but the question is whether we receive and act on the lesson. There are negatives here, discarding the world’s attitudes and actions, and positives, receiving the lifestyle that God has planned and prepared for us. All of that can be very high stress, so Paul is careful to point out what makes it all worth it: the return of Christ in glory. Many people today discount that, since it’s been about 2000 years since Jesus ascended into the clouds, but for no one alive today is their appointment with God more than 100 years in the future. On the eternal scale, that’s just the blink of an eye! Peter famously wrote about that. “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:8-9) When the “daily slog” seems to be too much, we need to remember what Paul wrote to the Corinthians: “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” (2 Corinthians 4:17) In the end, it will all be more than worth it!

Naturally, this applies to me. I’ll confess that various stresses can get to me. We have a business meeting coming up the day after tomorrow, and not only do I not have all the materials ready for that, I don’t have the notes for the morning message! On top of that, there is all the “background noise” of the pandemic, and things involved with my school teaching, and on and on. I need to remember God’s grace in Christ Jesus, and allow that grace to wash over and fill me, washing out all the tensions that I allow to build up. In no area of my life am I adequate by myself, in my own strength and wisdom, but God is more than able to do anything at all, even using me. Anxiety is never His plan for me! He is my Provider, not the government or even my own effort. I am not to be passive, but rather active in my obedience, and if my focus is on God’s kingdom and His righteousness, I’ve got absolutely nothing to worry about. (Matthew 6:33)

Father, You know what’s going on around me, and You know what’s going on in me. Help me indeed rest, relax, and rejoice in the assurance that You’ve got it all in control. May I do today what You have for me to do, when and how You want me to do it, so that my obedience may draw me into closer fellowship with you, as well as accomplish Your will on Your schedule for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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