Titus 2:11-14 (MSG)
God’s readiness to give and forgive is now public. Salvation’s available for everyone! We’re being shown how to turn our backs on a godless, indulgent life, and how to take on a God-filled, God-honoring life. This new life is starting right now, and is whetting our appetites for the glorious day when our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, appears. He offered himself as a sacrifice to free us from a dark, rebellious life into this good, pure life, making us a people he can be proud of, energetic in goodness.
Every week, the first questions I ask the students are: “So what? Why does any of this matter to you?” Generally, there is an uncomfortable shifting in seats and awkward, downward gazing eyes. It’s important to make sure they know how the scriptures are still relevant to them and really take the time to analyze what they’re hearing.
We’ve all had those moments when we finished reading a chapter in a text book and realize that we have no idea what we just read. We have to think about what we are hearing/reading in order for it to stick.
This passage significant because the Israelites were God’s chosen people, and it was prophesied in the Old Testament that when the Messiah would come, God’s blessings would be offered to all mankind. So, salvation would become available, not just to Israelites, but anyone.
Next Questions: What do we do with that information? How do we live out the scriptures? If you back up a little bit to the verses before this passage we read in verse 7: “But mostly, show them all this by doing it yourself….” We need to be the example.
It’s one thing to talk about our faith and God and the scriptures, but it’s an entirely different animal to live it out. Even the devil knows the scripture, and we know that from the passage of Jesus being tempted in the wilderness –
Matthew 4:5-6 – Then the devil took him to the holy city, Jerusalem, to the highest point of the Temple, and said, “If you are the Son of God, jump off! For the Scriptures say,‘He will order his angels to protect you. And they will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.’”
The other day, I posted this on my Facebook wall:
I had been chewing over this concept for a few days at that point because of a post I had seen on one of my friend’s walls. He ranted:
“I just had someone decked out with pro life lic plate, a Jesus sticker & Jesus fish on the back, flip me off…..imagine that a car that had more religious crap on it than the pope mobile flip me off…..hypocrite….shocker!!!”
That really got me thinking about how often we fail at the follow through. If we are to spread that blessed hope, that gift of salvation to the world, we have to make sure we are doing a better job at being a true representation of Christ. That means, when other drivers on the road make you angry, you don’t flip them off. It means you pray for them, their safety and for YOUR patience.
It’s sad to think that, at times, we have those moments in our lives where, instead of pointing to God, we turn people away from Him because of our reactive nature and poor decisions. So, how do we get there? Live it out! Live your whole life for God. Be the example even when you don’t feel like it.
Romans 12:2 (MSG)
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.