Eager to do what is good…
Several years ago I had the opportunity to go camping with the Sr. High youth group in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It was a fantastic time for swimming, hiking, and relaxing. While on the trip, we took some time to study the Bible as a group; one passage that we looked at was Titus 2:11-14 – this is what it says:
Titus 2:11-14 (NIV)
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, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
What a powerful passage; consider several phrases within the passage:
- God’s grace brings salvation – how encouraging, but for many of us, salvation is a process. I met a guy today who told me his story of salvation. Thirty years ago, while he was a truck driver (and an atheist), he drove past an old wooden sign on the side of the highway that said, “Jesus Saves.” For months he had no idea what the sign meant or who Jesus was. On one particular day after seeing the sign, he recalls calling out to God, “What does that sign mean?” From that point, everything changed. Over the course of the next two months, he started to investigate churches and ask a lot of questions about Jesus – the local pastor was very patient, and after several weeks of meeting with him, the pastor finally asked if he wanted to accept Jesus as his savior. He did; he realized he was a sinner who needed a savior – freedom. God’s grace brings salvation. For my friend, it all started with a sign on the highway and a question in his heart… Jesus is calling to everyone, and He offers grace that brings salvation.
- God’s grace teaches us to live “right” – I have to admit that a lot of sin is fun, yet the fact is that all sin will lead to destruction. Lies, stealing, lusting, pride, addictions, and coveting will destroy us, our relationships with others, and most times, both. God’s grace, when I truly consider the cost of the grace that was given to me for my sin and compare it to the selfishness involved in my desire to sin; God’s grace convicts me to change. It’s difficult at times to say no, to not give in to the temptation of sin, and Satan doesn’t want to lose the battle – he will do everything he can to help us stumble back into ungodliness. Yet, we need to think back to grace, God’s grace that saved us… take a moment and watch this video about God’s Grace for us: Click: Jesus, Son of God
- God’s grace redeems our lives – life sucks at times, and it’s usually our own fault. We do stupid things; we fall back into bad habits. We treat people (the people we love) poorly or any other things that create chaos in our life. Life Sucks! But if we are really honest with ourselves and we take the time to reflect, we will see that it is ourselves that causes the train wrecks in our lives. But God (I love that phrase), God steps in, redeems us, and works in us to renew us. It’s a long process that requires us to become humble and teachable, yet the end result is a changed life – a redeemed life!
- God’s grace confirms I am His child – I love being a dad; I love the three children that God has given Jen & me. We are blessed, and part of the blessing is understanding more about God as I grow in my parenting skills. I am learning the balance of grace & justice with my own children. There is a time for discipline and a time for justice, and always a time for grace. I want my kids to know that even if they blow it, screw up, misbehave, or sin, there will always be an element of grace in their discipline. I love my kids and want them to know that grace is part of our life. Again, as I look at my personal life and the times I have blown it, I can see God’s grace as He has given me discipline. When my kids understand my grace to them, and I understand God’s grace to me, we become eager to do what is good.
Take a moment and reflect on the Grace of God. His grace can motivate you to do what is good.