At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:3-7 (NIV)
This is one of those passages that we should all print and post on our monitor or our bathroom mirror or whatever is our memo board that we check everyday. Maybe put it in our PDA with a daily alarm to remind ourselves “we too were…”. Why do we need the reminder? Let us count the ways!
1. We are saved because of God’s mercy. We in no way earned it! God desired to save us and Jesus did it! He was the only one who could.
2. We stay in this relationship by the power of God’s Spirit as Jesus promised. We need the Spirit to strengthen us and guide us in that relationship. We could not do it in our own strength or feeble mind.
3. We are to “Go” and be “witnesses” and too often we forget how to do that without being jerks! We forget from where we came. We forget what brought us here. It was not our great intelligence. It was God’s great love! We are to “Go” and be “witnesses” to that LOVE!
4. Hope the word that is so precious to our ears and in our heart and yet is scarce in this world. The world’s media does not cultivate hope much less plant it on a daily basis. Bad news sells papers/air time. Daily circumstances of illness, death, and war make some think hope is only a fool’s dream. It is not. It is God’s promise.
Jesus’ prayer in John 17 was all about asking the Father to bless the relationship that He (Jesus) had established between us and the Father. Jesus reminded the Father of all that He had done and He reminded the Father of the promises. He affirmed the eternal connection that was now to be between us and the Father because of His perfect atonement. It is a connection that is available for everyone. There is no one too sinful that Jesus will not extend his hand and touch just as He touched the lepers; just as He touched me.
This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone. Titus 3:8 (NIV)
Let us go out today and do and say what is good.