A Confidence that Lasts
Gracious God, how grateful I am for Your many and great mercies to me in Jesus Christ. I praise You!
Read TITUS 3:1-15
 Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good,  to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men.  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.  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.  But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless.  Warn a divisive person once, and then warn him a second time. After that, have nothing to do with him.  You may be sure that such a man is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.  As soon as I send Artemas or Tychicus to you, do your best to come to me at Nicopolis, because I have decided to winter there.  Do everything you can to help Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their way and see that they have everything they need.  Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order that they may provide for daily necessities and not live unproductive lives.  Everyone with me sends you greetings. Greet those who love us in the faith. Grace be with you all. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectHow did God save us and for what reason and purpose?
A friend lay dying on his hospital bed. He’d spoken of his confidence in the future that lay ahead of him, the certainty that he would soon be with Christ and in glory. As he lay back on his pillow he looked anxiously at me in case I had got the wrong idea and thought this was arrogance speaking. He added quickly, “It’s all because of grace, you know.” He was a wonderful reminder that the most senior Christian has the same roots as the youngest convert!
This letter makes the same point. There is nothing arrogant or patronizing in what the writer says. “Once we, too, were …” (3); “But when God our Savior revealed his kindness and love” (4); “he saved us, … washed away our sins, … giving us a new birth …” (5); “we will inherit …” (7). What an extraordinary confidence Christians can enjoy when we look to God’s generosity, not our own merit!
All this is written by Paul with both his feet firmly on the ground. Titus isn’t allowed to forget that the backdrop to it includes divisive characters within the Church (9-11) and everyday realities of daily life (14).
Reflect on God’s grace to you. Thank God that his grace is more than enough for all your sins!
Merciful God, may I never forget what Your grace means to me and may I never take it for granted.
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