Because of His Mercy
Dear God, charge my entire being with currents of gratitude. May I find many opportunities to bless Your name today.
Read TITUS 3:1-15
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.
Gratitude is the wellspring of Christian worship: “… psalms, hymns and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts” (Col. 3:16).
Just in case Paul’s comments about Cretan culture seemed to imply moral superiority, he shows that the Gospel is the great leveler of all claims to merit anything from God. To “cretinize” may have meant to deceive, but Paul includes himself in his description of fallen human behavior. “We, too, were … deceived” (3). As in Crete, much of our so-called freedom is slavery to self-indulgence and whatever feels good, and such behavior undermines community (“malice and envy,” v. 3).
With one little Greek (or English) word Paul begins to describe God’s extraordinary intervention: “But … God” (4). The word for God’s love used here gives us our word “philanthropy.” God is the great philanthropist. He gives out of generosity, not in response to merit, for we have no merit; we receive mercy only in Christ. This salvation is not just the minimum necessary for us to escape judgment. We are not merely washed clean of our sin; instead, the renewing Spirit is “poured out” (Acts 2:17,33) on us generously. This is why Paul expects moral change. Deceived and disobedient slaves have become heirs of God, through grace. The church in Crete is young and immature, but once the Gospel gets hold of it, just see what God can do!
This rich description of our salvation is not just a wonderful piece of doctrine. It is an outburst of praise. The sense of gratitude, almost incredulity, at the depth of God’s mercy, is palpable. Throughout his letters to Timothy and Titus, Paul interjects short statements of doctrine, not so much as pieces of instruction but as acts of worship. To the very end of his ministry he never lost his sense of wonder at the grace of God.
It was said that Jesus went about doing good (Acts 10:38). Evaluate your life with this “goodness” marker. How is it spent? Cooperate with the Spirit in any needed changes.
All thanks and praise to You, my wondrous, most gracious God. May my life reflect Your goodness
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