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Titus 3:1-8 The Message (MSG)
He Put Our Lives Together
1-2Remind the people to respect the government and be law-abiding, always ready to lend a helping hand. No insults, no fights. God’s people should be bighearted and courteous.
3-8It wasn’t so long ago that we ourselves were stupid and stubborn, dupes of sin, ordered every which way by our glands, going around with a chip on our shoulder, hated and hating back. But when God, our kind and loving Savior God, stepped in, he saved us from all that. It was all his doing; we had nothing to do with it. He gave us a good bath, and we came out of it new people, washed inside and out by the Holy Spirit. Our Savior Jesus poured out new life so generously. God’s gift has restored our relationship with him and given us back our lives. And there’s more life to come—an eternity of life! You can count on this.
9 I want you to put your foot down. Take a firm stand on these matters so that those who have put their trust in God will concentrate on the essentials that are good for everyone.
Have you thought about what is happening in your life lately? Do you sometimes feel, like I do, that you need a good bath? When we began our faith walk, repenting of our sins, and putting our trust and faith in the redemptive work of Jesus Christ, the Lord gave us a good bath… He washed us clean by His Spirit. But in our daily living, we can often feel as Teresa of Ávila felt, “Oh, my God and Lord, how everything is ruined by the vain habits we fall into and the way everyone else follows them! Our faith is so dead that we desire what we see more than what faith tells us about–even though what we see is that people who pursue these things end up with nothing but misfortune!”
She wrote, “… the Lord has blessed us with wonderful capacities to help us along the way! Reason tells the soul how mistaken it is in thinking that these earthly pleasures are of the slightest value in comparison with what it is seeking. Faith instructs the soul in what it must do to find true satisfaction. Memory reminds it how all of those pleasures come to an end, and how all those who once engaged in those pleasures–who seemed to find such enjoyment in them!–are now dead and buried. .. The will inclines the soul to love God, the One in whom it has seen so many acts and signs of love. In particular, the will shows the soul how this True Lover never leaves it, but goes with it everywhere and gives it life and being. Then the understanding comes forward and makes the soul realize that, for however many years it may live, it can never hope to have a better friend.” (Interior Castle)
Peter emphasized in 2 Peter, chapter 1, that everything that goes into a life that pleases God has been given to us, miraculously, by the Lord Jesus, as we get to know Him personally and intimately. The truth is that nothing that we can do by our own effort will please the Lord. He has given us faith, even though it may seem much smaller than a grain of mustard seed, and on that basic faith He wants to build and complement with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness and generous love. With these things growing and developing in our lives, we will become mature in Christ, we will get our “faith life” back! We will find joy, hope and God’s grace on the wide-open way of living in the Kingdom of God, and walking into His eternal Kingdom one day.