11 The grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all people. 12 It educates us so that we can live sensible, ethical, and godly lives right now by rejecting ungodly lives and the desires of this world. 13 At the same time we wait for the blessed hope and the glorious appearance of our great God and savior Jesus Christ. 14 He gave himself for us in order to rescue us from every kind of lawless behavior, and cleanse a special people for himself who are eager to do good actions.
15 Talk about these things. Encourage and correct with complete authority. Don’t let anyone disrespect you.
The grace of God appeared, of course, in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Paul reminded Titus of the way that grace changes and shapes our life for the better in the present. But it also has a future aspect: “we wait for the blessed hope and the glorious appearance of our great God and savior Jesus Christ.” As we wait, we are eager to do good actions—that is, “generous and helpful actions on behalf of the wider community.”*
- Paul wrote that “we can live sensible, ethical, and godly lives right now.” Some see that as just naïve in the “real” world. Scholar N. T. Wright said, “Jesus isn’t telling us to live in an impossible way….His death on our behalf has unlocked the door of ethical possibilities, and we are now invited to go through into his new world, the world of genuine purity, the world where we can begin to contribute positively to people and society around us.”* In what ways have you seen your life become more “sensible, ethical and godly” as you follow Jesus?
- At times, our life may be going so well we feel no great need for what Paul called “the blessed hope.” But at times of loss and sadness, nearly all of us feel like the Mercy Me song: “I've never been more homesick than now.”** In happy or sad times, how can you make the promise that God has even more and better ahead for those who trust him your “blessed hope”?
Lord God, your eternal power is making my everyday life right now better, for me and those around me. But I also hope for the day when you have established your eternal reign over the earth and banished all that causes pain and loss. Come, Lord Jesus! Amen.
* Both quotations from Wright, N. T. Paul for Everyone: The Pastoral Letters: 1 and 2 Timothy, and Titus (The New Testament for Everyone) . Westminster John Knox Press. Kindle Edition.
** Complete song lyrics found at https://genius.com/Mercyme-homesick-lyrics.
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Lindsey is part of the Missions team at Church of the Resurrection. She received her M.A. in Religious Studies from Missouri State University. Her favorite Bible story comes from John 21, because she will never turn down a brunch invite… especially not from Jesus.