Our hope is set somewhere else / sometime else. “We wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of … Jesus”. We are a waiting people. This directs the choices in life we have to make.
For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. Titus 2:11-14
THE CHOICE OF GODLINESS. Godliness is God-likeness. It is our goal and hope to become like Him. Paul writes to Titus about “the knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness” (1:1). The pathway to godliness is to be found in God’s truth – the Scriptures. Say No to Ungodliness. How many today are saying “yes”? It appears that even many Christians are saying “yes” to ungodliness in matters of moral choices. Eugene Peterson’s The Message gives a contemporary twist to the “works of the flesh”:
“It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time: repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; trinket gods; magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community. I could go on… If you use your freedom this way, you will not inherit God’s kingdom..” Galatians 5:19-21, The Message
What kinds of choices are you making in your life? Do they reflect a godly pursuit … while we wait?
THE CHOICE OF SELF CONTROL. Without Self control our lives are vulnerable to attack. Proverbs 25:28 “Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control.” Say No to worldly passions. Two reasons are given for this admonition. First, we can become enslaved to the passions and pleasures (3:3). In addition, we can be deceived by passions and pleasures.
2 Corinthians 11:3 “But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.”
We need to get God’s GPS! We need his guidance to find our way through the jungle of temptations, pitfalls, struggles, disappointments, and diagreements. What kinds of choices are you making in your life? Do they self control …while we wait?
THE CHOICE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS / GOODNESS (2:14). We are to be ready / eager to do whatever is good (3:1; 3:8,14). This is the life Jesus calls us to lead. He lived the example. Galatians 6:9 “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” What kinds of choices are you making in your life? Do they reflect the decision to do good for all people … while we wait?
What kinds of choices are you making in your life? Do they reflect a godly pursuit … while we wait? Do they self control … while we wait? Do they reflect a the willingness to do good for others?… while we wait? Is your hope is set somewhere else / sometime else?
Last night I spoke at the Gateway Church of Christ during their youth ministry’s Homeless Work Camp. During the day they work hard all day long on a Habitat for Humanity house, a provision of a home for someone who needs one. They also experience some of the homeless life in that they wear the same clothes all week. They are not allowed to shower / bathe until Thursday night. They can only wash their face and brush their teeth. Their food is basic … what you might expect in a soup kitchen line. They sleep on the gym floor. It was quite an aromatic experience! I enjoyed speaking to these exceptional young people from Gateway … Bammel Rd in Houston … and Western Hills in Nashville. Eric Petty does an outstanding job as the longtime youth minister of the Gatway church. I went over a bit early and spent the afternoon with my friend Danny Dodd. We had a great time. He still bought a bottled soda at Starbucks…instead of coffee. I have been unable to influence him into Java World.
Thanks for reading!