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But... But... But...

Daily Reading: Titus 2-3


Scripture Focus: But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us… (Titus 3:4-5a)


Devotional Thought: I love the “buts” of the Bible… whenever we encounter this word, we ought to pay particular attention to what was written before and after. In the case of Paul’s letter to Titus, this word marks a definite transition. “For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another,” (v.3). This does not paint a lovely picture of us in our sinful state. Sadly, it is an accurate portrayal of the world around us. With all of the rhetoric and pursuit of so-called “personal freedoms,” the irony is that our bonds tighten with each progressive victory, as we sink deeper and deeper into slavery to self and to sin.


But… “when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy…” (v.4-5). Praise God that he does not leave us in this hopeless state! And, it only gets better! He pours out his Spirit “richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life,” (v.6-7). It is not poured out on us because we deserve it – review verse 3, if you need convincing – but because of God’s great mercy towards us. When we are tempted to judge the world around us for their bondage to sin, their relentless pursuit of pleasure, their rebellion against God, their hatred for those with whom they disagree, remember that we were once slaves to the same sin. But for God’s goodness and loving kindness, we would be still. Instead of judging unbelievers, we pray for an outpouring of God’s mercy in their lives.


Jenny


Prayer: But for your grace, I would be lost. Lord, thank you for not leaving me in my bondage to sin and death, but for saving me from it, from myself!


Psalm of the Day: Psalm 119.161-168

161 Princes persecute me without cause,

but my heart stands in awe of your words.

162 I rejoice at your word

like one who finds great spoil.

163 I hate and abhor falsehood,

but I love your law.

164 Seven times a day I praise you

for your righteous rules.

165 Great peace have those who love your law;

nothing can make them stumble.

166 I hope for your salvation, O Lord,

and I do your commandments.

167 My soul keeps your testimonies;

I love them exceedingly.

168 I keep your precepts and testimonies,

for all my ways are before you.

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