Because Of His Mercy!

“But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, ” (Titus 3:4-6 NIV)

When Paul wrote this letter to Titus, he reminded him (in earlier verses) that we were all once foolish, hated and hating others, doing whatever we wanted to do, serving our flesh. And now–since the appearance of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, there should be a difference between us who are saved and those who are not–because of His mercy!

We who understand the work on the cross and the resurrection are saved through the rebirth (born again experience) and becoming a new creation in Christ by Holy Spirit who is available to everyone who believes, because of His mercy!

There are some who think we can never do any wrong and use our role as followers of Jesus Christ to become superior to everyone else. That is not our role. Because of His mercy shown towards us, we should also be merciful towards others. We should not hold what people have done against them–especially when they have decided to accept Jesus Christ as their Personal Savior. If God held everything we had ever done against us–before coming into knowledge of His saving grace, where would we be?

Now that we are saved through grace because of His mercy, we should want to do good out of gratitude to Him who saved us and to honor what He has done by doing for others. We have not reached perfection and therefore we are just as capable of doing wrong as the next person. The difference is–when we mess up (not intentionally), we know we can go to God, repent and receive forgiveness and since He knows when we are sincere or not, He responds accordingly. Seeking forgiveness with a sincere heart ends with our sins being tossed into the sea of forgetfulness by God. Can we do any less for those who have wronged us when they seek forgiveness from us with a sincere heart?

I know some people believe that we should forgive and forget what others have done to us. I believe we should forgive and not hold grudges, but we should always remember what has happened in the past to avoid a repeat of history. Therein lies the difference between forgetting–not remembering and not holding grudges against a person. Forgive and be wise, considering the mercy that has been shown to you!

With that in mind, we should move forward–seeking to do good works for those in need–exemplifying the mercy God has shown towards us and not do anything grudgingly, but with enthusiasm and excitement, knowing what we do, pleases Him who shows us new mercies–every morning.

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases and His mercy never comes to an end; they are new every morning! We don’t have to depend on the mercy we had yesterday or worry about tomorrow’s mercy–new every morning and with the direction provided to us, by Holy Spirit, we can do all things well, through Him who loves us and because of His mercy!

Having The Authority!

“He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds.You must teach these things and encourage the believers to do them. You have the authority to correct them when necessary, so don’t let anyone disregard what you say.” (Titus 2:14,15 NLT)

Paul’s letter to Titus and all other ministers of the Gospel deserves constant review. In this passage, Paul reminds Titus that Jesus gave His life so we would be free from sin “every kind of sin” and that we should be committed to doing good deeds. Then, he goes on to say, remind Titus that he is to teach these things and encourage others “to do” them and when necessary, use the authority he has “to correct” others.

For those who think that preachers or believers are judging when they observe sinful behavior, think again. All believers (we should all be ministers of the Gospel) have the authority to correct others when they see other believers not living according to God’s plan–not man’s. Using the authority we have to correct others is not a judgment–as some would have us believe–it is a responsibility to the Body of Christ so that we remain free from sin.

Of course, there will be those who think that whenever a Believer calls anything sin, they are just judging them.  The fact they think we are judging them actually shows they have been convicted of their behavior and simply want to rebel against the conviction in their spirits because they know they are wrong, but don’t want to admit it.

Think about how rebellious children act “when caught in the act” of doing something wrong. The first thing they do is “deny the obvious” and then expect whoever caught them to believe them. Now, I know some will immediately think of the “woman who as caught in the very act of adultery” who was brought to Jesus. Notwithstanding her criticizers did not bring the man she was “supposedly caught with,” but she never denied any wrong doing and simply waited for Jesus to decree her fate. And when He did, “those holding stones had to drop them” because they were as guilty as she of sin, but had not been caught. He did not berate her after all her accusers left, He simply told her “to go and not to sin any more.”

In other words–He used His authority to correct the crowd and the woman, forgiving her of sin and admonishing her to stop doing what she doing. Every believer has the same authority–to correct and admonish–encouraging others to receive God’s forgiveness and to stop committing acts of sin. Are we doing this or are we allowing ourselves to be persuaded to “let it ride.”

If Believers–all over the world–would simply exercise the authority we have been given, we would see peace in the land as we “lived” the life before others and corrected them when we see wrongdoing.We are not responsible for others accepting what we say, but we do have a responsibility to say what God says–about any and all things–pertaining to Godly living.

Lord, help us to be more like You in all we do all the days of our lives!

Are You a Peculiar Person?

“Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works” (Titus 2:14).

In light of specific, recent events perpetuated by those who proclaim they were called to preach the Gospel, this passage of scripture brings to mind exactly who it is that made the ultimate sacrifice for us.  Unfortunately, those who promote and support sin because they’re either afraid to lose members of their congregation, or are fearful of not being politically correct or even tempted to justify their own behavior simply make a mockery of the blood shed for our redemption (bringing us back into right relationship with God).

Jesus hung on the cross because He loves us.  We are redeemed from purposely and deliberately being enslaved to sin by the blood He shed for us.  Once we repent of sin, He has the cleansing power to keep us, when we turn away from all things that keep us from receiving His best in our lives.  We are supposed to be “different” from the myriad groups of people who profess being Christians or believers, but there is no evidence of such.  We are supposed to be dedicated to doing good works, but many are slothful, deceitful, and liars–revealing who it is who influences their behavior.

God intends for us to be more concerned with pleasing Him, than pleasing people.  Some have forgotten that.  Some have made a mockery of the Gospel of Jesus Christ because they are more interested in promoting self than Jesus. Some are lying about biblical truths and promoting the lies the enemy has instilled in them. Some are just too fearful to go against the ever-swelling tide of people who have believed a lie and they would rather go along, to get along.

Peculiar people, called of God, will stand firm on the truth of God’s Word.  We will not back down and perpetuate a lie to please people.  Perhaps, this is why God has said there will only be a remnant saved–a few who have not bowed to societal pressure to accept lies as truth and truth as a lie. Where do you stand? Are you peculiar enough to take a stand for truth or will you fold and capitulate to the cries of the crowd–promoting, supporting, and participating in sin?  Remember the one who capitulated to the crowds’ cries to “crucify him” rather than stand for justice.

It is time for those of us who know the Truth to stand up and say so–pleasing God, not man or this rebellious society who will soon cease to exist. Over the next few days, I am promoting and encouraging those who do understand what The Word has said and its intent, to proclaim it, loud and clearly.  If I stand alone, I stand alone–knowing this one thing–God will be pleased with my effort, whether people attempt to refute it or not.

 

God, give us all strength to be the peculiar people You desire to use for Your glory and not our own.  Open hearts and minds to receive truth and refute lies that do not align with Your Word and give us the courage to withstand all the enemy attempts to throw our way. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen!