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To the best of your ability, get rid of all distractions. Take a couple of minutes to breathe deeply, to quiet yourself in the Lord’s presence. Then, prayerfully ask the Lord to speak to you in this time and let Him know that you will be listening and will make whatever adjustments He will reveal to you.
Today’s Bible Reading:
Listen to the Lord
Slowly and reflectively read the following verses and listen to what God will say to you through them. Then, consider writing down any insights He reveals to you.
Titus 2:11-15 (NLT): “For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God, while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed. 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.”
Reflections from Scripture:
When Christians think of salvation, many of them simply think it is a “get-out-of-hell-free” card. They think it’s a moment in time event that changes their eternal destination but requires very little of them for the rest of their lives.
Honestly, I have been shocked a few times when confronted with a distorted Gospel up close (and I don’t surprise easily) when a seemingly “seasoned saint” expresses their reticence at how I present the biblical Gospel. When I preach on holiness as a manifestation of true saving faith, I have discovered that I sometimes get accused of preaching a “works salvation.”
People desire to receive the free gift of salvation with absolutely no expectation that it will manifest itself in a changed life. They want the benefit of Jesus’ life given for them without giving their life back to Him. They want Ephesians 2:8-9 without Ephesians 2:10. They literally want Heaven without wanting Jesus.
But, when we read Titus 2:11-15, we realize that this view is not biblical. In fact, it tramples on the precious free gift of eternal life by valuing it so little. Friend, salvation doesn’t merely change our eternal destination – it changes how we live in this life.
Essentially the seed of saving faith will produce fruit. If there is no fruit, we have every reason to believe the seed of saving faith wasn’t planted within our hearts. Why? Because the seed of saving faith is so powerful that it will ALWAYS produce fruit (Matthew 13:8).
So, what “fruit” is produced by saving faith?
Titus 2:12 (NLT): “And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God,”
We are instructed to deny and refuse to follow anything that would go against God’s commands in Scripture (“godless living”). Further, we should live in this sinful world wisely, righteously, and devoted to God.
Positively, it will instruct us to live in such a way that we are doing the things that we are supposed to do rather than being led along by our passions. It will push us to do those things that are holy and good. And finally, it will enable us to live a life that reflects who Jesus is in an age that stands against Him.
So, friend, are you saved? If you are not, you can be by acknowledging your sinfulness before a holy God. Simply fall at the mercy of the court by trusting in Jesus and what He did on the cross to forgive you and pay your sin debt.
John 3:16 (NLT): “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”
If you are saved, then are you living for Jesus? If not, you actually have no basis to be assured that you are saved because salvation is more than a prayer, friend. It will change your life.
Titus 1:16 (NLT): “Such people claim they know God, but they deny him by the way they live. They are detestable and disobedient, worthless for doing anything good.”
Spend Time in Prayer
Lord Jesus, thank You for saving me. Thank You for giving me freely what I could not earn or deserve. And thank You for guaranteeing me a place in Heaven with You because if it was left up to me, I could not maintain it. Yet, as a result of what You have freely given to me, I desire to give my life to you in the moments of my days. I want to live in obedience and submission to You because You are worthy of no less. I pray this in Your Name, Amen.
Matt Ellis is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida (fbcpolkcity.com). His latest book is God’s Grace in the Real World. Connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.
Pastor, I’ve been meaning to let you know how much I enjoy reading this blog every day. You are a blessing to me and my family. Stay strong in the Word, people need to hear the truth and you are doing a great job!
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Thank you for the kind words, Ed.
Thank you for this wonderful lesson! Allison
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Thank you, Allison. I hope things are going well for you and the rest of the Westside gang.