Titus 3:1-3 7/19/16

IBS

7/19/16

Titus 3:1-3

“Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone. At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.”

Please speak to me Lord, I am ready to listen.

Subject to rulers and authorities. Obedient. Ready to do whatever is good. Slandering no one. Peaceable and considerate. Gentle toward everyone. These 3 verses start out with this list. As Paul is writing Titus he tells Titus to remind the people of these things. These qualities must be important for why else would Paul be telling Titus to remind the people of these things. I would say that I try and do all of these things. It is a natural response to Jesus living inside of me and the way that my parents have raised me. Though, the reality of it is I live more in verse 3. Foolish. Disobedient. Deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. Malicious and envious. And filled with hate. It sounds gross and detestable but it is the nature of my appetitive flesh. We are born into sin. As a baby you cry because you want things. Some of the first words learned are “no” and “mine.” You only think of yourself and your own needs. We don’t have to be taught to lie, how to steal, how to cheat. These things come coded in our sin nature. But as we grow in the grace of our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ, he rewrites that code that is on our hearts. He fills it with wisdom instead of foolishness. Obedience instead of disobedience. Truth instead of deception. Love and contentment instead of envy. Freedom instead of enslavement to our flesh. What gets me is not these first 3 verses in chapter 3, that is just life. What gets me is the next 4 verses. Verses 4-7 say, “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, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having hope of eternal life.” I love it. Yes, I am filthy, But Jesus. I am all those terrible things, But Jesus. I am justified by his grace. I am justified by his righteousness not my own, Romans 8:3-4. I also love how Paul calls God our Savior, speaks of the rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, and then with the same breath calls Jesus our Savior. They are one. God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit are one. Paul ends verse 7, that through all three “we might become heirs having hope of eternal life.” And this hope isn’t the same hope that I would have in the rain so I can sleep more peaceably tonight. No this hope describes something you know is going to happen and you can hold on to it knowing it to be true.

Application: Verses 1-3 are great reminders to live as Jesus did, but the reality of this life is my appetitive nature takes over and succumbs to sin. So, what is the remedy? Verses 4-7 make it clear, Jesus. God our Savior, the Holy Spirit, Jesus our Savior, His grace. I have eternal life. I am an heir of Christ. Praise you Jesus

How: I read Psalm 76 as well today. It talks about the fear of God. What drives that fear? This healthy fear of the Lord that Asaph talks about in Psalm 76 should only be a natural response to the salvation we have through Christ that Paul speaks of in Titus 3:4-7. Today I wrote “Fear God” on my hand so every time I look at it I will be reminded of the countless reasons I do indeed fear the Lord. Because of him, I am an heir and I have eternal life. Praise you Jesus.

Thank you Lord that though my flesh and heart fail, you are the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Psalm 73:26.

 

Psalm 50:23 6/24/16

IBS

6/24/16

Psalm 50:23

“Those who sacrifice thank offerings honor me, and to the blameless I will show my salvation.”

Please speak to me Lord. I want to hear and know. Give me eyes to see, ears to hear and a heart to accept.

Psalm 50 is the first psalm in the book of Psalms by Asaph. Of all the verses in chapter 50, this last verse stuck out to me. Asaph says, “Those who sacrifice thank offerings honor me,” and I know I sure as heck want to honor God. This verse reveals one of the keys in doing so; thank offerings. What is a thank offering? Today I wouldn’t go to an alter and sacrifice an animal to give thanks to the Lord. Because of Jesus there is a New Covenant and a new Law. Literal sacrifices are no longer needed. However, I do think I can still lift up an offering of thanks, a sacrifice if you will, to the Lord. As I look to the Lord and offer him thanks, I am essentially making a sacrifice. It is so easy for me to be negative. Do I like to be negative? No, but it’s a human and it is a default mode that comes stock on all humans. It’s so easy to complain about situations or outcomes that are uncomfortable or not ideal. The easiest thing to do is see situations only how they will effect me. So to take my eyes off my self is a sacrifice. To raise my eyes to heaven and thank the God of the universe, my creator and savior should be the natural inclination of my heart. But because of my flesh, it’s not. It’s difficult to be Christ minded throughout the days. Have Jesus at the for-front of my mind. A battle rages every day from my mind. My flesh versus my spirit. I would love to say that my spirit dominates on the regular but that’s just not the case. At first glance my flesh has the upper hand being that I am naturally inclined to sin in my flesh. But looking again, I have to realize who I have fighting for me on my spirit side. Over and over in the Psalms it talks about God fighting for his people. He fights my battles for me, I just have to ask for his help and let him. So many times I am being bombarded by my flesh, physically, mentally, and I don’t allow the Lord to save me from my self. With all that being said, it’s hard to keep a mindset of thankfulness because it goes against my natural appetitive desires. So it literally is a sacrifice to give an offering of thanks to the Lord. Sometimes it’s easier than others but to do so I have to sacrifice my flesh; put it to death so that I can fill my mind with the Lord.

The next part of this verse says, “and to the blameless I will show my salvation.” At first glance this seems like a bleak sentence. Blameless is on the opposite side of me on the spectrum. I won’t begin to rip myself to shreds because that won’t bring the Lord any glory but what I will do is tell you why I don’t see this part of the verse as bleak as one would at first see. It says “to the blameless.” Is that me? Lord knows it’s not. But you know who is? Jesus Christ. As Romans 8:3-4 says, “For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” Jesus came and lived the perfect life that I never could! He came lived and died for me. But it doesn’t just stop there he didn’t stay dead. Death couldn’t hold him. Hades couldn’t contain him. He rose from the dead. He is alive now and he is coming back for me! The righteous requirement was met in me. Not by me. By Jesus Christ’s blood I am seen as righteous, holy and blameless because when God looks down and sees me, he doesn’t see my stained innards, but he sees the blood of Jesus Christ and all else fades away. That’s it. Period. Jesus Christ, all else fades away.

Application: Thank offerings are essential in my walk with God. Looking up to God and praising his name for not just what he’s done, but for who he is.

How: Today I wrote “Thank Offering” on my hand so every time I look at it I will send a thank offering up to heaven.

Thank you Lord. Thank you that Jesus is everything I need.