“Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient. We were misled and became slaves to many lusts and pleasures. Our lives were full of evil and envy, and we hated each other. But — When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. Because of his grace he made us right in his sight and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life.” (Titus 3:3-7)
Today’s daily devotional reading comes from the Book of Titus. Titus was an apostle of Jesus Christ and called to teach and appoint elders on the island of Crete. In the opening letter, Paul addresses the believers in the new church and gives some encouragement about modeling a transformed life in Christ. The church on Crete and the leadership noticed a variety of lifestyle challenges and “old thinking” within the Jewish community calling for circumcision for salvation.
In his explanation to the leaders of the church, Paul points everyone instead to the promises and new life found in Christ. This new life (found in baptism) requires members of the church to live counter-culturally by being reminded that it is a result of the Lord’s “kindness and love.”
What we are invited to see in this new community, as described by Paul, is a life transformed when we encounter the “kindness and love” of the Savior. The reason we are summoned to avoid speaking evil of people, not to be quarrelsome, and so on, as Paul says, it’s because we are the creatures of God’s amazing love. So, if the people in the church are not showing that same generous, kind, forgiving love, the church would be sending a confusing message or may have forgotten the words of Christ by modeling his full and sanctified life.
Gracious Lord, we thank you for the instruction Paul gives to the young community forming in Crete. Lord thank you for the teaching and those you place in our life that help remind us of the life we have because of what you first gave us. Help us to never forget that you have called us to be salt and light in this world. Help me to find the courage and strength to live in such a way that draws people to you, Lord. Amen.