In The Word
Read: Titus 3
3 Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed, 2 to slander no one, not to be contentious, to be gentle, showing every consideration for all people. 3 For we too were once foolish, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. 4 But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, 5 He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we did in righteousness, but in accordance with His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He richly poured out upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. 8 This statement is trustworthy; and concerning these things I want you to speak confidently, so that those who have believed God will be careful to engage in good deeds. These things are good and beneficial for people. 9 But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and strife and disputes about the Law, for they are useless and worthless. 10 Reject a divisive person after a first and second warning, 11 knowing that such a person has deviated from what is right and is sinning, being self-condemned.
12 When I send Artemas or Tychicus to you, make every effort to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there. 13 Diligently help Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their way so that nothing is lacking for them. 14 Our people must also learn to engage in good deeds to meet pressing needs, so that they will not be unproductive.
15 All who are with me greet you. Greet those who love us in the faith.
Grace be with you all.
New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
Walking In The Word
Here is a truthful statement by Paul that many Christians could agree with: “For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another” (Titus 3:3). Countless Christians could tell their story of a past sinful life that God saved them from because of His love and mercy. To be clear, we should never bring glory to our old life, and we do not need a sinful past to have a testimony, because the better testimony would be, “I did not live a sinful life because I loved God and His grace!”
If you have had a sinful life, through repentance, that life should be in the past and each day you are to move farther away from it and toward godly behavior that matches God’s Word. Peter said it this way, “For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do” (1 Peter 4:3 NIV). There is nothing beneficial the sinful life gives you, but it does bring you away from God and into the enemy’s trap.
Instead of sin defining you, these words should be a better picture of who you are: Christ-like, sensible, submissive, self-disciplined, peaceable, considerate, humble, and full of good deeds toward others. Which best describes you right now: the previous sentence or Paul’s list of poor behavior in the opening sentence above? If you have a sinful past, let it stay in the past!