For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope – the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. Titus 2: 11 – 13
There is nothing more beautiful than a Sunday morning in spring! There is just a different feeling on this day more than any other – knowing that it is a day set aside for worshiping God and giving Him praise for the blessings of life. And in spring, it just seems as if we have even more to be grateful for!
On this day, I am feeling especially grateful that we have the opportunity to go to our places of worship so freely without fear or persecution. How often we take for granted with what ease and confidence we can go before His throne of grace – wherever we are! How grateful we can be that we know this Savior and His saving grace! There are so many who don’t know Him or realize what He has to give.
Recently, we heard a wonderful sermon about the need to pray for those who don’t know Christ. The pastor spoke of the barriers and walls that individuals sometimes put up to keep this loving Savior out of their lives and the prayers we need to offer on their behalf – for their hearts to be opened to His grace. So many are kept from the life they could have with Him through their sense of indifference or because of the worldly distractions that keep getting in the way.
As I listened, I thought of the grace of His love and salvation and how grateful I am that I and my family know Him as we do. I know you feel the same. Yet, there are still challenges that lay before all of us as we try to live reverent, righteous lives “in this present age” – lives that line up with what God desires and requires of us. We strive to follow Him, but yet, we know there is a constant war being waged around us for our attention that can often pull us away from our focus on Him.
This present time seems even more difficult than any other before us, but Scripture tells us it will be, as the time approaches “for the blessed hope – the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.” Perhaps God is preparing our hearts and our lives to be ready for Him when He does – if not in this generation or the next, but maybe in the hearts of the generations that will come after us, and after our children and our grandchildren.
We all have our stories about the places God has taken us and the things He has done in our lives. Many of our experiences have been difficult and painful, but we know each one was beneficial and necessary to build our faith and trust in Him. Others were joyous and full of blessings and we are grateful.
Even with this knowledge, we sometimes struggle on this journey of faith. But hopefully, we will keep learning and growing along the way. If we look to Him, He will give us the strength, love, and grace to become who He would have us be. And just think of the gift we can give to those who come after us as we pass on the knowledge of His love and grace.
Dear God, how much we take your love and grace for granted and how often we fail to share it with others. We pray for those who don’t know you and pray their hearts will be open to you. You know the challenges of this world as we try to live righteous lives, but yet, you are patient with us and continue to guide us with your loving presence. We give you all honor, praise, and glory. Amen.