Thursday, November 06, 2008

We Need to Change

{Titus 2:11-14; ESV}
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.

As I examine my life I have this sense that I am not who I am supposed to be. It feels like I am missing out on the life that God created me to live. One reason for this feeling is the reality that I am unwilling to change my behavior. I get use to what is comfortable, even though it holds me back from the life God wants me to live, and become unwilling to move outside of that comfort zone. When I am honest with myself I admit that it is easier to settle for this life I have right now than it is to face the hard work and uncertainty of change.

The problem is that following Christ Jesus requires change. We cannot stay where we are and go with Jesus. Following Jesus requires change in our attitudes, behaviors, passions, desires, dreams, relationships, and priorities. The process of following Christ will change us.

The apostle Paul told Titus that the grace of God provides us with what we need in order to change. Not just to make superficial changes, such as changes in diet and exercise, but true and everlasting change. It is hard to change, and we need to be reminded that God, through Christ, has provided us with what we need to become the people that He created us to be.

This true change first requires us to say no. Paul writes that God’s grace trains us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions. We cannot change if we insist on holding on to the old. God’s grace: the Bible, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, shows us that there is something better than the life we are currently living. This is key because we will not let go of the comfortable and familiar if we don’t know what awaits us is better. The starting place of change is turning our backs on our current circumstances and turning towards what God has promised.

This true change also requires us to replace our sinful behaviors with righteous actions. The Apostle tells us that our lives need to be described as self-controlled, upright, and godly. In other words our lives need to be positively different from the world around us. If we do part one without doing part two, we will discover a life of guilt because we are living a way which we know is wrong. Understanding what is wrong is just the first step, we then need to move on and fix the problems.

Change is what following Jesus is all about. If we are not changing, if we are not adjusting our lives in the light of God’s Truth, then we are not really following Jesus. Ultimately following Jesus isn’t about living the life God created us to live, but it is about honoring Jesus. We honor Jesus by changing the way we live. When we refuse to align our lives with God’s Word we disrespect Jesus, who we claim to be Lord of our lives. Our obedience always brings honor to the Lord, regardless of what happens to us. Remember, Jesus gave Himself for us, we should be able to give ourselves for Him.
  • Point to Ponder: We honor Jesus by changing the way we live.
  • Passage to Remember: Titus 2:11-14
  • Prayer to Pray: Father in Heaven, thank You for giving me the opportunity to know Your grace and allow that grace to change my life. I want to honor Jesus with my life, and so I ask for wisdom to know what to change, understanding on how to change, and the strength to change.

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