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JANUARY 4 | TITUS 2:11-15


 

DAILY READING


 

REFLECTION


BEST. GIFT. EVER!

by Kristin Schoeff


This recent Christmas season, I woke up in a sweat early one morning, realizing why I kept feeling so panic-stricken: we have a large family and I was trying to come up with gift ideas for two dozen people. Yikes!!! I never was particularly gifted at “gifting” and find it increasingly difficult to think of “just the right thing” for each one. If only I could think of the perfect “one-size-fits-all” gift that would mean so much to all of them.

 

Then I read the scripture passage chosen for today and I was struck afresh how remarkable it was that God gave his son Jesus and offered salvation—to us all. Verse 11 says that “the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people.” (emphasis mine) What an incredible gift, and it’s anyone’s for the taking! As I pondered this, I was struck as well with the sorrow that must be in the heart of God when people reject that gracious gift of salvation.


“Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.” The words from that song have always defined God’s grace to me. “Unmerited favor” is another way I’ve heard grace described. Ephesians 2:8 was one of the first Bible verses I memorized: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God“. 

But as I read on in Titus 2:12, I saw that grace doesn’t end at that amazing gift of our salvation. Verse 12 says that God’s grace “teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.” Which one of us can claim to rise above our frailty and the temptations of this world in our own strength? Even the mighty Apostle Paul found he must depend on God’s grace when plagued by weakness. The Lord spoke to him: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)

 

Praise God that he gives us the answer to how to live a godly life in the midst of a world that has rejected the Kingship of Jesus Christ! It’s not by us trying harder and harder. It’s by receiving his grace day by day, moment by moment, letting him shape us and teach us to be reflections of his goodness.

 

As we wait for that “blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,” let’s daily pray to be taught and purified by his grace. For he desires to make us his very own people, eager to do what is good. (Titus 2:14)

 

PRAYER

Dear Lord, how we thank you for the amazing gift of your grace. We pray it would accomplish in us your purposes so that we can be wholly yours and live lives that are filled with your goodness. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.







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