Sermon, 1.25.2009"The Reason Why" Rev. Steve Constable Titus 2:11-15
God's desire to be a part of our lives and to offer us his grace is what sets us apart. Contrary to the billboard that says "Don't make me come down there. -- God," he has already come down here. In an unfathomable act of grace, God reached out to us via his son. This grace is important for three reasons:
- Grace has broken through the dark clouds of our lives. A key word in this passage is "appeared." It's an epiphany: the revealing of something previously invisible. At a time of his choosing, whenever seemed right to him, he appeared to us. Grace breaks through all the circumstances that are in the way, and the sheer power of total, undeserved forgiveness is what we are left to bask in. Do you know that grace? It should not just be something that happened in the past. It should be something that is continually happening to us.
- Grace teaches us a new way to live. We're living in a new landscape, unfettered by the constraints of the old covenant. We have no idea of what being "godly" is, or any idea of how to do it. So truly living in the way that God desires us to live is by being dependent on grace. Again, it's about being constantly restored and forgiven. When we are given this grace, this stream of living water, then it should flow from us in turn.
- Grace encourages us about our reward. Our reward is Jesus himself. There's an old Jesuit prayer that suggests that we should never seek a reward for serving. But contrary to this idea, our passage in Titus makes it clear that what we hope for and what God has promised will be ours. He will redeem us and purify us. We should be hanging around the mixing bowl of grace, just waiting to lick the beater blades and lick the bowl clean.
So how do we apply this? How do we show God's grace to others? By showing them good things, and by encouraging them. Be patient: God knows what you need, and he will give it to you at the right time. At the hour of his choosing. Be full of hope. Although we always seem to have such big worries, we need to realize: this is not the first time this has happened. He will provide.