Friday, January 3, 2020
"For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age," Titus 2:11-12 NASB
There's so much that could have been different in my life had I just been more trusting of what God's been wanting to do in my life. Most of the tough spots that I have found myself in probably could have been avoided.
I was reading my devotionals this morning after reading my Bible and it was the verse of the day in my reading app that stuck out to me more than what all I had read.
In Our Daily Bread there's a huge huge statement of God waiting on people in the Bible. Rather than forcing His position Jesus waited. Taking also from the other devotionals, with all the attributes of God...He waits on man. Many count it as silence on God's behalf. Many use it as an excuse to deny His existence. Many say because of the state of the world He caused that which is evil to flourish.
The arrogance of such thoughts.
But what of the events of the book of Revelation? That's not showing patience, that's not showing love, you may say.
Yes, it is. There comes a time with everything when enough is enough.
What slows down the return of Christ or speeds it up is the obedience of His people in prayer. Waiting patiently on the ones that are left to be saved before that patience comes to a halt. Not to an end, to a halt. There's a difference. To say that God's patience has an end would mean something significantly worse than the Great Flood of the book of Genesis. Nothing anywhere would survive. Remember God deals in perfection. A perfect end to disobedience would have meant nobody living after Adam and Eve sinned. So patience can be used to the full or suspended.
The time is coming soon when the last person to be saved before the Rapture of the Church will take place. It's going to happen.
Soon afterwards the Church here will leave and meet up with those believers who have already died in Christ to go and be with Jesus forever. Then the world that is left behind will live through the fulfillment of every single remaining Prophecy of Scripture.
Until those days we who are alive today have an obligation and an opportunity to live for Jesus in the way God intended.
We have temptations beyond measure all around us. Of every type and size and shape. We are a deceived people. The whole human race by way of Satan. Only in living for Jesus, in the way He instructs through the Holy Spirit can we see through the schemes of the Devil.
Look at what John the Baptist was preaching and warning about. Look at it closely. Because he will be preaching on it again before Christ returns. Jesus said so.
We who are in Christ have a life to live, a mission to complete for Christ, not for ourselves. We are described by Paul as soldiers. Soldiers that do not entangle ourselves. Think about that. What do we get entangled in? Temptation. In sin. Disguised as worldly pleasures and in idolatry. If it weren't so then there wouldn't be so much said of it in Scripture.
So today, today, look at your life. Are you living for yourself or God? It's not easy to deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Him. But obviously it can be done.
I am entangled in many ways myself. I have not yet arrived by any means. But as it has been said there's a difference between knowing the path and walking it. Way too many Christians and even non-Christians know. They just do everything to avoid it both willingly and intentionally.
Learning to let go isn't easy but it is indeed rewarding. As Titus says we know...we KNOW. So we have to CHOOSE. God indeed is showing patience with each of us. But as anyone who had read the Bible knows...there's times when action is necessary to bring about obedience.
Think about what Titus says:
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age,