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, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you. Titus 2:11-15 (NIV)
A Godly And Upright Life
You have much to say on this topic. I have much to say on what topic? You have much to say about living a godly and upright life that is good and right and pleasing to me. If I have much to say, it is certainly not about my great record of success. I have had many days and weeks and months and even years where I would say that I have not been able to successfully live a godly life in the darkness of this world. For many years, I have lived as a discouraged and depressed and defeated follower of yours. I have wanted to live a life that is pleasing to you. I have wanted to live the life you have called me to live. Wanting is good. Wanting is a great place to start. Where did this desire and wanting to live a life that is good and right and pleasing to me come from? That is obvious. It certainly did not come from me. You planted this desire in my heart and mind and life. That is very good for you to know. If I planted a desire within you, do you think that I would not nourish it and make it grow? Would I allow a desire I planted within you to wither and die? No, you would not. That is correct. What I plant in you, I will nurture and make grow. What has caused your lack of success? What has been the source of your problem? Why have you found such great difficulty? You must have some answers. You are no longer talking like a discouraged and depressed and defeated follower of mine. No, I am not. I have found the source of my discouragement, depression, and defeat. I now know how to live the life you are calling me to live. Tell me what you have found. I have found that I was relying on my own power and strength and ability to live the life you have called me to live. I was relying on myself. That has not, nor will ever, lead to success, either for me, or anyone else for that matter. Only you can make me able to live the life you have called me to live. So, as I keep on turning away from ungodliness and worldly passions, I must keep on turning to you. I must keep my heart and mind and life focused on you. I must live and walk in an intimate relationship with you. You will continue to change my heart, transform my mind, and guide my life. You will mold and shape me. You will guard and guide me. You will complete the work you started in me. You will fulfill every desire you have planted in me. Yes, I will. Separate yourself from evil, draw near to me, and you will live the life I have called you to live. That I will keep on doing. That is very good. Thank you, Lord.
Lord, I am glad that it is your grace that will make me able to live a godly and upright life in the darkness of this world. I will rely on you. Help me to think, speak and act in ways that are pleasing to you. Make me able to live the life you have called me to live. Amen
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