Remind the people to respect the government and be law-abiding, always ready to lend a helping hand. No insults, no fights. God’s people should be bighearted and courteous. It wasn’t so long ago that we ourselves were stupid and stubborn, dupes of sin, ordered every which way by our glands, going around with a chip on our shoulder, hated and hating back. But when God, our kind and loving Savior God, stepped in, he saved us from all that. It was all his doing; we had nothing to do with it. He gave us a good bath, and we came out of it new people, washed inside and out by the Holy Spirit. Titus 3:1-5 (MSG)
Well, I give you permission to do just that. You give me permission to do what? I give you permission to step in and change me. How do you want me to change you? I want you to change me completely. I see. You are impatient. You know that my work in you is not finished. You know that my work is ongoing, and it is not nearly complete. You would like to see more progress. Sometimes, you are disgusted by your own behavior, is that correct? Yes, that is correct. Tell me what you want me to do in you. I want you to make me bighearted and courteous. I want you to make me able to extend your kindness and mercy and love to others. Those are very good desires. How is it that you even know that you sometimes fall short in these areas? How is that you even recognize when you are not being bighearted and courteous? Why do you care that you have not fully extended my kindness and mercy and love to others? What has caused you to sometimes be disgusted by your own behavior? Those are good questions. Those questions cause hope to rise within me. Why is that? Only your Spirit living in me has shown me when I have not been bighearted and courteous to others. Only your Spirit working in me has given me the desire to be tenderhearted, kind and loving to others. What is it that most disgusts you when your behavior has been less than kind, tenderhearted and loving? I want to be a bold and bright witness for you in the world. I want others to be drawn to you because they see your life being lived in and through me. I want to bear fruit for your kingdom and bring glory to your name. It disgusts me when I am none of these things. Those are also very good desires within you. We want the same thing. Do you believe that I will continue my good work in you? Do you believe that I will bring my work in you to completion? Yes Lord, I believe. Keep living the life I have and am giving you to live. Yes, Lord, I will. That will be very good. Then all your desires will be fulfilled. Thank you, Lord.
Lord, I know I have allowed myself to be dragged into heated debates that rage in society today. I have not been big hearted and courteous. At times, I have displayed hateful behavior. Forgive me. Help me to extend your kindness, mercy, and love to others. Amen
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