By the grace of God

“Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men. For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men.”
‭‭Titus‬ ‭3:1-8‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

By the grace of God

I have often said that if the Bernie of today, encountered the Bernie of years ago, before Jesus, it is very unlikely that there would be any recognition. In fact, I am not sure if I were to encounter me of just a few years ago, I would see any semblance. The Lord has proceeded with HIs ongoing and unhindered work in transforming my heart and mind.

I know that whatever I am today, is by the grace of God. He reached down to this pitiful sinner and saved him. I had nothing to do with, for I did not seek after Him.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”
Ephesians 2:8-10 NKJV

In light of all that the Lord has done, it is on me to approach others, not from perspective of piety or haughtiness, but from a depth of humility, for I was once as they, a sinner far from Heaven and destined for hell.

Paul’s reminder to Titus was much needed for me this Sunday morning, and indeed, every Sunday morning, as I go and spend time with fellow church attenders. We are all on the journey, with some of us further along than others, and some who have not embarked upon it at all, but have been drawn to darkening the church house door.

I try and see myself in those I meet with, seeking to assist them as I can. Sometimes when we see thing that offend us in others, we fail to remember that we are possibly recognizing our own faults. It is easy for the Christian to have amnesia, thinking of our past selves as “not all that bad,” and looking at others more critically.

“For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another.”
Titus 3:3 NKJV

But through the power of God, via the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, we are beyond that, and have no excuse. Those of us who have grown in the faith must remember what the Lord has done in us, and be willing to edify those who are just beginning. It can mean putting up with the pettiness of others, the fleshly drives of those who have not yet experienced the refinement of the Lord.

There will be suffering along the way and the great temptation to strike back, but not is for the glory of God that one withstands. Those who have more of the world in them, have difficulty walking in the Spirit for it is not something that one can turn like flipping a light switch. It is a way of life. As we endure, we reflect our Savior and serve as an example.

“For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God. For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: “Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth”;”
I Peter 2:20-22 NKJV

Brothers and sisters, we have been called to be a light in an increasingly dark world. In the near future we will be called to bring the Gospel even in the face of rejection and push back. But we must be diligent.

We are the proof of God in a world looking for miracles. In our being, the world can see how the Lord has changed us. It is especially effective we encounter those who knew us long ago, and they marvel at how we have changed.

I urge you to go into this world, not perceiving sinners, but being alert for prospects for the Gospel. Do not be focused on who they are now, but looking forward, to who they could be in Christ Jesus. There are those who knew me back then in my sin drenched days, who are astounded at who I have become in Christ.

God has the power to transform lives, and we are called to be on the lookout for the opportunities to tell of the salvation found in Jesus. May the phrase: “by the grace of God go I, be forever on our lips, and may we never lose sight of what we would have become had we never come to know the Lord.

Have a blessed Sunday!





One thought on “By the grace of God

  1. You, my friend, do not resemble the Bernie that I met in 2004. God has done and immeasurable work in honing, softening, and crafting you as his child. I am so thankful for you and for your prayer ministry, my friend!

    Galatians 6:9-10 (ESV) 9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. 10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s