Sunday, December 16, 2018
by Neal Davies
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all, training us to renounce impiety and worldly
passions, and in the present age to live lives that are self-controlled, upright, and godly, while we wait for
the blessed hope and the manifestation of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. He it is who
gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity and purify for himself a people of his own who
are zealous for good deeds.
During Advent, the time when we anticipate the arrival of the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at
Christmas, we would do well to remember the exhortation of Titus, a disciple of Paul, who delivered the
message to the members of the churches at Corinth and in other cities that they should say no to a
lifestyle that is inconsistent with God’s generous love. We are to live self-controlled, upright and Godly
lives in this present age while we wait for the blessed hope – the appearing of the glory of our Savior,
That message is as meaningful today as it was when it was written by the author of the book of Titus.
In a time which we often do not understand, these words sustain us. We must remember that we are
awaiting the celebration of the arrival of One who gave his very life for our shortcomings, and whose
Grace makes us whole.
While Paul teaches us that we cannot earn our way to our salvation, that is no excuse for us not to live
our lives in ways that set examples for others. We should also realize that there is a price to pay for
following the rigorous commands of God, that we are to turn away from worldly desires and to turn
toward Him. This is one of the most consistently challenging aspects of being the person that God would
have us to be.
Advent is a time for the preparation of giving and receiving, and there can be no more wonderful gift to
both receive and give than that of the Love of God. Let us be known by our love for not only the Gift of
Christ, but also for the gift of Christian Fellowship.
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