Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – July 4, 2020
And let our people also learn to maintain good works, to meet urgent needs, that they may not be unfruitful. Titus 3:14
“Maintenance” is one of those words that can be defined in a variety of ways. Perhaps you first think of “auto maintenance,” likely a less than favorable association! We think of unexpected expenses, usually due to our lack of attention and care for our vehicle, therefore leading to poor performance and eventual breakdown. On the other hand, framed more positively, maintenance can be as simple as staying on top of things, such as a routine maintenance schedule. Yet even this has a degree of passivity to it, bringing with it the sense that we’re not trying to advance or grow or expand, but are instead simply “maintaining the status quo.” I’m not convinced either one of these is what St. Paul has in mind in Titus 3!
The Christian faith is not merely a set of ideas we affirm but is the lived experience of ongoing and consistent growth into the likeness of Christ.
Paul often compares the spiritual life to that of an athlete training to compete. I believe the intentional, regular, and proactive nature of physical training is the very same approach you and I must have to our spiritual lives. Athletic success is found in sustained discipline and intentional training over many months and even years. There is no fast track to physical greatness, and the Christian life is not defined by a single act of charity or momentary openness to the life of God.
As Titus 3 reminds us, we are meant to do good works and meet the needs of the broken, sick, and vulnerable in our midst. Yet this is not as simple as signing an online petition, reposting an image to your social media account, or even taking a day to volunteer and serve. These actions are important, but their importance is not as an isolated exception to the norm but is instead meant to be the fruit of an abiding life with God. Simply put, the weight of this passage is on the word maintain. Do this once, and then wake up and do it again, and again, and again. This is the way of Christ, and it is the path to true spiritual maturity!
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.”(Hebrews 12:1-2a).
Father, give us the gift of faith so that we may endure in good works to the very end, we pray through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Are you maintaining and sustaining the commitments you’ve made to God and others?
Enjoy Boyd’s newest and well loved 40 day devotional book: Wisdom For Living. Wise living is all about the Lord Jesus Christ. What is His best? What is His will?
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