Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – March 16, 2017
By Tripp Prince
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. Titus 2:11-13
In recent years, there is one simple yet profound question that has radically changed the way I view my faith: “What is our salvation for?”
So often we (rightly) speak of our hope of heaven, that Jesus came to offer us eternal life with him. And as wonderful and glorious as this is, it offers very little by way of showing us what we should do with our lives in the present. If we are saved for heaven, then what are we meant to do with the days we’ve been given on earth? What does our present reality have to do with the eternal hope we have in Christ?
Paul’s words in Titus remind us that this present life is a training ground for eternity. We are conformed daily into the likeness of Jesus through grace-filled training and hopeful waiting. The Scriptures remind us that our hope is to be made like Christ, filled with the life and light of God and fully alive (1 John 3:2). And while this life won’t be fully realized until we see the Lord face to face, it doesn’t mean that the days we have been given now are irrelevant or to be discarded and ignored!
Every day you live is an opportunity to reflect more deeply the life you will one day know eternally.
Paul is keenly aware that our lives in the present are not as God intends them to be. We do not love as we ought to love, and we desire things that promise to fulfill us but always leave us broken and unsatisfied. Yet God in his grace helps to retrain our loves. He helps us to replace a life of self-obsession with self-control, a life of self-fulfillment with a life of self-denial. He invites us, in short, to reflect the life of his eternal kingdom in our lives today!
As a child I once heard salvation referred to as “fire insurance.” If you are tempted to view your salvation in this light, as something that does nothing more than save you from hell and promise you heaven, listen afresh to the words of our brother Paul and remember that the Lord cares greatly about the life you live now! He is inviting you and me to reflect the values and culture of his kingdom in the world today, and to join him in the renewal of all things!
PrayerFather, as we hope for heaven and life eternal with you, may that hope inspire us to live lives of godliness and holiness in the present. Amen.
ApplicationHow does your eternal hope give meaning and purpose to your life today?
Related ReadingIsaiah 38:18; Acts 2:26; Romans 5:2; Romans 12:12
Post/Tweet todayGod in his grace helps to retrain our loves with His loves. #WisdomHunters #savedbygrace
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