“In the midst of the chaos and ruins, the Lord Jesus is building his kingdom.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – January 21, 2023
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. Titus 2:11-14, ESV
The longer you live, the more you have to fight and contend daily for a life of joy. The weight of the world has a way of pressing upon you more and more with each passing year. With each trip around the sun, we encounter afresh the depths of human frailty and the countless ways this frailty contributes to the brokenness of our homes and communities.
In this present age, if our hearts and lives have not been trained and formed by the rhythms of the Spirit, we will be overrun by the brokenness that abounds. And yet, in the midst of the chaos and ruins, the Lord Jesus is building his kingdom and, as Titus 2 reminds us, is purifying for himself a people, people who are defined by godly lives in the present, and an unwavering hope for a future in which all will be made right.
However, as I read these words today, it is the final phrase in verse 14 that stood out to me: people who are “zealous for good works.”
In our society, a “zealot” is not a term of endearment! As modern people, we seem to greatly value moderation, and anyone who is overly excited about anything is a person of suspicion. Yet here we are exhorted in clear terms to be a zealous people, but zealous for good works. Our energy and excitement is not directed at our own self-fulfillment or making a name for ourselves but is entirely meant for the betterment of others and joining with God in the renewal of all things.
Yes, it is easy to get discouraged. You can count on the daily news cycle for this! Pain and brokenness will be with us until our Lord returns, yet we do not wait as people without hope. We live in a world in which God can be known and encountered. He came as a babe in the manger and continues to come daily by the gift of his Spirit. As such, this present age is pregnant with potential. God is with us and inviting us to zealously give our lives away in sacrificial deeds of service to others. This is what it means to be set apart as his people, serving with joy the one who gave himself to redeem us all.
Father, we long to know you and encounter the life of your kingdom even in the midst of this broken world. Be near to us and set us on fire with love for others and an unwavering zeal for good works, we pray through Christ our Lord. Amen.
What does it look like for you to be “zealous for good works” in your life today?
Joseph Solomon: In The Light
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