Titus 2: 11-14
11 God’s grace has now appeared. By his grace, God offers to save all people. 12 His grace teaches us to say no to godless ways and sinful desires. We must control ourselves. We must do what is right. We must lead godly lives in today’s world. 13 That’s how we should live as we wait for the blessed hope God has given us. We are waiting for Jesus Christ to appear in his glory. He is our great God and Savior. 14 He gave himself for us. By doing that, he set us free from all evil. He wanted to make us pure. He wanted us to be his very own people. He wanted us to desire to do what is good.
Our world is full of stories that in the end come down to good vs evil. Some of our favorite stories have a clear villain and we all feel good when at the end of the story that villan perishes by some heroes hand. Even in the real world we have a good guy and bad guy mentality. If people don’t abide by a certain moral code we think of them as a bad guy and may even smile when we think of them going to hell one day. If a person does something unthinkable like murder someone we assume that they don’t know God and that they probably never will. We assume they won’t be there when we get to heaven one day.
How presumptuous is it of us to put such a limit on God? Why are they less deserving of his grace and love than you? Is it because in society’s eyes your sins aren’t that bad? The truth is your just as bad as that person. Your sin is no better or worse than a criminal on death row. To God, those lies you have told, the times you dishonored your mom and dad, the times you were jealous of a friend are just as bad as what the guy on death row did. You are just as bad and despicable and if he chooses to love you and forgive you then why wouldn’t he forgive that man too.
This may be a hard truth to face, that all of us fall short of his grace, but he gives it freely no matter your sin. His grace and love is for everyone, not just those your circle of friends approve of. To see the truth of this you need look no further than Barrabus. Here was a man who had committed unspeakable crimes. Society had every reason to hate this man. One could say he deserved to die for his crimes and once more he knew it. So imagine his surprise when the crowd shouted for him to go free and instead of this Jesus guy who went around healing people. What went through his head at that moment as he realized this Jesus guy who did nothing wrong was going to die the death he rightfully deserved? In fact, it was a death we all deserved.
When Jesus died he wipes the slate clean for all of us. It’s a chance to start new and go forth and do good. Another example is Paul, formerly known as Saul. Before he gave his life to Jesus he persecuted and killed Christians. When he went to the disciples and joined them it would have been a bit like if Hitler changed his name to Bitler and claimed he was now going to save all the Jews in the world. It had to be a hard pill to swallow but God took him, saved him, and used him for works that have reached out and affected people thousands of years later.
God’s message is clear. His love and grace are for everyone. Even the people our society and world would like to say are unlovable. Even those our world tells are a lost cause. His love is even for those that some might say are better off dead. In the end, only God knows who will join him in heaven. We don’t need to know. All we need to do is turn to him, embrace him, and live our lives honoring him.
Lord, God help me see people as you do. Help me reach out and do God in a way that honors you. Help me to refrain from judging and treating other poorly. Instead, help me to have an open mind and heart and help me hear your voice. Guard my thoughts, actions, and words help me being a shining beacon of your love, grace, and mercy. Amen.
Song of Meditation: