Lenten Devotional: Purifying Himself a People

When people are asked how we gain God’s favor, they usually reply with a variety of religious actions such as attending church, praying, and giving. Some people might suggest that God’s favor is earned by good deeds such as caring for the poor or disadvantaged. When Paul wrote to Titus, he stressed that salvation comes to all people through God’s gracious gift seen in Jesus’ atoning death, glorious resurrection, and promised return.

The good works come as a result of having experienced God’s salvation. Because He has delivered us from our “ungodliness and worldly desire,” we are enabled and motivated to “live sensibly, righteously, and godly” lives. Because we have been redeemed we become eager to do all the things that many so frequently equated with earning God’s favor. The misunderstanding comes when people assume that those “good deeds,” whether religious or benevolent, are the things that impress God. In reality, that behavior grows out of understanding that we are in a grace-given, loving relationship with our Heavenly Father. Because He has loved us, we can love those around us in His name.

Titus 2:11-14

11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people.12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.

Questions for Reflection

Have you ever tried to impress God with your good deeds?

Are you now doing good for others because God has saved you and you want them to experience God’s love?

Prayer

Oh gracious Heavenly Father, thank you for making us your people through your gift of salvation even when we did not deserve it. Help us to show your love to others as we care for them in your name. Amen

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