Dave's Newsletter Devotion - March 26th

Posted by WBFJ | | Posted on 9:46 AM

"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).

Have you, as a follower of Christ, ever felt left out of what's going on around you? If you go to school with or work around unbelievers, and if you're living like you should, the conversation can often dry up whenever you come around or someone feels the need to apologize for a curse word or dirty joke simply because they don't want to offend you.

Happens to me a lot. And when it happens it usually has the effect of making me feel like I'm viewed as a Puritan on a witch hunt. Let's face it, if you're walking with Christ people are going to behave differently around you because of it. There's no way to avoid it. But if no one ever feels as if they can truthfully be themselves around you how much of an effect or impact are you actually having ministry-wise?

I think the key to interacting with people who are unbelievers or haven't experienced the grace of God yet is to check yourself for how much self-righteuousness you're showing. If you're easily upset and become angry whenever someone who doesn't know the Lord slips up in front of you my guess is that your hope for witnessing to that person is likely lost. Do we need to be an example? Yes. Do we need to condone wrong behavior and words simply to appear more human to others and to get on their level? No. But we must understand that we can't be stand-offish. There is a way to express what you know to be true while still getting interacting with those who don't believe it. I don't always achieve that balance but I find the words of Paul to Titus in the above scripture to be a good place to start.

When you express yourself to people, your conversation needs to be covered in grace because that's what covers us. We have no goodness on our own. Rather, it's been extended to us because we've accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior. This is what makes us want to live right. The world needs to know that we're not the proverbial Good Two-Shoes or Pollyannas that self-righteousness makes us out to be. They need to know that, apart from Christ, we're just like them and that our zealousness for good works and righteous living springs from a source other than us. They also need to know that they don't have to live up to our standards. Thank God for that because if our eternal destination was about living up to standards, we'd all be in a world of trouble. The only standing we have with God is through Christ who gave us righteousness by paying the penalty of our sins on the cross. May we never forget that.

So in your school, your office, your home, or anywhere for that matter, always let the unbelieving world see a difference in you. But make sure when you do that you're exhibiting the grace which makes you able to do so. That's what makes them want to hear what you have to say.

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