“But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Saviour appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Saviour so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” (Titus 3:4-7, ESV)
This afternoon, I had the privilege of listening to a sermon delivered by one of the most joyful seminary students I have ever seen. His demeanor in his greeting, singing, and preaching all pointed to an overflow of thankfulness to his Saviour. It was an amazing attitude to witness, and it was contagious.
If I’m honest, I often bury or even lose the complete joy there is to be found in Jesus. I forget the greatest gift, and focus on the earthly fears and concerns. I grow tired, I focus on me, and I no longer feel joy, but in its place, there is a deep, gaping hole.
The message this student brought was more important than his attitude, but his attitude made it all the more applicable. He preached on humility, good works, and, without necessarily saying the word, joy.
In Titus 3, we find Paul’s reminder that Christians must be ‘ready for every good work’. We are to be loving, peaceful, and courteous. But Paul does not simply give a command, he gives a reason.
He tells of how we were once foolish, disobedient, slaves to our passions, and hateful. We were undeserving of love. Then verse 4 begins with a beautiful ‘But’.
“But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Saviour…”.
God saved us, from ourselves, out of Grace. Beautiful, wonderful Grace. And in that we have joy.
Good works are not cumbersome. Being courteous is not a constant biting of the tongue. It is an overflow of thankfulness.
Because you were lost.
But now you are found.
My heart filled with joy as I heard this reminder. I hope yours does as well. May you go forward this week in the Joy of Jesus.