“The grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to every man” (Titus 2:11).
The sun filled the morning sky as we made our made out from under the arch of the Ancient Library onto the Road leading to a place named Grace. Someone eagerly said, “The path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, that shines brighter and brighter until the full day!” (Proverbs 4:18)
That’s a great thought as we move forward this morning. For, like the sun above, Grace is not passive. It is full of dynamic energy. Grace empowers us with light and liveliness, fills our lives with warmth, growth, joy and beauty.
Some happy soul midway back in the pack let out with a song – “For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.” (Psalm 84:11).
Sun and Shield. We need both on this pilgrimage that we take; for the unmitigated cold could quench our resolve, and incessant attacks from unseen bandits could thwart our progress. The Lord’s presence and power insure that we are comforted and protected – the pillar of fire by night, and the cloud of covering by day. A sun above us, and a shield about us.
He gives Grace and Glory. The Lord gives Grace in this world, and Glory in the one to come! Grace empowers us to walk uprightly, and Glory awaits at our destination. Blessed are we to journey in such a mighty convoy! No good thing will He withhold from us as we press on in doing what is right and true.
In light of this bright sunshine let’s now consider Paul’s words – “For the grace of God that brings salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” (Titus 2:11-14)
First, the grace of God brings salvation; that is, it does not leave us the way it finds us. We are changed by its power; changed from the inside out. “If any man is in Christ Jesus, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, behold all things become new.” (2 Co.5:17).
Second, this grace has appeared to all men – appeared to all, yes; but not embraced by all. For those who do embrace it, the power of Grace empowers us to deny ungodliness and worldly lust, and to live soberly, righteously and godly –in this present world.
Third, we live looking for the return of the Lord – redeemed from all iniquity, purified unto Jesus, a peculiar people zealous of good works.”
Imagine what our world could look like if this truth about God’s Grace took hold of the great, diverse Body of Christ – and then spread its redeeming power and presence to all men everywhere.
Jesus said, “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Mat 5:16). Let’s do this by the grace of God.
The results of our faithful obedience would be nothing short of a Grace Awakening!