Butâ€”â€œWhen God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. Because of his grace he declared us righteous and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life.â€ This is a trustworthy saying, and I want you to insist on these teachings so that all who trust in God will devote themselves to doing good. These teachings are good and beneficial for everyone. Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Titus 3:5-8 (NLT)
I read Titus last night for the first time â€“ in months. It’s a â€œlittleâ€ book within the Bible and so maybe I skip past it and Philemon on my way to Hebrews or James. But the Holy Spirit knew what I needed to hear.
My prayer list these days is long. There are so many who need miracles in their lives. There isn’t a Plan B. There is only Plan God. That isn’t a â€œbadâ€ place to be but it is a place of faith. It is a place of trust that God is going to be right there no matter the steps that must be walked; no matter when and how the miracle will occur.
Since Moses hid in the cleft of the rock (Exodus 33:19-23), God has been merciful to come near and reassure us that He is and always will be with us until the end of all time(Matthew 28:20), which means always! No matter what disease or pain may come to my body or mind, I can tie myself to the anchor (Hebrews 6:19) that is my Hope that I shall weather all storms because I know the Creator of the wind and oceans. My name is engraved on the palms of God’s hands (Isaiah 49:16) and Jesus said that no one can snatch me from His hands (John 10:27-30).
It may seem like I have quoted more Scripture today than usual but, my friends, we need to steep ourselves in God’s promises! If you have a long prayer list, if you are worried every time you fill your gas tank or go to the grocery store or maybe your child came home today with more information about graduation or college fees for next year â€“ worry and its partner, frustration, are not going to make it better. Yes, we need to do our part in the physical world and work and ask God for wisdom on how to manage our money as good stewards. Yes, we need much less than we want but at the end of most days, after the hard work and frugal spending, medical treatments, exercise and good diets, there are things that happen in our lives that just are. And the answer to â€œWhat next?â€ is with God. There are no shortcuts, no microwave or instant Bible studies that will give me the spiritual strength that I need. Just as physical strength and good health comes with routine workouts so my spiritual health will improve with a daily commitment to time with Jesus.
Tonight, unless the Spirit tells me different, I will be spending time with Philemon. I like to â€œmix upâ€ my workout routine!
In Your Presence by Lynn DeShazo, Song led by Paul Wilber