Saturday, November 14th

Saturday, November 14th

But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone. Titus 3:4-8 (NIV)

We have been talking about "Missions" this week in an introductory way. We have done this by taking the time to develop a full and accurate picture of God's purpose for the world. We began with the broad idea of the whole earth being filled with his glory and then moved to the specifics of God's mission for the world. The glory of God refers to the splendor of who he is and the marvelous impact he has on his creation when he is allowed to govern it, care for it, and make it flourish. We saw that the rebellion of mankind (Known as the "Fall of Mankind" in the book of Genesis and carried forward by everyone, generation after generation throughout history) is really all about removing God from the equation in regard to living life here on earth. God's mission of filling the earth with his glory has become a mission of putting himself back into the equation by redeeming people and filling them with his glory one person at a time. This is what the Gospel and the mission of spreading the Gospel are all about. God's provision of redemption through his Son, Jesus Christ, is an amazing demonstration of the love he has for a lost and rebellious world.

In talking about God's mission concerning the world, we have addressed the ramifications it has for us. The ramifications God's mission have for us were clearly depicted for us in the story of the "Good Samaritan." Through the story, Jesus taught us that our neighbor is the one who needs us to be a neighbor to them no matter who they are. Being a neighbor to those who need a neighbor is at the heart of the ramifications God's mission have for us. This stands in stark contrast to how people caught up religious systems relate to and treat others in the world around them. When we relate to others with a compassion and love that comes out of the compassion and love we are experiencing from God, we become channels through which God brings his redemptive love and provision to a battered and hurting world.

Being a full recipient of God's redemptive mission should readily lead us to being agents of God's redemptive mission. This connection is wonderfully expressed in Today's passage of Scripture. What a beautiful and detailed description of God's loving and compassionate provision of redemption that has come to us. Then we have these vital words, "Stress these things, so that who have trusted in God (recipients of God's redemptive mission) may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good (agents of God's redemptive mission).

Lord, I want to be a channel through which you bring your redemptive love and provision to a battered and hurting world. Show me the way and increasingly make it so, as I go forward walking with you and living out the love relationship I have with you. Thank you for bestowing your redemptive kindness and love on me and pouring out your transforming Spirit upon my life. Amen!

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