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. (Titus 3:4-7)
In our previous devotion, we were reminded of the old master who enslaved us “at one time.” He led us to do foolish things, and exploited our human passions. This, in turn, led us to treat others with disrespect. After all, hate and envy are normal responses to those who stand in our way when we are driven by selfishness.
“But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared” everything changed. We were saved by the blood of His Son Jesus, and we received the hope of eternal life. In fact, we were given a place at His table as “heirs” to His kingdom.
This means we went from being subjects to the Prince of Darkness to princes and princesses of the Lord of all. And instead of being driven to heartache by an evil ruler, we are being washed and renewed by the Holy Spirit.
There really is no comparison between life under the old master and the new. But there are plenty of contrasts.
The old way involved: hate, envy, deception, disobedience, slander, enslavement, foolishness and wickedness. The new way involves: kindness, love, hospitality, self-control, endurance, hope and mercy.
In our Christian walk we will battle inwardly between these two ways. But if we recognize their characteristics, we will remember which side we are on, and will raise the banner of Christ high.
This reality is one of the tensions that make living for Jesus difficult. A tension is something we must live with, but thrive in the midst of. In today’s case, it is the difference between who we were and who we are, in light of what we are. We are sinful human beings, selfish by nature and passionate about many things. The old master used these traits against us. The new Master, Jesus, pulls us in the direction of the cross where we crucify self along with its evil thoughts and practices.
Do you sense the battle? Are you winning?
Don’t you know you have already won? Be careful about spending time behind enemy lines. You will revert to your old way of life to hide your identify, and before you know it, you will lose yourself.
You no longer belong to the enemy, and his cause is no longer yours. The battle belongs to the Lord.
Dear God, keep the two side of the battle clear in my mind. In Jesus’ name, Amen.