by Pastor Tim Burt
If your birthday on the horizon? If it is, you may be receiving a birthday gift from someone. Imagine someone hands you this beautifully wrapped present and you take it and just set it on the counter without opening it. Because you didn't, you never found out what it was, nor thanked the person for it. I would call that a lose/lose situation because you’d never received the gift they gave you and they’d never receive the full joy of seeing you be blessed by it.
God gave us the most precious of all gifts—Jesus! Some parts of what Jesus did for you, you have received. Other parts of this gift, you’ve really not understood or received the benefit of. They are still sitting wrapped in the box! You may know and understand that Jesus died for all your sins. You may understand that He has given you eternal life—the promise of Heaven as your home living in His presence for all eternity. What you might not understand is the power in His grace to help you here in this life, now!
Imagine that Titus 2:11 (NLT) is a part of the gift in your box. It says, “For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people.” You read that verse and you catch the salvation part and you think you know what that means, but you just kind of skate over the grace part, leaving it in the box. That little word “grace” is so miraculously powerful! The word “grace” literally means this: God’s gift of divine influence upon your heart that helps you see how His ways will benefit your life, make life pleasurable, and bring you great joy! That one little word “grace” means all that! So you could read this verse from Titus like this: “For God’s gift of divine influence upon your heart that helps you see how His ways benefit your life, make life pleasurable, and bring you great joy, HAS BEEN REVEALED, bringing this great salvation to all people.” Unless you understand grace that way, you are leaving part of this gift in the box undiscovered.
Salvation is more than just being forgiven and receiving eternal life. It’s about receiving the most powerful influence needed to live a godly life here and now—God’s divine influence upon your heart. His influence upon your heart is a miraculously powerful life-changing influence. It changes how you see things. It changes your attitude. It empowers your inner strength to do good and overcome evil! It fills your heart with love and thanksgiving for God.
Now Titus reveals to that this “grace” can help us navigate this evil world with great help and power as we let God’s influence upon our heart be greater than the ungodly influences of the world around us. Titus 2:12 continues saying, “And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with self-control, right conduct, and devotion to God.” It is God’s grace—His divine influence upon our heart—that empowers us to turn from godless ways and instead do things His way with great joy!"
This all comes back to His empowering grace that God has made available to you. Embrace His divine influence upon your heart that sets you free to live for Him in victory today!
1 John 4:4 (NKJV) "You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world."
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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