Friday, November 6, 2009

Priorities... Gospel First

Thought out over several nap times... now I really need a shower...

I believe the most important thing in my life should be the gospel. So, I've been trying to figure out what that looks like in everyday life. I've been praying that God would help me understand this better. Then, yesterday, I was reading in Titus 2 and found some verses that helped me. I'm blogging about it because doing so helps me get it straight in my mind, but also because maybe it will help someone else out there. Note that I'm using the ESV Study Bible, and many of these thoughts come from the commentary contained within.

In Titus 2:1, Paul states that we are to teach what accords with sound doctrine. He goes on to describe the type of living that corresponds with the gospel and affirms rather than denies our claim to know God. Gospel living keeps Christians from providing any legitimate grounds for the Word of God to be reviled (v. 5). This kind of living adorns the gospel (v. 10). I love the picture of us adorning the gospel, highlighting the attractiveness of it! It also proves the gospel, because we are powerless to live godly lives apart from the work of Christ in our hearts.

Paul describes older men as that of Christian dignity and a sound, vibrant faith. Older women should have a reverent freedom in Christ and should train younger women to be godly wives and mothers. The Greek word for train means "to give instruction in wise behavior and good judgement".

Younger women are to love their husbands and children, submit to their husbands, be self-controlled, pure, working at home, and kind. This doesn't leave out single younger women! You may not have a husband or children, but there is still good instruction here! In general, women love to tend to the home... decorating to create an environment of warmth and welcomness. You don't have to be married to invite people over for a meal and show love and hospitality.

Even before I got married, I loved having people into my home. My roommate, Melissa, was a fabulous cook, and she was especially good at serving large numbers of people. (still is, I'm sure!)I was usually in charge of bread and dessert (my favorite!). We would have the "20-Somethings" over for games or to watch football or for dinner. Or the interns from Sky Ranch would come over for a rare home-cooked meal. There were so many opportunities to love on people and to be "busy at home" even with having to work outside the home, as well.

Younger men are to be self-controlled, teaching in a way that shows integrity and sound knowledge. And, the chapter goes on to even describe the behavior of Christian slaves. This doesn't justify slavery. "What Jesus endorses is the kind of inner freedom and love that is willing to go the extra mile in service, even when the demand is unjust." (from Recovering Biblical Manhood & Womanhood)

Then, verses 11-14 tie it all together:

"For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works."

So, I look for ways to serve and love my husband and submit to his authority not because God will love me more. I do it because God first loved me and died for me. I take Benjamin on walks and enjoy talking to him not just because it's good for my health and his development. I do it because God has given me freedom in Christ to enjoy doing these things. I stop and let my heart rate drop a little when the elderly woman wants to look at the baby not just because it's the kind thing to do. I do it because it will bless her and remind me of how good God is to send His Son to die for me and then on top of that to give me a son.

So, I'm challenging myself to continue thinking this way... to look for the gospel in everyday life. It doesn't make God love me more when I do good things. But I should be zealous for good works because Jesus gave Himself to redeem me and because of the hope I have in waiting for his glorious appearing.

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1 comment:

babytaiyan said...

Amen. Thanks for sharing words of Truth and encouragement! I'm tearing up, as it seems the Holy Spirit is stirring within me those same desires to live a life of godliness, that is Gospel-fueled and Gospel-centered, so that we may adorn it and its Creator!