Lent: Day Thirty

“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live selfcontrolled, 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.”
-Titus 2:11-14

Over the past 6 months, I have become very aware that Wyatt, our 9-year-old son, has become zealous for all things NFL football. On any given day he can be seen streaking through the house making game winning touchdown catches, pouring over football history and trivia books from the library, and even laying a blindside hit on his unsuspecting dad when he is walking through the living room – all in the name of “sacking the quarterback.” One of his favorite car ride pastimes is being quizzed on who the quarterbacks are for each of the 32 NFL teams. Needless to say, his passion and zeal for the game of football is obvious and evident to anyone who spends quality time with him.

It is enjoyable to watch my child pursue an interest with self-motivated passion. It has also challenged me to consider what I am most zealous about in my own life, and whether that passion is evident to others

As Easter approaches, we are reminded that the gospel was first fully revealed to humankind at the first Easter– when Christ was crucified and rose again. Titus 2:11 tells us Christ’s grace-filled work on the cross brings salvation to each of us. This is wonderful truth– that we are no longer condemned because of our sin, and that we are promised an eternity with our creator and Savior! But the Gospel does not only give us hope for the life to come– it powerfully gives us what we need for our lives today. When we recognize and understand that Jesus “gave himself for us to redeem us” and to make us his own, it should produce in us a zealous desire for “good works.”

The fruit of a heart that is saved by grace is passionate work devoted to hearing, obeying and making Christ know to others. Volumes have been written on what this should look like, but let me offer one simple suggestion that may help you zealously pursue good works for Christ today. As you approach circumstances in your life today, ask yourself a simple question: “What is the most important thing to the Lord in this moment?” Then, with a heart of thankfulness for what Christ has done, seek to zealously become more like him, and show him to others through each circumstance you face.