Do you read the Bible?
Do you think the Word of God has any relevance to your life – or the life we are living in this present age?
Do you consider the Word of God to be a word of hope, exhortation and guidance for your life and for the lives of others?
I really, really, really do.
This year, I’ve devoted my Bible reading time to understanding the transformational hope we have in Jesus Christ. Over the course of the past nine months, I have discovered the hope of Christ to be a caring hope, a strengthening hope, an enduring hope, a grace-filled hope, and a saving, sure, and trusted hope.
And for these times – the hope of Jesus Christ is a relevant hope.
This week I have been reading Titus 3. Friends, if ever there was a passage of Scripture that seemed to leap off the pages into this present age, this could be it.
Please join me in reading these words from Paul to his friend and fellow disciple, Titus. Like today, divisions abounded, leaders disappointed, governments were corrupt, and the future looked bleak. Paul exhorted his friend to fix his eyes upon His Savior and stay true to his mission on earth. Please allow the Word of God to speak to you:
Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone.
At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.
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.
But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless.
Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them. You may be sure that such people are warped and sinful; they are self-condemned.
New International Version, Titus 3: 1 – 11
Jesus Christ reconciled us with God. In so doing, He removed every barrier between us as well.
Do you understand and embrace this amazing truth?
The man-made barriers we have imposed upon ourselves and others – do not exist in Christ!!!
In Christ we are one. No race, no social class, no degree of education, no gender, no marital status, no culture, no sense of entitlement, and no amount of physical distance separate us between God and between ourselves. Because of Jesus Christ, we are saved in order to love God and love others. The mistrust and misunderstanding that we choose to engage in – even today – has no place in our relationship with God and no place in our relationship with others.
So how do we respond to this amazing gift of grace and live as hope-filled people during an age of division and despair?
We take a knee.
We take a knee to pray for this fallen, broken, hurting world.
We take a knee to pray with gratitude for Christ’s redemptive work in our lives.
We take a knee to seek the forgiveness of our God for our thoughts and behaviors that harm us and harm others.
We take a knee to ask for the renewing work of the Holy Spirit to transform us into the image of Christ.
We take a knee to pray for guidance with our words and actions.
We take a knee to pray for wisdom and discernment to help us understand others and love them wholly.
We take a knee to pray for peace and unity.
We take a knee to reach out to others and assist them at their point of need.
We take a knee to pray for the love of Christ to be lived out in our hearts in every possible way.
We take a knee to pray for the reconciliation of brother to brother, sister to sister, father to son, friend to friend, neighbor to neighbor, nation to nation, and people to God.
We take a knee to seek the Lord for His will and purpose in our lives.
We take a knee in humility – understanding that Jesus Christ is Lord of our lives – not us.
Yes, Friends, we take a knee.
The words written to Titus ages and ages ago speak to this present time in which reconciliation is needed more than ever. For in reconciliation, we reestablish relationship. One may think I am only addressing the challenges faced in the United States – I am not. I live on the other side of the world where there are just as many challenges and just as many calls for renewal, reconciliation and restoration of neighbor to neighbor, nation to nation, and people to God.
A saving, grace-filled hope is needed in all parts of the world.
So, yes, Friends. We take a knee to pray for the Lord Jesus Christ to reign in the hearts and minds of those who call Him Savior. We take a knee to call upon His help, His strength, and His hope. We fix our eyes on Christ to show us the way forward in this difficult life so that we in turn can share this amazing hope with others to do the same.
We take a knee because we are humble enough to know that we don’t have the answers for this crazy, mixed-up, broken and sometimes very heartless world. We need the guidance of our Lord and Savior.
We take a knee.