The Source of Our Strength

Daily Devotional.
InTouch.org with Dr. Charles Stanley

Thursday, September 09, 2010
Read | Titus 3:4-7

Godly Living
 1Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed,  2to malign no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for all men.  3For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another.  4But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared,  5He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit,  6whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior,  7so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. 
 8This is a trustworthy statement; and concerning these things I want you to speak confidently, so that those who have believed God will be careful to engage in good deeds. These things are good and profitable for men.  9But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and strife and disputes about the Law, for they are unprofitable and worthless.  10Reject a factious man after a first and second warning,  11knowing that such a man is perverted and is sinning, being self-condemned.
Personal Concerns
 12When I send Artemas or Tychicus to you, make every effort to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there.  13Diligently help Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their way so that nothing is lacking for them.  14Our people must also learn to engage in good deeds to meet pressing needs, so that they will not be unfruitful.  15All who are with me greet you Greet those who love us in the faith Grace be with you all.

The Christian life is just that—a life, not a lifestyle. Sadly, a lot of churches preach Christianity as a list of dos and don’ts. Then faith looks like a formula: Jesus’ saving grace plus doing good things minus doing bad things = righteousness. Most of us have enough problems without worrying about whether we’re following the extra-biblical rules of one church.

A man-made formula for righteousness runs counter to scriptural teaching. In fact, Jesus condemned the Pharisees for such heavy-handed religion (Matt. 23:1-4). He, on the other hand, offered liberty through grace. Neither keeping God’s Law by self-effort nor adhering to extra rules makes a person free. Legalistic believers are in bondage and growing ever weaker.

When a person accepts the saving grace of Jesus, he or she receives a new life (Rom. 6:4). This is not an uptight lifestyle of doing good works. A believer is a changed person—same body but a transformed mind and heart. Christ lives through you. His Holy Spirit flows into your spirit as sap runs in a grapevine. It’s like getting a spiritual blood transfusion! Strength pumps into places where weakness once prevailed. Why rely upon your frail self when the courage and power to follow God’s will is available through Christ?

I know what it feels like to burn out from trying to do good in my own strength. My desire for you is that you’ll surrender to the Lord. Depend upon Him to change you from the inside out, and trust that He will. Jesus is your life. He will never get tired of transforming you.

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About jam4JESUS

I... 'will seek [First] the LORD my God, and I will find Him if I seek Him with all my heart and with all my soul.' Deut. 4:29 I... 'shall love the LORD my God with all my heart, with all my soul, and with all my strength.' Deut. 6:5 I... 'Trust in the LORD with all my heart, And lean not on my own understanding; In all ways... acknowledge Him, And He shall make my path straight.' Proverbs 3:5-6 I... 'remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you' 2Tim. 1:6 I... 'thank God, whom I serve... without ceasing... I... remember YOU in my prayers night and day,' 2Tim. 1:3 I... am to 'Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let my requests be made known to God' Phil. 4:6 I... KNOW: 'I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me.' Phil.4:13 'My God shall supply all my need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.' Phil. 4:19 'My GOD will never leave me, nor forsake me.' Heb. 13:5 JESUS so loves me, this I... KNOW
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