OnFire Encouragement Letter
OnFire #231 The Paint Covered Ladder
I have been borrowing a step ladder from our neighbour because we don’t have one our own. I’m not sure how old it is, but it is obvious that it has long been used for painting because there is a thick and conspicuous layer of paint on the top step and on the shelf. This layer is truly impressive - not just a few drops, but drop on drop, on top of many other drops so that it is a thick coat. I likely contributed my own globs to those of other painters over the years.
This week we are looking at Titus 2:11-15:
For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope--the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good....*
This is a key passage in Titus and pulls together themes of hope and goodness. The second coming of Jesus gives us hope for a better future and inspires us to live self-controlled, godly lives. This is why Jesus died, that we be saved from our sin and in turn be eager to do what is good.
This theme of goodness shows up in various ways throughout the short book. Church leaders must love what is good (1:8), in contrast to the rebellious who are unfit for good works (1:16). The older women need to teach what is good (2:3), just as Titus must set an example of what is good for the young men (2:7). The people should always to be ready to do good things (3:1), and in fact, they ought to be devoted to doing what is good (3:8) in order that they may live productive lives (3:14). The theme pops up over and over in Titus, showing us that goodness ought to be a main quality of the believer.
This brings me back to the ladder covered in paint. It was obvious to me that the ladder had often been in the presence of a painter since it was coated with a thick layer of paint. That is verse 14: Jesus “gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.”
The cross is not only about saving us from our sins, but about living out the goodness of Jesus. It ought to be obvious to people that we have been with Him. The more time we spend with Jesus, the more we are splattered with his goodness, the more it is reflected in our own lives, “...eager to do what is good.”
I hope this help. Be on fire.
OnFire is a weekly letter on faith and character written by Troy Dennis. Troy is the Pastor of Family Ministries at Highfield Baptist Church, Moncton NB Canada. This letter published August 17, 2010. *Scripture taken from the New International Version. To subscribe or reply, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Archives are located at www.onfireletter.com. Blog located at www.onfireletter.blogspot.com