OnFire Encouragement Letter
OnFire #232 On a Tear (Rhymes with Pear)
The Dennis family is all back under one roof. Ian finished at camp and is home again. It feels good to be all back together again.
Ian began driver’s education this week. This is a little strange, but one of those necessarily things along the path to independence. On Sept 1 he will write his knowledge test and then start his student driving. Wow.
Mark has a job interview Thursday for a part-time job at a local nursing home. Again, wow. Steps to independence.
Blessings for your week.
This week I finally finished the painting I have been working on this summer. It was more involved than I anticipated because I had to replace some trim boards, which led to replacing some rotten boards underneath the trim. But to do that I had to take off some sheathing, and then I didn’t always have time to work on it, so what seemed like a simple project seemed to drag on and on.
This week, however, I sensed that I was close to the end and that if I just kept at it, I would complete it. The end was in sight and so I didn’t waste time getting started and barely took time to eat. As we might say back home, I was “on a tear” (rhymes with pear), meaning that I was determined to accomplish a lot in a short amount of time. A newer expression might be “Get R’ Done.” The end was so close all I wanted to do was finish.
Last week we looked at Titus 2:11-15 and talked about goodness, which is the goal of our faith and character development. This week we want to look at the same passage but this time we want to see the motivation.
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....*
There are two motivations in this passage to live godly, upright lives. The first is God’s grace. We ought to be so grateful that God has taken mercy on us that it translates into behaviour and action. This is what Paul means when he says that grace “teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age...”
The second motivation in this passage is the return of Jesus Christ: “...while we wait for the blessed hope--the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ...” In the case of my painting, every dip of the brush and every stroke of the roller brought me closer to the end. For followers of Jesus Christ, each moment brings us closer to our “blessed hope.” Every day brings us one day nearer to the “glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.” This is where faith comes in, because unlike painting, we cannot see it with our eyes. But even still, we sense it, we know it, and it motivates us to finish strong. Our strength and hope are renewed because we are near the finish.
We are more motivated and we work harder when we know the end is near because we know that we are almost finished. May the second coming motivate us to live completely and fully for Jesus Christ. We are almost done.
I hope this helps. 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 25, 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 http://www.onfireletter.blogspot.com/