But when God, our kind and loving Savior God, stepped in, he saved us…It was all his doing; we had nothing to do with it. He gave us a good bath, and we came out of it new people, washed inside and out by the Holy Spirit. Our Savior Jesus poured out new life so generously. God’s gift has restored our relationship with him and given us back our lives. And there’s more life to come—an eternity of life! You can count on this. @ Titus 3:4-8 (The Message)
There once was a King’s gardener who was responsible for the king’s orchard. Everyday he would care for and pick the best fruit for the king and bring it to him to enjoy. One particular day, the king was in a foul mood. The gardener had brought him a fresh basket of cherries hoping this would calm his king’s heart. However the cherries were sour. In his anger, the king threw a cherry at the gardener hitting him flush on the forehead. The gardeners response was intriguing…”God is merciful.” The king stopped in his anger and asked the gardener why he had responded this way. The gardener replied; “God is merciful because I was going to bring you pineapples today but changed my mind and brought cherries.”
Whilst amusing, aren’t you glad God is not like the king in the story??
Truth is, God is not waiting for us to bring Him anything…He comes to us. He steps into our lives with a heart of lavish love desiring to bring us deeper into relationship with Him. To know Him as He is…kind, generous, compassionate, merciful.
Do you know Him this way??
The emphasis of Paul in this text is in our complete inability to live life free of sin, shame and brokenness. I love the way Eugene Peterson writes it here; “It was all his doing, we had nothing to do with it.”
It is His kindness and mercy that led Jesus to the cross. It’s His kindness and joy to send His Spirit to wash us clean…not just once, but everyday. It’s His kindness and generosity that rest on us in that moment of connectedness with His Spirit that releases life.
Yes, hard times do come but the promise of God through Paul’s letter to Titus is that in those moments, the Holy Spirit is present and desiring to pour out generous life and hope in us. Our salvation and relationship with God won’t prevent us from experiencing hard times but it does equip us to live through them victoriously. Expecting good things from a kind God.
When our lives focus is Jesus we can choose to live a life of expansive hope and joy fuelled by intimate connection experiencing His waters of life flowing through us. You are welcomed today to live a life of expecting life because of His kindness to us through Jesus Christ.
Where ever you are reading this, stop for a moment and welcome the kindness of God through the cross of Jesus and the gentle touch of the Spirit who washes us new and clean. Let the Holy Spirit flood you afresh with new life, new passion, new dreams, new joy and new expectation.
You can count on Him!
Father, would You surround us with Your hope and joy? Would You disentangle our hearts and minds from expecting less to expecting more from You? We ask that You would reach in today and lift us up that we could experience the life Paul wrote of. Let Your kindness and mercy overcome every fear, doubt and circumstance with generous hope, life and joy.
Have an amazing rest of the week partnering with God as His Kingdom breaks through in your life and the in the people around you.
“In His Grip”