After reading the Biblical letter to Titus from Paul, I’ve discovered a theme running through it – the propensity to good works. False teachers are incapable of doing anything good (1:16), whereas Titus is instructed to set an example by doing what is good (2:7). One phrase really stood out to me. Jesus gave His life to purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works (Titus 2:14). Surely that’s what Christianity really is – having that zeal; being ready and willing to do the things God tells us to do. At times, we will have those opportunities. “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10). If you wonder whether you’re making much of a difference, maybe you need to ask yourself: Am I doing what God’s told me to? Do I have a desire to do more for Him?
In the very helpful “Titus for You”, Tim Chester lists some ways to live as a Christian. “Be sad if tragedy hits, but do not stay away from your church. Be cross if someone wrongs you, but do not withhold forgiveness.” That might sound like a tall order, until the next chapter when he points out that God’s grace has come. As Christians, we needn’t rely on ourselves to keep a list of rules; we rely on grace – that undeserved favour we have with God, thanks to Jesus. No one else knows what’s in our hearts; that’s between us and God. When we think of all the things He could have held against us, when we see the extent of His grace in our own lives, that affects how we treat others. Because of God’s grace, we can “Bear with each other, and forgive each other” (Colossians 3:13).
I don’t think we can ask much more than peace between us and God, and more opportunities to serve Him in the world.