DAY 17 - Read Daily17-11-2019 | Emily Middleton | YOUTH
Day 17 - Humility and Submission
Questions for reflection:
- Think of where you study or your workplace. How do you behave there? Does your behaviour tarnish or adorn the gospel?
- Why is God’s grace not an excuse for sinning? If you think it is, what does that say about your heart? (Read Romans 6:15-23)
- What master are you listening to? In what parts of your life are you still controlled by sin? Bring it to Jesus - He loves you and wants you to be free!
Devotion Transcript (Watch on Baptist Youth Youtube Channel)
As a follower of Jesus, your conduct in the workplace or classroom impacts the spread of the gospel.
Sound serious? Well, that’s because it is. It’s a matter of eternal life or death and it’s the kind of thought that hits you right in the chest. If you’re gulping as you hear this, don’t worry because so am I.
In no way am I trying to suggest that someone’s salvation depends on us. Time and time again, the Bible reminds us that salvation is of the Lord. Aside from Jesus, ‘there is no other name under Heaven given among men by which we must be saved’ (Acts 4:12). However, it is true that the way we live is an outworking of the work that God has done in our hearts. Our behaviour is like an advertisement - it gives the world around us a glimpse of the life-transforming gospel truth.
In Titus 2:9-10, Paul addresses the followers of Jesus who worked as slaves on the island of Crete. He tells them that they must be ‘submissive to their own masters in everything.’
When you think of slaves, you probably envision people shackled in chains, overworked, malnourished and beaten. It’s true that slaves on the island of Crete at this time weren’t free - they were the possession of their master - however, the conditions that they lives in weren’t as harsh as in later centuries.
The Cretan slaves who had put their trust in Jesus also found themselves in a one-of-a-kind situation. In their church community, they were treated with equal respect to everyone else. It would have been tempting for them to use they newfound status as an excuse to disrespect their masters.
However, Paul instructs them to be ‘submissive’ in every aspect of their work. Firstly,Pail tells them to be ‘well-pleasing’ (doing all that they can to please their master), not to be ‘argumentative’ (to not talk back when they’re given instructions) and not to be ‘pilfering’ (meaning not to steal from their master). Then Paul encourages them to show ‘all good faith.’ In their nitty gritty everyday work, they were to exhibit the life-transforming power of the gospel - they were to flee from behaviours that wasn’t consistent with the wondrous grace that they had experienced.
Freedom is often something that we take for granted in the modern day - pithing the boundaries of rules and laws, there are countless choices for us to make over the course of our lives. And so imagine the life of a slave Imagine being the possession of another human being, with minimal rights never having the option to leave and pursue your aspirations. The Bible tells us that before you put your trust in Jesus, you were a ‘slave of sin.’ In your sinful pride, you thought that you were in control, able to make your own rules and able to go your own way. Yet all the while, it was sin that was controlling you. You were in chains.
In Romans 6:15-18, it says, ‘what then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin have become slaves of righteousness.’
Sin was an evil task master. It had you constantly labouring, you could never be satisfied and the consequences the it brought were devastating. Then God opened your eyes to a wonderful new ‘master’ - his precious son, the Lord Jesus.
In Jesus, you found rest. All that guilt and shame that you had been carrying for so long was no longer yours to bear. Jesus, in his immense love for you, took it all upon his own shoulders when he laid down his life at Calvary.
In Jesus, you became forever satisfied. Your endless search for purpose ended. All the earthly things that you treasured suddenly became ‘loss because of the surpassing worth of Knowing Christ Jesus’ (Phil 3:8).
In Jesus, you have been given the most incredible hope - when your time on this earth has ended, you have assurance of spending forever with God in heaven In living as a ‘slave of righteousness,’ you are truly free because you are living in the way that you were made to - living to glorify your creator. When you sin, it is like trying to put those old chains on. Cretan slaves obviously would have had a much greater concept of this than us - if they had put their trust in Jesus, it made no sense to sin and therefore reject the wonderful freedom they had been given.
And what effect did their godly living, their submissiveness, have on the island of Crete? Paul writes in v10 that it would ‘adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour.’ The beauty of the gospel truth would be more visible. The Cretans, who regardless of their social status were enslaved by sin, would be able to see more clearly the true freedom that following Jesus brings. Paul goes on to say in v11, ‘for the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people.’ Salvation was for every single person on that island.
Are you burdened for your colleagues or peers? How often do you think of them as people who are living in slavery to sin, ignorant of a God who is offering such wonderful freedom?
‘The grace of God has appeared, bringing Salvation to all people.’ Are you excited yet? You have experienced this grace! You were a slave and now you are free. You have experienced the life-transforming power of the gospel. “Adorn” the gospel. Live in a way that displays it. Glorify God in the nitty gritty of everyday life. Respect those in authority. Let it be evident to your colleagues or peers that Jesus lives in you. Be living proof that the gospel is true and real and relevant. God is mighty to save.