Monday, July 25, 2011

A Beautiful Picture

I’m a photographer, so as expected, I love viewing enchanting, inspiring, and adorable photographs, especially of children. But I was reminded of another way that astounding pictures can be painted—with words. In reading Titus 3 this morning I found an amazing picture, something that can not be photographed or painted, but something just as beautiful, and more so.

Verse 3 of chapter 3 started by reminding me of the things we used to be, the things I used to be:
Foolish
Disobedient
Led Astray
Slaves to various passions and pleasures
Malicious
Envious
Hated and hating

Verse 4 begins with “But when...”


But when what?

“But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared…”
Oh, how amazing! Stuck in my foolishness and sin, the goodness and loving kindness of God my Savior appeared! But it doesn’t stop there...

“He saved us”

I’m reminded of one of the verses from the hymn It Is Well:

My sin oh, the bliss of this glorious thought
My sin not in part, but the whole
Is nailed to the cross and I bear it no more
Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord, O my soul!

What’s so marvelous about this picture of how He saved us is that it implies that we were blind, we were lost, we were helpless by our own power and strength. Because if we could have accomplished this, we wouldn’t have needed saving. But no… 
“He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to His own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior” (verses 5-6)

What a glorious picture! In my pit of darkness, entrapped and bound to my sin, Christ saved me! Not because of anything I could have done, but because of His immense mercy.

Isn’t that a beautiful picture? And it’s still not complete!

“…so that being justified by His grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” (verse 7)



This is unspeakable. Not only did God reach down and set me free from the sin that entangled me, not only did He by His mercy save me though I had no righteousness at all, but He enabled me and every other believer to become heirs to eternal life with Him! 


Are you rejoicing today in what the Lord has done for you?

“For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to His own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” Titus 3:3-7 (ESV)
Katie

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