3 We were once foolish, disobedient, deceived, and slaves to our desires and various pleasures too. We were spending our lives in evil behavior and jealousy. We were disgusting, and we hated other people. 4 But “when God our savior’s kindness and love appeared, 5 he saved us because of his mercy, not because of righteous things we had done. He did it through the washing of new birth and the renewing by the Holy Spirit, 6 which God poured out upon us generously through Jesus Christ our savior. 7 So, since we have been made righteous by his grace, we can inherit the hope for eternal life.”
I can tell when my laptop needs to be rebooted and when my iPhone needs a hard reset. I wonder where the button is for my reset? Sitting here, recovering slowly from an illness, I’m looking at my mountain sized to-do list, and I wish I could do a hard reset for 2024. It would be great to press a few buttons, turn off for five minutes, and restart all fresh and new and ready to go. But life isn’t always that easy.
The new year always leads us to re-evaluate our lives, especially our spiritual lives that inform all that we do. As I
prayerfully discern following Jesus into a new year I ask myself, am I still on the right path, or have I veered off on my own into the woods? If God has called me to love and serve others, why does it feel so hard lately? Maybe I need to find that reset button fast, or maybe I just need a course correction.
In these verses from Paul’s letter to Titus we see Paul contrasting what the lives of the notorious pagan citizens of Crete look like against the witness of the lives of the followers of Jesus. Paul reminds Titus that once our behavior was like theirs too.
Paul states that our true identity is found in God’s kindness and love appearing in our Savior Jesus Christ. It is through the mercy of God, not our good deeds, that we are saved. We experience rebirth through Christ and are renewed by the Holy Spirit that God pours out on us through Jesus our Savior. We are made righteous by God’s grace and inherit the hope of eternal life. This is who we are in Christ Jesus, we are already loved and cherished and worth saving in God’s eyes. We are worth Jesus teaching us, loving us and dying for us. We are worthy of the renewing fire of the Holy Spirit being poured into our lives, and we are inheritors of eternal life, heirs with Christ. All that God has done all this for us through Christ and the Holy Spirit. This is the ultimate reset button for our lives.
by Jeneene Reduker
For Pondering & Prayer
Are you looking for your new year spiritual reset button? Just remember, whose you are: God already loves you, Jesus died to bring you new life and the Holy Spirit is at work in your life. Do you need a course correction? Pray to God for direction. How is God calling you to serve in your church, your home, your work this year?
Prayer: Holy and Loving God, help us to experience the joy of being your beloved children, filled with your Spirit, as we follow Jesus. Amen.