Read: Titus 3:1-8
Consider: Today’s reading in Titus speaks of two characteristics of God that are evident in Jesus. These characteristics are kindness and love. At Christmas time we are exhorted to demonstrate kindness and love to others. After all it is ‘the season of goodwill to all men’. The problem is that what the world views as kindness and love often has ulterior motives. We are happy to show kindness and love, provided it is reciprocated. God’s kindness and love are not like this, nor are they something we can earn. In fact they are shown to us even though we do not deserve them. In Romans 2:4 it says: Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realising that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance? In Romans 5:8 we are told: But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were sinners, Christ died for us. Can you see that as undeserving sinners, God allowed Jesus to come into the world with the sole purpose of bringing us to repentance?
Look again at the verses quoted above from Titus. We are told that our salvation is not based on ‘… righteous things we have done, but because of his mercy’ (3:5). This characteristic of God is also evident in Jesus. His dealings with those with whom he came into contact demonstrated his mercy for those who were ill and needy, but mostly it was shown in his meeting man’s greatest need – forgiveness of sins (achieved by him taking on himself the wrath of God, so that we might be justified).
At this Christmas time may we be thankful that God wanted us to be brought to repentance and that he shows his kindness and love to us, even though we do not deserve it.
Pray: Father, may we show kindness and love in our dealings with other people this Christmas, not because they deserve it, but as an outworking of our love for you and the fact that you have forgiven us in Christ. Amen
Next: #16. Advent Reflections – A great light