Pastor Steve Ellison
One of the greatest problems in today’s church in America is a lack of motivation. In fact this may be the largest unresolved issue in modern Christianity. We have unlimited supplies of easily affordable copies of the Bible in almost every language. We have almost innumerable English translations. We have comfortable meeting places and virtually no persecution. And yet the great unanswered question of our day is: How can we get people to move? In Titus 3:3-7, the Holy Spirit answered this question. He gave us two sure-fire methods that we can use to get ourselves and others motivated enough to get off the pew and in the game. Titus 3:3-8 states, “For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. 4 But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, 5 He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” NASU
Verse three challenges us to think back about what we were like before Christ redeemed us. The list is pretty comprehensive and sobering. We (yes, you and I) were foolish, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to sin, and hateful. In short, we were wasting our lives. Our Christian obligation and responsibility to the lost is much easier to accept when we take a little trip down memory lane remembering that we were once exactly like them. Perhaps they irritate us. Perhaps they are spiteful to us. If they are, we must remember that we were once just like them, if not worse.
The second motivational tool also involves remembering. Verses four to seven force us to recall the unmerited and marvelous mercies of God. Verse four speaks of an epiphany. God’s kindness and love simply appeared; it shone forth. Verse five reminds us that God saved us certainly not because of anything good in us but rather simply because of His great mercy. God caught us and cleaned us. He regenerated us; made us new creations. He gave us Christ and the Holy Spirit. His grace justified us. Free of charge, He gave us eternal life. May I remind you that according to Romans 5:10, He did all of this while we were still His enemies.
Can we possibly need more motivation to get out of our seats and join God in His redemptive work? Surely our trip down memory lane reminding us about the pit from which we were dug and the undeserved eternal life which He has given us is motivation enough. Peter understood this also. 1 Peter 2:9-10 states, “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” ESV It is a privilege to proclaim the excellencies of Him who saved you. Surely, that is motivation enough. ……..…..firstname.lastname@example.org