For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, teaching us to say no to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possessions who are zealous for good works. Titus 2:11-14
Dear Lord Jesus, if there’s one teacher I want to sit under—if there’s one curriculum I want to master (and be mastered by)—if there’s one school I want to excel in, it’s the academy of grace. Paul’s words to Titus fire me up.
Your grace first appeared to me like a spectacular sunrise after the bleakest night of darkness. It came, quite literally, bringing salvation to me; for I would never desire it, find it, or earn it, if I’d been left alone in my sin, brokenness, and foolishness.
And this is the grace of your gospel, Lord Jesus: On the cross, you gave yourself for us, once and for all, to redeem us from sin (hallelujah!), to purify us for yourself, and to make us zealous to do good.
Anything less is not the gospel. Anything more is not the gospel. Anything other is not the gospel. Your grace is the most liberating and transforming power in all of history. You love us as we are, but you’re not going to leave us as we are (thankfully). One Day, we will be as lovely and as loving as you—as totally hard as that is to imagine.
So as one of your beloved, gladly sitting under the pedagogy of grace, Lord Jesus, give me great joy in saying an emphatic “No!” to everything that robs you of your glory, and an enthusiastic “Yes!” to everything that reveals your beauty and glory.
May the heart-thrilling hope of your second coming motivate me for a greater, quicker, and more joyful obedience in the present moment. Continue to teach me the difference between an uptight life of rigidity and rules keeping, and a grace-fueled life of serving you and loving others. So very Amen I pray, in your glorious and grace-full name.