September 24, 2023 | Doug Sauder
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“At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.”—Titus 3:3–7 (NIV)
Have you ever seen an ad, testimonial, or Instagram story of someone selling a program or diet that changed their life? You see these before and after photos that show us a truly remarkable transformation. And the person in the ad is so passionate and so pumped about the program or diet. Why? Because they saw the results of this program in their own lives. They saw how it changed their health, their self-esteem, and their overall life. They look better, feel better, and are healthier. And now, they’re on a mission to help others achieve the same amazing results they did.
As believers, we’ve seen the before and after! We lived it! You and I are living monuments and walking billboards to the power of God to save and transform.
We should have even greater and more fervent passion to share the life-changing power of the gospel with others than diet afficionados or essential oil marketers! Because when we look back at the kind of people we were and we understand what He’s done for us, it should light a fire within us and fill us with compassion for those who don’t yet know Him.
When I think back at just how lost and broken I was before I truly surrendered my life to Jesus, I was full of shame, guilt, pain, and despair, I hated myself, I hated my life, and I felt empty and hopeless. I was a slave to sin, to lust, to anger, to the acceptance of others. I felt truly alone in the world. I was far from God. I was “dead in [my] transgressions and sins (Ephesians 2:1 NIV), I was “deserving of wrath” (Ephesians 2:3 NIV), and I was God’s enemy (Romans 5:10).
“But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us.” That’s the gospel in all its glory right there! We’re sinners, guilty, deserving of death, deserving of wrath, unworthy of standing before a holy and perfect God, but He still saved us.
That word for save means to make whole, to heal. How? By giving us a new life and a new purpose through the Holy Spirit. And why did He do that? So that now, “having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:7 NIV).
The word hope is misused a lot. “I hope I get an A.” “I hope the Dolphins win.” It’s almost like wishful thinking. The biblical word for hope; however, is like an anchor for our souls. It’s a certainty, a joyful and confident expectation. It’s not like, “I hope I inherit eternal life.” It’s a certainty that says, “I can’t wait to spend eternity with the same God and Savior who loves me and died for me and has prepared a place for me in His kingdom as a prince and beloved son!”
Until we experience that blessed hope, until our Savior comes back for us, may we walk in good works and live the kind of life that helps others meet Jesus and be transformed by His love!
Pause: What is your gospel transformation story? Why did God choose to get the gospel out into the world through us? What is it about those who have been born again that can make our preaching and evangelism so effective?
Practice: Is there someone you’ve been building relational equity with but have yet to take the step of sharing the gospel with them? Make today the day! Today, share the gospel of Jesus Christ with someone—it could be a friend, coworker, neighbor, server, classmate, family member . . . whoever the Holy Spirit directs you to share with.
Pray: Father, today I simply desire to thank You. I know and remember who I was without You. I was hopeless, broken, lost, full of pain, and walking in darkness. Thank You for not leaving me in that darkness. Thank You for drawing me by Your loving kindness to the good news of the gospel. Thank You for sending Your perfect Son to save me and forgive me and for giving me Your Holy Spirit who renews and restores me. Amen.
Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.