All, the results were pretty spread out. However, we did have a definite winner at 3 votes- the Chicago City Lights. The Lime picture, the Sailing Boys, and the "Fishy" picture all came in second, with Lola scraping by in third. Thanks for the votes, and for putting up with my picture galleries so very often!
Today I am going to focus on a piece of Scripture that I read a couple of weeks ago. It is Titus 2:11-14.
11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.
12It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
After reading this, I kind of sat back and was astounded by how wonderfully it wrapped up the picture of salvation. I suppose I had not read this passage in awhile (Titus is such a small book in the New Testament and can be easily overlooked) and it really stuck out to me.
It is so simplistic, yet so meaningful. In verse 11, we answer the question, "Why do we have salvation?" Because of the grace of God. And thereafter, we see this gloriously long run-on sentence that give us a running explanation of salvation itself.
We know that we should say NO to ungodliness and worldly passions. But it is one thing to know it and another to do it. Sometimes, the basic principles of being a Christian become so repeated in our memory that we almost tune out these redundant instructions. Whenever we hear things like this, we should a.) do a mental check to see how we are in this area of our life, and then accordingly b.) either define an area that needs to be change via conviction, or pray for the grace to continue to lead a godly life and praise God.
Our goal is to live "self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in this present age..." To repeat, "in this present" age, that is quite a tall order. Society points toward everything but self-control. In my opinion, anything that allows us to be selfish and feed the carnal flesh is practicing a lack of self-control. We are to lead "upright" lives. Picture someone sitting upright in church... I picture someone alert, ready, cautious, and composed.
The last part of these verses focuses on waiting for the "blessed hope"- the return of Jesus Christ, who redeemed us from all the wickedness of the world. If that is what He saved us from, and eternally, if we would take His gift of salvation, Hell, then of course we should desire the opposite of that, which is what is "good." :D
I know I just broke down an extremely easy-to-understand chunk of verses, but in my experience, it is when I "break down" Scripture that I get the most out of them, no matter how simple they may be. So there it is!
I love you all, and hope you all have a wonderful weekend. T