“Yes” to Christ, “No” to the World

Titus 2:11-14(NIV): For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the 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 wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.

As followers of Christ, we live in a world that is constantly striving to shift our focus away from God to worldly things. Advertisements try to get us to believe that we are not successful if we don’t drive the latest model car or wear the most fashionable designer clothes. The society that we live in tells us that our self- worth is directly related to the size of our house or the impressive list of people that we know and socialize with. Many unbelievers and believers try to fit into the mold or image that society deems important. As followers of the risen Christ, we are warned about craving worldly pleasures or possessions that keep us from a growing relationship with Christ.

Are there things in your life that are preventing you from cultivating a deeper relationship with Christ? I’m not suggesting that you can’t enjoy fun things in life because you certainly can and should. I enjoy sports, especially University of Georgia football and basketball, and also Atlanta Braves baseball. Most mornings, I will usually check the box score of the Braves game the night before to see how my favorite players performed. 

The morning is my time of day when I enjoy reading the Bible as I am drinking my coffee and trying to wake up. However, some mornings as I am looking at the sports or news websites, time slips away. Before I realize it, it’s time to get ready to leave for work and I haven’t read my Bible as much as I would have liked. I constantly have to work at resisting the temptation to not open my Bible and spend that significant time on something else. Fortunately for me, spending quiet time with God, as I pray and read my Bible, is what gets me through most days. I realize that I can’t “do life” without God’s presence and guidance.

Jesus promised those of us who believe in him, the Holy Spirit, who will enable us to resist the temptations of this world, and draw us into a closer relationship with Christ. If you believe in Christ, you have the gift of the Holy Spirit within you, to guide you as you seek to remain in Christ every moment of every day.

As followers of Christ we should strive to live good, upright lives that reflect our faith and belief in God. We have a hope that is not of this world, for we look forward to the “appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who 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.” Say “no” to the world and “yes” to following Christ.

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