Sunday Musings – Renewal

flower-776261_960_720“But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Saviour appeared, he saved us…” (Titus 3:4 ESV)

Sunday is a time for renewal. During the week, things may have happened in our lives which made us drift away from God. We could get so caught up with work and forget to set apart time for prayer; spending most of our remaining hours on the internet or other distractions. Difficulties at work or with colleagues can sometimes upset our peace of mind and consume our hours. Or there are painful circumstances or relationships, to which we responded in the flesh rather than in the Spirit. All these things, we know, puts a distance between us and the One we love.

Whatever has happened during the week, thank God for today. Use this day to start afresh and reflect on the goodness of God.

“When the goodness and kindness and love of God our Saviour appeared…”

Remember the days when we had only heard of God, but had no tangible relationship with Him. We wondered whether God was real or a figment of some – gullible – people’s imagination. We were in spiritual darkness, but one day He “revealed His kindness and love” (NLT) to us. Or as the Weymouth NT puts it, His goodness and love to man, dawned upon us.

His love, His light dawned on us and we were in a sense awakened. His Spirit stirred within us and revealed to us, not just our sinfulness which separated us from His holy presence, but His own great love which went all the way to restore and renew our souls and spirits. On one hand we were shown the weight of humanity’s sin, on the other His infinite power and grace to deliver us.

His Spirit moved us to a place of true contrition and repentance. As we confessed our sin and waywardness with sorrow and tears, we suddenly became aware of the meaning of Christ’s cross. On that cross, every sin was borne, and from it mercy flowed. Sweetness and light flooded our souls, as we realised that God Himself had lifted every sin and burden from us. As the Aramaic Bible translates it, “the sweetness and the loving kindness of God Our Lifegiver was revealed” to us.

“But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:11 NIV).

Yes, in every way we were cleansed from our sins and made fit to approach the throne. A life of sweet fellowship with God had begun for us. And not because of anything we had done.

“Not by works of righteousness that we had done, but by his own love he gave us life, through the washing of the new birth and the renewing of The Spirit of Holiness, Whom he poured upon us richly by Yeshua The Messiah Our Lifegiver” (Titus 3:4-6 Aramaic Bible)

When we find our feet soiled from walking in this world, let us remember, that Jesus also washes His disciples feet.

Jesus told him, “Whoever has already bathed needs only to wash his feet, and he will be completely clean. And you are clean…” (John 13:10 Berean Study)

So let us yield our dirty feet to the Master, who stands ready with His basin and towel to wash us and cleanse us once more. And as He commanded, let us do this for one another, for we all need mercy and kindness. When others sin against us, let us forgive wholeheartedly and pray for their renewal and restoration.

Father, thank you for showing us Your love and kindness. When we were in darkness, You sought us and led us to light and life through the sacrifice of Jesus, Your Son. Today, we feel so impure, so unclean to even stand before Your presence, because in so many ways through carelessness and even wilful disobedience, we have grieved Your Spirit. We are truly sorry for what we have done. In sorrow and tears, we ask You to forgive us once more. Please receive us and wash us of our sins; make us fit again to walk on this earth as Your witnesses. In faith we receive Your cleansing and forgiveness with grateful hearts. And as You have taught us we forgive everyone who has sinned against us, and pray that You will renew and restore their souls. In Jesus’ name.