How should we then live?

Titus 2--11-13Take one day at a time, seeking God’s direction and guidance each day. In light of the previous Verse of the Day which reminds us to number our days, as we apply our hearts unto wisdom, The Verse of the Day for January 3, 2016 shows us what we should deny or reject and what we should embrace.

Titus 2:11-12 (NLT)

For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God,

This passage brings to mind How Should We Then Live: The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture, the historical documentary film series and book by theologian Francis A. Schaeffer. Originally published in 1976, the series presents Schaeffer’s view that when we base society on the Bible, on the infinite-personal God who is there and has spoken, this provides an absolute by which we can conduct our lives and by which we can judge society. This leads to what Schaeffer calls “Freedom without chaos.”

In response to the question raised by the title of the celebrate work by Schaeffer, “How should we then live?” Titus 2:12 clearly proclaims:

We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God

If we are to live meaningful lives that make a difference and impact the world in a positive way, we must understand the importance of these three vital character traits:

Wisdom

In our efforts to live lives that are pleasing in God’s sight, wisdom is essential. James 1:5 (NLT) exhorts us regarding this notable virtue:

If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.

As a kind of golden thread that is woven throughout the Book of Proverbs, Solomon’s advice to his son provides a priceless resource for seeking and applying the principles of wisdom. We are encouraged to pursue wisdom:

Proverbs 4:7

Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding.

Righteousness:

“Righteousness” is an essential aspect of our identity as Christian believers. 1 Corinthians 1:30 makes known this truth:

But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:

Righteousness is one of those divine attributes of God imparted unto us through Christ. Think of it as being in a right relationship with the Creator, our gracious Father. We are “all right” with God, and God is “all right” with us. We abide in a state of righteousness, not our own which is “as filthy rags” but in the righteousness of God.

Devotion:

Devotion in a spiritual context is said to be wholehearted commitment to God. The people of God are encouraged to demonstrate such commitment and dedication. Often devotion is expressed in terms of prayer or worship or some other evidence of godly behavior. Solomon in his prayer at the dedication of the Temple makes this statement:

“O LORD, God of Israel, there is no God like you in all of heaven above or on the earth below. You keep your covenant and show unfailing love to all who walk before you in wholehearted devotion. (1 Kings 8:23)

While reflecting upon the Verse of the Day, I thought of a poem that speaks directly of wisdom and makes reference to “Christ, our righteousness,” and ends with the phrase “the fear of the Lord,” which is connected to devotion:

The Beginning of Wisdom

The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever.
Psalm 19:9

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.
Proverbs 9:10

We begin and stand in absolute awe of You,

Thoroughly washed in the fountain of holiness.

The old has passed away—Behold, You make all things new:

Redeemed and justified by Christ, our righteousness.

As You search the earth, may we find grace in Your sight.

We seek to be wise but never in our own eyes.

Here we stand perfected and destined to walk upright,

Your beloved ones, whose heart Your Word purifies.

We are filled with knowledge and wisdom from above

And bound by a covenant no one can sever,

For nothing can separate us from God’s love:

The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever.

We are renewed in strength and upheld by God’s Word,

As we pursue wisdom, growing in the fear of the Lord.

 

We close with the Scripture Memory Song: Titus 2:11-12:

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2 Responses to “How should we then live?”

  1. Expression of his grace...... Says:

    i think this is a beautiful and inspiring write up..

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