Z is for Zeal is the final installment on our 2019 journey: Prayer A to Z. You can find the complete series here.
I'm ending this study with a single passage of scripture because it so aptly summarizes what we've done here this year:
"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."
Whoa! There are so many glorious nugget in there! Let's take a quick look at just a few of them:
A. Salvation for all
God's grace (GRACE= God's Riches At Christ's Expense) is readily available to anyone who asks for it. We have sin, but God has taken care of it for us through the blood of Jesus. (If you don't know my Jesus, go here to learn more.)
It's like this: I went to my hometown recently and drove past the station where I used to get gas as a teen. I didn't ever need cash or a credit card. I would drive in, and they'd fill me up. Then I'd say, "My dad will take care of this."
Yep, our Heavenly Father took care of the cost of sin-- for everyone!
B. Boundaries for living
These verses offer a clear "Do This" and Don't Do This" list: avoid ungodliness and worldly passions and seek to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives. Tall order? Sure. But gratefully, we don't have to manage it alone.
C. Hope for Future
Jesus is our HOPE. I love this as a finale to my year because my word for 2019 was HOPE. And as I watch the news and see evil triumph in the world more and more each day, I await Christ's return with ZEAL!
D. Prepared for God
Christ's sacrifice was to cleanse us from evil and prepare us to be His. His very own. That should infuse us with overflowing zeal!
E. Zeal for good
All of those things A-D are reasons we should be eager (or have zeal) to do good things.
Whew! That's a lot from so few verses. But there's one last thing:
F. Mandate for teaching
The very next verse gives us a call to action:
Titus 2:15 "Teach these things, as you use your full authority to encourage and correct people. Make sure you earn everyone's respect."
That's our command: 1-teach all that to others; 2-encourage with authority; 3-Correct with authority; 4-earn everyone's respect.
Oops. One final "last thing."
In Rev. 3:19 we learn, "I correct and punish those who I love. So be eager to do right, and change your hearts and lives." (NCV)
Be eager? Have ZEAL!
Abba Father, as we head into a new year and a time of renewal, pump up our zeal. Zeal for You, for doing what is right and for reaching others in Your name. Change our hearts, LORD!