Jesus Christ 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.
Acceptance is vitally important to all of us. If you don’t think that’s true, change the first word in the opening sentence to rejection. Have you ever met anyone who valued rejection? It’s just not in us. We need to belong.
I recently had a discussion with a girl in middle school. She said that in grades 1 through 5, everybody liked everybody. But when she moved up to the next level, she encountered divisions, cliques, and social classes. Popular and unpopular. The in crowd and the rejects. Kids that used to like her, no longer gave her the time of day.
Fortunately, she has been blessed with accepting friends, but rejection still hurts. Her self-esteem and confidence have suffered.
I wish I could tell her that it will get better as she progresses through life. However, there will always be friends and family to lift her up and love her unconditionally. Thank God for giving us accepting and supportive people who genuinely care.
Even greater is the gift of Christ. Notice the following line from our focus text: “…people that are his very own.” In other words, “You BELONG to Christ.”
To belong to Jesus is to be loved by Him for eternity.
The Lord gave His all that we might belong. “Jesus Christ gave himself for us…” And His motivation was love. “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13)
From among those on this earth, who has given the most out of love for you? Your parents? Spouse? A best friend? More than just words, their actions have solidified your sense of belonging and acceptance. The bond has been strengthened by sacrificial love.
To belong to Jesus means you are saved by His sacrificial love.
I’ve never thought of the Lord in this way, but when I think of what He’s done for me, He is the ultimate hero. “Jesus Christ gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness…” He rescued us from the burning building of wickedness where we were held captive. He paid the penalty we deserve, which is eternal separation from God.
Redeem means to release someone held captive after the payment of a ransom. That ransom was paid with the precious blood of the Lamb of God to satisfy God’s justice.
Back to Titus 2:14. In addition to giving His life as our redemption, Jesus also gave Himself for our cleansing from sin. “Jesus Christ gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own…”
To belong to Jesus means you have been cleansed of all unrighteousness.
After He rescued us from the burning pit of hell, He cleansed us from all unrighteousness. He saved us from where we were headed and purified us for a right relationship with God.
We have a cat named Dusty. A few months ago, Dusty disappeared. Ultimately we found him, covered in oil and grime. Before he could come in the house, we gave him a bath, suitable for living in the Weirich household. You and I were cleansed for life in the household of God.
To belong to Jesus means you desire to do good that honors Him.
With belonging comes responsibility. And that’s definitely true of those who belong to God’s forever family. “Jesus Christ 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.”
Good works are the product and not the means to salvation. (Ephesians 2:8)
He died, redeemed, purified, and adopted us into His family and planted within us a desire to do “what is good.” That good is manifest in our thoughts and deeds toward man and God.
We’re right back to belonging. I’ve often mentioned my grandmother and the godly influence she had on my life. She taught me the meaning of sacrificial love. I held her in high esteem, and because of that I wanted to please her; didn’t want to disappoint her by the way I lived my life; wanted to make her proud.
In book 3 of the Forever Notebook, I wrote a series of devotionals on how you can know you’re saved. One of the most obvious signs of your salvation is eagerness to do what is good in the eyes of the Lord. You want to please the one who has given His all for you.
You BELONG to Christ and you are eternally accepted. There’s no greater love.
For more on this topic, check out this article: When You Think No One Cares
Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 4 (October – December) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.