Think back to the old neighborhood where you grew up. Take a moment and think of all the characters that lived in the area. You remember them all don’t you? The kids you used to hang out with and the older ones that perhaps used to bully you and your friends. you remember the next door neighbor that wouldn’t let you into her yard to get the kick ball that your buddy kicked over the fence. Every moment and every person you remember them.
Now think of yourself in that same time frame. Remember the type of kid that you were when you were growing up in that neighborhood. Do you remember causing havoc with your friends? Do you remember all the trouble that you got in while you were pushing the boundaries? do you remember all the fun you used to have playing games with your friends or goofing off together at school?
Are you that same person now? Are those people in the neighborhood the same? Yet, when you think of them or yourself together those memories still rush back. At least they do for me, yet I know that I am not that person anymore. I know my buddies from the neighborhood are not the same people anymore either. Yet that is still how I see them. I see them as the carefree kids that most of us were. Enjoying life no matter what else was going on.
I was thinking of the old times as I was finishing up the letter to Titus this morning,. In the final chapter, Paul sends a word of reminder. Paul wants the people to remember how they used to be as well in the old neighborhood. However, he doesn’t want to look back so fondly. He wants people to remember the bad things about themselves. The ways in which they were off course. He doesn’t want them to be reminded of those things though to make them feel bad.
Paul wants the people to be reminded of the fact that despite the mess they were in that God had still done a great work in them. It wasn’t because they were os special or the behavior was perfect. It was in spite of all the things going wrong. God loved them and the Spirit changed them.
It is a reminder to me as I read this of how far I have come because of the grace of God. I am still a work in progress but I am God’s handiwork and so this morning I choose to see that when I look in the mirror. What do you see?
We are in Day 30 of a 40 day read through the New Testament challenge today. The 40 days of readings are listed below.
***End Note ***
40 Days of Reading
Day 1 – Ash Wednesday
Thursday Day 2 – Mark 5-8
Friday Day 3 Mark 9-12
Saturday Day 4 Mark 13-16
Monday Day 5 1 & 2 Thessalonians
Tuesday Day 6 Galatians
Wednesday Day 7 Philippians & Colossians
Thursday Day 8 Philemon & Ephesians
Friday Day 9 Matthew 1-7
Saturday Day 10 Matthew 8-12
Monday Day 11 Matthew 13-18
Tuesday Day 12 Matthew 19-24
Day 13 Wednesday Matthew 25-28
Thursday Day 14 1 Corinthians 1-9
Friday Day 15 1 Corinthians 10-16
Saturday Day 16 2 Corinthians 1-13
Monday Day 17 Romans 1-8
Tuesday Day 18 Romans 9-16
Wednesday Day 19 Luke 1-3
Thursday Day 20 Luke 4-7
Friday Day 21 Luke 8-11
Saturday Day 22 Luke 12-16
Monday Day 23 Luke 17-21
Tuesday Day 24 Luke 22-24
Wednesday Day 25 Acts 1-6
Thursday Day 26 Acts 7-10
Friday Day 27 Acts 11-16
Saturday Day 28 Acts 17-22
Monday Day 29 Monday Day 29 Acts 23-28
Today Tuesday Day 30 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus
Wednesday Day 31 Hebrews 1-10
Thursday Day 32 Hebrews 11-13 & James
Friday Day 33 Revelation 1-11
Saturday Day 34 Revelation 12-22
Monday Day 35 1 & 2 & 3 John & Jude
Tuesday Day 36 1 & 2 Peter
Wednesday Day 37 John 1-5
Thursday Day 38 John 6-10
Friday Day 39 John 11-16
Saturday Day 40 John 17-21