It’s Just Better
Read This Week: Titus 3
At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy… So that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone. – Titus 3:3-8
I like it when people use the phrase, “It’s just better” in comparison of two things. I like it because the words are simple but resolute. It is straight to the point and stating an experiential fact with emphasis. No frills or messing around. No hyperbole or romantic language. No sugarcoating. “It’s just better.”
That is exactly what Paul was saying in Titus 3 about life before one enters into a relationship with Jesus and the new life experienced in His grace and mercy. He compares the reality of what it’s like for individuals and communities without God to the one where Christ has made a difference. He states clearly that having a relationship with Jesus is just better than anything the world and the old life has to offer.
Paul asserts that before Christ, we were destructive people that deceived and hurt each other and did so with harmful intent. He writes that we were out of control and self-interested to the point that only the satisfaction of our own desires mattered. He even says that a community far from God is an environment that fosters hate toward one another and is an unwelcome place to be.
But, when the hope and salvation of Jesus appears and takes over people’s lives, things get better. God begins to not only change individuals but whole communities. He removes sin, calms the chaos that it creates and gives us a purpose. Instead of harming, we begin to look out for one another, express compassion and do good things that are excellent and profitable for everyone.
Our individual lives are filled with the peace and security of eternal life that is attractive to others and our communities are filled with kindness that nurtures, comforts and makes it not only desirable but a beautiful place to be. Jesus rescues us from our old ways of destruction, removes filth and negativity and replaces it with a new life overflowing with good works that point to His goodness and love for all people.
Once you’ve tasted the joy, peace of mind, and fulfillment of being alive in Christ everything else seems pale, meaningless, and hollow. It is the picture of extremes. It’s the sharp contrast of Ultra High Definition when all you’ve ever viewed is Standard Definition. It’s like watching in black and white when you could experience the full vibrancy and depth of color.
It is sitting in first class when all you’ve ever known is the middle seat in coach between the crying baby and the person with body odor. It’s never wanting to swim in a murky pond again once you’ve body surfed on the waves of the Pacific. It is the thought of driving through McDonald’s when you could have Ruth’s Chris every day.
Life in Christ. It’s just better.
That is so true. People think that you have to give up so much to be a Christian and in reality what we give up are the things that we really don’t want anyway. The lost feeling and loneliness, the stress and anxiety, insecurity and helplessness. These are all replaced with God‘s love, peace, joy, wisdom, guidance, and direction. You never have to be alone and you can rely on God for the help you need. A life with Christ is so full of benefits, the challenge is to enjoy all that God has for you. God is saying, “I love you infinitely and I have awesome plans for you in your life with Me,”
Please reply and share about your life with Christ or any questions that you may have.
That’s the great deception isn’t it, Ken? The lie that if we give our lives to Jesus and walk with him then all of our joy, pleasure, and excitement is forfeited for some miserable existence of piety. But nothing could be further from the truth. The greatest joy is the joy of knowing the Creator of the universe, and because of his son Jesus, being assured of eternal life. That’s why “it’s just better” because no one and no thing on the planet can come close to offering us that. Life in Christ stands alone.
It was Jesus as a Man who gave up His own life and faced our horrors for us. He faced hell, all of our fears, disappointments, diseases and hatred. He faced our rejection, grief, pain, guilt, and losses. He faced our jealousies, wrath, anger, prejudices, rebellion, and shattered dreams. He faced our brokenness, toxic relationships, conflicts, lusts, greed, lack of love, our wanderings without purpose, and our broken fellowship with Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. He faced our unkindnesses, impatience, complaining and our thousands, and even trillions more disgusting sinful choices that He took on the cross and so we could have a life that is “just better.”
Jesus is saying for us to seek Him and His Kingdom above and don’t be caught up in the foolishness of this world that does not satisfy the deepest longing of our souls.
Thank you for sharing Dr. Randall, we love hearing God through you. What you said makes me think about how much Jesus suffered for me and you, taking all sin (past, present, and future) on himself. Everyone who responds to Him, can be born again and become free from the penalty of sin, never be alone again and have everlasting life. What an awesome act of love!
Will you tell me and everyone else reading this, more about seeking God?
This might be my favorite post yet. Shedding our carnal nature and embracing God and Christ in our hearts lets the colors of our lives shine in full bloom. So many people, communities and groups are lost, hopeless and filled with anger and resentment. These are the people that have not found God and have closed their hearts; it makes me sad to see.
Spirituality can be a very personal thing, so it seems like everyone has a moment where they take the leap and are ready to accept Christ in their lives and make that eternal bond with God. A quote comes to mind, “From the outside looking in you can’t understand it and from the inside looking out you can’t explain it.”
This to me is very true and it wasn’t until I fully embraced Christ and allowed my heart to open to Him, that I saw what I was missing. The best thing we can do is to help others achieve that moment of clarity when they are ready. I am so thankful that I was able to answer God’s call, and it makes me happier every day when other’s can as well.
This is really good, Javaid. The content of our lives is one of the best ways someone can see and experience the joy and richness of a relationship with Christ. If someone says they have something that is better than anything else on the planet and their life doesn’t reflect what they profess, then people on the outside are going to have a hard time wanting the same. But, if a follower of Jesus demonstrates that “it’s just better” then perhaps it may be attractive to a watching world.
To your point about not being able to explain it, I thought that was good and it reminded me of something that I picked up years ago: “People may debate you on many things about God and Jesus but one thing they can’t debate you on is your changed life.” Living with the joy and hope of our salvation is so important and is one of the great apologetics for the existence of God and the pleasures of a relationship with Jesus.
As it says in Titus 3:3:5, God saved us not because of what good and righteousness we had done, but out of his love and mercy. He cleansed and renewed us through His Holy Spirit so we would no longer be bound by worldly troubles and temptations.
As Christians, we have the ability to not be drawn into the carnal nature but to stand in His light and share with others the importance of His teachings. He also helps us show respect to others especially the authority figures in our home, the world and in the greater community of God like our teachers, our mothers and our fathers. God also helps us live a life of no fear so we can spread the word of His total love for everyone.
When you said as Christians we have the ability to not be drawn into the carnal nature, it made me think of how awesome it is to live life in our godly nature; giving attention to God, focusing on Him, feeling His peace and presence, while interacting with Him in so many ways. When you set your mind on God and worship Him, you get activated and in the Spirit. He is always on point, so it is up to you and me to notice Him, rather than being drawn to the things of the world. When you are activated and in the Spirit, you are right on track with God, operating in your new godly nature and on point with Him.
God is saying, “give Me your attention right here, right now for one minute. Reach out to Me and see how I connect with you.”
Please reply and let me know if you responded to God and what happened.
Sam, I appreciate the reminder of not only how we are saved, but how that salvation informs and empowers our lives beyond the moment we enter into a relationship with Jesus. I have to be reminded that the mercy, grace and undeserved love of God is the only thing that saved me. But I also needed to be reminded that the same mercy and grace is applied to my life as I walk with Him daily.
It brings such gratitude to God for giving us Jesus and joy to our existence and such power to our decisions, challenges and struggles that we don’t have to face alone in this life. Do you have an example of when you experienced joy by being reminded of God’s mercy and grace?
In Titus 3, God is reminding us to be willing to learn something every day from Him and the people He has put in our lives to teach us about the Bible, the ones who are seeking Him for the truth.
It’s imortant to desire to become a great servant, to be willing to lend a helping hand, so you can get better at meeting people’s needs for Him.
Remember a time when you first started out on your journey with God, you didn’t know what to do. How to grow in God’s ways, not the world’s ways. (Remember your always working out your salvation. Philippians 2:12) until you go to heaven.
Think about it this way, the Bible is like medicine. The more you spend time reading it with God, He helps you to get better and better, Healing starts to happen and continues to happen, your relationships gets better, God is giving you strength while you’re going through the process, He continues to work in you and through you. So don’t forget to take your medicine daily if you want to stay in God’s peace, joy, love, continue to be willing to live with Jesus. He loves you and loves to help you!
Heidi, this is a great post and reminder that the Christian life is a journey but it is not a journey we have to take alone. God gives us His spirit, His word and other people to do life and walk with. It is just such a blessing to hear the words: He loves you and loves to help you!
That brings joy to our lives and comfort to our suffering and ease to our challenges. It is like medicine for what hurts and needs tending to. Thank you for your words.
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In Titus 3 what I heard God saying to me was this” You should have gratitude for how I changed you. I want you to see that it was My work that changed you. You should have kindness to others who are in that same place, and the faith that I can change those who are in that place. I can change you, but you must let me. You are rescued by my kindness and my love. According to My mercy, you are saved. You are saved to maintain good works in My name.”
I love the way “it’s just better” is utilized here. Having a relationship with Christ is truly indescribable. I believe if someone did ask, I would probably say those words exactly! More importantly, He is a foundational piece of our life. When we are down, He lifts us up. When we cry out to Him, He answers our prayers and provides light during the dark times we face. I can confidently say I have experienced His blessings, but the most important task on our to-do list is to share these. Nothing is better than seeing our peers grow through Christ as well! To connect it with Heidi’s comment above, we are all in need of His medicine. Our job is far from complete without our fellow brothers and sisters gaining the same comfort and grace from God’s love.