The following exhortation is by Paul Brownfield, a faithful man here at Mid-Coast Baptist Church.
Titus 2:14 “Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”
Being a father for just a short while has taught me many things. One thing I notice is how my daughter likes to see how long she can straddle the middle of the fence before she gets into trouble. For example, she doesn’t feel like eating. I tell her to take a bite of her food and eat. What does she do? She will eat one grain of rice. Did she really obey her father? She took a bite and she ate it. What is the problem? The problem is an attitude problem. She wants to do the bare minimum. She wants to straddle the middle of the fence; not quite fully disobeying but at the same time, not quite fully obeying either.
Isn’t this so often how we are with God? We parents get frustrated with our children for this but we often do the same thing with God. It gets in the Lord’s churches–those for whom Christ died! How can this be? It happens with modesty, time, money, language, witnessing, singing, paying attention to the preaching, being involved in the Lord’s ministry…
Let me take one from that list–singing. During an average church service, the service includes some songs to sing. We have the tendency to sing softly. Do you know what I mean? Maybe we don’t want the person next to us to hear us. If your Pastor was standing next to you, there is a good probability that you would sing so he could hear you. If you don’t, he might want to talk to you later about it. But we won’t sing out for the LORD, the One Who created all things, the One Who gave His only begotten Son to die for us?
So, is this being “zealous of good works”? Merely obeying, doing the bare minimum, is being lukewarm. When we tell our children to eat their food, we want them to be zealous and eat it all. God tells us to be modest and to give, so we should make sure there is no doubt to modesty and that we give the best we are able to. We should sing out. We should desire to work on those memory verses. We should long to tell someone about Jesus Christ and what He did for us! We should be excited to show them that they can serve a living God! After all, He died for us that He might redeem us and purify us. What is our responsibility? Be “zealous of good works.” Then we can say we did that which was our “reasonable service” (Romans 12:1).