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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. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:4-7

Dear heavenly Father, if I was into tattoos, and this Scripture wasn’t so long, I might consider having it inked onto my body. For these amazing words from Paul to his friend, Titus, are revolutionary, so liberating and transforming. What a grand summary of the gospel! Much better than getting a tattoo, however, is to realize you’ve already written this truth on my heart by the Holy Spirit.

Father, you’re such an outrageously generous God. Your kindness and love appeared to me out of nowhere—like a full moon on the darkest of nights; like a sudden downpour in the middle of the desert; like an old friend at the loneliest, most desperate moment of my life.

I wasn’t seeking you, Father, but you were seeking me—running to me, running after me—not to shame me, but to rescue me from my paralyzing guilt and foolish pride. I praise you for your multiplied mercies, lavish love and saving grace.

And what a “bath” in the gospel you gave me—washing me, once and for all, through the new birth. And now, you continue to renew, revive, and refresh me through the ministry of the Holy Spirit—poured out like a healing waterfall. All of these blessings come so freely because you’ve given Jesus so fully. Hallelujah, many times over!

Now that you’ve justified me by your grace, the rest of my life is defined by heir-shiphope, and heaven. Though I sometimes feel (and act) like a fatherless, futureless orphan, nothing could be farther from the truth; for you love me, and all of your adopted children, as much as you love your eternally begotten Son, Jesus.

The saints in heaven are happier than we are, but no more secure than we are in Christ. You will bring to completion the good work you’ve begun in us, your beloved children, and in your cherished cosmos. So very Amen I pray with joy and peace, in Jesus’ exalted name.

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Scotty Smith

Scotty Smith is the founding pastor of Christ Community Church in Franklin, Tennessee. You can follow him on Twitter.

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