Several years Sports Illustrated reported that approximately 60% of NBA players go broke within 5 years of retirement. A more recent survey shows that figure hasn’t changed much in the past decade.
How do you blow tens and even hundreds of millions of dollars so quickly?
Why haven’t current players learned from past players’ mistakes?
What causes these gifted athletes to be so reckless, irresponsible, and foolhardy?
The report suggests many of these pampered athletes are used to a life filled with excitement, excess, and extravagance. Drugs. Alcohol. Women. Fancy Cars. Luxurious mansions. And risky investments. All of these and more sap these men of their riches.
While we collectively shake our heads at such irresponsible, immature, and selfish behavior of wasting their wealth, consider the Christian who despises the riches of God’s goodness and grace? Who misuses and abuses his blessings? Who squanders his spiritual inheritance?
Apparently, the apostle Paul was aware of some in Crete who turned God’s grace into a license to sin. How can a Christian deliberately reject and reproach the immeasurable blessings God has given him?
Paul in his letter to Titus reminds us to consider three things about God’s grace that should encourage us to be thankful and motivate us to righteous, responsible living.
For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. (Titus 2:11-14)
#1The Redeeming Power of Grace.
Ephesians 2 describes the deplorable, disgraceful and decadent life we lived apart from God’s grace. We were dead in sin. We were dominated by a sphere of ungodliness. And we were doomed to a life without hope, apart from God.
Titus 2 reminds us of the past appearance of grace in our lives. Think of the day you obeyed the gospel. How you felt when you were baptized. Your motivation for becoming a Christian.
Then remember you were redeemed by the sacrifice of Christ. By His blood. Through his suffering. And because of God’s immense love for you. How can forget the riches of His grace? And the price He paid so you could be free from Satan’s shackles and sin’s enslavement?
#2 The Reforming Impact of Grace
Grace not only looks back at what God did, but its present imperative also continues to teach us. While grace is an undeserved gift that God offers, it does have conditions for its acceptance.
We must be taught. Learn. Obey. And grow in grace. We are challenged to say “no” to worldly passion. To spurn ungodly attitudes and actions. To reject immoral and unethical temptations. And to say “yes” to righteousness. To practice self-control. And to live a life worthy of and commensurate with our divine calling.
Warren Wiersbe was right when he wrote, “Salvation is not only a change in position (set free from the slavery of sin), but it is also a change in attitude, appetite, ambition, and action.”
#3The Rewarding incentive of Grace
Grace not only looks back to our past and our present but to our future.
Christians look forward with confidence, hope, and an earnest expectation of the Lord’s return. God promised that Christ will return to eternally redeem us to live with Him forever. Jesus reassured the apostles that he was going to prepare a heavenly mansion for them (and for us). That He would come again. And He will take us home to heaven.
By God’s grace, we are saved from past sins. We are able to live in a saved state. And we can anticipate eternal salvation.
Don’t neglect your salvation. Don’t waste your blessings. Don’t despise the riches of God’s grace.
You’re wealthier than any professional athlete. Thank God for His goodness. And join with the apostle in proclaiming, “I am what I am by the grace of God”
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman
2 responses to “The Riches of God’s Grace.”
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