by the Rev. Andrew Kuyvenhoven
In September we read Paul's letter to Titus and his very last letter, called 2 Timothy. Paul's concern is that the true gospel be preserved and proclaimed by a faithful church.
The grace of God ... has appeared.... It teaches us ... to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives (Titus 2:11–12).
Here is the reason for the strict moral behavior that is required of us: We live between the coming of grace and the appearance of glory. These two events, one past and the other future, determine the way we live in the present world.
"For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared"—not to disappear again but to educate. It trains us in the art of saying yes and no. Grace teaches us to live "self-controlled, upright and godly lives." "Self-controlled" describes our personal attitude, "upright" says how we behave in relation to our neighbors, and "godly" is a manner of living that shows our knowledge of God.
A person is "self-controlled," or "sober," when he or she is not intoxicated with anything or anyone in this world. At all times we must have a sense of proportion and direction. In the midst of all the diversities and adversities of the present world, we may not forget that we live between Christ's coming in grace and his coming in glory.
To "live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age" requires constant training. Yet we don't acquire these virtues by self-improvement. "The grace of God ... teaches us." The grace that has appeared in the coming of Jesus brings not only forgiveness of our weakness but also vitamins for our growth.
Andrew Kuyvenhoven's Daylight, a modern devotional classic, was originally published in 1994. This edition is copyright by Faith Alive Christian Resources, from whom may be ordered Daylight, the predecessor of Twilight.
A man of many accomplishments, Andrew Kuyvenhoven is probably best known for his contributions to Today (formerly The Family Altar), a widely-used monthly devotional booklet associated with the Back to God Hour. Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations for this edition of Twilight are from the New International Version