Pastor Herb VanderBilt
East Nelson United Methodist Church
9024 18 Mile Rd. Cedar Springs
Do the right thing
Titus 3:1-7: Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men. 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. 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.
Do the right thing. It sounds so simple doesn’t it? But in my experience, it is one of the toughest standards to meet. Sometime things happen and it is hard to know how to respond. The words of Paul, in his pastoral letter to Titus, a Greek convert to the Christian faith, still ring true today in our society. But Paul is talking about more than just obeying the traffic signals or paying your taxes, he is reminding us that only by the grace of God are we in a better place today than many others.
The early church started out in Jerusalem, and, when you read the book of Acts, you will see that the early Christians were a tight community. They helped each other out as much as they could, because they were pretty much all in the same boat. The Greek Churches, on the other hand, did not have that foundational experience and at times were unsure of what the right thing was to do. Titus was a strong Christian, but even he needed to be reminded to be ready to do good. So what does this being ready to do good look like?
I suggest it looks like the East Nelson Praise Team. One night we were trying to figure out the best way to respond to a family in need, when they came up with the idea of putting on a concert to raise some money. Plans were put into motion and on Wednesday evening, May 23, generosity poured out, as the folks who were there were treated to a symphony of music to the glory of God. We had musicians from 18 to 80 and plenty of food to start the evening off. May we always be ready to praise God’s name and do the right thing.