Read Titus 2:11-15
Homer loved Reese’s, Mt. Dew and Cheetos. Every afternoon, he gathered his snacks and settled in front of the TV to play Swords and Heroes.
“Homer,” his sister said, “get some fresh air. Homer, go, get some exercise!”
Homer didn’t want to get some fresh air or exercise. He wanted Reese’s and Mt. Dew and Cheetos.
He also hated the word “self-control,” which is what his dad had been talking about last weekend. As in, “Homer, you need some self-control.”
Homer didn’t want any self-control. He wanted to do what he wanted to do.
But after awhile, he seemed to catch every cold that went around. And inbetween times, he didn’t feel so good anyway. His pants didn’t fit anymore. “Well, I’m growing!” he told his mother, who scowled as they moved into the husky section of the jeans rack.
He didn’t do much at game time because he ran out of air so fast. He stood in the corner panting while the other boys were running. They were stronger than he was, anyway, and he’d rather go home and sit on the couch.
What would you tell Homer?
Homer hated self-control because he thought it was better to do what he wanted to do. But what he wanted wasn’t good for him.
That’s not news we always want to hear. We want to do what we want. It may not be candy and video games. It might be the right to lose our temper or be selfish or expect a certain gift on our birthday.
We want what we want. We want to be in charge.
But Paul’s advice to Titus was to teach the people in the church about self-control. Paul wanted the people to life self-controlled, upright and godly lives. How on earth could they do that?
By the grace of God. We sometimes think our own gritted will power will get us to self-control. It won't. We need to trust God's grace.
God’s grace is amazing, isn’t it? Our own selfish choices make us like Homer, intending to please ourselves but actually hurting ourselves. God wants better things for us.
"...we wait for the blessed hope--the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good."