This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone. Titus 3:8 (EHV).
Awhile back I wrote about my uncle (in the context of Titus 2:2); how he is an older man worthy of respect and honor. Today I’m writing about how he’s dying with dignity and strength. Those things are possible for him because, decades ago, he decided to follow Jesus and live his life in a way that was devoted to Him, to what is good. My uncle is in hospice today, and it won’t be long before he leaves this place, and is young again in heaven.
I’m watching from far away while this happens, knowing that he listened to the Apostle Paul countless times in his life. That good words like Paul’s, here, prepared him for this time when he is readying to meet Jesus face to face. It was trustworthy for Paul to say that it was honorable, excellent, and able to bear much good fruit for those who follow Jesus to devote themselves to doing what is right, what is decent, what is honorable.
My uncle has lived his life doing those things, and when he dies, we’ll gather around his funeral to remember how a man we loved taught us so many good things about how to follow Christ. Buzz didn’t earn a trip to heaven; none of us do. But Jesus earned it for him, made it possible for him to leave behind the cancer and debilitation and loneliness that sometimes plagues us here on the Third Rock. When the door opens, he’ll walk through and be renewed and be in the presence of He who made it possible.
THAT is the point of Paul’s words to Titus today. THAT is the point of my uncle following Jesus throughout his life. The things that are excellent and profitable in this life are from Jesus and because of Jesus and in Jesus. We aren’t talking A+ on-your-report-card excellent, or Bill & Ted adventure excellent: we’re talking perfection. And we aren’t talking about your-best-life-now financial profitable, or YUGE 401K profitable: we’re talking about souls standing in eternal praise of God. Here in this world, living lives in thankful praise of Him can earn we followers respect and honor, yet it isn’t for this world that people live such lives. It’s to praise Jesus. It is for being part of forever even now…and then after.
My uncle, Buzz Kornmann, understands all this. I hope he isn’t too embarrassed by my saying it here. Say a prayer for him, please, and for his family. And please make it a prayer of happiness and thanks: like he would.
For further reading: 1 Timothy 1:15, Titus 3:9
Lord Jesus, thank You for good men in our lives who lived to teach us to follow You.