"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" (Titus 2:11-12, NKJV).

I wonder if any of us stop to consider righteousness as an aspect of God's grace? In writing to Titus, Paul emphasized the grace of God teaches us to live righteously "in the present age," today. God's grace isn't just about heaven, but for the here and now, how we live day by day in this life. It is by the grace of God that we can have an abundant life now (John 10:10).
As God is our Creator, it makes sense for us to live righteously, by what is right. His will is the right way to live, revealed to us in Scripture. To do otherwise is to live in sin, which only creates problems, individually and as a nation. Sin is lawlessness (1 John 3:4), and leads to more lawlessness (Romans 6:19). No one who's an alcoholic thought that was where drinking would lead. No one who is a drug addict imagined that getting high would do this. No one who has a sexually transmitted disease imagined being sexually immoral would do that. No one caught up in the recent financial crisis thought the cumulative effect of greed would lead to this. However, Scripture points out, "For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption" (Galatians 6:8). As the saying goes, "Too often trouble starts out by being fun." There is pleasure in sin, but it's only for a season; it passes and the consequences are all that is left, harsh and cruel as they may be (Hebrews 11:25).
One look at the world around us, and the lack of righteousness, along with its suffering, is obvious. This isn't the kind of life God wants for us! He wants us to live in His image (Genesis 1:27; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20). We need to be renewed in our thinking (Romans 12:2), and in righteousness, which brings a transformation of character (Ephesians 4:22-24). What does this offer? How about peace and joy (Romans 14:17)? The very things people so desperately want, but can't find, are available in Christ. Unrighteousness only brings pain and suffering. Why not seek the way of God, and find what life can be in Him? It's part of His grace for us today. "For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayers; but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil" (1 Peter 3:12).

Robert Johnson
Longview, TX

"For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men," "Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;"

"The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."

Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.

For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

"Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;"

"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them."

"What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?" "For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."

"And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."

"That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;" And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; "And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness."

"For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost."

"For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil."