Every now and then I like to spoil my four-year-old daughter by taking her out for fast food. Her food of choice is usually chicken nuggets. You know, those small morsels of processed chicken enveloped in a thin batter. If she’s hungry enough she’ll eat six in one sitting.
These little pieces of chicken are called nuggets because they’re small enough to eat quickly and they temporarily satisfy our hunger. Unlike a large piece of chicken where we might need to use a knife and fork chicken nuggets provide a quick go to for food.
Throughout the New Testament, either in the Gospels or in the Letters of Paul and Peter and John, we can find gospel nuggets. These are bite-size pieces of the Good News that remind us of who God is and what he has done in Jesus. Unlike chicken nuggets these are easily digestible and all-satisfying truths of the Christian faith.
One such nugget I came across recently is from Titus 3:3-7. It reads:
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.
In reading this I am reminded of the position I used to be in before knowing Jesus and now the position I find myself in because of Jesus.
Formerly I was in a place that was foolish. In this position I sought to gain pleasure for myself, looking out solely for my own needs and wants. This leads down a path that is unhelpful and unhealthy. Seeking pleasure in the wrong place, and in pursuing wrongful passions, we end up being people who are prideful, egotistical, and self-centred.
Knowing the position we are in it is then revealed to us that through the love and kindness of God we can be rescued from this inwardly focussed life. Instead, through the mercy of God, we have been saved through Christ Jesus. We haven’t done anything to achieve such kindness and love but God has done it all. From one reality our eyes are opened to another reality. This new reality understands that through the Spirit our hearts have been changed and we have been rescued from our own selfishness.
Because of this we are (1) included into God’s family, (2) made right with God, (3) have an inheritance given to us from God, and (4) our hope is put into perspective because of eternity with God.
That is four gifts that God has freely given freely to us because of his kindness, love, and mercy. What an amazing gift!
As you ponder your own position with God have you come to understand the gifts God seeks to give you? As you dwell on this gospel-nugget can you see the all-satisfying grace of God? As you go about your day today, take this gospel-nugget and chew on it. Digest it. Understand it. And may it nourish you in a way that no fast food outlet can.
Jon Coombs is the Youth & Young Adult Pastor of Rowville Baptist Church in Melbourne, Australia. For over 15 years he has been working with youth and young adults in churches, schools, mission agencies and not-for-profit organisations. He enjoys watching test match cricket with his wife, and blogs regularly at joncoombs.com. You can find and connect with him on Twitter or Facebook.