Category Archives: Titus

1 Kings 13-14; 2 Chronicles 12; Psalm 47; Titus 2

11 For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. 12 And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God, 13 while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed. 14 He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds.

15 You must teach these things and encourage the believers to do them. You have the authority to correct them when necessary, so don’t let anyone disregard what you say. (Titus 2:11-15) NLT

I clearly remember the time in my life before I became a Christ-follower. In fact, even as “mature” (in age) as I am, there are still more years behind me when I wasn’t. I thought I was a “good person”—at least by my own standards–but I lived a worldly life. After I became a believer, I had no idea how to change my life. I know it needed to change because my life up to that point was full of turmoil, strife, and pain. I needed a Paul and a Titus in my life!

I went to church for most of my life. Yet somehow I had never been taught about having a personal relationship with Jesus. That was a pretty confusing concept to me. But the Lord guided me to a different church. It was there I found the “Paul” I needed. The Pastor of that church taught straight from the bible and explained what the verses meant. He introduced me to Jesus. “For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people.”  Much as Paul did in his teachings, that Pastor helped me understood that in order for my life to change I needed “to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures”.   God had a better plan for my life than I did. Through his instruction, and studying the bible on my own, I had a better understanding of the “why” I needed to change and let the Holy Spirit show me the “how.” I never would have changed by myself.

I had done most of this learning on my own up to this point. Then God brought a “Titus” into my life—a woman who became a friend and a mentor to me. I had never seen a godly life modeled. As I got to know her and how she lived her life, I knew I never wanted to go back to the life I used to have. Through our meetings, she embodied, “You must teach these things and encourage the believers to do them.” Sometime she did this with words but mostly she taught by example. While others in my life didn’t understand why I no longer chose to do as they did, she encouraged me to make better choices. Little by little, God pruned those non-believers from my life. He knew my heart was devoted to Him.

1 Come, everyone! Clap your hands!
    Shout to God with joyful praise!
2 For the Lord Most High is awesome.
    He is the great King of all the earth. (Psalm 47:1-2) NLT

Lord, I will never be able to thank you enough for showing me a better way to live and for changing the direction of my life.  So often, tears pour unashamedly from my eyes as I lift my hands, clap my hands, and sing joyful praise to you as I think of how you’ve loved me into wholeness.  You’ve shown me the true meaning of love.  You ARE awesome as it says in the Psalm.  I thank you for Jesus and all he has taught me.  In his name I pray, Amen.

Cindy (gardnlady)

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1 Kings 12; 2 Chronicles 10-11; Titus 1

Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all Israel had come to Shechem to make him king. 2 And as soon as Jeroboam the son of Nebat heard of it (for he was still in Egypt, where he had fled from King Solomon), then Jeroboam returned from Egypt. 3 And they sent and called him, and Jeroboam and all the assembly of Israel came and said to Rehoboam, 4 “Your father made our yoke heavy. Now therefore lighten the hard service of your father and his heavy yoke on us, and we will serve you.” 5 He said to them, “Go away for three days, then come again to me.” So the people went away. (1 Kings 12:1-5) [ESV])

What an opportunity Rehoboam had to gain support of people to be on his side and serve him with joy! His father Solomon had made the lives of those who lived in Israel hard and difficult. Here was an opportunity for his son to usher in a new era of freedom and peace.

He consulted the older men of the kingdom asking them what he should do and they gave him sound advice. However, he listened to the young men without experience. And their advice was to reply to the people that his little finger was going to be heavier than his father’s thigh. And it split the kingdom!

Now I’m sure this was all in God’s plan. He is the God who’s designs and plans are carried out among the nations. He sets up and removes kings and kingdoms. But what folly. Here the king had an opportunity to win over the people and instead he alienates his kingdom.

Okay how do we apply this to our lives today? As I read this I thought of my children as they were growing up. Some families have strict rules and rituals (I call them) and the family and the children our miserable. Other families are out of control. I thought of two things, first I grew up in a home where we didn’t have a lot of fun. My dad died when I was young (9) and it was a struggle from then on. But there was love in our home. Second, I wanted our children to grow up loving Jesus. So those were our two guidelines, let’s have fun and let’s love Jesus. That worked well for us. When you have an opportunity to make your family or your coworkers lives better or worse, more fun or more tedious what do you choose? I suggest you choose having fun and loving Jesus.

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Numbers 1, Psalm 35, Ecclesiastes 11, Titus 3

“I don’t believe in heaven and hell. I don’t know if I believe in God. All I know is that as an individual, I won’t allow this life – the only thing I know to exist – to be wasted.” (Celebrity quote)

Although there have always been naysayers and critics of God’s true word, I feel like we are living in a culture that is more self dependent and selfish than other times in history. The days of common moral values are gone and people are out to get everything they can. It’s truly a dog eat dog world and why not? Aren’t we all entitled to the American Dream?

Slogans are so common you could finish these off without me typing the words. Slogans such as “Live everyday like it was your last” or “Create your own happiness”. We are conditioned to believe that we are responsible for our happiness and our own good fortune and outcomes.  We are quick to take credit for our own accomplishments and good works but can just as quickly turn around and blame God when “bad things” happen.

Even in Solomon’s day he knew there was a balance between good works, enjoying life and being accountable for one’s own actions. We are called to live each day to the fullest but who are we living it for is the real question that differentiates good works for the kingdom of God rather than for selfish and prideful gain. Solomon’s wise words also come with a warning:

So if a person lives many years, let him rejoice in them all; but let him remember that the days of darkness will be many. All that comes is vanity.[b]

Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth. Walk in the ways of your heart and the sight of your eyes. But know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment.

10 Remove vexation from your heart, and put away pain[c] from your body, for youth and the dawn of life are vanity. Ecclesiastes 11:8-10

Yes it is important that we live each day to the fullest but it is only by the grace showed to us by Christ and the washing of our sin with his blood that any “good” work is seen by God as righteous.

 For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.  Titus 3:3-7

The irony in the celebrity’s quote above is that the very thing he is trying to avoid (wasting life) is exactly what he is doing by living for himself and his own glory. Without Christ, everything is meaningless. May our enjoyment and blessing of each new day be evident in the our good works, done not for self pleasure or advancement in to heaven but in gratitude to our Savior who gave his all for our sin!

Dear Jesus, than you for your blood that washes over my sin. Thank you for dying in my place so that when the Father looks at me he see’s your righteousness. Holy Spirit, help me to live each day joyfully devoted to good works that bring you glory. Amen!

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1 Kings 15; 2 Chronicles 13-14; Titus 3

Do not get involved in foolish discussions about spiritual pedigrees or in quarrels and fights about obedience to Jewish laws. These things are useless and a waste of time. If people are causing divisions among you, give a first and second warning. After that, have nothing more to do with them. For people like that have turned away from the truth, and their own sins condemn them.” Titus 3:9-11 NLT

Last Saturday morning I went to a memorial service for my friend’s mom. My friend’s extended family lives in Africa, so she was not able to be there when her mom died. We had a small, peaceful memorial service for her mom next to a lake. The pastor said that my friend’s mom often used the word Unity. I can see this in my friend’s life, as she raises her four girls in a country that is foreign to her. And teaches them to love Jesus…worshiping God through her pain.

Asa did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight, as his ancestor David had done… Asa’s heart remained completely faithful to the Lord throughout his life.”1 Kings 15:11&14 NLT

Will it be said of me, like Asa, that my heart remained completely faithful to the Lord?

But as for us, the Lord is our God, and we have not abandoned him…Then Asa cried out to the Lord his God, “O Lord, no one but you can help the powerless against the mighty! Help us, O Lord our God, for we trust in you alone. It is in your name that we have overcome this vast horde. O Lord, you are our God; do not let these men prevail against you!” 2 Chronicles 13:10 & 14:11 NLT

The word unity, is one I have been hearing a lot lately. Sometimes I can get too familiar with it, that I forget that’s what Jesus calls me to. I think about how easy it is for me to get pulled into the world’s ways. I need to rely on His power to look past my earthly vision and preconceived notions, into someone’s heart. When I think too highly of myself, I need to remember where He has brought me from. Like Asa, cry out to Him to save me.

When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. Because of his grace he declared us righteous and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life.” Titus 3:5-8 NLT

Dear Jesus, help me to love others like you love them. To show kindness instead of hate…turn the other cheek… pray for my enemies. I give you all the glory. Amen.

Amy (amyctanner)

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1 Kings 13-14, 2 Chronicles 12, Psalm 47, Titus 2

Just as every passage in the bible relates to our current day and time, so does this particular scripture here in Titus. In fact, this exact passage has been on my heart for some time now. Recently, a thread on Facebook in a ladies group from church showed just how important, relevant and needed this scripture is right now in our homes, communities and churches. A friend’s posted request seemed innocent and humble; “I need a mentor. Is anyone interested?” That post stirred up 147 responses and lead to an almost immediate response and call to action for ladies of all ages from college girls to new mamas all the way up to the churches most seasoned gals. Teaching, training and mentoring in this day and age is lost but the Holy Spirit is stirring hearts like never before and calling people to action.

As I read Paul’s words in Titus it’s as if he is speaking directly to us. Our culture and society is so turned around that even in our Christian communities it’s easy to get confused and off track. It is easy to stray from sound doctrine because it’s harder and harder to find, understand and discern. As I break down this passage, I look at who he’s speaking to, what  and where, why and how it will be accomplished.

The Who

The call is for everyone- “older” men and women. We are all older than someone! At all ages and stages of our lives we should be mentored and mentoring.

The What

Paul is calling on mentors to live godly, self-controlled lives as an example to others, teach sound doctrine and teach the younger generations to do the same.

When and Where

IN THIS PRESENT AGE! That meant in Titus’ time and in ours.

The Why

Don’t miss this: “That the word of God may not be reviled” “So that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior.”

The How

How will we accomplish this? By the grace of God!

“11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, 12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.”

 

Father, help us to “declare this things, exhort and rebuke with all authority those things in our culture that are not true. Help us with our actions, attitude and behavior that in everything, your word is not reviled. Give us teachers and mentors that will speak into our lives and hearts training us in your truth and help us to seek out the younger generation to come alongside and train, encourage and love. Let no one disregard you! Amen.

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1 Kings 12; 2 Chronicles 10-11; Titus 1

Google.  YouTube.  Blogs.  Podcasts.  Books.  Bible studies.  Churches.  So many voices.  A voice inside me whispers, “Be careful.”

Things are so different today than when Paul wrote his letter to Titus.  Yet things are also the same.

“For there are many rebellious people, mere talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision group.” (Titus 1:10)

There are still many rebellious people, many talkers and deceivers.

I have access within seconds to the voices of people from all over the world.  I have access to teachings on everything.  But how many of these teachings are deceptive?  Which ones are truth?  This is both the good news and the bad news of being a Christian today in the United States.  I have access to truly awesome teachings that could lead me into a richer relationship with Jesus.  I can also get ahold of false teachings that could lead me down dangerous paths.

In Crete, where Titus was working, the “circumcision group” was evidently a big problem.  In our culture, some groups are easily identified as problematic, as deceivers.  But others are not so easy.

I yearn to know Jesus better.  My heart pulls me toward Him.  I read the Scriptures.  I meditate on, or think about, the Scriptures.  I pray.  I try to be quiet and listen to the Holy Spirit.  I learn more about Jesus through trusted followers of Jesus, my community.  All of these things I believe are good.

Yet, I need more.  I need teachers to lead me.  Teachers who are truly followers of Jesus, whose hearts and minds are turned toward Him.  Teachers who have been blessed by God with the ability to turn the difficult into the understandable.

Lord, I want know You.  Thank you for easy access to teachings about You.  Lead me to the teachers and teachings that reveal Your truth.  Give me discernment to recognize the difference between truth and deception.  Keep me from listening to rebellious people, the false teachers.  Amen

Diona

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I Kings 15; II Chronicles 13-14; Titus 3

Titus 3:4,5 “But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us…”

I Kings 15:11, 14 “Asa did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, as did his father David…his heart was loyal to the Lord all his days.”

II Chronicles 14:4 [Asa] “commanded Judah to seek the Lord God of their fathers, and to observe the law and the commandment.”  He prayed, “Lord, it is nothing for You to help, whether with many or with those who have no power; help us, O Lord our God, for we rest on You, and in Your name we go against this multitude…”

It is one thing to read about God’s lovingkindness toward man and another thing to experience the benefits of living as one of God’s children.  One of the benefits that never cease to amaze me is the call from a friend when I desperately need someone to talk with. Getting bogged down with the details of making a living or performing an obligation can challenge my will power and my desire to share my burdens with others; yet having the support and godly encouragement of friends and family strengthens me to continue doing the next right thing.

Another benefit I experience comes from recognizing the extraordinary example of God’s provision seen through the ‘coincidences’ that turn around what appears to be a disaster on the horizon. Time after time when hope had seemed lost and my anxiety had heightened too dangerously close to unbelief, these unexpected gifts (sometimes even given through strangers) are dropped in my lap. These interventions outside of my influence remind me that God has no limits to what He can and will do for His children.  Such was the case recently when God provided at just the right time the financial means that were much needed. Without my knowledge, a blessing was waiting to be delivered, and all I knew to pray was that whatever happened, I would be dependent on God.

As special as these reminders are to me of acts of good works that demonstrate the love of God, I am always humbled that He chose to include me in His plan for doing good works. Though I try to live a life of obedience to God and the rulers and authorities of the land, my good intentions are often interrupted by the common sins to all.  Yet, even though I stumble instead of walking a perfect understanding of what God has planned, He makes it possible to receive His blessings through His most gracious gift of all – His great love for us. He loves us, and this not because of anything we have done right or wrong.  He loves us because He chooses to do so. He is the Lord who does not fret over the fears I cry out to Him, and He never withdraws His Spirit from me. He shows kindness, love, mercy, and power, and I just have to rest on Him even though I’ve done nothing to deserve His care.  How wonderful is this God we serve who loves us and who makes us “His heirs according the hope of eternal life.” (Titus 3:7)

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