Category Archives: Titus

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

The grace of God is defined as:

a : unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification
b : a virtue coming from God
c : a state of sanctification enjoyed through divine grace

My life is defined by this grace: from the moment of birth, through God’s pursuit of my soul, to my decision to follow Jesus, right up to the moment I take my last breath. And yet as a believer, I can jump off the grace train and get on board with works; it’s not long before I find myself exhausted and empty. The grateful heart is abandoned for one of arrogance that says, “I can get it right.  I am the source of my own goodness.” Godliness can be found in the life that worships God whereas, self righteousness is the hard hearted state of self worship.

When I understand the ugliness of my sin and then find myself to be the object of God’s fierce love, I want more of him and mysteriously, am changed. I may find myself slipping away at times, but the arms of God are long and reach out to embrace.

For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ… Titus 2:11-13.

Paul understands the dance between grace and godliness. As a follower of Jesus, grace takes the hand of godliness and leads me right to the Father’s will:

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship created in christ Jesus to do good works, which god prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:8-10.

Lord, thank you for the grace you have given me today. Forgive me for taking my eyes off of you and focusing on my own dance steps. Help me to hold tight to your hand and trust your leading. May I wonder at your invitation to dance and enjoy the security of your embrace. Amen.

klueh

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Jeremiah 33-35; Titus3

Journal entry: November 2, 2014

Oh, God, I sometimes feel that because I am not doing right things, I do not deserve to be blessed, and when I am doing right things and am blessed that doing good works is not the reason for those blessings in my life; and when I am doing right things and am not blessed then I must be self-deceived – I must have turned from You and have sin in my life.  My faith pales in the face of hardship, so instead of reading Jeremiah and Titus today, maybe I should be meditating on Job!

Yet, there are truths in today’s reading of Scripture that prick my conscience about beliefs I still hold – You beckon me, “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know,” (Jeremiah 33:3). Your promises today in Jeremiah 33:6 declare that You will bring health and healing; that You will heal me and reveal to me the abundance of peace and truth. So why do I get stuck in this loop of ‘He loves me, He loves me not?’

I think what may be happening is that I become complacent in seeking You; focusing on the acquisition of knowledge or seeking out blessings for tangible things or measurable progress. Though I am up at the crack of dawn, studying Your word, I pack it like a sandwich to be eaten later in the day only to toss it aside for fast food tidbits of earthly wisdom.  Yet You, too, are up early.  You call to me as You did to the Israelites in Jeremiah’s day, “Will you not receive instruction? But although I have spoken to you, rising early and speaking, you did not obey Me.  I have also sent to you all My servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them, saying, ‘Turn now everyone from his evil way, amend your doings and do not go after other gods to serve them,’” Jeremiah 35:13-15.

Though I often take joy in Your word, dear Lord, I cannot overlook that You have said to me on more than one occasion, “You recently turned and did what was right in My sight…Then you turned around and profaned My name…” Jeremiah 34:15, 16. Actually, I hear this in my conscience throughout the day.   Do you ever get tired of repeating these words to us?

Tossed to and fro, I languish in a desert of twisted emotions and irrational thoughts leading back to my earlier ambivalence about faith, hope, and love. I will read on until appears sweet assurance of Your greatest truth:

Titus 3:4-6 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, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”

Ah!  So there it is.  I have done nothing to deserve these delights, and I have done many things that invalidate my place in Your house.  Yet, I will taste of Your kindness and love for me; I will down the Holy Spirit’s water of purity, and I will accept whatever Your plans for me may be this day.

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