Category Archives: Titus

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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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Jeremiah, New Testament, Old Testament, Titus

Jeremiah 31, 32; Titus 2

The Lord appeared to him from far away.

I have loved you with an everlasting love;

therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you. (ESV)

 

The Lord appeared from of old to me [Israel], saying, Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn you and continued My faithfulness to you. (AMP)

 

God told them, “I’ve never quit loving you and never will.
Expect love, love, and more love!
(MSG)

 

Long ago the Lord said to Israel:
“I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love.
With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.
(NLT)

 

From afar Yahweh he appeared to me and-love-of eon I-love-you onso I-draw-you kindness/with covenant loyalty. (Hebrew Interlinear)

Jeremiah 31:3

Ok, I am going to come clean…as you may already know, I am a total word ‘nerd’. I love delving into the meanings of words, the etymology of where those words originated. It is great that the average person is able to enter into the Word through various translations that fit better with more modern language, but I find that often, when I look at the original Hebrew or Greek words, the things that God is expressing explode off the page in a new way, helping me better understand His heart. So much has been lost in translation in the attempt to help the Word become more accessible.

Once again, in today’s reading, a verse that I am very familiar with was deepened by looking onto the Hebrew; it gave me better understanding of the depth of what God was sharing with Israel, and with me today.

The word that was highlighted for me today is the word “everlasting” which literally translated from the Hebrew is the word “eon”.

God loves me with eons…

He loves me for all ages, always and forever, continuously, eternally, forevermore, permanently, perpetually. He loves me indefinitely, during the lifetime of my existence, of the existence of the things of earth.

All of these meanings blow me away with the enormity, the vastness of His love for me. But as I looked deeper, the word eon also means vital force and life.

God’s love is my vital life force. His love is imperative to my life, critical and essential to my being. His love is something He freely gives, all the time, every moment of the day, regardless of my choices. He loves me when I am walking with Him, and He loves me when I have disconnected. And, He even loved me with His everlasting love when I was still a sinner, running from Him as fast as I could.

Yesappa, Thank You for loving me, so completely. Thank You for being my life force. Thank You for drawing me to You always. Help me love You more in return, holding on to the truth of Your covenant loyalty. Help me love others with Your love. Help me keep my love on like Your light in the world. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

Blessings – Julie (writing from the U.S.A.)

 

Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Filed under 66 Books, ESV Through the Bible in a Year, Jeremiah, New Testament, Old Testament, Titus

Num. 1; Ps. 35; Eccles. 11; Titus 3;

“If the clouds are full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth; And if a tree falls to the south or the north, in the place where the tree falls, there it shall lie. He who observes the wind will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap.” Eccles. 11:3-4

Well those seem pretty much like common sense if I think about it.  The writer of Ecclesiastes goes on state some more obvious things that I can see in the world around me.  So what is it he is trying to say?

“Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men.” Titus 3:1-2

Now this one also seems to be common sense, but is one that I have struggled with in the past.  Being a citizen of a country where we are blessed with so much freedom and having a government where we have so much say, its easy to get frustrated and get carried away with expressing my opinions to the point that I can tarnish my witness and higher citizenship.

I think that is what both these writers are trying to remind me of, that higher calling.  This is not my home and I need to be careful on how much I invest myself in it and in the ways of it.  After all, I know the end of the story and the victory is already won by God.  So why should I live frustrated or focus on what will pass away.  Instead I will seek eternal things and search out the One who will never fail me.

God,  Help me to remember that this is not my home and that You have gone to prepare a place for me where my eternal home will be.  Help me to invest my life in the eternal and live in such a way that draws others to You.

In Jesus name,

Allen (allen4myfamily)

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Filed under 66 Books, Ecclesiastes, New Testament, Numbers, Old Testament, Psalms, Titus

Leviticus 27; Psalms 34; Ecclesiastes 10; Titus 2

The words of the wise bring them praise, but the words of a fool will destroy them…A fool talks too much. Ecclesiastes 10:12; 14a (NCV)

Every now and then, especially in the midst of an argument, I have these moments where I realize that sometimes I talk too much. My husband says I should have been a lawyer instead of a missionary, because I always know how to argue my point like I am aiming to win in court.

The fact is I don’t always use my words in a life-giving way. I complain. I whine and moan. I vent my frustrations with the double edged sword of my tongue. I admit I even raise my voice from time to time, hoping that an increase in volume will increase my ability to be understood or at least heard.

After it is all said and done, I often regret the verbal vomit I spewed. I know I have made myself look the fool at times, before friends, family, and even complete strangers. And I wish I had just kept my big mouth shut.

It is an area of myself I am continually taking before God, a request for self-control and restraint. Over the past few years, as I have been getting more and more accustomed to being a new creation, I have realized that there are a few choices that I have to make each day that are vital in order for me to adopt a mouth of the wise:

1) I have to actively choose to think about how what I allow to come out of my mouth might affect myself and the people around me. Are the words bouncing around, yearning to escape encouraging, something that will build-up rather than tear-down? Do they offer life or usher in death?

Speak the truth so that you cannot be criticized. Then those who are against you will be ashamed because there is nothing bad to say about us. Titus 2:8 (NCV)

2) I have to actively choose to always speak the truth, in love. Things that need to be said can always be shared in more than one way. If I am honest, but offer those truths in a hard, unloving way, it opens the door for strife. But, if I am truthful in an authentic, loving way, it removes the enemy’s ability to cause discord with my words.

I will praise the Lord at all times; his praise is always on my lips. My whole being praises the Lord. Psalm 34:1-2a

3)      And most importantly, I have to actively choose to put my attention on God. When I focus on Him, my mind is renewed and my thoughts are bathed in His wisdom. And when my thoughts are aligned with Heaven, my words follow suit and I am able to interact from a place of love, grace, and mercy.

It is a journey, and I pray that one day I will notice I am much better at censoring my words, considering before I speak, and speaking through a lens of love, to myself and to others.

Help me Holy Ghost!

Blessings – Julie, Vadipatti, India (written in the U.S.A.)

Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Ecclesiastes, Leviticus, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms, Titus, Uncategorized

Daniel 5,6,7; Titus 3

Daniel is truly to be admired. He is a strong example of how to live in a society that is not in sync with our beliefs. He reminds me of Joseph in that he is able to not just survive but succeed in such a society. I love how he quietly goes about doing what is right, without hoopla or fanfare. Without trying to fight a losing battle explaining to everyone else why what they are doing is wrong. He simply does what is right and good, and strives for excellence in everything he does. He doesn’t compromise his values to fit in, and he gains the respect of many. King Nebuchadnezzar even appointed him chief of the magicians, enchanters, astrologers and diviners. Imagine having that job!!  Darius appointed him as one of the top three administrators, and was about to make him the chief ruler. Those that were envious of him did try to get him killed, but he stood firm and God saved him in the lion’s den. Daniel’s time had not yet come; there was more for him to do.  By surviving he was able to be an even more powerful witness for God, influencing an entire nation.

Daniel didn’t have the opportunity to read the Apostle Paul’s instruction to Titus, but as a true man of God he exhibited the same characteristics that Paul described

Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone.  […] 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. But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless.  (Titus 3:1-2, 8-9 (NIV))

Daniel is an inspiration to us all. May we all learn to stand firm in our faith, and yet be peaceable, considerate, and always gentle toward everyone, slandering no one. May we avoid foolish controversies and arguments and instead strive to do what is excellent and profitable for everyone. Just think of the impact that each one of us has the power to make!

suegraff

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