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Titus 2 is today’s reading.
But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine. 2 Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. 3 Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, 4 and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. 6 Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled. 7 Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, 8 and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us. 9 Bondservants are to be submissive to their own masters in everything; they are to be well-pleasing, not argumentative, 10 not pilfering, but showing all good faith, so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior.
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.
15 Declare these things; exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you.
I admittedly am not sure if I will get through this entire chapter today. Yesterday we learned the importance of choosing elders well.. what standards they are held to. How hard it is to live the life of one called to lead God’s people and lead them well.
Today we pay attention not just to the elders of the church, but to a broader spectrum.
- Older men who are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in their faith, sound in love, and sound in their steadfastness.
- Older women who are to reverent in behaviour, teaching what is good, training young women.
- Young women loving their families, self-controlled, pure, home-workers, kind, submissive to their men.
- Young men are to be self-controlled.
- Everyone: Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.
- Bondservants to be submissive to their masters, well-pleasing, not argumentative, honest and showing all good faith.
That in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior. This is what it comes down to. Are we showing our Lord and Saviour in the best light? Our goal: so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.
Kinda helps us not to be so self-serving eh? When we see the end result of how we are supposed to live. Showing who God is and not giving folks reason to be talking negatively about us.
I don’t know about you but gee… I don’t find this so easy to do. That self-controlled bit.. man.. I SUCK AT THAT. I want something I go get it. I’m feeling nibbly.. I get food. I want a rabbit.. I go find one. I want a Thing.. I get it.. unless of course I’m broke. Not a good thing. So how do I learn better self-control. I AM slowly learning this you know. To say hey.. so what if you are nibbly STOP IT. I question myself: Do I really need it? I sometimes succeed, I sometimes don’t. Using an accountability program helps. 🙂
Sometimes I’m not so good at showing love to my family, or in teaching younger women the skills they need. I need to find a better place to be of service to God. This holding pattern I’m in, is sometimes very hard. I want a church family to call my own long term.
Anyways, why does Paul tell this all to Titus? Is he teaching him so that he can teach the Cretans… that hard group of people to work with?
Paul reminds Titus and me of this: God’s grace appeared. It did. This grace brought salvation to all… not just those who excel and self-control or love or teaching/mentoring. FOR ALL PEOPLE. And that salvation.. you know what it does? It helps to train us to renounce those icky parts of us. Those ungodly seeking after the world parts. Those parts that say “eat me, buy me, use me”. This grace, this salvation gives us a hope for the future… which helps us in turn to live the self-controlled, upright and godly lives we are called of God to live.
Consider the implications of these words: the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 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. We have been redeemed. We have been purified by his actions. We are HIS people. HIS possession. So what should we be? A people zealous, eager, acting in anticipation… that’s what we should be… a people who WANT to do good works.
Paul closes this chapter with this exhortation for Titus. DO NOT LET OTHERS DISREGARD YOU. Declare, exhort, teach, rebuke with all authority. Remember… Christ called you to this task.. live up to it!
I have to admit readers… sometimes, sometimes I wonder what task the Lord has given me. What does he want me to be eager to do? Lately I am struggling to see this task. Pray for me won’t you? Help me to see the task that God has set aside for me to do, the task that will bring glory to his name and show forth Christ’s goodness. The task that will be “MY GOOD WORK” for the Lord God.