Monday, November 9, 2020

Yielding To The Ways Of The World – We Have A Choice

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. For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. 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 His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men. But avoid foolish disputes, genealogies, contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and useless. Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition, knowing that such a person is warped and sinning, being self-condemned.” —Titus 3:1-9

Paul wrote to Titus, whom he called his partner and fellow worker in 2 Corinthians 8:23, to encourage him to encourage the Saints.  That is what I do with these devotions – encourage the Saints. Paul encouraged Titus to remind – to affirm constantly. Why? Because our tendency is to be drawn to the ways of the world. To respond to life in the same manner with the same attitudes of those who have not been born of the Spirit.  I included 9 verses from Titus 3 because I wanted to remind you – to encourage you – to walk in the Spirit and not the flesh.  Everything we do – everything we say – what we think – it all should reflect our new life in Christ.  We should “be careful” about what we say, what we do, how we treat others, what we put our trust in.  I have been reading what many Christians have been writing – listening to what they have been saying – vitriolic words – filled with bitter criticism or malice. It saddens me, frankly. It reflects fear of an uncertain future. So it causes me to wonder. What is their hope and confidence built on? If you are concerned that our country will turn away from God – it is too late.  In my opinion, it has – long ago. If there is any lesson to be gained over the turmoil that defines the last few years it is that the world needs a Savior. The thing is – it has one – His name is Jesus. 

If there is a “take-away” from this Presidential election – from the prevalence of the COVID pandemic, it must be that life on this planet is full of uncertainties.  That we, as ambassadors for Christ, are called to be light and salt in an uncertain world. Light houses – warning the people about the rocks and reminding them that there is a God in heaven Who is sovereign and desiring to draw them close by the way that we live and trust and love.  Paul was encouraging Titus to remind the Christians that they, who were once like everyone else, are now “new” having their hope in the Creator God and faith in His Son and empowered to live a different life by the Spirit and the revealed will of the Father by the Word of God. 

Some trust in horses and some in chariots, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God” – Psalm 20:7  

I want to encourage you to read those verses in Titus and then reflect on their application to your life.  How should you respond to what is happening around you? How can you respond in way that honors God and is a testimony to a world headed full speed toward the rocks.

This Book of the Law [the Word of God]  shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:8-9

Don’t just read or listen to the Word and then move on with life, like the man in the mirror (James 1:23). Meditate on it.  Let the Spirit of God do what He does with it. For your good and God’s glory.

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” – 2 Timothy 3:16-17

By Faith Alone By His Grace Alone And For His Glory Alone

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