Show True Humility to Everyone

S (Scripture) – Titus 3:1-2 “Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed, to malign no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for all men.” NASB

“Remind the believers to submit to the government and its officers.  They should be obedient, always ready to do what is good.  They must not slander anyone and must avoid quarreling.  Instead, they should be gentle and show true humility to everyone.” NLT

O (Observation) – Paul goes on to say in the following verse, “For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another.  But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”

The Moody Bible Commentary says, “Believers lose patience with the lost when they forget their own past.  Kindness describes God’s benevolent disposition toward sinful humanity.”

It is very easy to get caught up in arguments with others who do not share our Christian beliefs.  Paul is clear in sharing God’s instruction for us to love others and demonstrate His kindness to all.  May we not forget that each of us at one point in time, regardless of our current fellowship with the Lord, used to walk to the beat of our own drum – apart from Him.

A (Application) – In order to be fishers of men and make disciples for Christ, we have to show the world what it is like to live this life having fellowship with the Lord.  That does not mean that our lives are perfect or without suffering.  We are able to walk through this life with a solid foundation, as well as the love and guidance of our God each and every moment.  Those in the world around us will take notice if they see what we have and want it for themselves.  If we are kind, humble, compassionate, gentle, and speak the truth in love, we will become the hands and feet of Jesus to a lost and broken world.  Endless bickering about why other peoples’ beliefs are not in alignment with God’s Word is not going to all of a sudden change the way they think and feel.  We must not water down the Gospel, or any part of the truth, however we must bring that truth to others on the wings of respect and humility.

P (Prayer) – Lord Jesus, thank You for your presence.  A true Christ-follower is marked by Your Holy Spirit, and is actively walking with You – submitted to You.  May we show the world the peace that can only come from You, the hope that can only come from You, and the love that can only come from You, by what we say and do each and every day.

The song, “Salt & Light,” from Lauren Daigle comes to mind:

“Oh the beauty of the King

You make righteous those who seek

You have written and redeemed my story

Let my eyes see Your kingdom shine all around

Let my heart overflow with passion for Your name

Let my life be a song, revealing who You are

For You are salt and light

Oh the love that set me free

You bring hope to those in need

You have written and redeemed my story

For You are salt and light

You are love’s great height

You are deep and wide

A consuming fire”

Preparation for Eternity

S (Scripture) – Titus 2:11-14 “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.

O (Observation) – I see that You want to take our hearts, Lord, and purify them.  You want to take them from the broken, sinful state we bring them to You in, and transform them into something completely new and beautiful.  You are in the business of redemption and restoration.

A (Application) – What we believe about the afterlife will dramatically influence how we live our lives today.  We will all die at some point, and will face eternity either with God, or apart from God.  “And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.  He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life (1 John 5:11-12).”  When we proclaim to “have the Son” by placing our faith and trust in Him, we cannot help but be purified by His Holy Spirit.

P (Prayer) – Lord Jesus, thank You for Your gift of sanctification.  As I follow after You, Your Holy Spirit is renewing my mind, drawing me closer, and purifying my heart.  Only You can raise a life.  As I go through this life on earth, may it be spent in preparation for eternity with You.  May I never lose sight of the fact that everything we see is only temporary, and that the work You are doing in me and the work accomplished for Your kingdom purposes are eternal.

Demonstrated Obedience

S (Scripture)  – Titus 1:15-16 “To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled. They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed.” (NASB)

O (Observation) – A quick note on context – Paul wrote this letter to Titus, who was part of building the New Testament Church, and responsible for selecting leaders (elders) to oversee a particular church plant.  He was warning Titus about a particular sect of “those of the circumcision (v. 10),” or in other words, men who were proclaiming that all of the Old Testament laws needed to be followed in addition to accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior in order to be considered part of the church.

Paul describes those who are “defiled” by saying, “They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed.”  These are intensely harsh words, and worth taking the time to meditate on why they were written.  Instead of saying “worthless,” the HCSB uses “disqualified,” and the ESV translates as “unfit,” for any good deed.  How many of us have been impacted by those “who profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him…”?

I used to be one of those people.  Growing up in the church, I knew all of the “right” things to say and when to say them, I served in every capacity I was able, and could get a perfect score on any written exam in religion class.  I knew a great deal about God, but had no relationship with Him, and certainly didn’t live my life for Him.  I was not living by the power of the Holy Spirit, and absolutely had zero impact for God’s kingdom here on earth – in fact, I may have done a great deal to tarnish the faith of others by the way I lived my life and the decisions I made.

Praise God that I am no longer that person, and in Christ, I am a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17)!!!  I have been transferred out of the kingdom of darkness and into the kingdom of light (Colossians 1:13).  I am not perfect, but I am – by God’s grace – becoming more and more like Christ as I continue to grow up in Him.  My behavior/deeds are different now.  Our deeds cannot help but be different as we walk in obedience to Christ and actively follow God’s leading.  People can see the evidences of our Christianity in our outward lifestyle.

“Some acts of obedience to God are more internal.  They have to do with attitudes, habits, motives, sense of values, and day-to-day thoughts.  These internal acts of obedience eventually surface in relationships with other people.  The proof of your love for God is your demonstrated obedience to Him.” The 2:7 Series

A (Application) – Therefore, if we are not truly walking in obedience to the Lord, we are essentially useless for His kingdom, because we are not able to accomplish anything that He has for us to do.  The application here is crystal clear – we must ask God to search our hearts, our minds, our thoughts, and examine our motives, desires, passions, and pleasures…is there anything within us that needs to be addressed?  There will always be something that needs to be dealt with – the issue is whether or not we will allow God to heal our wounds, change our hearts, direct our thoughts, and guide our steps.

P (Prayer) – Heavenly Father, thank You for making your children into new creations – the old has passed away, and the new has come.  May our deeds be confirmation of the inward change that only You can bring to the life of a believer by Your grace.