Greetings my friends. It is Sunday May 07TH 2023, and this is the day that our LORD has made. Let us rejoice. Let us be glad in it. Let us celebrate this great new day of believing, following, trusting, loving, and being more like our Lord + Savior Jesus Christ. Let us love our neighbor as ourself.
Last #SundayScripture I began transcribing my sermon on “Paul & Titus” that I preached to my church family on March 05TH 2023. Here’s Part 2:
[CONTINUATION OF SERMON]
So the Apostle Paul briefly writes about Titus in 2ND Corinthians, and Galatians, and 2ND Timothy. And then he writes an entire letter to Titus. Paul refers to Titus as “my true son in the faith that we share”. Paul advised Titus. Paul gave instructions to Titus. Paul selected Titus to be his church leader on the island of Crete in the Mediterranean. Titus was an effective disciple of Paul. Titus was much younger than Paul. Titus was probably at least 30 years younger than Paul. Titus lived another 30 to 40 years after Paul was martyred in Rome.
Shortly before Paul died he wrote his formal letter to Titus. Paul wrote:
I left you on the island of Crete so you could complete our work there and appoint elders in each town as I instructed you. (Titus 1:5)
I’ve never been to Crete – or Greece. The closest I’ve been to Crete – or Greece – is Rome Italy – 15 years ago. Crete is in the southeastern part of the Mediterranean Sea. It’s the Mediterranean’s version of a tropical island. Summers are hot and humid – in the 80s and 90s – sometimes close to 100 degrees – even above 110 degrees during record heatwaves. Winters are chilly and snowy up in the mountains and sometimes all the way down to sea level. Crete has mountains up above 8,000 feet above sea level. It’s a tropical island, but it’s at the same latitude as Tennessee and North Carolina, so it can easily snow there in the wintertime.
Many years before Christ – over two-million people lived on ancient Crete. Far less people live on the island of Crete today – over 600,000. A lot of people lived on Crete back during the First Century – during the time of the New Testament. Just as it is today – Crete was like a melting pot of many different cultures. It was an important island – strategic in location – for travel and trade. It’s convenient to Western Europe, and the Middle East, and North Africa. It’s at the crossroads of 3 continents. A lot of people visited Crete, and they liked what they saw, and they settled there. It had a sizable Jewish population.
Just as it was across the entire region – the church was new there in the First century. Since the island is spread out from east to west by about 160 miles – there were many towns scattered around, and most of the towns had a church or two or more. Paul instructed his young disciple Titus to appoint elders in each of those towns to run their respective church. Paul then described the type of elders that Titus should be appointing in order for the church to grow. He said:
An elder must live a blameless life. He must be faithful to his wife, and his children must be believers who don’t have a reputation for being wild or rebellious. A church leader is a manager of God’s household, so he must live a blameless life. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered. He must not be a heavy drinker, violent, or dishonest with money. (Titus 1:6-7)
I like that part that says “a church leader is a manager of God’s household.” It was relevant in the 1ST Century. It is relevant in the 21ST Century. This here is God’s household. It’s God’s home. It’s our home too. We must take care of it.
[TO BE CONTINUED NEXT WEEK]
If you wish to learn more about the God I know then stay tuned to #SundayScripture. The best is yet to come !
Thank you for reading my blog for this day, and may:
The LORD bless you, and keep you.
The LORD make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you.
The LORD lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.
In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. AMEN.
All rights reserved (c) 2023 Christopher M. Day, CountUp