Greetings my friends. It is Sunday May 14TH 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.
I’m back with my home church family in Homestead this morning. I’ll be singing as part of the Praise & Worship team. I’ll be opening the service. I’ll be leading Communion. I’ll be closing the service. It’ll be great to see everyone for the first time in 3 weeks and celebrate Mother’s Day !
This Sunday morning also marks a milestone. I’ve officially been with this church family (8 years + 2 months) longer than my first church family (8 years + 1½ months). It’s been a great journey with my brothers and sisters, and the story is not over yet.
A couple of weeks ago here on #SundayScripture I began transcribing my sermon on “Paul & Titus” that I preached to my church family on March 05TH 2023. Here’s Part 3:
[CONTINUATION OF SERMON]
So back then the people of the island of Crete had quite the reputation, and it was not positive.
For there are many rebellious people who engage in useless talk and deceive others. This is especially true of those who insist on circumcision for salvation. They must be silenced – because they are turning whole families away from the truth by their false teaching. And they do it only for money. Even one of their own men – a prophet from Crete – has said about them – “The people of Crete are all liars, cruel animals, and lazy gluttons.” (Titus 1:10-12)
Wow. That’s what I said when I read that for the first time. Wow. Sounds like Titus has his hands full in Crete. The belief in Greek mythological gods – like Zeus – ran rampant all throughout the island. It was believed that Zeus was once a mere human who lived and died on Crete, but became a god based on his good deeds alone. That of course completely contradicts God’s Good News, and so Titus must appoint elders who display none of those behaviors, so that they can lead the people away from their beliefs in the false gods – taught by the false teachers.
Paul says an elder:
must enjoy having guests in his home, and he must love what is good. He must live wisely and be just. He must live a devout and disciplined life. He must have a strong belief in the trustworthy message he was taught. Then he will be able to encourage others with wholesome teaching and show those who oppose it where they are wrong. (Titus 1:8-9)
Paul continues his letter:
As for you – Titus – promote the kind of living that reflects wholesome teaching. Teach the older men to exercise self-control, to be worthy of respect, and to live wisely. They must have sound faith and be filled with love and patience. (Titus 2:1-2)
Similarly – teach the older women to live in a way that honors God. They must not slander others or be heavy drinkers. Instead – they should teach others what is good. These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children, to live wisely and be pure, to work in their homes, to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands. Then – they will not bring shame on the word of God. (Titus 2:3-5)
In the same way – encourage the young men to live wisely. And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good works of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching. Teach the truth so that your teaching can’t be criticized. Then – those who oppose us will be ashamed and have nothing bad to say about us. (Titus 2:6-8)
So Paul gave Titus specific instructions on how to lead the church on the island, and that would set the example for others to follow. Wholesome teaching from the truth – God’s Truth – was critical because of the rampant false teaching not from God, and sin, and corruption on the island. Paul – a disciple of Jesus – was himself a disciple-maker. And Titus was Paul’s disciple. Titus was a mature disciple, and he was now passing on what he learned to his elders of the church. Titus was ordained by Paul as the Bishop of Crete.
[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.
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