Today's Passage: Titus 1
SUMMER RERUNS? The letter to Titus sounds very similar to the letters to Timothy that we just finished. This makes sense, because like Timothy, Titus was appointed by Paul to pastor a church, so some of the instructions and encouragements will be similar.
TOP PRIORITY = ELDERS: The primary job given to Pastor Titus is to appoint elders in every town on the island of Crete where Titus pastors. The job of an elder is to manage God's household (v7), which on the surface seems pretty simple, but in reality involves a bunch of moving parts. Thankfully, Paul doesn't just state the job requirement, but he also gives the primary strategy for getting the job done: "hold firmly to the trustworthy word as taught (v9 ESV)." If our elders hold firmly to the Word, he can do the two main aspects of his job: encourage (literally: to come alongside) others by sound doctrine, and then refute those who speak against it (both in word and deed).
IT WON'T QUITE FIT ON THE LICENSE PLATES, BUT... Minnesota is of course the "Land of 10,000 Lakes" (although google says the real number is 11,842 lakes). Washington is the "Evergreen State" (although over 2/3rds of the state has no evergreen trees), and nobody's really sure what Iowa is all about. Crete, the island on which Titus pastored, had a motto as well but it was not very flattering. It's listed in v12: “Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons.”
THOSE PESKY CIRCUMCISERS: One of the perineal problems facing all of the early churches were people who'd go around after Paul had founded a church and add extra rules for the new Christians to follow. They would say that being saved by grace through faith wasn't quite sufficient, and that people needed to follow all of the Old Testament rules in addition to confessing Jesus as Lord. Paul instructs Pastor Titus to give these people no quarter. In our day and age, we don't have so much of a problem with people adding rules that must be followed, but rather we have groups that attempt to pry Christians away from God's Words by claiming that the Bible's teachings and morals are outdated, intolerant and unnecessary. Always remain vigilant against anyone who tries to pull you away from sound doctrine.
Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: God, who does not lie, promised eternal life before the beginning of time (v2)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Ask God to strengthen you to remain sound in your faith (v13)
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: