Category Archives: Titus

Doing His Will

“God’s readiness to give and forgive is now public.  Salvation’s available for everyone!  We’re being shown how to turn our backs on a godless, indulgent life, and how to take on a God-filled, God-honoring life.  This new life is starting right now, and is whetting our appetites for the glorious day when our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, appears.”  Titus 2:11-12 (Message)

The days of bringing an offering to the temple to gain forgiveness for my misdeeds are over!

Jesus died for my sins; past, present, and future.  Before a holy and righteous God, I am completely in the clear.  PTL.

So now what?  Now I must learn how to live as His follower in the present.

How will I know what to do?

God’s Word is His manual for Godly living.  Plenty of teaching.  Plenty of role models (good & bad) to learn from.

How eager am I to get into that “manual?”  I admit that I’m the type who buys, tries, and THEN reads the manual.

How’s that “tries without reading His manual” working for you?  Me neither!

I must read the Bible with more urgency.  We’re not talking about learning how to work a leaf blower.  We talking about living a life pleasing to our Savior!  I need that information.

This afternoon’s verses also connect to our happy ending: We have an eternity with Him.  This should enable us to function confidently despite our circumstances.

In good times; “Thank You for blessing me.”

In bad times; “I know that You are with me.”

How blessed we are to have Him in our present and our future.

 

 

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False claims

“They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him.  They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.”  Titus 1:16

It is easy to focus on the “they” in this verse.

How many folks come to mind who are believers, but have done things that would suggest otherwise?

That road is an easy one.  What if I look at myself?

I “act” throughout the day.  I do things.  I say things.

Am I betraying Him in any of those instances?  Not if I keep those “rose-colored” glasses firmly in place!

Paul’s words come across as harsh: detestable, disobedient, and unfit!

I’m looking for a, “that’s okay,” but Paul roughly updates me on how my actions really are seen by God.

I know that God loves me but that certainly doesn’t mean that He overlooks my sins.

My worry in this is that I like to downsize my transgressions and upsize those of others.

How easy is it to criticize the current President and his opponents?  And many of us do it with ease.  Yet, how about us?  Am I doing the same things at my level, or in my circumstances, that offend me about them?  The answer is, “Yes.”

God did not create the earth and then vacate interest.  He is well aware of what is going on everywhere.  I am not outside of His interest.  I will be accountable.

I need, desperately, to see my behavior as He sees it.  I cannot give myself a pass because of all the “good” things I do.  I can’t.  I am accountable.

My day should include an ongoing evaluation of my behavior.

I MUST be quick to recognize MY sinful behavior.

I must be quick to rectify that behavior……..“I’m sorry,” is a great place to start.

 

 

 

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The Good News spelled out

“At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures.  We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.  But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.  He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.”  Titus 3:3-7.

Verses chosen from today’s Bible reading: 1 Timothy 5-6, and Titus 1-3.

This is the before, during, and after of the Good News.

Sadly, many folks fall into the first category but don’t realize their need for the second.  Their lives are a mess but they don’t receive the “news” that God did something for them that changes everything.

I have received the “news” and I must live accordingly.  I have a new life free because of what God and Jesus did.  I don’t carry around fear of the life after death.  I have been freed from the consequences of my sinful nature by Jesus’ death on my behalf.  I must be driven to please God in everything I do.

“Lord, I thank You for Your Word.  I thank You for the confidence I can have in the Good News.  It happened and it changes everything. I must live accordingly.  Help me, Father, to rightly represent You the rest of this day.  I love You.”

Believe the Good News and live accordingly.

hw-129

 

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Living right

“Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone.”  Titus 3:1-2.

Verses chosen from today’s Bible reading: Isaiah 1-3, and Titus 3.

Want to know how to rightly represent God?  Plenty of suggestions in these verses.

Note the last word in the second verse, “everyone.”  It sure is easy to be pleasant around folks who are pleasant to us.  Then there are the irritating types!

I was struck by the instruction to, “slander no one.”  How natural it is to be critical of others.  Mistakes are being made all around us and we can’t help but notice.  Noticing is one thing, slandering the flawed person is quite another.

In close company others often take a beating.  This verse on slander would instruct against that.

I have seen it written that “if we prayed for the President as much as we criticized him things would be different.”  I have found that to be true.  I still think that the current President makes plenty of misjudgments but by regularly praying for him as well as Michelle, Malia, and Sasha I quickly want to lighten up on him.

“Lord, You know me and know that I am powerless to live right without You.  Flood me with Your Holy Spirit.  Don’t let me get away with criticizing others.  Prick my conscience so that I will stop.  Help me to be Godly in everything I do.  I want to rightly represent You.  Guide me there, I beg.”

How to live is clearly spelled out in Titus 3:1-2.  Memorize it as I plan to do.

+9 slight difference

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Good news!

“For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people.  It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope- the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.”  Titus 2:11-14.

Verses chosen from today’s Bible reading: Amos 7-9, Psalm 104, and Titus 2.

What a second sentence!

There is plenty in these two sentences to chew on.

The Good News is for everyone.  A loving God sent a willing Son (Jesus) to earth to take care of our sins when He died on the cross.  The power of sin over any and all of us was put to death when Jesus died.  Three days later the power of sin was still dead but God brought Jesus back to life.

These were events that happened.  Whether we believe it or not, they happened.  The power of sin is gone from our lives.  We are unburdened of it.  We now have a new life.  A life free from the power of sin.

Some choose to ignore the news but that does NOT mean that it didn’t happen.  Think of the Japanese soldiers in the Philippine jungles when World War 2 ended.  Some of them refused to believe that the war was over.  They stayed in the Philippine jungles believing that the war was still on.  They could have come out of the jungles and started a new, liberated life.  There are many today, who refuse to believe the Good News of what Jesus did.  How sad!

Those of us who have heard and believed the Good News must rightly represent God on this earth.  We are to be full-time Godly influences.  We are to do our part to prepare this world for the return of Jesus.  Jesus will then finish the job of making the earth new.

“Father, thank You for the Good News.  How much You love each of us!  Help me to do my part to alert folks to Your Good News.  Help me to reveal it to folks so that they will come out of the “jungles” they are in and into the new life that is theirs’ for the taking.  Fill me with You so that I can rightly represent You this day.  I love You, Father.”

Are you still in the jungle?  Come out and enjoy the Good News.

+10 steady high

hm-630

 

 

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But when

“At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.” Titus 3:3-4

Verses chosen from today’s Bible reading: 1 Timothy 5-6 & Titus 1-3.

Part of these verses describe what we used to be like while the other part explains what God did to save us from our previous way of living.

How easy it is to minimize our sinfulness. We concentrate on the “bigger” sinners in our midst and start to feel pretty good about ourselves. Sadly, we misunderstand how God looks at sin. Every sin is a sin against Him and therefore even if we only sinned once we become part of the “sinner class.”

As sinners we are all heading straight to eternal separation from God, also known as Hell. We cannot be “good” enough to change this. Our “goods” will never outbalance our “bads.” One sin, along with zillions of good things, still earns eternal separation in the after-life.

BUT GOD put in place a way to change the course our sinfulness set up for our after-life. We didn’t deserve such a thing but God is merciful. Praise be to Him!

Jesus died for our heaven-separating sins. He took on Himself the consequences that we deserved. To become a believer I must repent of my sinfulness and believe that He died for my sins. With those sins wiped from the books I therefore qualify for an after-life with Him. What could be better news? I guess that why it is called, “Good News!”

“Lord, thank You for Your mercy. I deserved nothing but condemnation. Fill me with You. Prick my conscience when I get loose from You. I don’t want that. I want a 24/7 with You. I love You, Father.”

You will never be good enough to get to heaven.

+12 – Ice cream?

hwfm-July-22

 

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Full-time good

Scene from the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay, Maine

Scene from the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay, Maine

“So that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good.” Titus 3:8

(Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading – Isaiah 1-3 & Titus 3)

I must live a Godly life.

There is no place for selfishness. That “good” I’m to do must be for others. I am not trying to make things better for myself.

I pray that God will give me His eyes and ears so that I can see and hear in my midst as He does. Sometimes there is deeper meaning to what is going on around me than I can sort out apart from His Holy Spirit.

I pray that God will control my thoughts and words. He knows what is going on in those areas.

I basically want Him in total control of my life. I continue to long for it. I continue to flounder in making it consistently happen. My problem is that I am not flooded with Him. I have tastes. I have sips. I even take an occasional full-sized “drink” of Him. But there is far more that I could intake. I know that I’m missing out as I watch my life have spiritual ups and downs in the midst I am currently in. It should not be that way.

The Bible is verrry clear on behavioral things; I must be completely Godly.

“Lord, I want to be saturated with You. I am obviously not taking in enough of You because my spiritual life is so erratic. At times I am pleased but more often I am embarrassed by the shallowness of it. I need You completely. Invade me. Overwhelm me. I want a full spiritual hit so that I can level off my behavior into a steady Godly pattern. I cannot do it without Your help. I love You, Father.”

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Unproductive

“…..and not live unproductive lives.”  Titus 3:14

(Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading – Isaiah 1-3 & Titus 3)

What have I done with my life?

Do I think I’m spiritually productive?

I want to be the person God wants me to be.  If I get there then the question of whether I lived productively or not will be answered.

To be spiritually productive I must get into a consistent relationship with God.  It is time to stop being victimized by the turbulence that comes my way.  I can’t be oblivious to turbulence but I can react to it in a Godly manner.

I am God’s servant.  A servant doesn’t ask the master, “What do you want me to do?”  A servant readies himself to be available for whatever the master chooses for him to do.

I often want to “do” and then check in with God.  That’s the cart-and-horse problem.

I need to lower my presence and elevate His Presence.

I need to wait on Him and not wait for Him.

“Father, I love You.  I love being Your child.  I rest and wait in Your Presence.  Reveal ways to me that I can solidify my relationship to You.  I love You, Father!”

ju 1

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Actions speak louder than words

“They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him.”  Titus 1:16

(Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading – Amos 4-6 & Psalm 86 & Titus 1)

Another direct hit on me!

In almost every daily Bible reading, on my path through the Scripture in one year, I find applicable material.  Today’s is perfect for me.

My word witness has way too much separation from the deed witness.  I believe the problem is caused by the shallowness of my relationship with God.

I talk/write often about being in relation to God, but in the actual day-to-day stuff I’m not consistent about it.  Too often I get thrown off the Godly track.  Can I face any turbulence without messing up my relationship to God?  Great question!

My relationship to God must be ongoing.  I also need to spend more time living a Godly life and less time telling others how I’m doing it.

I want Godliness to be the overflow of a heart aligned with God.  May I be naturally Godly.

“Father, forgive me for embarrassing You by my behavior.  I talk but I don’t walk.  I say but I don’t do.  I am troubled by this.  Fill me with You.  Cast out the sludge that so easily seems to infiltrate me.  I want Your Way to be my way.  Jab my conscience when I get off Your Track.  I love You, Lord.”

j29

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What do my actions say about me?

“They claim to know God but by their actions they deny him.  They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.”  Titus 1:16

(Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading – 1 Timothy 5-6 & Titus 1-3)

Any time the word “deny” shows up, I am drawn to think of Peter.  How sure he was that he would never deny having a relationship with Jesus.  And we know how that worked out.

I claim to be in relationship with God.  Does my behavior validate that claim?  This verse references folks displaying actions that were out of synch with their spiritual claims.  The verse ends with strong words against these people.

How does God see me?  Am I a certified deceiver?  God knows my heart.  He knows my thoughts.  I’m certainly not ever going to fool Him.  He knows the real me.

“Forgive me, Father.  Why would You want to have anything to do with a sinner like me?  So often I deny You with my mouth and my actions.  I love You.  I want every action to please You.  O Lord, help me to do what You want me to do.  Fill me with Your Holy Spirit so that I overflow with You. ”

d9

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