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Category Archives: Titus

Titus 2:1-2

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

Dear God, it is interesting that this passage came up today on Bible Gateway’s verse of the day because I’ve spent part of the morning listening to a podcast that talked about the Texas state legislature and how they think they have been acting wisely in some of the laws they passed in the last session, but they could possibly have done more harm that good in terms of long-term conservative strategies.

For example, they quoted a Wall Street Journal editorial board piece (which would represent conservative opinions) about the new Texas abortion law. The piece said that the Texas legislature’s immediate success with the SCOTUS, which will likely be short-lived until there is a proper lawsuit challenge that they will decide, opens up a bit of a Pandora’s box for liberal issues. For example, can New York enable people to sue other citizens for owning a gun? On a personal level, even as a pro-life person, I’ve already found myself feeling uneasy about how the legislature has gone about this. It does not feel like they are acting wisely.

Which brings me to a point that I’ve been driving home for several months now, but the thread seems to explain a lot of behavior of Christians that befuddles me. There is a difference between being a Christ believer and a Christ follower. How many of the people who wrote and voted for these laws are people who spend time pursuing you and following you, and how many simply believe you exist and then use you to justify their own agendas? I would posit that a good majority of those who voted for these laws are believers but not followers.

Of course, now it’s time to take the finger I’m pointing at them and look at the three fingers in my hand that are pointing back at me. Am I wise? Am I foolish? Am I naive? Am I patient? Am I willing to make space to listen to you? Am I a true follower of you, or do I just use you to justify my personal dogma? Of course, I would like to think of myself as a follower and not just a believer. I would like to think of myself as wise. I try to make moments like this to listen to you, but probably not enough. I know I am be impatient. I am certainly naive, although that can actually be a good thing in that having too much guile and understanding of others who use guile would probably send me down a rabbit hole that isn’t healthy for me. Still, it is good to be well-read and try to understand issues.

Father, help me to start with just being your follower and then let the fruit from your Spirit grow from there. Fill me with love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, faithfulness, goodness, kindness, and self control. Help me to use those fruits to develop my thoughts and how I interact with the world around me. Make me an instrument of your peace. When people look at me I want them to see you inside of me.

In Jesus’s name I pray,

Amen

 
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Posted by on September 9, 2021 in Titus

 

Titus 2:1-2,6-8

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…

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 2:1-2,6-8

Dear God, I used to see myself as the “young men” in these passages, but I suppose I have aged into being the “older men.” I would guess that it is hard for a young pastor to lead older men. I’ll confess that I have times when I look at a younger person who means well but just doesn’t have the experience yet to see what I see. Of course, there are those who see me and think the same thing. It comes up most with parenting. Now that my children are in their 20s, I find that I have a low tolerance for advice from people whose children are not yet teenagers. They just don’t know, and I hope they never do, how tricky it can be.

So what does the young pastor do? What do I, as a 50-year-old lay person, do? Well, it’s pretty easy according to this passage. Exercise self control. Be respectable. Live wisely. Have integrity. Of course, with Paul, it always seems to come back to what he told the Galatians about the fruit of the Spirit. If I have the Holy Spirit then these things will start to grow out of me naturally: love, joy, peace, patients, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, kindness, self control, etc.

I’ve been really troubled lately by seeing some of the local pastoral leadership in our community start to take sides in the tug of war happening on social media. And it’s not like they are leading in positivity. They are ridiculing the positions of others. They are making light of things that concern others. They are seemingly seeing only one side of a few given issues of which I think there are at least two legitimate sides. It’s been disheartening.

Father, help me to exercise self control, live wisely and respectably, and sacrifice anything necessary to maintain integrity. And do it all for your glory and not mine. I really don’t want to increase. I want to decrease so that you will increase. Be glorified through my life and draw others to yourself through me.

In Jesus’s name I pray,

Amen

 
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Posted by on September 9, 2020 in Titus

 

Titus 2:2-8

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. 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. 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 2:2-8

Dear God, when I read this the thought that comes to me is that nothing is new. Two thousand years ago, people drank too much, slandered, gossiped, cheated on their spouses, went to war needlessly, ignored the poor, sold people into slavery, etc. Kingdoms rose and they fell. There was corruption. I guess the only thing that might be new is that we now have so much more access to information (real, fake, and mixed) than we did before. We can now know what’s happening in places all over the world if we want to. But our hearts are still the same. Not better or worse– the same.

I guess there’s an odd comfort in that for me. Going back to the tribulation preacher I heard last week, it was almost like listening to someone who gives horoscope readings. Everything he said could have been applied to every year between now and when you gave John Revelation. But my comfort isn’t in the idea that things haven’t really progressed, but in that you are still God and this is nothing the world hasn’t seen before–well maybe except for our growing ability to damage the planet ourselves. That’s changed too.

Father, I’m going to go back to the serenity prayer from AA. Give me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

In Jesus’s name I pray,

Amen

 
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Posted by on September 9, 2019 in Titus

 

Titus 2:11-12

For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God,

Titus 2:11-12

Dear God, I had an interesting thing happen yesterday. A friend told me that he believes in “God,” but has no reason to believe in Jesus. It all just seems to fantastical for him—virgin birth, resurrection, miracles in between. I was so caught off guard that I didn’t give nearly as good of a response as I wish I had. I’m sorry for that.

Back to this passage, help me to continue to turn from the things that are godless and sinful, and towards the things that are of you. Help me to be righteous, wise, and devoted to you. Help me to let go of my fears and be at peace. Help me to completely let go of my own agendas and plans for the future and embrace you in each present moment.

Father, I guess this is a pretty simple prayer today, but it’s also a back to basics. Love God. Hate sin. Repent. Disciple. Serve. Help me to believe enough to do all of these things.

In Jesus’ name I pray,

Amen

 
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Posted by on January 3, 2018 in Titus

 

Titus 2:2

Titus 2:2 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.

 

Dear God, first, I’m not sure I’ve ever read this before and considered myself one of the “older men.” I usually identify with the young men in verse six, but I guess we all get older. I’m now realizing that in a church, or even humanity, I am on the older side of the equation. But enough about me and my age.

These instructions are very broad for older men. There are a number of areas in which I should exercise self-control. There are a number of areas to which I need to pay attention so that I can be worthy of respect. And living wisely is about as broad as it gets. But I think that what will drive adherence to these commands is to have a sound faith and couple the faith with love and patience. I need to pursue you. I need to be filled with love and patience for others. But I also need to not let myself be distracted from my highest calling which is to first do all of these things for my wife. She needs to see self control. I need to be worthy of her respect. She needs to see my living wisely. If my faith is sound then it will bless her. And being filled with love and patience for her will be the blessing that you want for her and make her more likely to be filled with love and patience for me.

Father, help me to be the man you need me to be today. I’m going to spend a lot of time with a former mentor who has lived the life of Job more than anyone I’ve ever known. Help me to be what he needs today. Help me to be what my immediate and extended family needs. Most of all, help me to be a good worshiper of you.

In Jesus’ name I pray,

Amen

 
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Posted by on September 9, 2017 in Titus