December 1 – Today’s Readings – Titus 1-3 and Proverbs 1
“In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.” (Titus 2:7-8)
“These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you. 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 to show true humility toward all men.” (Titus 2:15-3:2)
What a guide to practical Christian living! Paul goes on and on about how to live and how not to live. He speaks about our marriages, our home lives, our work habits, our social habits, our focus in life, our attitudes towards all authority and our willingness to accept sound doctrine while rejecting the rest. There is so much written here about what a Christian should “look like”. After having read this short book do you have a “picture” in your head of what normal Christianity is? We are to be different from the world. We are to be so different from the world that without saying a word, people can identify us a followers of Jesus. Our words should be a confirmation of what people already know about us. They see Jesus in us just because we are great people to be around. We don’t cheat them – we don’t lie to them – we don’t joke about them – we don’t talk about them disrespectfully behind their backs – we don’t flirt with their wives – we won’t be leading any rebellions against the government – we will do an honest day’s work – we can be trusted with “the till” – if put in charge of the business we will manage as if it was our own – if someone asks our children what we are really like at home they will brag about us truthfully.
These are not just qualifications for leadership in the Church – these are qualifications for us all. The standard is high, but so it should be. Since when is the Church supposed to look like the world? The only way that I know to be a Christian is to decide on a daily basis to walk with the Lord and to make it new, fresh and zealous on a continuous basis. Let’s not get tired of doing good – of living right – of being lovers of people – of being upright in character. This was Paul’s admonition to the Church at the end of his life. Notice, he did not insist we focus on the latest interpretation of the book of Daniel. Paul told the Church to stay away from that kind of stuff. He wanted people to know that the simplicity of a pure Christian life was “where it’s at”.
A PLUG FOR MY FAVORITE HOME MISSIONS PROJECT – The first Tuesday after American thanksgiving is known as “Giving Tuesday” because it is the single biggest donation day of the year. Help Kids On Track meet it’s $ goal today by making a donation. You can do so by linking directly to my special online giving page:
Tell of other ways that we can be a witness to our society without saying a word.
How can we live the life Paul is speaking of without becoming legalistic in our faith?