Highlights In Today's Reading:
Moral instruction. Do good, practice virtue. Witness and live your faith with enthusiasm (Titus 1-2). The coming of Jesus (2:13-14). We're heirs, justified by grace (3:4-7). A beautiful portrayal of a sinner facing God with Christ the Intercessor (Philemon 1:1-25).
When Peter and the apostles were commanded by the authorities not to tell others that Jesus was their long-awaited Messiah, they responded as faithful Christians, saying: We ought to obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29). The Apostle Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, wrote to Titus. . . . For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou. . . . Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work (Titus 1:4-5; 3:1). This Scripture does not mean we should be unfaithful to the Word of God if evil forces demand that we deny our faith in Jesus Christ.
Christians should faithfully declare the Truth, even when it might mean imprisonment or death. Let Christ be your example as well as Stephen, Peter, Paul, and John. Those early believers did not react with hatred against their enemies. We are called to speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men (3:2).
Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. . . . Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who . . . made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross (Phil 2:3-8). Christians should be law-abiding citizens: Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by Him for the punishment of evildoers (I Pet. 2:13-14).
No person is ever justified in using force or violence. It is Satan who instigates violent opposition to lawful authority.
Along with Paul we also must admit: We ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. . . . These things I will that thou affirm constantly (lay stress upon), that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works (Titus 3:3,8).
Thought for Today:
If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men (Rom. 12:18).
For Titus 1:2: See Num. 23:19.
Titus 2:10 purloining =stealing anything, even small things; Philemon 1:8 enjoin =to order you to do that which is proper; 1:12 mine own bowels =out of my very heart.
Pray for International Broadcasts sponsored by Hugh & Norma Crawford and Frances Richards • Staff: Beth Carlton • Government Officials: Sen. Max Baucus (MT) and Sen. John Kerry (MA) • Country: Niger (10 million) in west-central Africa • Major languages: French and Hausa • Christian evangelism is limited • 89% Muslim; 10% animist; .4% Christian • Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord to help you teach His Word to your children; it will give guidance and instruction as they go through life (Prov. 6:20-23).
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 18:34