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Bible Pathways - Dec. 11, 2008


December 11

Titus 1

Highlights In Today's Reading:

The Book of Titus lists the qualifications for elders, stresses sound doctrine, states ethical obligations of believers, and warns against false teaching. Don't miss 2:1-14 and 3:4-7! Philemon — Runaway slave gets sent home! Why?

Anarchy is Satan-inspired; we are to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work (Titus 3:1).

Christians are not at liberty to choose which law to obey and which to disobey. Peter was led of God to write: 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, and for the praise of them that do well. For so is the will of God (I Pet. 2:13-15). As long as the laws are in effect and operative, we are taught to obey them with one exception. When Peter and the other apostles were commanded by religious authorities not to tell others that Jesus is the Messiah-Savior of the world, they responded as faithful Christians should, saying: We ought to obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29). Never did they resort to violence, rioting, or hatred against those who attempted to silence them, nor did they ignore the law of the land. They taught the Truth and often received a prison sentence or even death for their loyalty to God who is above all rulers.

Christians should faithfully declare the truth — even when it could mean imprisonment or death. No one is ever justified in responding with force or violence. It is Satan who instigates violence and rebellion or ignoring the laws. Failure to report or pay taxes or to obey any other disagreeable law is against the teachings of the Bible. Even though He was God's Son and, therefore, exempt from paying a tax (Matt. 17:24-26), Jesus said to Peter: Lest we should offend them . . . find a piece of money . . . and give unto them for Me and thee (17:27).

The Apostle Paul also was led by the Holy Spirit to emphasize the responsibility of Christians to be law-abiding citizens: For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil (Rom. 13:3-4).

Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king (all in authority) (I Pet. 2:17).

Thought for Today:

If we live honest lives, it enhances our testimony to those that watch how we live out our faith. They shall behold (and) glorify God (I Pet. 2:12).

Word Studies:

Titus 2:10 purloining =b> stealing anything, even small things; Philemon 1:8 enjoin =b> give direction as to your responsibility, order; 1:12 mine own bowels =b> out of my very heart.

Cross References:

For Titus 1:2: See Num. 23:19.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for International Shortwave Broadcasts for the week sponsored by Thursday Morning Prayer • Staff: Barbara Jean Loyd • Government Officials: Sen. Max Baucus (MT) and Sen. John Kerry (MA) • Country: Saudi Arabia (20.9 million) on the Arabian Peninsula in southwestern Asia • Major language: Arabic • Christian worship services for foreign personnel are tolerated, but those who seek to convert Muslims to Christianity face persecution • 86% Sunni (Wahabi) Muslim; 10% Shi'ite Muslim; 1% Ismaili Muslim; 3% Others (including 600,000 Christians and some Hindus and Buddhists) • Prayer Suggestion: In times of trouble, pray and seek comfort in the Word of God (Ps. 119:50).

Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 2:21

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