“Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people.” Philemon 7
Paul finds great joy in knowing the love Philemon has for other believers. Philemon’s love has brought a refreshment to the heart’s of the people. This kind of love is not one that just says “I love you” in passing. It had to have been an active love, one that followed up with actions. This is a kind of love that will bring food to someone in need, mow their lawn, bring them where they need to go, give the extra phone call of encouragement, watch their children for a free date night, pay a late bill for them, visit them in the hospital and many other ways. These are expressions of God’s selfless love.
This type of love will lift people up. It will encourage them to love the same way. It will draw others closer to God. And it will bring about much joy.
How is your love for other believers doing today? Can someone say the same about your love as Paul did about Philemon’s love? Whose heart have you refreshed today?
I pray that today God will open doors for you to love on someone in need with an active love; that God will give you the strength to show true love; and that God will move in the heart’s of people because of your love for them.
“But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless.” Titus 3:9
Paul just finished talking about not being foolish any more and be renewed by the Holy Spirit. Now he tells us some things to avoid. People often joke about how some churches have split in the past about disagreements in the color of a new carpet. Although many laugh at this, this is the sort of things that happen all the time. Many people who don’t know Jesus will just argue to keep from accepting him. They will argue points that have very little to no meaning at all.
At the same time people in the church will argue about what to wear or what not to wear, what songs should be sung, and how the service should be run. People will argue about how the government should be run, where the taxes should be spent, and how much should they get taxed. The number of pointless controversies and arguments are numberless. And Paul says to avoid them.
We need to seek God’s direction in what arguments and controversies we should be a part of and which we should ignore.
I pray that God will give each person wisdom and direction in what to say in each situation in life and when to avoid the arguments.
“Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good” Titus 1:3
Paul is telling the people to obey the rulers and authorities. Who were these rulers and authorities? They were the hated Romans. They were told to obey the “enemy”. This means that they were to obey the rulers as long as it did not go against any of God’s rules. Just because the rulers were not God-fearing did not allow them to disobey the rulers.
How does that apply today? Even today most people have authorities over them that do not really fear God and follow Him. We still must obey them. We must obey God first, then them second. As long as their rules do not go against God’s rules, we must obey them. This means going the speed limit when driving, claiming all income on your taxes, doing 100% of the work required of you at your workplace, and many other rules that many people try to “cut corners” on or choose not to follow.
I pray that today everyone reading this will learn to obey those over them; that they would bring honor to God by being excellent citizens by being true Christ-like people where ever they are, in what ever situation they are in. I pray that God will give each one the strength to walk in the character and steps of Jesus in every area of their life.
“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” Titus 2:11-12
The grace of God is the gift of Jesus that He has given us to save us. We did not earn or deserve this gift. This grace teaches us to turn away from ungodliness and worldly passions. Ungodliness is cursing, lying, cheating, breaking/bending the rules, gossip, stealing, revenge, and many other things. Worldly passions are greed, hatred, jealously, anger, pride, selfishness, sexual immorality, and many other desires fo the world.
His grace gives us the power to turn from these things and to live self-controlled upright and godly lives. We have to be willing to accept this grace and to apply it to our lives. We must be willing to say no to all sins. We must be self-controlled in all that we say or do. Are you being self-controlled today? Are you being upright in all that you say and do? Are you living a godly life? How does your life measure up to Jesus? Strive to live like He did.
I pray today that every person will be willing to accept God’s grace and will say no to all ungodliness and worldly passions; that each person will live an upright and godly life.
“They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are destestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.” Titus 1:16
Paul is talking about people who claim to know God but in reality are denying Him. He just finished telling Titus to stay away from rebellious people who are false believers teaching false beliefs. Some of these people claim to know God. But Paul says their actions show something very different: that they are detestable, disobedient and unfit. They speak of praising God on Sunday, but on Monday through Saturday curse their fellow worker/boss, cheat on their work by cutting corners, tell “little white lies”, seek revenge on someone, and many other bad things.
If you claim to believe in God, what do your actions show? Yes you may go to church, but what does your life look outside of the church? At home? At work? What are you doing? What are you saying? Do they reflect a love for God? An obedience to God? One who is fit to do good works for God? Or do they reflect the values of the world? Are you disobeying God by not really living for Him?
I pray that today God will reveal to you who you really are. I pray that your actions will match your words and that your words will be showing one who believes in God with all his/her heart, mind, soul and strength. I pray that no one will be able to say that you deny God.
“Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined.” Titus 1:8
Paul is talking about some requirements for a person who is an overseer in the church. I see these as good requirements for every Christian man. These requirements are:
1) Be hospitable: Do you open your house and life to others? You may not be able to have them into your house, but maybe you could bring food to others, or take them out to eat. Do you take the time to help meet the needs of others around you?
2) Love what is good: What do things do you love? What do you love to do? Are these things good in the eyes of God? Are these of good report that will further the kingdom of God or point people to God or build them up in Jesus? Or are they the things of this world?
3) Be self-controlled: Do you control yourself in the way you act and react? Or do you allow others to determine who you are or what you do or don’t do? Take control of your life by letting God control your life.
4) Be upright: Are you honest? Reliable? Faithful? Hardworking? What would people say about you?
5) Be holy: Are you living up to God’s standards? No one can actually live up to those standards, but in Christ Jesus you have the power to do so. Or do you cut corners and cheat? God called everyone to be holy as He is holy.
6) Be disciplined: Are you one person around people and another person when alone? Are you one person around believers and another around un-believers? Stay focused on living completely for God in all areas of your life.
All these character traits are ones that Jesus had. Each one of us are to be like Jesus. So each of us must have these character traits in our lives.
I pray that today God will work in your life to help develope you into the person He wants you to be. That in any of these areas that you are lacking God will strengthen you and guide you into the needed changes.
“Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ to further the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness–” Titus 1:1
Paul calls himself a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ. His purpose was to build the faith of believers and increase their knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness. Just before Jesus left the earth He commissioned all believers to go into all the world and preach the gospel. This includes you and I.
Each one of us are to be a servant of God–doing what He wants and desires. Each one of us are a type of an apostle–a messenger for God. We have the gospel message of salvation to spread to the lost and dying world. This message includes the truths that God speaks that builds each believer up in his faith and makes him more like Christ.
Today are you being a “servant of God”? Doing what He desires? Are you being an “apostle of Jesus Christ”? Do you preach the gospel everywhere you go? Today is your faith being built up? Is the truth you are learning leading you to more godliness? Or away from God?
May God open your eyes and hearts to hear from Him today what He has to say to you today.