Titus 3:3 What You Once Was

“At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.” Titus 3:3

Paul admits his bad past, what he once was like. In this admission he also adds other believers who he is writing to. This is every believer.

Every person is born into sin. Being deceived every person lives a bad life of sin. Even the best of people are deep in sin until they come to Jesus.

Foolishness can often be found in doing things for the wrong reasons or saying the wrong thing. Disobedience is found in breaking the laws of the land and God’s laws. Deception is found in thinking that you are doing the correct thing and are in the right. Slavery is found in being bound to sinful habits and things.

Why would Paul remind his readers of their bad past? Many people will say the past is the past, let it go and forget it.

You must remember who you once were, the way you once lived. One reason is so that you remember the grace God has given you, what God has removed from you. This shows God’s great love for you.

As you remember what God has done for you, you can then pass that same grace and love on to others. It is easy to get angry with sinners in the way they act and live, but that is what you once did. Your sin was no greater or less than anyone else’s sin.

Do not cut others down because of their sin. Do not show hatred for those who are living in sin. Show compassion and mercy. Strive to point them to Jesus. Show His love that they may choose to accept what Jesus offers.

Seek God for strength to show His love to others. Never forget where you once were so that you can show that love.

I pray today that God will remind you of what He has done for you; that you will have God’s love and mercy for others; that you will have compassion for those who are living in sin; and that you will be a witness for Jesus.

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Titus 2:6 Self-Control

“Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled.” Titus 2:6

Paul is giving Titus some instructions in leading the church. He had just told him how to instruct the older men and women. One of the things that was the same for both was that they be self-controlled. Now he is talking about teaching the younger men and they also need to be taught self-control.

Self-control is what a person has to control what he does or does not do. A person takes responsibility for his/her actions.

In sports every player practices and trains to have self-control. He needs to know how to move, when to move, and what to do in all kinds of situations. The best players know these moves so well that they almost seem like instinct or that he was born with them. No one is born with these abilities, but must learn them.

As a believer you must also have self-control, regardless of your age, gender, or nationality.

Someone may ask why a believer must have self-control, since God is supposed to be the one in control. Yes, God is in control of your life, but only if you let Him be in control. It is your self that allows God to be in control.

You have the choice of obeying God or not obeying Him. You have the choice to do a sin or not to do a sin. God will never force you to do one or the other. His desire is that you do not sin and that you do obey Him, but because you want to, not because you have too.

What do you say or do when things don’t go your way?

What do you say or do when someone hurts you?

What do you say or do when you are alone?

These are areas where you need self-control. Choose your actions and words according to the desires of God. Do not let the world choose them for you. Do not follow the ways of this world.

Be self-controlled in everything you say and do so that you will bring glory to God.

I pray today that you will allow God to guide you in everything you say and do; that you will choose to obey God;  that you will control all that you say and do for God’s glory; and that Jesus will be honored in your actions and words.

Titus 1:16 What Actions Really Say

“They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.” Titus 1:16

Paul had just stated in a very harsh way that many from Crete were corrupt and liars. On the surface it sounds like he is talking about people who do not want anything to do with God. Yet, here, he is stating that these are the very people who claim to know God. Their actions were saying something different about how well they really know God.

There are many people who claim to know God or to love Jesus, yet their lives show something different. They live their lives in ways that are anything but like Jesus. Anger, stealing, cheating, cursing, sexual immorality, gossip, lying, and rebellion fill their lives. As they are living like this, they also go to church, carry a Bible, and talk about Jesus.

When a “believer” is living their life like this, what does the world see and think of believers and Jesus? They are seen as false and cannot be believed. The world sees them just as they are, only while claiming Jesus. As Paul says they are unfit for doing anything good.

Take a look at your life. What would a court say about you using only the evidence of your actions? Would a court be able to say that you are a believer? Or would the court say you are lying in court?

Your actions speak louder than your words. They reveal what is really in the heart and mind. Are you really following Jesus or are you just following Jesus in word?

Live your life in a way that no one can say that you are unfit for doing anything good. Do the things God wants you to do. Live your life like Jesus. Live in such a way that when people see you they will accuse you of being like Jesus.

I pray today that God will reveal areas you are disobedient in; that God will strengthen you to stand true for Him; that you will not be a false witness; and that you will be able to do good things for God.

Titus 1:8 How You Should Be

“Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined.” Titus 1:8

As Paul opens his letter to Titus, he gives some instructions for a person who is an over-seer. An over-seer is the pastor or lead elder of the church. He starts with some things that he should not be, then in this verse gives some things he should be. Although he is talking about the over-seer, these very same things can be applied to every believer.

Five things are listed that one should be. The first is being hospitable. This is being open to allowing people to come and see you. You have an open door on your house for visitors. Do you shun people coming over? Or do you welcome them with open arms?

Next is loving what is good. There are many things in this world, and not all of them are good. By good, it means: does it glorify God; or bring you and others closer to God; does it make you more like Jesus? Or do these things pull you away from God?

Next is self-controlled. Are you controlling what you say, think, and do? No one can make you do anything you do not want to do in your heart. Do not allow others to control you.

Then being upright. This is living your life for God. When someone looks at your life what will they see? Is there corruption, deception, and sin? Or is it Jesus? Are you a person of your word?

Next is holy. Are you living as Jesus would? Are you staying away from sin in every form? If God looks at your life what does He see?

Finally is being disciplined. This comes alongside self-control. Do you hold yourself accountable for your actions? Do you keep yourself from falling into sinful ways? Beat your old sinful self down and live for Jesus.

These are a few ways that every believer should be living. This would bring honor to God and lift up the name of Jesus. Not every believer is living like this, which brings dishonor to Jesus and all believers.

How are you living your life today?

I pray today that you will examine your life to see how you live for Jesus; that God will reveal areas that you need to improve on; that you will bring honor to the name of Jesus by how you live; and that God will use you to touch the lives of others.

2 Timothy 4:7 Are You Fighting The Good Fight?

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7

God has either given Paul a bit of knowledge or he is just an old man who knows that his time is coming to an end. He knows that he will not live forever on this earth. He now looks back at his life and is pleased with it. Paul knows that he fought the good fight and finished the race in this life, he did not give up on his faith in Jesus.

People look at things differently when they are elderly or have a health situation that has a diagnosis of death soon. They start to look back on their life and realize all the things they did or did not do. It is usually at this point that many people try to make things right.

No one ever says that they wished they could have spent more time at work. They are wishing they would have done more with family and friends.

Paul said that he had fought the good fight. What is the good fight? Children are always taught not to fight. You are supposed to run away from a fight.

The good fight is the battle against evil. It is against the devil and his ways of doing things. Jesus fought for your life when He died on the cross.

Now you must fight against the devil trying to keep you. It is your choice as to who gets you. Will it be the devil and this world, or will it be Jesus?

Everyday there will be temptations thrown your way to make you fail the battle. Choices must be made as to who you will serve: yourself (i.e. the devil) or God.

Only God knows how much time you have left on this earth. What are you doing with that time?

Are you just trying to please yourself? Then you are serving the devil.

Are you trying to please God? Then you are serving God.

The good fight is God’s fight. It is the fight against sin and the power of sin. Jesus won the battle for you. Will you now fight for Him and with Him? Can you say you have kept the faith?

I pray today that God will strengthen you to fight for the faith; that you will not grow weary in the battle; that you will keep the faith in Jesus; and that you will finish the race you have started in Jesus.

2 Timothy 4:2 Be Ready With The Word

“Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction.” 2 Timothy 4:2

When people hear the statement that they should preach the Word (the Bible) many start saying that they are not a preacher or a pastor. Others may say that is not their gifting. Preaching, in the way Paul is using it, is just a way of saying to tell other people the Word. To tell people what God’s Word says.

Believers are to be ready at all times to speak God’s Word to someone who needs to hear it. It is not just for Sunday mornings or just in the pulpit. God’s Word is applicable to everyday life for every person.

Three reasons are given for speaking God’s Word to someone: for correction, rebuke and encouragement.

Correction is for believers who are off slightly in their thinking about God’s ways. Some people will have beliefs that are not correctly aligned with the Bible. Sometimes these are just by mistake or misunderstanding. Knowing the Bible fully will help a person correct those mistakes.

Others will be defiantly doing things that God directly disapproves of. These people need to be rebuked. Let them know that what is being done is sin and God does not like it.

The third way is with encouragement. People go through tough times in life. Life can get depressing and difficult. Believers may know in their mind that God is helping them, but they need someone to encourage them to believe it. Giving them a piece of God’s Word showing that He is in control and loves them will go a long way for a person. It will build them up.

All of these ways of using God’s Word is to be done with a lot of patience and careful instruction. Do not beat someone over the head with God’s Word. Show God’s love and mercy to each person. Make sure that the Word you are speaking is correct and what the person needs to hear.

Read and study God’s Word. Be ready to tell someone what God has to tell them. Allow God to use you to correct, rebuke and encourage other believers and non-believers.

Do not be afraid to “preach,” it is just telling others what God wants to tell them.

I pray today that God will reveal to you His Word; that God will guide you by His Holy Spirit in correctly using it; that you will not be afraid to tell others what God says; and that God will use you to touch the lives of others for Jesus.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 More Than A Good Book

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17

The Bible has been around, as it is currently known, for several hundred years. It is classified as the number one best-selling book of all time. During the time Russia had banned Christianity from the country, their colleges were teaching the Bible as an excellent piece of literature. Yet, while all of this is true, it is something more than just a great piece of literature.

Although men did the physical part of writing it, the writings were inspired by God. They were led by God as to what to write. With this in mind it makes the Bible much more than just a piece of literature.

Looking through it you can find great teaching on every area of life. It will guide you in how to live correctly in the best way possible.

As it teaches, the Bible will also rebuke. When you are living in a sinful way, the Bible will point it out and show you Jesus. It can be used to show what sin is and the dangers of it.

As the Bible rebukes, it also corrects. When you slip up and start living in a way that is against God, it will correct you. It will get you back on the right path to God.

It also provides needed training. This training is again in how to live for God. It provides examples alongside the lesson plans.

All of these things are done to teach you to live a righteous life for God. The purpose of living a righteous life is to honor God and to do what He wants you to do. God wants you to do good works. If you are not taught, rebuked, corrected and trained by the Bible, you will not be able to do the good works correctly.

As you read the Bible, are you just reading good stories or morals? Or are you letting it change your life?

God’s Word is alive. Allow the Bible to impact your life and change it. Live for God. He has given you the manual on how to do it. Study it and live by it.

I pray today that God will make His Word come alive to you; that you will allow the Bible to change your life; that you will live by what you read in the Bible; and that you will allow God to equip you for every good work He has for you to do.