Titus 3 Devotion Sharing

Submitted by John Ko, Gracepoint Berkeley

Titus 3:8-9

Notice that Apostle Paul instructs Titus to “stress these things.” What does this imply about one aspect of Christian ministry?

What this implies about one aspect of Christian ministry is the need to instruct others. you’re warning them and helping them to understand the importance of some issues over others.  there are some parts of life that must be stressed and are more important than others.  the role of ministry to instruct others and let them know.  You can’t do that by just sitting back and assuming people will get the message.  And this is not a message you just tell once.  It’s like a coach who is telling his athlete the fundamentals again and again and stressing the most important aspects of training.  As I think about what are the kinds of things that AP is stressing for them to do it’s some of the very basic acts of what it means to be a Christian – to be obedient, ready to do good and to show true humility to all men.  These are basic things that they should be doing and yet he says to stress them. this is what ministry looks like. This is how my leaders have led me by stressing some of these basic things I should be doing…like my DT, loving my roommate and caring for him when he’s sick, challenging me about my selfishness or my impatience and my own irritable heart and other character issues I have.  They are teaching and stressing me to be a person of love – a basic principle for Christians.  Throughout this whole summer I have heard this message – to love people genuinely and deeply.  And yet I see how I can fail miserably at times – to love the very people God has placed in my life – guys in my small group, staff I work with or even my own wife.  Why? b/c I’m not being obedient to God.  I’m doing the good I ought to do.  I’m being selfish or just self-focused. 

The good that AP is telling Titus is the good we ought to do and why?  b/c of the grace of God.  it’s God who first loved us and it is he who loved us while we were still sinners.  It’s out of God’s love and mercy that I have the basis to love and care for others.  and it’s not just a love that arises from my will power but out of a deep sense of gratitude for what God has done for me.  Why will I love the new freshmen who are coming on campus in a few days?  Why will I do the good of getting to know them, caring for them, praying for them and thinking about them?  b/c it is God who first loved me.

This constant “stress[ing] these things” is what I need to be reminded of constantly.  I can imagine the similar picture in Acts 20:31 when AP is telling the church of Ephesus how for three years night and day he warned them with tears.  This just goes to show me how much the leader plays in terms of admonishing and really stressing truths and realities.  Then I think about what my response to this is.  I could have an attitude of why is he making such a big deal out of this and feel like it’s not necessary to stress so much and take things so seriously.  But what I see as the proper posture is one of humility and a desire to learn and be taught what is the right way to live. And frankly, I need to hear this from my leaders and others in my life b/c I know I’m a sinner who does stray from God and who needs to be corrected.

Why would things such as “doing good,” which are “excellent and profitable for everyone” need to be “stressed” by Titus?

As I think about why such things such as “doing good”, which are “excellent and profitable for everyone” needs to be “stressed” by Titus I just think about my own life and how even as a leader I can quickly “forget” or just fail to live the way God has intended me to. My sinful and selfish nature comes out and I’m not doing the good that I clearly ought to be doing.  In hindsight I can say, oh yeah, that’s what I should have been doing. Just this past week there was an incident that came up about being a servant and I saw through some clear and passive responses in my own life that I was not being a servant leader.  Even though this has been the “Summer of servanthood” I saw through my leader how I wasn’t being that kind of servant leader – seeking to ask for more work and how I could help.  And so through that kind of incident I saw again how someone else needed to “stress” to me how I ought to be living and serving God.  I think the key here for me was that I was being passive and not active in my participation and efforts to serve and seek more ways to help others.

What are the “things [that] are excellent and profitable for everyone” that I need to pursue and the “unprofitable and useless” things that I need to avoid?

I believe there are many “things that are excellent and profitable for everyone” that I need to pursue and I think as the fall is coming around there are a few things that are really hitting me.  first, it’s to love and care for all the new students who will be coming onto our campus. This happens through getting to know them, building rel with them, spending time with them and just loving them.  I think engaging them and caring for them aer basic things I can be doing.  I also think that something that is useful for everyone is being a servant.  I remember when I was a student there was a brother who would email at the end of the semester or anytime he was done with his studies or midterms that he was free and he could with Costco runs or building bunk beds or doing all sorts of things.  he just made himself available.  I think that is something that is very practical and something that can really help others.  the “unprofitable and useless” things that I need to avoid are often just tied to selfish things or as it says things that have no value.  I often find this in wasting time on the Internet reading news or learning about latest technologies or gadgets.  This is just a waste of time and doesn’t edify anyone.  And I think just pursuing a comfortable life or seeking only to care for my family is unprofitable and useless in the sense that it’s not helping others, just myself.  to have an image of just helping my nuclear family is a very small picture of life that God has given to me.

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