I love how the Word is SO TIMELY and fittingly TIMELESS…
Ministry moments are most important to vocalize. Certain times like these call for EXTRA care to hold the tongue from controversies, to go above the fray to teach peace, and to keep and share the Word in a broken world. The people need perspective, the preaching needs purpose, and the power comes from pursuing peace. A great message from Paul, writing to Titus (ch1 v1-9) for encouragement of what an elder (AND ALL OF US) should TRY to be: “To further the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness in the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time“…
An elder must be:
whose children believe
not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient
not given to drunkenness
not pursuing dishonest gain
must be hospitable
love what is good
hold firmly to the trustworthy message
encourage others by sound doctrine
refute those who oppose sound doctrine
(Paul also says to rebuke the cretins…)
Paul in chapter 2 urges Titus to:
teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine:
worthy of respect
sound in faith, in love and in endurance
not to be a slanderer
not be addicted
teach what is good
be self-controlled and pure
be busy at home
Always to be meaningful so that no one will malign the word of God.
To set an example by:
doing what is good
teach to show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned
so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.
For the Grace of God:
offers salvation to all people
teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions
to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age
while we wait for the blessed hope – the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.
Paul continues (ch3 excerpts):
Remind the people:
to be subject to rulers and authorities
to be obedient
to be ready to do whatever is good
to slander no one
to be peaceable and considerate
to be gentle toward everyone.
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.
But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.
He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy saying.
And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone….
But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless.
Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them. You may be sure that such people are warped and sinful; they are self-condemned.
Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order to provide for urgent needs and not live unproductive lives.
(All from Titus ch1-3)