Productive for Peace, 10JAN – #1038

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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: 

blameless, 

faithful

whose children believe

not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient

not overbearing

not quick-tempered

not given to drunkenness

not violent 

not pursuing dishonest gain

and:

must be hospitable

love what is good

self-controlled

upright

holy

disciplined

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:

be temperate

worthy of respect

self-controlled

sound in faith, in love and in endurance

be reverent

not to be a slanderer

not be addicted

teach what is good

to love

be self-controlled and pure

be busy at home

be kind

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)

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