TODAY'S WORD FOR Monday, May 11, 2020:
A good thing done; a good act completed; useless human efforts to gain acceptance by God.
In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness, and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned.
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
Titus was a Greek and most likely was led to Christ by Paul. Titus was taught and nurtured in the truth of the gospel. Titus accompanied Paul on some of his missionary journeys. He worked with Paul in Crete and when Paul had to leave, he left Titus there to oversee the church and to disciple the people in the church to live a Godly life and reflect the godly character of God.
The degenerate culture in Crete and the crude conduct of the people had a bad influence on the new believers. The false teachers were undermining the church with false doctrine and the people were led to compromise to avoid conflict.
Paul knew that he left Titus with a tough assignment. Paul was always concerned about his churches and about the young pastors like Titus. He continued to support them with advice and admonition. The book of Titus was his letter of exhortation to Titus.
Paul was teaching the young men (verse 6) to show integrity in their leadership role as teachers in the church. Paul was exhorting Titus that he had a special obligation to exemplify the moral and spiritual qualities of a true believer by being a model of good works.
The words “good works” appear five times in the book of Titus. Paul was teaching Titus that he must live according to the sound doctrine that he had learned from Paul and was teaching to others so he was above criticism. These words are a warning to him. If he preaches sound doctrine it is meaningless if it is not backed by good works.
This is a warning for us as well. If we are going to instruct someone about how they are to act, we had better make sure that we are living that way ourselves. We all must examine ourselves and ask ourselves, “What does my life teach others about God and the genuineness of my faith?”
Paul gives Titus a description in 1:16 of those who are “unfit for doing anything good.” They claim to know God, but by their actions, they deny Him. In Chapter two Paul tells Titus to set an example by always doing good. Paul then several times exhorted Titus to communicate to the believers their responsibility to do good deeds, as Christ did and as the Word of God commands us to do.
As members of a civilized society we keep trying, by our power, to change the way people are and the way we behave. We hear this from many who read our devotionals. Society tries to effect change in people, and we set tougher laws and boundaries, but people are people and human nature is the same. Someone once said that you can bring a pig into your house but it will not change the pig but it will certainly change your house.
And that is the problem. You cannot within your power change the behavior of your spouse, your children, your friend or anyone at all. You have to change the heart and this can only be done by God. If you want someone to change the way they act, you must lead by example by the way you live.
Our way of living and our conduct speak volumes about what we believe and what we value. People judge the integrity of our words by the good works we do. We can’t change people but by our example, we can be a witness of God’s love and saving grace. In God’s perfect timing a heart will be changed.
Our memory verse for this week is found in John 14:14.
If you ask Me for anything in My name, I will do it for you.
Help me to realize the way my good deeds can be used by You to change the heart of someone. Help me to be used to bring someone into a right relationship with You. Help me to be faithful in living a Godly life so that my good deeds will be a testimony to others of God’s love and grace.
These Family Devotional thoughts are written by Dr. Ken Phillips, Executive Director of America's Hunger
Solution, and his wife Dottie. Ken has had ministry positions
with The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, World Vision, Youth For Christ, World Opportunities International,
and World Bible Society. He also has consulted for more than 30 Christian ministries in management and stewardship
development. They have published a book called No Problems Only Situations that discusses the journey of their family.
Ken and Dottie have been married for 60 years, and have 6 children, 20 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. Their
second book, TODAY'S WORD, includes 365 daily
devotionals and is now available for only $10.
Ken & Dottie Phillips
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