Birthdays and Anniversaries
None this week
Emma Reames new doctor, working it out
Chaney Reames is undergoing extensive dental work.
Gladys Ramirez tests on stomach.
Paul Tyler has a bad sort Parkinson’s. Got stem cell treatments. Pray for their success.
Shirley Weeks, Steve’s mom, some better
Teresa Weeks, Steve’s sister, having age related issues. She has Down’s Syndrome. PT for knee.
Robert and Sue Waller, health issues
Darla Nitti, kidney disease
Leta, has a recurring cancer, prayer request from her granddaughter via our website.
Tammy Jones, Weeks’ neighbor, kidney failure/dialysis
Sarah Ussery, Chris Girvin’s sister, passed away this week. Keep family in your prayers.
“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, and always to be gentle towards everyone.” (Titus 3:1-2 NIV)
As you read through Paul’s conclusion to his letter to Titus, the description of what Christians are to be stands in stark contrast to the world around us today. In fact, it is quite a contrast to many who call themselves followers of Jesus.
In our politically-polarised world much of this seems to be out the window. Rather than encouraging all to be subject to whoever is in government we instead hear slander and ways to get around the law. As far as being peaceable, considerate, and gentle, many Christians are known for stirring up controversy and being anything but these things. Yet when we read the ‘fruit of the Spirit’ – what we are to be producing in our lives as Christians – we find these front and centre. And the contrast doesn’t stop there.
“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.” (Titus 3:9-11)
Christians are not to be involved in quarrels and arguments and are definitely not to be dividing Christians. Yet, sadly, this is what we so often see. It seems the political turmoil around us is spilling over into our lives as Christians. What has gone wrong?
I would suggest that what has happened to Christians today is the same as was happening when Paul wrote to Titus. Christians have forgotten all that Jesus has done for us. Although living full of hate and malice might characterise those living around us, we put that away when we chose to follow Jesus.
“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 Saviour 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 Saviour, 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.” (Titus 3:3-8)
This is what being a Christian is all about! Getting rid of deception and being enslaved to our passions and pleasures and getting rid of hatred. These were part of the old life we lived in the past before we were born again through the “washing of rebirth” and were renewed by the Holy Spirit. Our lives are now to be different because of what Jesus has done and the relationship we now have with him.
In a nutshell, we need to be devoted “to doing what is good”. It really is that simple. We are to be helpful, encouraging, and live lives of peace and harmony. We are to encourage each other and be gentle to everyone. This is what we are to be like if we are really following Jesus.
“These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.”
Image by joojoo41 from pixabay.com. Free for use.
Jon Galloway, link to original article