Paul considered both Timothy and Titus to be his sons in the faith and as such, it was his joy and job to mentor them. Even though he left them at different churches to carry on the work that he had started, he contiuned to do this by writing them letters. In his 2nd letter to Timothy and here in this letter to Titus, Paul warns them about wasting their time in foolish talk and conversations. This type of behavior usually leads to divisions in the body of Christ. Crete was obviously well known for this type of activity since Paul quotes one of their own Cretan prophets as describing them as “liars, cruel animals and lazy gluttons”. That’s harsh condemnation of one’s fellow countrymen. However, it would not be hard to make that description fit a portion of our society today. The point Paul wants to make to Titus is that he has a tough job ahead of him. He is living among people who will make all sorts of claims and statements of their faith, but they don’t really know God and their lifestyles prove that they don’t. When we hear the Gospel of Jesus, we accept it as truth because the Holy Spirit has purified and prepared our minds to accept it. Those whose minds and consciences are corrupt will perceive all truth as being corrupt. The task for Titus was to convince them of the truth of the Gospel by his lifestyle. That is our task in our society today.
37 On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “If you are thirsty, come to me! 38 If you believe in me, come and drink! For the Scriptures declare that rivers of living water will flow out from within.” 39 (When he said “living water,” he was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in him. But the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet entered into his glory.) 40 When the crowds heard him say this, some of them declared, “This man surely is the Prophet.” 41 Others said, “He is the Messiah.” Still others said, “But he can’t be! Will the Messiah come from Galilee? —John 7:37-41 (NLT)
Jesus tells the crowd the same thing He had told the Samaritan woman at the well. There is water which we can drink and never be thirsty again. This water is the living water which is the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity. The One that takes up His abode in us, so that we are always being filled and refilled, so that we could never be thirsty. Just as the woman at the well had accepted this message, so did some of the crowd here in Jerusalem. They said “this man surely is the prophet”. But others said He can’t be, the Messiah will not come from Galilee. There will always be people who refuse to believe regardless of the signs or the situation. But, instead of being puzzled as to why they don’t believe, we should remember our own history before we accepted Jesus as our Savior and Lord. 3 For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. 4 But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit—Titus 3:3-5 (NLT)
Because we have been redeemed by God’s grace and mercy, we should remember to always be thankful and pray that others will accept this free gift of God’s mercy and grace. That is the work that God has given us to do as laborers in His harvest.
1 You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. 2 For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. 3 They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. 4 They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. 5 They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly.–2 Timothy 3:1-5a (NLT)
Every day we see and hear about more and more evil. The spirits of discord, deception, violence and disobedience are more and more apparent and open. All of us seem to be more concerned about ourselves and our possessions and less concerned about our neighbors. We are filled with pride. Society scoffs at the idea of a God, yet our actions show that we worship our bodies, our families, our careers and our entertainment to the point of making them our “gods”. We have become an ungrateful, unloving, unforgiving nation. We take no responsibility for our own actions always blaming things on others. We say we believe in Jesus Christ but we refuse to be accountable to Him or to obey Him. We speak about religious things but we deny the power of the Holy Spirit, not allowing Him to change our lives. We need to bend our knees, ask God for forgiveness, repent and start living a lifestyle that lets the world know that we love Jesus and will remain faithful to Him.
22 But Samuel replied, “What is more pleasing to the Lord: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams.
23 Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft, and stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols. So because you have rejected the command of the Lord, he has rejected you as king.”—1 Samuel 15:22-23 (NLT)
When our plans go awry or when we are having a bad day, do we stop and consider that perhaps what we are doing in not pleasing to the Lord? Maybe our failures have more to do with our reasons for doing something than we want to believe. Saul was doing a “good” thing, but because he didn’t complete it as God had instructed, it was not a “God” thing. We start down the Godly path but then we see something that the flesh desires and we hang on to that instead of God. That “thing” or “person” becomes our “god” because we desired it or them more than we desired God. When this happens we are guilty of rebellion and stubbornness. Just as this led Saul to worship idols later in his life, so will our rebellion lead us into idol worship. We would deny that we have idols in our lives, but most every home is full of the signs and symbols of who our “gods” really are.