1 As for you, Titus, promote the kind of living that reflects wholesome teaching.
— Titus 2:1 NLT
We should all be mentors to those that are younger in the faith then we are. We should be teaching younger Christians starting with those in our household and then those that God puts in our path. There is no such thing as coincidence or a “chance meeting”. God has a plan and the people we meet are a part of God’s plan for us. God has put each of those people in our lives for a season and for a reason. The season could be as short as a few minutes or as long as a lifetime. The reason is for us to spread the Gospel and introduce others to Jesus Christ. If they already know Christ as their Savior, then the reason is for us to teach them or for them to teach us. Be attentive to the Holy Spirit, when He says speak, He will give you the correct words. Don’t be afraid of failure, God never fails and we are working for Him.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. — Titus 2:11-14 NIV
When Jesus was born, “the grace of God that brings salvation appeared to all men”. The location and situation may not have been glorious from a human point of view, but from a heavenly point of view it was celebrated. A bright, magnificient star was placed in the sky and His birth was heralded to shepherds by an angel speaking to them. That angel was joined by a host of heavenly angels praising the birth of this Jesus.
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” — Luke 2:13, 14 NIV
I think it is safe to assume that there was a huge party going on in heaven. After all, the Creator of the universe had just fathered a Son. This Son would spend His time teaching us that “we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present age”. He came in the flesh to give Himself “to redeem us and to purify for Himself His own special people”. These people (Christians) would be zealous to do good works. By His lifestyle and His death, He showed us the true meaning of love. Not just for a day, not just for a season, but every day 24/7/365.25.
38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.– Acts 10:38 NKJV
That is the example He set for us, to make “doing good” our lifestyle, not just a day or a seasonal event, but the complete and only reason He came to earth. And He is still here living inside us. It wasn’t just for a day or for thirty-three years, it was for eternity.
13 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil. 17 If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them. — James 4:13-17 NIV
We can look at nature and realize that God is very organized. He established the seasons and the natural order of dormancy in the winter, birthing of the new in the spring with the winds in March that help to be sure every plant is pollinated, the showers in April to prepare the soil for the flowers of May. Then the summer for growth and the fall for maturity and harvesting. That plan remains the same year after year since plants can’t make their own plans. We need to have a plan for our lives but it needs to be flexible enough and held loosely enough to allow God to change us and our plans to fit His plan for our lives. As Proverbs tells us, we make our plans, but God directs our steps and makes them sure. Each of us is only one little piece of the whole jigsaw puzzle. Since we don’t have the boxtop, we can’t see the finished picture. So, we need to be sure that our plans fit into God’s big plan just as each piece of the puzzle must fit to complete the picture.
10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. — Eph. 2:10 NIV
So, if we know which good works God has prepared us to do, we need to do them with all our hearts, minds, and strength. Because of all He has done for us, we should consider anything less as unacceptable.
9 Now about your love for one another we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other. 10 And in fact, you do love all of God’s family throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers and sisters, to do so more and more, 11 and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, 12 so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody. — 1 Thessalonians 4:9-12 NIV
God hates sin, all sins, but He loved sinners enough to send His Son to die for us. And not just die, but to be crucified cruelly and mocked publicly. This is His example to us of how much we should love others, not just family and friends, but also strangers and enemies. The people that Paul was writing to at this time were those who gave of their resources to others who had needs and also gave to support Paul in his missionary work so that he could meet the spiritual needs of others and spread the gospel. How do we show our love for Jesus? By being obedient and helping those in need. Not just physical needs by giving of our resources, which we should do, but also giving of our time in caring for those with spiritual and emotional needs. A smile, a handshake, a hug, a word in season, a minute listening are all gifts that we can give each other and they are often much more appreciated than any monetary gift that we could give. These gifts we can give over and over since they don’t affect our budgets. So, we can do more and more. We need to be very careful of how we spend the time God has given us. The majority of our time should be spent in doing those things that will win the respect of outsiders and build up the Kingdom of God. By making it a habit to do these things, we will soon find that it is our heart’s desire to do them more and more. Not only will we receive a great blessing here and now, but we will also be laying up treasures in heaven.
19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. — Matt. 6:19-21 NIV
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
God is waiting to show you the way.
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me away from Your presence,
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,
And uphold me by Your generous Spirit.
13 Then I will teach transgressors Your ways,
And sinners shall be converted to You.–Psalm 51:10-13 (NRSV)
When we have one of those days that we can’t seem to find the joy of the Lord, perhaps we need to look into our recent thoughts and actions. Have there been any changes in our attitude toward God and His blessings? Did we take time to thank Him for our salvation or did we just take it for granted? Jesus did not have to die, He chose to die for us. After each prayer, do you take time to thank God for the answer and just give Him praise for Who He is and what He has done and continues to do. If you are not finding joy in this season of joy, perhaps you have moved away from God. He inhabits the praises of His people. He will hear your praises and you will feel His presence. Slip into His arms and find rest, joy, and peace. Not just today, but every day.