My wife sent me some verses the other day. I cannot tell you how many times I have read this passage. I truly do not know. However, I can tell you, Tuesday was the first time I truly READ this passage.
I opened my wife’s text message and my eyes fell upon these words from Paul.
Titus 1:7-9 (NKJV) For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, 8 but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled, 9 holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict.
As I read through the text, I realized that these are words of resolution. Paul is explaining to Titus the necessary requirements to be met by any who should sit as overseers, elders of the churches.
Are we not all bishops, given stewardship over the ministries God has entrusted to us, members of the priesthood? As men, husbands and fathers, are we not called to be provider, protector and priest of our homes? In the work place, the ball field, grocery store, throughout our day to day lives, are we not all, each and every one of us presented the opportunity to manage our ministries and witness to the congregation that the Lord places before us?
Paul’s words leveled me. The Holy Spirit convicted me. Like most of you, I hold no “formal, official” position in ministry. I do not set on an elder board or any other for that matter. But, but… God, through Paul is speaking straight to me, to you. If you profess Jesus your Lord and Savior as I do, you have a ministry that God holds you accountable for. This standard is ours to bear.
A tall order for sure, but a resolution that I will take up and all of you reading should aspire to take up, as well. I have stumbled in every area Paul mentions. I stumble still, but by the power and glory of God, not nearly as often or completely as I once did.
I believe the meat of this passage is found in verse 9 holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict. The word of God. THE GOSPEL! Only in knowing the one and only gospel, learning it, staying true to His word alone, passing it on precisely as we are taught by Him, can we ever hope to get a handle on verses 7 and 8. Paul warns about false teaching, as does John. How can you uphold the qualities that Paul illuminates if you are not firmly and fully grounded in God’s word? How will you be able to recognize and refute false teaching when you see it? How will you know when you yourself step off course in your own ministry? Answer…you can’t.
Thank You God, for my wife. She is a tremendous blessing and gift. Thank You Lord for compelling her to share this vital piece of Your truth. May I use it as You would have, to bring glory to You. Amen
One last thing before I go… homework. Right now, before you do anything else, or you won’t do it, get your bible out, open it to Galatians and read 1:6-12. This is not a request!!! Have a great and blessed weekend!
In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,