Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men. Titus 3:1-2 NKJV
Fellowship is key to our obedient walk with Christ. We need others in our lives, that be a “Paul” to us. Look at what Paul writes in Titus. He’s explaining we need to remind each other certain things, like obeying authorities and being ready for good work. He also reminds us to love our neighbor and gives examples such as speak evil of no one, be peaceable, gentle and show humility to everyone. All of these are very good advice to follow.
Reading further into Titus 3, Paul reminds us what kind of people we also were at one time. “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.” He doesn’t do it to shame us, but he remind us all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). No one is exempt from sin’s presence. We are all affected by it. This should help us stay humble towards one another.
I love how scripture is so complete. If we just stopped there, we’d be a mess. We’d see 1) we need to obey and 2) we are sinners. Not much hope in the first couple verses to motivate us towards obedient behavior, is there?
At the right time, the rest of the verses come into play. “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, 6 whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” Can you imaging trying to carry out all of that good behavior in our own strength? How exhausting! In verse 4-7, Paul reminds us yet again, it’s not by our power that we can do these things. It’s all because Christ sacrificed Himself, paid for our sins, set us free from the bondage of sin, and in rising from the dead, He gave us new life and enabled us to live out a godly life by giving us His Spirit to live in us. All of this He did, not because we did anything to deserve it, but because of His mercy and grace! This is what’s motivating!
Let’s talk about some examples.
How would you feel if you’d forgotten your lunch at home and had no money to buy lunch at school or work? Then a friend or co-worker notices you have nothing to eat and buys you lunch without even asking you, and delivers to you. How would you feel?
Let’s say you have a flat tire and you’re stranded on the side of the road. You don’t know the first thing about changing a flat tire and you don’t belong to a convenient road side assistance program. Just then a nice man stops, changes the tire for you and gets you back on the road. How would you feel?
What are your thoughts? Would you have felt grateful in either of these situations? I would. These examples can not even come close to comparing to the wonderfulness of Christ’s help. Jesus did more than change a flat tire or buy you food for a day. He gave you a new life. He purchased your ticket to heaven, your eternal home. He picked you and I up out of the garbage, washed us off and set us, as jewels in His crown, into a new godly life!
In conclusion, Paul goes on to say “8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men.” In order words, remind each other of all we have to be grateful for. Do not let yourself or those around you slip into the routine of life and therefore be tempted to forget all that Christ has done. Remembering these things will motivate us to carry on the good works God has called us to. Fellowship with other believers can help us keep our focus on the Lord and what He’s done for us. Where are you today? Are you connected in a small group? Join one today.
Lord, thank You for Your Word that straightens us out and shows us all we have to be grateful for. Bring godly people into our lives to be like Paul, reminding us of all You have done for us. Thank You, Jesus for Your mercy and grace. In Your name, Amen.
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