Thank You, Father, for Your transforming power. I am made new in You—I celebrate that today.
Read Titus 3:1–15
Saved in Order to Do Good
3 Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, 2 to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone.
3 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. 4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 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, 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. 8 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.
9 But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless. 10 Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them. 11 You may be sure that such people are warped and sinful; they are self-condemned.
12 As soon as I send Artemas or Tychicus to you, do your best to come to me at Nicopolis, because I have decided to winter there. 13 Do everything you can to help Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their way and see that they have everything they need. 14 Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order to provide for urgent needs and not live unproductive lives.
15 Everyone with me sends you greetings. Greet those who love us in the faith.
Grace be with you all.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectThink about your life before you came to know Jesus. How is life different now?
In this final chapter of Titus, Paul takes time to remind the Cretans of their life before they met Jesus. He uses very unflattering language to describe their previous lives: foolish, disobedient, deceived, enslaved. He then reminds them—in some famous verses—of God’s miraculous intervention. Take time to slowly read through verses 4 to 7, and map it out with pen and paper. It is a wonderful summation of the Gospel.
In the past the Cretans were foolish and disobedient. But then, through the Gospel of grace, they were washed and renewed, brought into relationship with God and given the hope of eternal life. This is not just their story, it is also our story—and it is a glorious story!
However, note that this is not a call to sit back, relax and chill until eternal life arrives—not at all. The Christians in Crete (and we) are to be devoted, passionate and wholehearted about doing what is good (8). All out and all in for doing what is right.
Paul then gives some examples of the negative—what devotion to doing good doesn’t look like (9–11).
What would sheer devotion to doing what is good look like for you today? What things will you be engaged in? What things will you not?
Loving God, help me to devote my life to doing what is good. Show me the way.