Titus is a small book in the New Testament that we do not hear about too much. It is a short, informative and powerful book written by Paul to Titus, a faithful disciple, a missionary, and the first pastor on the island of Crete.
“For there are many insubordinate, both idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole households, teaching things which they ought not, for the sake of dishonest gain. One of them, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” (Titus 1:10-12)
Paul addressed the challenges Titus faced as a young pastor, an overseer of the churches on the island.
“They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.” (Titus 1:16)
There were many rebellious people who engaged in useless talk and deceived others. This was especially true of those who insisted on circumcision for salvation. They had to be silenced because they were turning whole families away from the truth by their false teaching. And on top of it all, they were doing it only for money.
“One of them, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.”” (Titus 1:12)
Those people claimed they knew God, but they denied Him by the way they lived. They were disobedient for not doing good.
It sounds just like life today.
Titus was spiritually and emotionally strong. He must have been proven, noble, and one who loved God and led a Christ-like life. Titus had to have quite the testimony for Paul to trust him to take on such a task! Titus was a man of Godly character and loved his fellow man.
How else could anyone take on such an assignment and not only embrace it but be successful with it?
Through God is the only way that we can stay strong in our challenges of life and successfully fulfill God’s task that we are divinely assigned to do. Paul counseled Titus to take on this missionary effort:
The grace of God has been shown, bringing salvation to all people, and we are instructed to turn from godless living and sin. We should live in the world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God. Jesus gave His life so that we could be freed from sin, to redeem us, and to make us His own people, totally committed to doing good deeds.
“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 2:14)
Paul gave Titus good counsel to tell to the people of Crete. And, what great counsel for each of us to live by today! We never know who is ready to hear the Good News of the Bible. Thank God that someone loved us enough to take the time to share the Gospel with us!
Are you excited to share the Gospel with the eagerness, fervor, and love that Paul gave Titus?
Paul teaches us that there are two different kinds of sorrow. There is Godly sorrow and worldly sorrow. It’s important for us to understand what is Godly sorrow.
“For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.” (2 Corinthians 7:10)
Paul points out in today’s Bible verse, the results of those two sorrows. Godly sorrow brings about repentance, which leads to salvation and brings no regret, but worldly sorrow brings spiritual death (eternal separation from God)
Repentance is not something that comes naturally to us, and more often than not, we do not like feeling that way.
Godly sorrow understands that sin is a transgression to God. Godly sorrow is not sorry for being caught. Godly sorrow is sorry for sinning against God. Paul tells us that having Godly sorrow produces repentance.
When the Bible speaks of repentance, it is a two-part process:
Repentance starts with an internal heart change and a change of mind that becomes an external change of life. These are two important parts, and you can’t have repentance if you don’t have both of these two parts.
Having the internal change of mind does no good if it doesn’t follow up with a life changed. You can change your mind all you want, but if it does not change your life and change who you are, then you have missed the point.
There is no value in changing your mind unless it changes your life.
Repentance is not an external change of life without the internal change of heart and mind. Too often, repentance is emphasized as changing the external, failing to recognize that those external changes are only of value if they come from the internal change of heart and mind.
You can pray and ask forgiveness all you want, but if you have not allowed a heart change on the inside first, you do not have repentance.
What we learn is that repentance and guilt are not the same things. Just because you feel sorry and grief, that does not mean you have exhibited Godly sorrow. Godly sorrow is upset at sinning against God. Because we are upset at sinning against God, we make an internal change of heart and mind, which leads to an external change of life.
Notice what Paul says is the result of this Godly sorrow that leads to repentance: salvation. This is what is required of us to receive the mercy and the grace of God.
We can allow God to change our lives. We can allow this sorrow to produce repentance in our lives. Realize that these activities are not bringing us happiness, but guilt upon guilt. Come to Jesus, where you can let that guilt go and let Him carry your guilt. Start right now and end a life of regret and find forgiveness in Jesus.
Do you need to change anything in your life today?
The principle of sowing and reaping is more than just your finances. It applies to every area of your life. Whatever you sow in your life, you reap in your life. Whatever you deposit to other people is going to be returned to you. If you sow criticism in your life, you are then going to reap criticism from other people in your life.
If you sow kindness in your life, you are going to reap kindness in your life. It is the law of the harvest. If you plant apple trees, you aren’t going to get pears trees; you get apples. If you sow with a generous heart in life, you will reap generosity in life.
“But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:6-7)
This is the principle of God’s harvest: Whenever you have a need, plant a seed. When a farmer looks at his empty fields, he doesn’t complain about it. He goes out and starts planting seeds.
If the farmer only has a little bit of seeds, he has a choice. He can either hold on to it and have no harvest. If you give it away, God will multiply it. You do not just reap what you sow. You always reap way more than you sow.
God set it up this way because God wants you to become like Him. God is a giver. The only way that you are going to become like God is to learn to be generous. When you are stingy, you are acting like the enemy wants you to act. When you are generous, you are acting like God. When you give it away, God multiplies it.
To the world, this doesn’t make any sense, to give when you have a need so that you will get more back in return. But that is why it requires faith.
Are you going to live by faith today?