By Not Known
I am fairly certain that each of us spent some time in front of a mirror this morning. I am also fairly sure that you did not use your time in front of the mirror simply to admire your features. Rather you used the mirror to help you shave, put on makeup, style your hair and brush your teeth. Mirrors are used as tools for personal grooming. Its purpose is to accurately reflect what we look like, so that we may be able to discern imperfection and provide the opportunity for improvement.
That’s the idea of our series into the Book of Titus. Paul wrote this letter to encourage Titus and the church in Crete to persevere in ministry and to live an exemplary Christian life. Over the next two weeks, we will learn how we are supposed to ‘operate’ the Christian life; how leaders are identified and qualified; how to handle certain serious church problems; be challenged by the motivation of Christians of the early church; and lastly to examine the relationship between Jewish and Gentile Christians.
As we begin this series, I would like to put forth two learning challenges as we engage with God’s word found in Titus.
1. Find an application point. We come with an attitude of learning. I find it really helpful that whenever I hear a sermon, to always challenge myself to find an application point from it because God’s word is alive and relevant to our lives. To come with anticipation, expectation, and responsibility of the word we are going to hear today, with the Holy Spirit as our helper and see what God is going to reveal to us.
2. ‘Doing’ not just ‘hearing’. We come with an attitude of doing. Simply hearing God’s word doesn’t make you any more Christlike than looking in the mirror makes you any more presentable. Looking in the mirror 10 times a day does not make you any ‘prettier’ or ‘handsomer.’ You got to apply something. You got to act on it, not merely listen to it. The mirror only provides a context to see what needs to be changed, likewise for the Bible. Yet sadly many of us think that God’s word is more like an optical illusion than a mirror, if we stare at it long enough, a hidden meaning is going to flow out from it. That is not how it is. Hearing God’s word without doing what it says, leads to self-deception. Simply hearing the truth is not enough. Isn’t it true that most of us have a higher level of revelation over our level of application? So “don’t just listen, but do”.
There is much for us to learn from the letter to Titus. And it is my earnest prayer that for us here, we will be DOERS of the word, by the power of his Holy Spirit. And as we wrestle with this letter, we will be able to see ourselves accurately in the light of God’s word and see with clarity who he wants for us to be.
May God use this series of three sermons to shape our thoughts as we put into practice these things that identify us as God’s people.