(1-11) Be Ready for Every Good Work
Once again, Paul gives instructions for how followers of Jesus the Christ are to live. We are to be submissive to rulers who have authority over us. We are not to speak evil of others. We are to avoid fighting, be gentle, show courtesy and respect to all people, and always be ready to do good works. Before we knew Jesus the Christ, we were quite the opposite in our behavior. We were disobedient, full of malice and envy, hated by others and hating others, but no longer! The goodness and loving kindness of God has changed our lives. He has saved us, and it is not because of any righteous works that we have done. We are saved only by the mercy and grace of God and because of His mercy and grace, we have become heirs of Christ and have the promise of eternal life.
The goodness of God should be an incentive for those who believe in God to devote ourselves to good works. Because God is good, we should strive to do good as well.
Favorite verse: (4) But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared.
(1-15) Teach Sound Doctrine
Titus is to teach sound doctrine. People of different ages – older men and younger men, older women and younger women – are expected to act differently and have different responsibilities; however, all believers in Jesus the Christ are to be models of good works and full of integrity. This type of behavior does not only bring glory to God, but it also gives us a good testimony before others so that no one will have anything evil to say about us.
Because of the grace and salvation of God, we are to reject all ungodliness and worldly passions. Instead, we are to live lives that are self-controlled, upright, and godly, always looking for the return of Jesus the Christ.
Favorite verse: (11) For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people.
All those who believe in Jesus the Christ can have hope of eternal life because it is a promise of God. The promises of God can be trusted because He never lies.
(5-16) Qualifications for Elders
In 1 Timothy 3, Paul provided a list of qualifications for those looking to be overseers and deacons within the church. Now, he provides qualifications for those who would be elders. They must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain. They must be hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. These are good qualifications for all Christians to follow even if they aren’t elders.
Favorite verse: (2) In hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began.
Focus Verse: Then Daniel answered the king, “You may keep your gifts for yourself and give your rewards to someone else. Nevertheless, I will read the writing for the king and tell him what it means. (17)
Daniel didn’t care about the king’s gifts. He did his job and he did his job well because he was doing it as to the Lord, and not unto men. After being taken away from his family and uprooted from his homeland, Daniel could have become angry and bitter at being in exile. After all, it wasn’t like he had sinned and caused judgement to fall on Jerusalem and Judah. He was suffering for the disobedience of people who had lived long before he had been born. Instead of choosing to be faithful to God, Daniel could have turned away from God in a foreign land. God would never have been able to use him to be a witness and a testimony if Daniel had done so.
We do not have to be in a popular Western church or among familiar Christians to be used of God. In a distant land or among unbelieving people, we can be a light wherever God puts us.
Focus Verse: Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. (28)
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego did not need King Nebuchadnezzar to give them a second chance. Their minds were already made up. As we read in the first chapter of this book, these three boys and Daniel had already resolved in their minds and purposed in their hearts that they would remain faithful to God. If He delivered them out of the fiery furnace, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego would serve Him. If He did not deliver them out of the fiery furnace, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego would still serve Him.
At first, Nebuchadnezzar was angered by their unwavering commitment and devoted belief, but then he became impressed. We should live out our faith in such a way that even unbelievers have to proclaim, “How great is our God!”
2 Chronicles 36
Focus Verse: Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months and ten days. He did evil in the eyes of the Lord. (9)
Jehoiachin should have learned from what happened to his father, Jehoiakim, that doing evil would bring about his downfall. When others before us do wrong, we do not have to imitate their actions. We can choose to do what is right.