11/01

November 1

Titus 2

As we look for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, we live in a way that we anticipate His return. If we didn’t think there was an eternity and that Christ would be our king, then we would live any way we wanted. We would be self-centered, self-indulgent, and self-reliant; but no, the grace of God trains us to live the God-kind of life, consecrated for relationship and set apart for service (2:11). We are never to call wrong as right or to call right as wrong.

One matter to point out is that the word “sound (hygiaino, 5198)” is mentioned twice in this chapter when speaking of a solid truth without a mixture of error, not does it leave out important truth. It is sound, whole, complete, and life-giving (2:1, 2:2). We see a similar word (hygies, 5199) in verse 8 for sound speech, referencing our verbal communication of our faith, a teaching that does not deviate from truth. Does it matter what we do with false ideas and distorted methods of the Scripture? Yes, it matters. We not only know the truth, but we deliver it in the way Christ would share it.

Paul gives instruction for Titus’s oversight of the church family – the older and younger, the women and the men. God gives a grace to pastors to oversee the church as a whole, and also to individuals. Pastors are often given insight into people’s lives, truth that will help them grow, if they will receive it.

Jeremiah 31-32

Because God wants to know Him and His plans, He communicates to us in layers of time and text. For example, in Jeremiah 31, God is referring to the Exodus when He mentions the return from captivity. This layer could also give a prophetic glimpse into the future when God returns the Jews to Israel (vs 10). We also see where seemingly out-of-the-blue we read a verse that is quoted as a fulfillment of Christ, like in Jeremiah 31:15. This text is about the northern tribes, descendants of Ephraim, Rachel’s grandson, who are going into exile. This text is also about the babies slaughtered by Herod in Satan’s attempt to murder the Christ child. Not only can Scripture be layered by time and text, but it can also be applied to our lives as the Spirit of God ministers to us. It’s a living book, unlike any other, and God uses His book to speak to us!

We typically see in prophecy a warning of sin coupled with the promise for mercy and restoration. Clearly God doesn’t want any to perish. If He did, He would only bring a harsh word without any promise of healing and freedom. The love and mercy of God is loud and clear in chapter 31. In verse 3, “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore, with lovingkindness I have drawn you. Again I will build you, and you shall be rebuilt.”

Verses 31-34 are prophetic of the new covenant in Christ Jesus. The Hebrew culture was different that some today in that their thinking was in much more consideration of the longevity of the nation through generations. I love the phrase, “Behold, the days are coming…,” a tremendous promise for the future generations of salvation in and through the Jewish people.

God is a poet. Look at this beautiful verse, “If heaven above can be measured and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel.” We could never measure the Universe. We could never search out the inner core of the Earth. Since those two ideas are impossible, God will never cast off the seed of Israel.

In chapter 32 God instructs Jeremiah to buy a field in Anathoth, his hometown (1:1), from his cousin Hanamel as a sign that God will restore His people to their land. This land was his Right of Redemption, which was not only a right, but an obligation. This land belonged to Jeremiah to care for it, and the land of Israel belongs to the Jews, to care for it and carry out the plan of God. Why should Jeremiah buy the land since he knows the Jews would be taken out of it? Because faith acts on the promise, the promise of return. Faith will act as if it’s so! NOTHING IS TOO DIFFICULT FOR YOU (31:17). If God can promise to return an entire nation back to their land, what can He do for you? Nothing is too difficult! His arm is outstretched – God is not an aloof, distant God. He is reaching out to all of us, ready, willing, and able to help us!

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