November 2

Titus 3

In chapter 3 we find more pastoral instruction. Titus is to remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities. I’m a married woman. Do I always agree with my husband? No, but I submit when I disagree unless it goes against Scripture. In the same way, I can disagree with a politician, but I submit unless it goes against Scripture. Pastors are to encourage submission to civil authority, church authority, work authority, and any other situation where someone is in a position of leadership.

Paul writes about obedience, and he also mentions being peaceable, gentle, humble with all men. He encourages we show mercy, not condemnation, for the lost, remembering that we were once deceived in sin. He encourages that we do the right thing, living a Gospel in front of others.

Titus was dealing with divisive church members that were quarreling and causing strife. Paul said to warn a divisive man if he doesn’t repent after being confronted. He’s unteachable and unyielding to spiritual authority. It’s not pleasant, but sometimes there are people we love who will not listen to instruction. Because a pastor loves people and is responsible for the entire congregation, he or she needs to guard against trouble makers. If a pastor loves someone in sin, he or she will try to correct the person. How the person responds to correction is their choice.

Jeremiah 33-35

Jeremiah 33:3 says, “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” This invitation is given to Jeremiah; however, the principle can also apply to us. To “call” in the Hebrew meant to loudly cry out to get someone’s attention. Mighty in the Hebrew means “isolated” or “inaccessible.” The idea is that when Jeremiah would shout out to God for His attention, God would give the prophet revelation of what was not known. What isn’t known is what has not been experienced, what is not familiar, different, outside your sphere of knowledge. God not only wanted to reveal Himself and His plans to Jeremiah; but He also would like to reveal Himself and His plans to us today. For those who truly and deeply want to know, God would like to share more of who He is, what He has, what He plans to do, how He plans to do it, and the purpose for doing it. Do we want to know the Lord? Then we ought to pursue His attention, a pursuit that is more than a quick whisper, but an intense inquiry that earnestly grabs ahold of God and does not let go. God will not disappoint. Ask, earnestly, and you will receive. Seek, relentlessly, and you will find. Knock, persistently, and the door will be opened to you.

Here is a brief summary of these chapters: In chapter 33, God promises healing after repentance, and repentance will follow punishment. There is also a prophetic message of Christ and confirmation of keeping the covenant. In chapter 34, there is a warning to Zedekiah, king of Judah, as well as instruction of the treatment of slaves. In chapter 35, God speaks of the faithfulness of a religious group called the Rechabites, comparing them to the disobedient Jews. The Rechabites refrained from building houses, sowing see, and planting vineyards. They believe those natural things would take them away from their worship and service to the Lord. They were nomadic and did not drink wine. They dedicated their lives to the Lord, and the Lord was pleased with them.

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