Staying TrueOur ability to stand in the midst of trials will depend on the focus of our gaze.
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Promote the kind of living that reflects wholesome teaching (2:1).
The small island of Crete was a tough place. Knee-deep in glamour and hedonism, it was where the rich went to play. First-century tourism advertisements might have echoed the motto from modern-day Sin City (Las Vegas, Nevada): “What happens in Crete . . . stays in Crete.” The apostle Paul tells us that even one of their own, a Cretan, summarized that the populace was full of “liars, cruel animals, and lazy gluttons” (Titus 1:12).
Into this glitzy, self-absorbed culture, Paul sent a young leader named Titus. Titus’ assignment was to step into a selfish society, where the powerful were convinced they possessed all they needed, and tell them their life was in shambles—that they desperately needed help. The Cretans were not as powerful or successful as they supposed. They hadn’t even begun to live.
“My aim is to raise hopes by pointing the way to life without end,” Paul said. “This is the life God promised long ago—and He doesn’t break promises!” (vv.1-2 The Message). God sent Paul to announce life. And then Paul gave Titus the same mission: Announce life! God had chosen Crete—and other places like Jerusalem and Ephesus and Galatia—simply because it was time. The Son had died. The Son had risen. Life was ready to break through.
And this life was (as true life always is) immersed in day-to-day realities. This new way of living would form a visible community with leaders responsible for the life they would share (vv.5-7). Further, their new life would reflect truth, stand against lies, and pursue integrity (vv.10-11).
When Titus announced God’s life to the Cretans, he wasn’t only calling them to a future with God, but to life with God in that very moment. Life with God is always now.
Read further into Titus 2:1. Mark down the definite ways that our new life takes shape. Also note the numerous kinds of people this new life transforms.
How do you need to be transformed by your new life in Jesus? Where (or to whom) do you need to announce new life?
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