Loving pastoral rebukes
Scripture reading for September 25th: Titus 1, Psalm 41, Proverbs 5
Titus 1: 12-16 “One of the Cretans, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” This testimony is true. Therefore, rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, not devoting themselves to Jewish myths and the commands of people who turn away from the truth. To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled. They profess to know God, but they deny Him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.”
Teaching, instruction in righteousness and rebuke or correction are all part of pastoral ministry. Paul, writing to Titus, instructed him about his calling to minister to those in Crete, where he was pastor. The Cretans were Gentiles who were not instructed in God’s law. On hearing the Gospel, many came to faith in Christ and needed instruction and correction. But Jewish false teachers tried to lure them away from following Christ. Titus was called to rebuke these who were straying away and defend his congregation from these false teachers. Profession and possession of true faith will produce godly character and works. A defiled mind and conscience will render us and others as unfit for any good work.
Psalm 41:1-3 “Blessed is the one who considers the poor! In the day of trouble the Lord delivers him; the Lord protects him and keeps him alive; he is called blessed in the land; You do not give him up to the will of his enemies. The Lord sustains him on his sickbed; in his illness You restore him to full health.”
Prayer: Father God, thank You for clear instruction regarding pastoral ministry. It is difficult to rebuke another person, warning them of consequences of their sinful actions or attitudes. Help me to always seek You for what to do and say. May I love discipline and reproof and listen to those you send to teach me. I trust You to protect me and sustain me. May my works bring glory to Jesus Christ.
Proverbs 5: 12-15 “. . and you say, “How I hated discipline, and my heart despised reproof! I did not listen to the voice of my teachers or incline my ear to my instructors. I am at the brink of utter ruin in the assembled congregation.”