Scripture reading for October 27th: Titus 2:1-15
We remember that Paul told Titus that the Gospel was built on a hope of eternal life. (Titus 1:2-3) Paul knew that Jesus Christ would return an appointed time in the future. No one knew the day or the hour of His coming, not even Jesus when He was on earth! (Matthew 24:38) For this reason, it was important for each person to prepare for that coming and be personally ready should it happen today!
“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope–the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for Himself a people that are His very own, eager to do what is good.” (Titus 2:11-14)
Paul told Titus what to teach the various groups in the church and why they needed to learn the message. Older men must be examples of sound faith and godly living with love and patience. Older women must set a good example when teaching the younger women to love their husbands and children. Failure in godly living would harm the next generation. Young men should set an example of good works and self-control.
Paul told Titus that the grace of God coming through faith should result in a heart change. Each person must now say “No” to their flesh and ask God for help in obedience. The motivation was to be ready for Christ’s return. If we have died and our bodies are in a grave, we will be raise up in a glorified body. If we are alive and waiting, we will be instantly transformed to be like Jesus! We will see Him in His glory with the holy angels. This hope should motivate us to do good works and live in readiness for His return!
As you examine your own life today, are you able to say “No” to ungodliness? Are you doing good works that God has prepared for you and waiting for Christ’s return? Our blessed Hope could come today! We will be blessed to be working for Him and living a godly life.
Scripture reading for October 8th: Colossians 3:18-4:18
“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” (Colossians 3:17) This Scripture is a summary of how Christ living in us should transform our lives. This kind of living can only come from a life of prayer and intimate contact with God Himself. We must be filled with the Holy Spirit and love of God daily and this will be reflected practically in how we live at home and at work.
Paul’s instruction to this company of “holy and faithful brothers” included again practical advice on getting along in the home and workplace. Wives were told to submit to God’s order in the home because of God’s design. Husbands were reminded to love their wives and not be harsh with them. Children were told to please the Lord by obedience to parents. Fathers were again reminded to be gentle towards their children. Employees were encouraged to work for their employers as unto the Lord and expect a reward from God for doing that. Masters should treat employees fairly. God will show no favorites. (Colossians 3:18-25)
“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should.” (Colossians 4:2-4) As we pray, we put our focus on the unseen world of God’s throne and He makes us aware of dangers as well as opportunities. We sense God’s heart and begin to want what He wants.
As Paul told these believers to devote themselves to prayer, he asked for prayer himself. He was in chains in a Roman prison, but he did not ask for a deliverance. Instead he asked for open doors for ministry of the Gospel of Christ. He knew that without prayer, ministry would not happen. He asked for boldness and clarity of speech to know how to present the message to each open heart. His focus was not on himself, but on Christ’s call and purpose that he longed to complete.
May the Lord help each of us to be devoted to prayer. If we lived a life of prayer, we would find more opportunities to fulfill our calling!