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Titus: Day 10

Love letter

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Today's Text: Titus 3:12-15

Text: Titus 3:12-15

We call it “tough love”—those times we say hard things to people we care about because we care too much not to say them.

Sometimes it looks like correcting a child, teaching him behaviors that may not be fun now but will benefit him as he grows.
Sometimes it looks like telling the truth to a friend, giving voice to the concerns that have been building up in our heart.
Sometimes it looks like giving instructions that we know won’t be easy or fun to carry out, but are necessary and good just the same.

In Day 1 we called this book “Titus’s Big To-Do List”, and in a sense that is exactly what it is. Paul is quite specific about what Titus is to accomplish in Crete, and he is adamant about the way leaders in the Church should behave. All of this is necessary and good. But we must not forget that underlying all the to-do’s is a foundation of love—love for the gospel, the Church, and the Lord.

When it comes down to it, this book is about caring for one another, building each other up in the name of Jesus. The book of Titus a love letter to the Church, from the Church.

Look out for each other, Paul says (I’m paraphrasing here).
Don’t pay attention to the troublemakers.
Stay focused on the Good Work.
Choose leaders wisely; they must be trustworthy and set a good example.
Choose your words carefully, too, in teaching and conversation.
Remember in Whom your hope lies.
You are heirs to an eternal inheritance; act like it.
Be honorable and have integrity.
Seek to unify, not divide.
Meet each other’s needs.
Give each other grace.
Do all these things in Jesus’ name.

Doesn’t this sound like the advice of someone who cares deeply about his brothers and sisters?

When I read these last few verses in Titus—the way Paul so specifically and earnestly asks him to care for the others—I picture a medic tent in a warzone.
Every moment counts; there is no time to waste.
Every person counts; we are all family here.
The church is a recovery ward, and we all need healing.

Sisters, Paul’s words are not just for Titus. His words are for us.
Grace over all, he says at the end his letter. Grace, grace, grace.

10

  • Life giving words. Flows from identity in life giving God!

  • Montana Moxie

    YES! I need to have an important conversation with a friend, and yet find myself wavering in courage to bring it up. But, as the first paragraph of the devotional today says, I care too much about them not to say it. Thanks for the admonishment, SRT!

    • SheReadsTruth

      Hi, Montana! Thanks so much for joining us today. Praying for you and your conversation with your friend!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  • Stephanie

    Amanda- well said, truly what we need the church to be. It reminds me of the great words of a godly man named Francis who said “The church is a field hospital after a battle.” He also happens to be the leader of the Roman Catholic world!

  • I love this, "But we must not forget that underlying all the to-do’s is a foundation of love—love for the gospel, the Church, and the Lord." How often I forget this exact thing! Rules can be broken "just this one time." But acting in love, that's completely different. I must consider if I am "breaking a rule" out of simple disobedience or as an act of love. All things are lawful for me, but not all things are expedient. Will this act draw someone closer to the Lord or push them away? Who is benefiting from my actions?

  • Elizabeth

    This is just what I needed tonight. I know the power of love that when you love a person you want the best for them and your relationship with them. It’s hard to realize that the hurt or sting that might come from sharing the truth in love is worth it because then healing and change can happen. Without pain, brokenness, or confrontation change can’t be healing. These things need to happen for real change to take place and growth to happen. Just like a forest after a forest fire.

  • Kia Perry

    Yes, grace, grace, grace. I really needed to hear this because I have to be honest, as gracious as God is toward me, at times I'm not as gracious to others. This was definitely a mirror that showed me myself and posed the question, "Are you showing grace to others Kia?" Thank you so much for this. I LOVE this community and all my sisters that are apart of it!

  • I loved this little chapter so much, THANK YOU SRT!!! I thought Nehemiah was so good but you gave me just what I needed after that great read too. I CAN'T WAIT TO DO RUTH!!!

  • Adrienne

    I have a hard time reading the Bible. Sometimes, I just don't understand in my heart and mind what God is saying. This is my first study with SRT community. I appreciate the paraphrasing, comments shared, and encouragement to try to understand all that God says. Grace is such an awesome gift and I really want to 'know it in my heart.' I look forward to studying with all of you. You are a blessing in my life. Thank you.

    • AnnaLee

      Adrienne, I will be praying for you, that the Lord would give you eyes to see His words to You, ears to hear them clearly, a mind to understand and comprehend what He is saying, and a soft heart full of obedience and submission to all it says. It can be difficult to read the word sometimes, but the Holy Spirit comes alongside us and helps us to "get it with our heart" as we grow in Him! Praying He'd give you wisdom, discernment, and much spiritual insight into His walk with You. May He bless you richly as you seek His face, and may He counsel you and make your heart come alive with His word! He knows your desire to fall in love with Him and His word, and I pray that you would! Love you, sister! Be so blessed!

      "For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God…" (Colossians 1:9). Be blessed in your walk, sister. Love you.

  • Last night I spoke with someone incredibly close to me about the importance of offering grace. The last 2 1/2 years of my life God has been relentless in reminding me not only how important Grace is, but how *I* need to accept it. Compassion and giving grace to others was not an area I lacked. I was so busy showering others that I denied myself completely. Which only complicated my heart in relationships! I am so thankful that God has chased me and lavished ME with His grace. This awareness and love only makes me want to lavish it on others as well. Titus further reminds me of the woman for God I want to be, am designed to be and hope to be!

    • AnnaLee

      I prayed that the Lord would continually show you His abounding grace and that you'd accept it without fear, walking in His spirit! I too have had this problem, but how great is the father, that He would shower us with His love and favor, His grace and blessing? Blessings, dear friend. May you walk in the light of His love for you! Amen!

  • ruledby1

    I like the analogy about how we are the medics in a war zone and how every moment counts.

    • AnnaLee

      Me too! We don't see it as that urgent, but I pray we would more and more. That we'd allow the Holy spirit to work in and through us as we live unto Him each day, because the time is short. Blessings, friend. Praying for you still! Be blessed!

  • RebekahMann91

    I had a wonderful time reading in Titus and learning new things. I learned to look at verses differently than I have before. Thanks SRT team!

  • This small but powerful book of Titus has been wonderful to study. As I'm in week 2 of leading my first women's small group, this hits home for me. Paul's to-do list, and your paraphrased version will be a great guideline to refer to. Lord, allow me to love these ladies and give them grace as we strengthen our relationships for your glory.

    • AnnaLee

      Praying that prayer with you, Blair! May the Lord bless your time as you lead this group and may His spirit move powerfully there! Praise Him!

  • Emily Grace

    "Give each other grace, and do all these things in Jesus' name."

    Amen. Amen. Amen.

  • Thank you Lord for Your grace!

  • clothdiaperrevival

    I am so self-righteous that I really, really struggle to have grace with EVERYONE! I struggle to have it with the people I love and so for the people I don't love it's even worse. This study was something I really needed to hear. Everything I do looks good on the outside (or so it seems) but my heart isn't there. I needed this eye opener for a change of heart. It's also amazing how I haven't had a quiet, peaceful morning since this study started until today! Thank you Jesus for sleep and patience and quiet! Thank you for this day!

    • Shellie

      I'm so with you! My worst quality is my self-righteousness! God, rid me of it! Thanks for your honesty, great to know I don't struggle alone.

  • I just jumped in yesterday and really appreciate the writings here that supplement the scripture. What stood out to me most was verse 14–that we need to learn to do good buy meeting the urgent needs of others. So often we are consumed with what's good for US, how our own needs can be met. I'm praying the Lord help me to refocus my heart and mind so that I can show others the love of Jesus through doing good for them!
    Looking forward to the next study!

  • It is a high calling, this walking by faith. So grateful for this word today,I do need reminding regularly that the gift given me, of salvation is not just for me to keep under wraps. Zit is to be re gifted every opportunity. I ask today for discernment and guidance as I walk into new fields of ministry. Freely, freely I have received, freely, freely give. go in His name and because you believe others may know that HE lives.

    • AnnaLee

      Amen, Diane. Lord, help me to freely give all of me for Your gospel, as You've freely given to us. I love you, Oh Lord. Praise You. Amen.

      Be Blessed, sister! May He make His face to shine upon You!

  • Powerful truths in a tiny book!

  • Morning beautiful sister!
    Titus, what an awesome study. A true gem to be treasured. I know I'll read it over and over again.I gained so much from those 3 chapters.
    God's grace, mercy and peace be with you all. ;)

  • I love the paraphrased to-do list. I think it would be a great "House Rules" board – you know what I'm talking about, I'm sure we've seen them all over the place.

    Grace is the running theme throughout the book of Titus (and, really, the entire New Testament). I think it's lovely that we consider Titus Paul's To-Do List and, really, it's mostly about caring for others, making wise decisions, and loving, loving, loving. Because, without love and peace and grace and mercy, nothing we do really matters, does it? If we can't show others the grace that He has shown us, how can we call ourselves Bible-believing, Christ-following Christians? If we were to ignore his ultimate commandment, to live as though He did not die for our sins when He could have left us to suffer the death we so rightly deserve, who are we to spread His gospel?

    Lord, help us to practice what we preach, to live a life that is honorable to You, that gives You all the glory, that leaves no room for unbelievers to judge our actions as being hypocritical. Help us to live so that others are drawn into this peculiar life.

    • Pam

      This was my first thought as well!

    • AnnaLee

      "Lord, help us to practice what we preach, to live a life that is honorable to You, that gives You all the glory, that leaves no room for unbelievers to judge our actions as being hypocritical. Help us to live so that others are drawn into this peculiar life." This is so convicting, as I know I've been living in fear and worry as of late instead of rejoicing in the Lord. Father, forgive me. Let me live a life of praise to You. You are so Holy and good and loving!! Make us all more like you, Father God.

    • CarrieLynne31

      Thank you for this prayer, Chrissy. "Help us to live so that others are drawn into this peculiar life." Amen!!!!

  • Lord, help me to remember your unending grace and mercy when I am dealing with my kids.

    If You could put up with your disciples bickering over who was greatest, I think I can deal with whoever left the peanut butter on the counter. Again.

    • clothdiaperrevival

      Amen!!!! My prayer exactly!

    • AnnaLee

      "If You could put up with your disciples bickering over who was greatest…" That changes everything. Thinking of how He observed them doing something so foolish, and yet gave them grace upon grace… seeing us, and how we constantly do some of the exact same foolish things, how He gives us grace upon grace, Truth, liberation, loving-kindness… Father, let me realize Your abundant grace for me all the more. Help me to live in Grace as I realize how beautiful Yours is. Love you, father. Praise You. Amen!

  • Grace. Grace, Gods Grace
    Grace that will pardon and cleanse within
    Grace , Grace, Gods Grace
    Grace that is greater than all our sin!

    I'm so thankful for grace, and for my SRT sisters that God has blessed me with!

    • Paulacw

      Yes, this song came immediately to mind.

    • Sally

      Grace always has purpose in the Bible, yes it's unmerited and undeserved, but it's always for a purpose. I think often we give others "grace" because we don't want to do the hard work and are more interested in peacekeeping (which is different from peacemaking which we are called to do). I find myself giving my kids grace because I am too tired to follow through, or I allow friends to mistreat me so I am not the one "not getting along". There is so much to grace, but it's always purposeful

      • AnnaLee

        Good insight, Sally. We have grace so that we may grow and change to be more like Christ, not so that we can "get away" with things or because it's "easier." A lot of times, it's heart-breakingly difficult to give grace and mercy, but God's abundant grace for us allows us to give others grace. Father, let us receive Yours in humble thanksgiving, and may we always look to You as we give it to others for the sake of bringing others to You. Amen. Praise you, Father God! Be blessed, Sally! :)

  • The great commandment is to love each other as we love ourselves and if we keep that commandment we have no problem looking out for each as we want nothing but the best for em. This book is absolutely awesome. From I read it I fell in love with it. God knows what we need and when we need it.
    May we go out ordained by His grace to do what He has called us to do. Let us give grace to others, choose our words wisely, be christlike and be the example for the world to see. May we play our part effortlessly as we adorn the gospel of Christ with our lifestyle.

    Grace, peace and love to you all from the Father.
    Have a wonderful wednesday ladies.

    • Gema Muniz

      Amen! I agree, many times we get so caught up in our own problems in our own life that we forget to love others. We were sent to love and to preach the gospel. But above all we must love, we must show love & grace, love & grace.

    • AnnaLee

      Amen Kimone. The only debt we have now is a debt of love to one another… Father, may we always be eager to pay back that debt of love to one another sincerely and selflessly. Father, make us to adorn Your gospel all the more beautifully, "not by might nor by power, but by [Your] Spirit," Oh Lord (Zech 4:6). I praise You for that, Jesus. Have your way in us. Blessings, Kimone. May you be encouraged in zeal for His word and boldness for sharing it with others. I love reading all your comments! Have a beautiful evening.

  • So much to soak in…I've enjoyed and learned so much. Bless you all!

    • AnnaLee

      Yes, amen Candace! May the Word and Love of God dwell in You richly as You go out and live unto Him! Praise Him. Amen.

  • joanne sher

    We all need healing. Love this reminder. Beautiful – from the first verse to the last. What a fabulous study!

  • Once again, a book I never paid too much attention to. Thank you for bringing out what I never saw.

  • Thank you for introducing me to Paul’s letter to Titus. Each day it has brought me to a new realization related to work or home. Today’s synthesis by Amanda drills is down to the message. Having absorbed the marrow out of this letter-it is time to go out and DO as we are called in service and love of others. What a gift. I hope simply to love in grace and service for this day and to try again tomorrow.

    • AnnaLee

      Beautiful! The most encouraging insights I got from this study were how to live a Holy, upright, self-controlled and self-examined life in the light of God's grace and kindness. My verse for the year was Luke 1:68, 75…"Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come to his people and redeemed them… to grant us that we, being rescued from the hand of our enemies, Might serve Him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him all our days." Titus is such a beautiful commentary on how to do just that. Praise God! Lord, YOU ARE SO GOOD! Help us to live out these beautiful commands and insights unto You each day, striving to be eager to do Your good works and to spread the name of Your gospel. Love you! Amen.

  • stinav96

    From this place, this community, we go out equipped to "devote [ourselves] to good works, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not be unfruitful. Father, work in us to qualify us to be as reliable in your work as those whom you sent to Paul to assist him in the work you had for him. In Jesus' Name.

    • AnnaLee

      Ah, amen stinav96! Lord, work within us and make us just as devoted to Your gospel and Your good, pleasing, beautiful work as Paul and his helpers were. We can only be the people You call us to be through Your grace and enduring Love, Lord! Let it rain down, and let us embrace it so that we may grow to abide more closely and deeply.

  • Amanda Amanda Bible, so well and beautifully written/said, there is not much more to add or take away……Thank you…..

    For my part….all thatis left for me to do here today, is pray blessings of God s Grace, Grace, Grace…. over you all my sister's…..with a showering of Love….xxx,

    • AnnaLee

      Beautiful Tina. May the Lord bless you with His abounding Grace; may His spirit and word dwell in you richly, so that you'd overflowing with the same love and grace Christ has for the church. Amen. Praise God for you; have a beautiful evening, sister.

  • Candacejo

    My post last week was so similar to this thought…Laying Down the Law and Picking Up Grace. Rules? Sure there are "rules" but He gives more Grace….and we are too quick to concentrate on "rules" which then leads to JUDGMENT. God says that is HIS department, not mine.

    The only commandment Christ gave the Church was to GO and preach, share the Gospel and make disciples. The care of the Church, and for others, flows out of hearts that have been changed by Jesus Christ. Today, so many think the message of the Church, the sole duty of the Church, is to care for others; feed the hungry, clothe those without, give the homeless a place to sleep. Of course the Church should be involved in these things! But our message must precede it all, for without the message we have nothing to offer them!

    Beautiful thoughts today. Build up one another in the Body…BE the Church! ♥

    • Candacejo

      Oops! My comment was in reply to Claire's comment :) lest you all think I read another lesson, ha. I loved it though!

    • AnnaLee

      Praise God for you, Candace! Amen… we must focus on the urgent needs, but we need to keep the perspective that it's all for the most urgent need: Souls to come to know Christ Jesus. It is only then that the real healing, growth and change can occur within our hearts. I look at the great Love of our Savior and stand in awe of how His enduring love, proven by His abounding grace, has changed people so dramatically… we need to have this love and grace for one another, no matter the season or their failing of the law, helping them to get back up again. Father, give us real love for one another… honest love, enduring love, love centered around Your great love for us. Praise you, Jesus. Strengthen our hands so we may strengthen the hands of our brothers! Amen. Love you, sister.

    • CarrieLynne31

      Amen, Candacejo! The message of grace and salvation must be involved in the church. Thank you for the reminder. Blessings, Carrie

  • Last night my small group were looking at the 10 commandments and how even in exodus when God issued them he emphasised they must put him before this list of rules. I spent most of the session thinking about the gift of grace and how without it our lives lack so much. Grace is what provides us with purpose. Grace is what heals and forgives us. Grace grace grace. More more more.

    • AnnaLee

      Beautiful, Claire. Yes, our lives would lack so much– there'd be less of a relationship that causes us to worship the Lord and more of just a standard that causes us to live in that reverent fear of Him– which isn't a bad thing, but definitely must be coupled with the truth of His grace and warmth for us even when we are not the people we should be. Think of how the Church would look without grace… relationships and unity would never be able to be fostered! I look back and see that even though the Israelites had to make restitution for their wrongs by sacrifices, the Lord took them back with forgiveness and moved on with them nonetheless, over and over… Praise Him for the fact that because He gave us grace and freedom in Jesus, we can give each other grace, seeking unity, support and Truth when none of us deserve it from one another. Because of that, yes. "Grace grace grace, more more more." Be so blessed, sister.

    • Jordan

      "grace is what provides us purpose." I LOVE that. Thanks for your words, Claire! :)

    • Jordan

      provides us WITH purpose… excuse my mis-typing! Commenting past my bedtime is never a good idea! :P

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