[Daily Devotion] February 8th, 2016

[Daily Devotion] February 8th, 2016

Live with Wisdom Titus 3:1-11

 Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show every courtesy to everyone. For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, despicable, hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy, through the water[a] of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.This Spirit he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. The saying is sure.

I desire that you insist on these things, so that those who have come to believe in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works; these things are excellent and profitable to everyone. But avoid stupid controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. 10 After a first and second admonition, have nothing more to do with anyone who causes divisions, 11 since you know that such a person is perverted and sinful, being self-condemned.

What does the passage say?

V. 1-2 This is a letter of Paul sharing the wisdom to live in this world as Christians. We as Christians should be set aside of the worldly authority, however we are still apart of it.Therefore our attitude toward political realm should be different from the worldly view. First, Paul tells the believers to “respect the government and be law-biding” (V.1 The Message). The Message says, “No fight, no insults. [toward the government or authorities]. God’s people should be bighearted and courteous” (v.2 The Message). 

V.1-8 We as Christians, can have opinions, but our opinions should even be covered in the grace of God. Paul says that we need to remember the ‘stupid and stubborn’ sinful nature was washed clean by God’s grace. Therefore, as people who live according to that grace we should live a life full of understanding and grace. Plus he says, this world is not where our citizenship lies in, we have another kingdom to look forward to. The Message says, “And there’s more life to come—an eternity of life! You can count on this.” (V.8 The Message)

V.9-11 He continues saying, put your foot down onto the grace of God, and he means that we should have the grace of God being the standard of our life. He continues to say that we should step away from any kind of disputes. The Message says, “Stay away from mindless, pointless quarreling over genealogies and fine print in the law code. That gets you nowhere.” (v.10 The Message)

He adds by saying, “Warn a quarrelsome person once or twice, but then be done with him. It’s obvious that such a person is out of line, rebellious against God.” (V.11 The Message). He actually says that if we quarrel too much we are ‘rebellious against God.  

What does this mean to me/us

These are pretty strong words of Paul, especially as we live in this politically divided era. In a sense I agree with him. The reason why he says that we need to have a different view of the world, is because we are saved by grace and have another kingdom to look forward. 

Especially when he says the quarrelsome person is rebellious against God, it is aligned with his teachings. Paul teaches the believers to completely yield our lives to God, as we strive for holiness. And when our lives are more aligned with the will and grace of God, can we really be that strong in our own opinions? If we can see things in God’s perspective, wouldn’t our opinions be lessened?

I still have a strong opinion about by belief about events and politics. Maybe God wants me to lay down my thoughts and opinions first. 

What does this MEAN to you?

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