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(Part 12)


November 13, 2018

Today’s readings:
Titus 2:1-14
Psalm 37:3-29
Luke 17:7-10

“As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

Everything starts with our personal relationship with God. Apart from God we would not have the wisdom to conduct our ways rightly, and apart from God we can do nothing. So how should we act in accord with God’s will and ways?

  • We should be prayerful and always seek God’s will. “Be still before the Lord; wait for him.” (Ps 37:7a).
  • We are to avoid evil and just do what is good. “Turn from evil and do good, that you may be settled forever.” (Ps 37:27). We are “to reject godless ways and worldly desires and to live temperately, justly, and devoutly in this age” (Ti 2:12).
  • We are to trust in God always. He has the best plan for us. “Trust in the Lord and do good that you may dwell in the land and live secure.” (Ps 37:3). As we trust in Him, we do whatever He tells us. We live our lives for Him. “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will act and make your righteousness shine like the dawn, your justice like noonday.” (Ps 37:5-6).
  • We are not to be provoked by the bad people and bad circumstances surrounding us. “Do not be provoked by the prosperous, nor by malicious schemers. Refrain from anger; abandon wrath; do not be provoked; it brings only harm.” (Ps 37:7b-8). We look to Jesus and focus on our work.
  • We must be confident in God’s promise of blessings and salvation, and simply wait on Him. It is God “who will give you your heart’s desire” (Ps 37:4b), who will cut off the wicked (Ps 37:10), who “will sustain the righteous” (Ps 37:17b), who will provide in hard times (Ps 37:19), who will guide and keep us from falling (Ps 37:23-24), who will cause us to “inherit the earth and dwell in it forever.” (Ps 37:29).

Then we move on to our family and community relationships. These must also be in accord with God’s will and design. How should our Christian behavior be?

  • Husbands, as mature men are to be, “should be temperate, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, love, and endurance.” (Ti 2:2).
  • Wives are “to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, chaste, good homemakers, under the control of their husbands” (Ti 2:4-5a). Wives are their husbands’ helpmates and are to be submitted to their headship. Mothers are the nurturers in the home, ensuring a caring and loving family environment. They are to be holy.
  • Children should “control themselves” (Ti 2:6).
  • Community leaders should be “showing (themselves) as a model of good deeds in every respect, with integrity in (their) teaching, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be criticized” (Ti 2:7-8a). Women leaders “should be reverent in their behavior, not slanderers, not addicted to drink, teaching what is good” (Ti 2:3).
  • Community members, who are subordinates to their leaders, but also the leaders themselves who are servants of Jesus, “are to be under the control of their masters in all aspects, giving them satisfaction, not talking back to them or stealing from them, but exhibiting complete good faith” (Ti 2:9-10a). The leaders are there to care for the flock, and to help ensure peace, unity and good order in the body. Members are to trust in their leaders as the duly-appointed instruments of God. In turn, all recognize their being servants of the one Master, Jesus.

All the above is designed by God “so that the word of God may not be discredited” (Ti 2:5b), “so that the opponent will be put to shame without anything bad to say about us” (Ti 2:8b), “so as to adorn the doctrine of God our savior in every way.” (Ti 2:10b).

All the above is designed to enable us to truly serve the Lord. God raised us, our families and our community in order to do His work. Our most important work is that of evangelization, leading to salvation. “For the grace of God has appeared, saving all.” (Ti 2:11).

Given all the above, how are we to serve? What is our proper posture?

  • We are to give our all, knowing we have no rights but we are slaves who belong to the Master (see Lk 17:7-8). We look just to serve, and not to be served.
  • We make no claim on the graciousness of God and just do our duty in obedience. “Is he grateful to that servant because he did what was commanded?” (Lk 17:9). We do not look to gratitude, recognition, acclaim, perquisites; our honor is to be able to serve.
  • We should remain humble as God uses us. What we are able to do is not because of us, but totally by the grace of God and the power of His Spirit. “When you have done all you have been commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.’” (Lk 17:10). When we serve the Lord, God does not become obligated to us. In fact, we are the ones obligated, because of the great favor God bestows on us in participating in His divine work.

We do our service to God “as we await the blessed hope, the appearance of the glory of the great God and of our savior Jesus Christ” (Ti 2:13). We persevere, until the Lord returns once again. Jesus “gave himself for us to deliver us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for himself a people as his own” (Ti 2:14a). God saved us and appointed us to be His instruments to help save others. We are called to be holy warriors. We are to be “eager to do what is good.” (Ti 2:14b).

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