Timothy and Titus – Inconspicuous Leadership
Confession. As a kid, I was that girl who played baseball with the boys on the block and even though I was short, could hold my own. I was fiercely competitive in neighborhood games. I wanted to be just as good as they were. My temper was quick and the fuse short.
I have had a lot of people in my life that I wanted to measure up to and be as good as. I was driven by self inflicted desires to be better than someone else. I pushed myself to be as perfect as I could possibly be…mostly on my own. I was independent, moody and easily angered by those who opposed what I was trying to accomplish or make me stop doing.
I was called a “spitfire” as a young adult, wanting to get something accomplished. Seize the day and moment was my mantra. I was never a big fan of committees that lingered and analyzed without doing anything of significance in my eyes. Sometimes this trait is good when channeled in the right direction but other times disastrous when you do it all on your own without direction.
I loved my parents dearly and miss them terribly. But my mom challenged me with never being able to measure up in her eyes. There was always one more thing I missed after doing a task for her or accomplishing something in life. There was always a “but, if you…” or “You could have done…” I was rebellious at times to those who didn’t see things my way. I was sarcastic and negative when life didn’t suit me or I wasn’t comfortable with situations and circumstances at the moment.
BUT, WHEN GOD STEPPED IN…
Not that I have it all together, but I have been changed. God stepped in. God redeemed me through the blood of Jesus Christ. His Holy Spirit is transforming me day by day, hour by hour to His likeness. I am still not perfect, I have not “arrived” but I know I am perfectly forgiven by the King of kings and Lord of lords. I am His and He is mine.
What is your “but, when God” moment? How has your life been changed? That is the question we must often ask ourselves as a good way to understand and evaluate how far we have come when our lives are tested and stalled. I am not there yet, but I’m farther down the road than I was yesterday.
These thoughts are prompted by God’s Word to us through Paul to Titus. Paul is finishing his thoughts of wisdom to Titus, reminding him of where he came to where he is going so that it makes perfect sense. When God steps in, we are saved from self and darkness of sin.
Titus 3, The Message
He Put Our Lives Together
3 1-2 Remind the people to respect the government and be law-abiding, always ready to lend a helping hand. No insults, no fights. God’s people should be bighearted and courteous.
3-8 It wasn’t so long ago that we ourselves were stupid and stubborn, dupes of sin, ordered every which way by our glands, going around with a chip on our shoulder, hated and hating back. But when God, our kind and loving Savior God, stepped in, he saved us from all that. It was all his doing; we had nothing to do with it. He gave us a good bath, and we came out of it new people, washed inside and out by the Holy Spirit. Our Savior Jesus poured out new life so generously. God’s gift has restored our relationship with him and given us back our lives. And there’s more life to come—an eternity of life! You can count on this.
8-11 I want you to put your foot down. Take a firm stand on these matters so that those who have put their trust in God will concentrate on the essentials that are good for everyone. Stay away from mindless, pointless quarreling over genealogies and fine print in the law code. That gets you nowhere. 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. By persisting in divisiveness he cuts himself off.
12-13 As soon as I send either Artemas or Tychicus to you, come immediately and meet me in Nicopolis. I’ve decided to spend the winter there. Give Zenas the lawyer and Apollos a hearty send-off. Take good care of them.
14 Our people have to learn to be diligent in their work so that all necessities are met (especially among the needy) and they don’t end up with nothing to show for their lives.
15 All here want to be remembered to you. Say hello to our friends in the faith. Grace to all of you.
LEADERSHIP PRINCIPLE #18: GOD PUTS OUR LIVES TOGETHER, TO HIM BE THE GLORY!
–Let’s go of the past and looks forward to what God will do in them.
–Big hearted, generous, courteous no matter because of God.
–Has an intimate relationship with God because of Jesus work on the Cross.
–Lives a grateful, redeemed life.
–Pliable, flexible, willing and moldable as the Holy Spirit continually transforms us to be more and more like Christ.
–Knows our salvation has nothing to do with us but everything to do with God. “But when God, our kind and loving Savior God, stepped in, He saved us…we had nothing to do with it.”
–Salvation results in a complete change in our thinking and behaving. “He gave us a good bath, and we came out of it new people, washed inside and out by the Holy Spirit. Our Savior Jesus poured out new life so generously.”
–Transformed people receive the Gift readily and completely. “God’s gift has restored our relationship with him and given us back our lives.
–Live assured, redeemed, confident in Christ lives because of God’s promises. “And there’s more life to come—an eternity of life! You can count on this.”
–Knows where they have been “but when God”…they know where they are going.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you, thank you, thank you for saving us from our stupid, earthly, worldly selves. Thank you for giving us bath and washing away all the dark spots and stains of this life. Thank you for our relationship that is precious, loving and deeply embedded into our created being. Continue your work to transform me. Transform Your people. Transform the world.
In Jesus Name, Amen. I believe.