Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Be Watchful

"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world" (1 Peter 5:8-9).

It is clear from Scripture that our enemy, the devil, seeks to "devour" all of God's children. One of the ways he does that is through "suffering" in this world. The example of Job is tremendous when seeing the extent the devil will go to in accusing us before our heavenly Father. But one thing we must remember in the fight -- God is victorious! There is NOTHING that can happen in our life that first hasn't passed through the hands of our Father. But even with that confidence we must "be sober" and "vigilant." Puritan George Downame wrote, " The Christian soldier must avoid two evils—he must not faint or yield in the time of fight, and after a victory he must not wax insolent and secure. When he has overcome, he is so to behave himself as though he were presently again to be assaulted. For Satan's temptations, like the waves of the sea, do follow one in the neck of the other." If for no other reason we need to "be sober, be vigilant." The devil does not sleep or slumber nor should we. Paul said "lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices" (2 Cor.2:11). So resist the devil today, "be steadfast in the faith" and remember "Satan's follow one in the neck of the other."

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Banished Because of the Word

By the close of the first century, Christianity had become a hated and despised religious sect in the Roman Empire . Pliny, who was the Roman Governor of Bithynia , wrote to Emperor Trajan early in the second century, scorning Christianity as a ‘depraved and extravagant superstition.' He further said that ‘the contagion of this superstition has spread not only in the cities, but in the villages and rural districts as well' (cited in Hebry Bettenson, ed., Documents of the Christian Church, p.4).

The Roman historian Tacitus, who was a contemporary of Pliny, described Christians as ‘a class hated for their abominations, while Suetonius, another contemporary of Pliny, dismissed them as ‘a set of men adhering to a novel and mischievous superstitution.' The hate toward Christians grew and for several reasons.

The first was political. The Romans viewed Christians as disloyal because they refused to acknowledge Caesar as lord. Not only did they refuse to acknowledge Caesar as Lord, they also refused to offer the sacrifices to Caesar. This therefore confirmed in the eyes of the Roman officials the disloyalty of Christians to Rome . Because Christians held many of their meetings at night, they were also accused of anti-governmental plots. Needless-to-say this brought about a hatred from Rome that would continue to grow through time.

The second reason Christians were hated was religious. They were denounced as atheists because they rejected the polytheistic worship of the Romans and because they worshiped the invisible God, not an idol. Because their beliefs and practices were misunderstood, wild rumors, falsely accusing them of cannibalism, incest, as well as other sexual perversions existed. But it didn't stop here. They were also affected socially. Because many Christians were from the lower classes of society, they were despised by the Roman upper class. And because they taught that all people are equal, this threatened Rome 's hierarchical structure and the elite from their privileged status. It also heightened a fear of a slave rebellion.

Lastly they were persecuted economically. The Roman priests, craftsmen and merchants were suffered a loss of profit from their idol worship because of Christians. Since they would not worship idols, this made an impact on Roman society. Acts 19:23ff records the resulting hostility, first seen in the riot at Ephesus . This only deepened as Christianity became more widespread. In his letter to Emperior Trajan, Pliny complained that the pagan temples had been deserted, and that those who sold sacrificial animals found few buyers.

During these first few decades after the death of Christ, the Roman government considered Christianity merely a sect of Judaism (cf. Acts 18:12-16). But because of the hostility the Jews displayed against the Christians that led the Romans to recognize Christianity as a religion distinct from Judaism. And that identified Christians as worshipers of an illegal religion. Yet in spite of all of this there was no official persecution by the Roman authorities until the time of Nero. On July 19 A. D. 64, Nero set Rome on fire and to divert public suspicion, he blamed the Christians for it. As a result, many Christians were executed at Rome (including, according to tradition, both Peter and Paul), but still there was yet no empire-wide persecution.

Three decades later, Emperor Domitian instigated an official persecution of Christians. Little is known of the details, but it extended to the province of Asia, which is modern Turkey . The apostle John had been banished to the island of Patmos , and at least one person, a pastor, had already been martyred according to Revelation 2:13.

"The persecuted, beleaguered, discouraged believers in Asia Minor to whom John addressed the book of Revelation desperately needed encouragement. It had been years since Jesus ascended. Jerusalem had been destroyed and Israel ravaged. The church was losing its first love, compromising, tolerating sin, becoming powerless, and distasteful to the Lord Himself. The other apostles were dead, and John had been exiled. The whole picture looked very bleak. That is why the first vision John received is of Christ's present ministry in the church. John's readers took comfort in the knowledge that one day Jesus will return in glory to defeat His enemies. The descriptions of those events take up most of the book of Revelation. But the vision of Jesus Christ that begins the book does not describe Him in His future glory but in the present as the glorified Lord of the church. In spite of all the disappointments, the Lord had not abandoned His church or His promises" (John MacArthur, Revelation 1-11, pp.38-39).

No matter what you suffer in this life, Jesus will always be with you. Listen to His words in Matthew 5:11-12: "Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you" (NKJV).

Monday, November 27, 2006

As You Are Going

"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age" (Matthew 28:19-20).

The greatest challenge you and I have as children of God is to reproduce ourselves. Jesus said we are to make disciples . This commission stated in continuous terms is to be a daily part of our lives. Whether it's in the work place, school, home, among neighbors and friends, we are to make disciples . How are you doing with this command? Have you forgotten that this is God's will for your life? He didn't leave you here to build a nice house, drive a fancy car, or to move up the corporate ladder. I am not saying these things are necessarily wrong but if they replace or distract you from your real calling, then it is sin. You have been called to make disciples of all the nations . You have been commissioned to teach them to observe all things that Jesus has taught you. I trust you're fulfilling your commission today and remembering "as you are going," Jesus is "with you always, even to the end of the age."

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Are You Thankful?

We're not very good at saying "Thank you," are we? We're like a little boy I heard about. On his return from a birthday party, his mother queried, "Bobby, did you thank the lady for the party?" "Well, I was going to. But a girl ahead of me said, "Thank you," and the lady told her not to mention it. So I didn't." We live in a very thankless society! Our life slogan is "we want a break today" or "no rules just right!" Our worship is even the same way. We come to church to see what we can get out of it rather than what we can give to God. The Bible is filled with passages directed at the believer giving thanks to God.

"Sing praise to the LORD, you saints of His, and give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name" (Ps.30:4).

"I will give You thanks in the great assembly; I will praise You among many people" (Ps.35:18).

"It is good to give thanks to the LORD, and to sing praises to Your name, O Most High; to declare Your lovingkindness in the morning, and Your faithfulness every night" (Ps.92:1-2).

The English word thanks occurs 75 times in the Bible while the word thanksgiving occurs 31 times. The Hebrew word for thanksgiving is towdah and it means "an extension of the hand by implying adoration specifically by a choir of worshippers." The word for thanks (Heb. yadah) means "to revere or worship with extended hands."

This should be the offering and sacrifice that we are to give to God. It should continually come from our lips but not just our lips but our heart also and be seen in our attitude. Do you have a heart of thanksgiving? Are you extending your hands towards heaven to reverence and worship to the Lord Jesus Christ? Worship Him today. Do that with a heart of thanksgiving.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Worshiping God's Way

"A few years ago the Chicago Tribune reported the story of a New Mexico woman who was frying tortillas when she noticed that the skillet burns on one of her tortillas resembled the face of Jesus. Excited, she showed it to her husband and neighbors, and they all agreed that there was a face etched on the tortilla and that it truly bore a resemblance to Jesus. So the woman went to her priest to have the tortilla blessed. She testified that the tortilla had changed her life, and her husband agreed that she had been a more peaceful, happy, submissive wife since the tortilla had arrived. The priest, not accustomed to blessing tortillas, was somewhat reluctant but agreed to do it. The woman took the tortilla home, put it in a glass case with piles of cotton to make it look like it was floating on clouds, built a special altar for it, and opened the little shrine to visitors. Within a few months, more than eight thousand people came to the shrine of the Jesus of the Tortilla, and all of them agreed that the face in the burn marks on the tortilla was the face of Jesus (except for one reporter who said he thought it looked like former heavy-weight boxing champion Leon Spinks)" (John MacArthur, The Ultimate Priority , p.1).

It seems incredible that so many people would worship a tortilla, but such a distorted concept of worship is not really unusual in contemporary society. Tragically, although the Bible is clear about how and whom and when we are to worship, little genuine worship takes place today. In fact, worship is one of the most misunderstood doctrines in all the Scriptures. The concept of worship dominates the Bible. In Genesis, we discover that the Fall came when man failed to worship God. In Revelation we learn that all of history culminates in an eternal worshiping community in the presence of a loving God. From the beginning of Genesis all the way through to the consummation in Revelation, the doctrine of worship into the biblical text. Jesus quoted Deut.6:4-6 and called it the greatest commandment: "Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is one Lord; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength" (Mk.12:29-30). This is a call to worship, and it affirms worship as the universal priority.

Exodus 20 records the giving of the Ten Commandments. The very first of those commandments calls for and regulates worship: "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt , out of the house of bondage. 3 "You shall have no other gods before Me. 4 "You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; 5 you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me" (vv.2-5).

In the OT, worship covered all of life. It was the focus of the people of God. For example, the Tabernacle was designed and laid out to emphasize the priority of worship. The description of its details requires seven chapters — 243 verses — in Leviticus, yet only 31 verses in Genesis are devoted to the creation of the world. The Tabernacle was designed only for worship. It was the place where God met His people, and to use it for anything but worship would have been considered the grossest blasphemy. In the Tabernacle there were no seats — the Israelites didn't go there to attend a service, and they didn't go there for entertainment. They went there to worship God. No wonder A.W. Tozer says, "The greatest tragedy in the world today is that God has made man in His image and made him to worship Him, made him to play the harp of worship before the face of God day and night, but he has failed God and dropped the harp. It lies voiceless at his feet" ( The Quotable Tozer , p.198). "The person who uses his life for any purpose other than worship — no matter how noble that purpose may seem — is guilty of a grave sin. It is the same sin as that of an Israelite who misused the holy incense — a sin so serious that under the law it was punishable by death" (John MacArthur, The Ultimate Priority , p.4).

Since you were created to worship Jesus, are you worshiping Him? Is He the focus of your life in all you do? Worship Him right now and fulfill the reason you were created.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Who is Your Master?

What hinders us from coming to Christ? It's a pride that disguises itself by materialism and selfishness. Jesus said, "Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses" (Lk.12:15). "No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon" (Mat.6:24).

Ask God to strip away all your pride and then draw to him with "a broken heart" (Ps.34:18).

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Which God Are You Serving?

"I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. "You shall have no other gods before me. "You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousandgenerations of those who love me and keep my commandments (Ex.20:1-6).

Israel was to worship the God of the exodus. They were to serve Him only. There were not to fashion themselves as the other nations. But were to worship the One true God. In Deuteronomy 6:4 God told them, "Hear O Israel, the LORD our God is One." There is only one God and He must be worshiped in a prescribed manner. But not everyone believes in the monotheism of God. Some believe in a polytheistic God (multiple gods) while others do not believe that God exists at all. But for those who do believe that He exists they see Him in six ways:

An Eager Bellhop

Some see God as an eager bellop whose always there when you need him. He carries your baggage. He never argues with you because you're in charge. His only responsibility is to make you happy. What he gets from you is: a smile, a thank you, and, if he's lucky, a tip.

A Stern School Teacher

Others see God as a stern school teacher whose destiny it seems is to ruin a year of your life. He's the ultimate record keeper who monitors all your activities and gives hard tests to see if his students suffer. He has wants and demands but seemingly never gives or encourages.

An Impersonal Scientist

If it's not an eager bellhop or a stern school teacher then it's an impersonal scientist. He's intellectual but not emotional. He spends all his time locked away in his heavenly labortory working on unknowable wonders.

A Clever Magician

A fourth way people see God is as a clever magician who must always work through signs, miracles and wonders. If there is no manifestation of power, they conclude God really isn't involved. Jesus said to the Pharisees, "A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign"(Mat.16:4).

A Heavenly Grandfather

Yet there are those who see God as a heavenly grandfather whose presence is acknowledged. He's invited occasionally and smiles and tells them he loves them when they misbehave.

Mr. Fix-It

Last but not least, some view God as Mr. Fix-it. To view God merely as Mr. Fix-it makes Him worthless for anything else. He's great when were in a fix; but unnecessary when everything is going well.

How do you perceive God? Do you view Him in any of the ways listed above. The best place to see God is in the Bible. It is there where He is revealed. Let me encourage you today to read the Bible and make sure you see God as He is revealed in His Word.

(Points extracted from Masterpiece Magazine by Gregg Cantelmo, pp.6-7).

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

What Kind of People Does God Use?

In Matthew 10:2-4 we are given the names of the twelve Apostles. They are: "first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him." We are told by Matthew that it was "these Jesus sent out and commanded" (v.5) But before they could be sent out as Apostles, they had to learn as disciples. Matthew 10:1 says, "And when He had called His twelve disciples." Verse 2 says, "Now the names of the twelve apostles." Notice first they were disciples and later became apostles. They were first learners in the personal instruction of our Lord, then they became sent ones (apostles) that were ready to reach the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This is how it is with us. We receive the Lord Jesus into our life and become disciples and are trained and then sent out to reach others for Christ. Are you following that pattern in your life or are you idle at reaching others for Christ? The kind of people God uses are those who are willing to go from disciples to sent ones. Realize your calling today. Obey Jesus' command to make disciples (Mat.28:18-20).

Monday, November 20, 2006

What is Your View of God?

"On January 7, 1855, the minister of New Park Street Chapel, Southwark , England , opened his morning sermon as follows:

‘It has been said by someone that "the proper study of mankind is man." I will not oppose the idea, but I believe it is equally true that the proper study of God's elect is God; the proper study of a Christian is the Godhead. The highest science, the loftiest speculation, the mightiest philosophy, which can ever engage the attention of a child of God, is the name, the nature, the person, the work, the doings, and the existence of the great God whom he calls his Father.

There is something exceedingly improving to the mind in a contemplation of the Divinity. It is a subject so vast, that all our thoughts are lost in its immensity; so deep, that our pride is drowned in its infinity. Other subjects we can compass and grapple with; in them we feel a kind of self-content, and go our way with the thought, "Behold I am wise." But when we come to this master science, finding that our plumb line cannot sound its depth, and that our eagle eye cannot see its height, we turn away with the thought that vain man would be wise, but he is like a wild ass's colt; and with solemn exclamation, "I am but of yesterday, and know nothing." No subject of contemplation will tend more to humble the mind, than thoughts of God. . .

But while the subject humbles the mind, it also expands it. He who often thinks of God, will have a larger mind than the man who simply plods around this narrow globe. . . . The most excellent study for expanding the soul, is the science of Christ, and Him crucified, and the knowledge of the Godhead in the glorious Trinity. Nothing will so enlarge the intellect, nothing so magnify the whole soul of man, as a devout, earnest, continued investigation of the great subject of the Deity.

And, whilst humbling and expanding, this subject is eminently consolatory. Oh, there is, in contemplating Christ, a balm for every wound; in musing on the Father, there is a quietus for every grief; and in the influence of the Holy Ghost, there is a balsam for every sore. Would you lose your sorrow? Would you drown your cares? Then go, plunge yourself in the Godhead's deepest sea; be lost in his immensity; and you shall come forth as from a couch of rest, refreshed and invigorated. I know nothing which can so comfort the soul; so calm the swelling billows of sorrow and grief; so speak peace to the winds of trial, as a devout musing upon the subject of the Godhead. It is to that subject that I invite you this morning.

These words, spoken over a century ago by C. H. Spurgeon (at that time, incredibly, only twenty years old) were true then, and they are true now. Many people have various views of God. Erwin Lutzer, in his book, "Ten Lies About God," writes: "‘I believe in God' is perhaps one of the most meaningless statements we can make today. The word God has become a canvas on which each is free to paint his own portrait of the divine; like the boy scribbling at his desk, we can draw God according to whatever specifications we please. For some He is ‘psychic energy"; for others He is ‘whatever is stronger than I am' or ‘an inner power to lead us to deeper consciousness.' To say, ‘I believe in God' might simply mean that we are seeing ourselves in a full-length mirror" (pp.2-3). Donald McCullough adds: "When the true story gets told, whether in the partial light of historical perspective or in the perfect light of eternity, it may well be revealed that the worst sin of the church at the end of the twentieth century has been the trivialization of God...We prefer the illusion of a safer deity, and so we have pared God down to more manageable proportions" (Quoted in Ten Lies About God by Erwin Lutzer).

How do you see God? Do you see Him as "a safer deity" or a "God of more manageable proportions?" The best place to get a safe view of God is from the Bible. For it is there where God is revealed. Begin reading His Word today as Jesus taught the disciples to pray. He said, "Hallowed by Your Name" (Mat.6:9).

Friday, November 17, 2006

Trusting in the Midst of Adversity

Jerry Bridges writes:"God in His infinite wisdom knows exactly what adversity we need to grow more and more into the likeness of His Son. He not only knows what we need but when we need it and how best to bring it to pass in our lives. He is the perfect teacher or coach. His discipline is always exactly suited for our needs. He never over trains us by allowing too much adversity in our lives" (Trusting God, p.122). How many times have you viewed your trials in this manner? Many fail to see their purpose and therefore crumble in their midst. But as 1 Corinthians 10:13 states God will not "allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able." He is the "perfect teacher or coach. His discipline is always exactly suited for our needs." As you experience the troubles of this life, remember your heavenly Father "knows exactly what adversity we need to grow...into the likeness of His Son.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Trust in the Lord

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths" (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Solomon gives us the best advise in this verse. We are to trust in the Lord. This is not to be done with half your heart but with all your heart. How is this accomplished? He says by leaning not on your own understanding. He is not talking about a blind trust because he is talking about trusting in the Lord. Charles Spurgeon, who was noted for his ability with words, illustrates this beautify. He says, "let me commend to you a life of trust in God in temporal things. Walk in your path of integrity with steadfast steps, and show that you are invincibly strong in the strength which confidence in God alone can confer. Thus, you will be delivered from burdensome care; you will not be troubled with evil tidings. Your heart will be fixed, trusting in the Lord. How pleasant to float along the stream of providence! There is no more blessed way of living than a life of dependence upon a covenant-keeping God. We have no care, for He cares for us; we have no troubles because we cast our burdens upon the Lord"( Spurgeon, R. C. H.(2000).Daily Help (electronic ed.). Escondito , California : Ephesians Four Group.).

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

True Sanctification

Charles Spurgeon said, " Christ will be master of the heart, and sin must be mortified. If your life is unholy, then your heart is unchanged, and you are an unsaved person. The Savior will sanctify His people, renew them, give them a hatred of sin, and a love of holiness. The grace that does not make a man better than others is a worthless counterfeit. Christ saves His people, not IN their sins, but FROM their sins. Without holiness, no man shall see the Lord."

The Apostle Paul said to the Thessalonians, "For this is the will of God, your sanctification : that you should abstain from sexual immorality" (4:3). Sanctification means "to be set apart." It is a setting apart from sin to Christ. The Thessalonians had already "turned to God from idols" (1:9) but now they needed to "know how to possess (their) own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God" (4:4-5). As Spurgeon has well noted "If your life is unholy, then your heart is unchanged, and you are an unsaved person." Are you living your life "set apart" to Christ? Are you abstaining from porneia (sexual immorality)? Are you pleasing God in your walk with Him? "For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness" (4:7).

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

True Conversion

There are many today who profess to have a relationship with Christ. But when you examine their lives you see no evidence of such claim. What marks a true believer? To answer that question we must understand what conversion is. Jonathan Edwards writes:

"Scripture describes conversion in terms which imply or signify a change of nature; being born again, becoming new creatures, rising from the dead, being renewed in the spirit of the mind, dying to sin and living to righteousness, putting off the old man and putting on the new, becoming partakers of the divine nature, and so on.

It follows that if there is no real and lasting change in people who think they are converted, their religion is worthless, whatever their experiences may be. Conversion is the turning of the whole man from sin to God. God can restrain unconverted people from sin, of course, but in conversion he turns the very heart and nature from sin to holiness. The converted person becomes the enemy of sin.

What, then, shall we make of a person who says he has experienced conversion, but whose religious emotions soon die away, leaving him much the same person as he was before? He seems as selfish, worldly, foolish, perverse and un-Christian as ever. This speaks against him louder than any religious experiences can speak for him.

In Christ Jesus, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision, neither a dramatic experience nor a quiet one, neither a wonderful testimony nor a dull one, counts for anything. The only thing that counts is a new creation" ( The Experience That Counts! p.99).

Does this mark your life? Examine yourself today as see if you match up to the biblical definition of conversion.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The Passion to Produce

As a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, it is my passion to invest in the lives of "faithful men who will be able to teach others also" (2 Tim.2:2). In spite of disappointments, the passion always remains the same. Maybe that is because my passion is to see God grow and mature His people in the deeps truths of Scripture. Is this passion just of the preacher or is every child of God to have this perspective? If Matthew 28:19-20 was given to the first disciples of our Lord who in turn were to invest into others, the call is no different today. John Piper gives us this perspective of the pastor-preacher. As you read this don't limit it to your pastor, but apply it to your life as you help "people" to lose "everything this would can give."

"Preachers must have a passion to produce people whose satisfaction in God is so solid, so deep, and so unshakable that suffering and death - losing everything this world can give - will not make people murmur or curse God, but rest in the promise, "In His presence is fullness of joy, at His right hand are pleasures forevermore" (Psalm 16:11). But how shall men preach like that? The answer is that the preacher must suffer and the preacher must rejoice. The preacher himself must be hurt in the ministry, and the preacher must be happy in God" (John Piper, "Preaching to Suffering People," in Feed My Sheep: A Passionate Plea for Preaching, edited by Don Kistler [Soli Deo Gloria, 2002], p. 247-248).

Sunday, November 05, 2006

The Letter to Titus

The Letter to Titus was written around the same time as 1 Timothy. Both of which are written by Paul to his "sons" in the faith. It says in Titus 1:1-4: "Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect and the acknowledgment of the truth which is according to godliness, in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began, but has in due time manifested His word through preaching, which was committed to me according to the commandment of God our Savior; to Titus, my true son in our common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior."

Titus, who had ministered with Paul for a period of time on the island of Crete , was left there to continue and strengthen the work that Paul had begun. The city itself had a reputation of being "liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons...Therefore [he was to] rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith" (1:12-13). According to chapter 3 and verse 12 Artemas or Tychicus were to relieve him and he was to join Paul at Nicopolis.

There were many things that Titus was to give his attention to while ministering on the island of Crete . He was to "appoint elders in every city" (1:5). He was to stop the mouths of the "insubordinate," the "idol talkers and deceiving, especially those of the circumcision" because they were subverting "whole households, teaching things which they ought not, for the sake of dishonest gain" (1:10-11). He was to "speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine" (2:1) to "the older men," "the older women," "young women," and "young men." He was to "exhort servants to be obedient to their own masters, to be well pleasing in all things, not answering back, not pilfering, but showing good fidelity, that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things" (2:9-10). He was to "Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men" (3:1-2). All of these things he was to "affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works" (3:8). He was to "avoid foolish disputes, genealogies, contentions, and strivings about the law" (3:9) as well as "Reject" those who were "divisive...after the first and second admonition" (3:10). This he was to "speak...with all authority" and let no one "despise his youth" (2:15).

All believers have a purpose in this life. We are to confront our world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Just as Titus was to "guard" and "set in order the things that were lacking" in the church, we all have a task. Ephesians 4:11-12 teaches that God gave gifted men to the church for "the equpping of the saints for the work of the ministry." Are you doing the ministry? Are you fulfilling your purpose? You might think that the task is too great but consider all the things that Titus had to do then realize everything else is an excuse.