Thank You, Father, for helping me to avoid distractions (news, Facebook) this morning. I am able now to sit with You and not have any fresh clutter in my mind and heart that would interrupt our time together. Father, bless me as I sit at Your feet.
Titus 3:9-11 (<<click here)
Lord, John 13:34-35 records a “new commandment” which You gave Your followers (and that includes us!)
“Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”
In many Bibles these words are printed in red which means You, Jesus, spoke them. And Your speaking them should make us take them to heart and live them out each day…but too often we don’t. And, unfortunately this is not a new problem in the church.
In today’s passage, Paul instructs Titus on how to deal with divisive people in the church. He advises to give them a couple of warnings and if that doesn’t work, to “have nothing more to do with them.” The New American Standard Bible translates it in a little more pointed manner. It says to “reject the factious” individual. Reject I get that’s pretty clear, but what does “factious” mean. Of course, I Googled it and here are some synonyms – split, discordant, argumentative, quarrelsome, warring, and rebellious.
This may come as a shocker to some but not one of those words is synonymous with the word…love. So if You said, “you should love each other” (and You definitely did!) Why do we think we need to be factious? There is absolutely no room for it in the church!
I have a friend, who is a fine upstanding Christian young lady and her church is going through a difficult transition. Their well respected pastor of many years is in the process of retiring and after much prayer has announced a successor whom he feels You have selected to step into the role as spiritual leader of this congregation. This individual is amply qualified for the task. Many in the church are embracing this transition and these two Christian brothers in love, as You have commanded. But others? They feel that they must be factious! Unfortunately, some of these individuals are prominent enough in the church that it is a little hard to just “have nothing more to do with them.”
Lord, why do people who claim to be followers of You behave this way?! If it pains me, I know it surely pains You, Lord. These kinds of situations hurt those inside and outside the church!
Lord, I pray for all believers that we would be overcome with Your love, that it would fill us to the point where we feel we will burst if we don’t pour some of that love out on those around us. And the more we pour the more You will supply!
Feb 4th, Thurs, 6:26 am