Tuesday, December 18, 2012

December 18, 2012 … Mentoring for the Ages Continued

Chronological Bible Reading Plan - Day 353

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Titus, Chapters 1-3 To study these chapters, go to this link -

Highlight Passages: Titus 1 [Please read the entire chapter] : [NLT] … {Like Paul’s letter to Timothy (i.e., 1st Timothy), Paul writes to another of the young Christian disciples, who had become mentees of Paul; and Paul gives Titus instructions to help him become a lead Pastor in the church which had been established on the Greek island of Crete. Titus was a young, converted Greek, whom Paul mentored to become a leader in the New Testament church. And in Chapter 1, using the link above to study, you’ll see that Paul gives Titus instructions, as he did for Timothy in 1st Tim. 3, on how to select church leaders (Elders and Deacons); and Paul compares the right/righteous qualities of such leaders with the false teachers and worldly leaders Titus would encounter as he became a Pastor or Bishop in God’s Church on Crete.} …

Highlight Passages: Titus 2 - 3 : [NLT] … {Again using the link above and reading through Chapters 2 and 3 of the letter to Titus, you will find what my Parsons Commentary wrote about these two chapters:
”Paul emphasizes the importance of good deeds in the life of the Christian, telling Titus how to relate to the various age groups in the church (2:2-6). He urges Titus to be a good example of a mature believer (2:7, 8) and to teach with courage and conviction (2:9-15). He then discusses the general responsibilities of Christians in society: Titus should remind the people of these (3:1-8), and he should avoid divisive arguments (3:9-11). Paul concludes with a few matters of itinerary and personal greetings (3:12-15).” … 
 I’ll leave it to you to see how God – through Paul’s letters to Timothy – and Titus in today’s study – promoted the “how to” of discipleship and church building for all eras to come in the Kingdom building which we know of as the “church age” (which is the age we live in now).}

My Journal for Today: If you’ve followed my chronological trek through the Bible this year, you’ve probably gotten tired of me referring us back to Jesus’ teaching about discipleship from Luke 9: 23 as well as your boredom with me charging you to have this passage memorized. I do so because it’s probably Jesus’ most concise and powerful exhortation to the essence of Christian living or discipleship. As DISCIPLES of Christ, we are to (what?) … yes, … we are to deny ourselves, … and to take up our crosses daily (i.e., handle the circumstances of life) by following Christ. That’s Jesus-led discipleship; but what does that look like in the New Testament Church; and more importantly what should it look like today?

Well, when we read Paul’s instructions to his protégés, Timothy and Titus, we get some answers to those very practical discipleship questions; because God, through Paul, gives these two men many cogent and practical insights into the “how to” of Christian living and Christian leadership in the then growing body of Christ, … i.e., the early 1st Century Church. But the principles taught by Paul to these two young mentees are general principles which Christ’s Church in 2012 is still (or should be) using to live in this world and to establish Godly Christian leadership in the church.

For example, if a church, is establishing leaders (i.e., Pastors, Elders, or Bishops), it will look to the passages in 1st Timothy 3: 1-7 and Titus 1: 6-9; and being an Elder in my Church in Collierville, TN, in 2012, I look at these standards as daunting, but doable, standards which my local, body of Christ used to select me as an Elder; and they are standards of Christian living and leadership to which I must aspire as a leader in God’s Church during my life. We at Central Church, here in TN, in 2012, take God’s standards of Church building and leadership directly from God’s word when we select a new Pastor or Elder; and that’s what God was trying to help Titus do with his instructions to this young Christian leader, probably around 64 AD. But these instructions in Christian living and church building are timeless and remain the gold standard for Church leadership and Christian living to this very day.

I pray that we all live as Paul was instructing his young protégés to live; and I pray that the churches where we worship are built on the principles Paul gave to these two young Christians to use in being Pastors and leaders in the churches where God had led them to lead.

My Prayer Today: … Lord, help me be a Timothy or a Titus in shining Your light of leadership in our body of believers here in Central Church; and bless those churches who are built on your gold standard of church leadership, which you gave, through Paul, to these two young Pastors. Amen

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