THE HOPE OF ETERNAL LIFE

Opening Prayer

Loving Lord, thank you for your countless blessings, more than I ever could have imagined. May my thoughts and actions be expressions of gratitude today.

Read TITUS 1:1–9

1 Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ to further the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness— in the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time, and which now at his appointed season he has brought to light through the preaching entrusted to me by the command of God our Savior,

To Titus, my true son in our common faith:

Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.

Appointing Elders Who Love What Is Good

The reason I left you in Crete was that you might put in order what was left unfinished and appoint[a] elders in every town, as I directed you. An elder must be blameless, faithful to his wife, a man whose children believe[b] and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.

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Footnotes

  1. Titus 1:5 Or ordain
  2. Titus 1:6 Or children are trustworthy

New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Meditate

Hear God through this devotional time. Open your ears and your heart to be receptive to God’s voice.

Think Further

Everything that Paul wants to establish in his letter to Titus is wrapped up in one main purpose: that people may know the hope of eternal life (v. 2). This is the big picture that drives Paul to minister, write, face persecutions, and encourage others to do the same. The promise of eternal life, we are told, was given by God before time began. Jesus is described by John as the Lamb ‘slain from the creation of the world.’1 Our salvation through the sacrifice of Jesus was not a last-minute addendum to God’s creative endeavors.

It can be quite hard to comprehend the depths of God’s love, but knowing that Jesus was destined for the cross before sin was even committed leaves me somewhat staggered that God would go ahead with creation at all. What this indicates is God’s overwhelming commitment to us, a commitment founded upon love and revealed through grace and mercy. It is these characteristics that inspire Paul both to write and to live. The hope of eternal life can transform our lives today. We are not just looking forward to something when we die, but hope for the future changes the lives we live in the present. For instance, both Paul and Titus have prioritized their lives around the gospel because of the hope of eternal life. The example of a life prioritized is foundational to the choice of new leaders for the churches in Crete.

When we bear in mind the cost of creation and redemption to God, we can start to grasp the mindset of Paul, who seems prepared to pay whatever it costs so that the good news of Jesus may be heard.2 In the grand scheme of things, the issue of eternal life is of the highest concern.

Apply

Are there things in your life that should be shifted to help you focus on God’s priorities? Where do you need help to count the cost and serve with your whole life?

Closing prayer

I lift up to you, Lord God, those who are involved in representing or fighting for truth. Give them wisdom, courage, and strength to do your will.

Last Updated on March 6, 2024 by kingstar

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