When I first read this chapter I have to admit. I was having a hard time finding what good I could point out in it. Other than one little thing that I noticed that Paul told us in the greeting which is tucked away in the list of his credentials.
Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness, in hope of eternal life, which GOD, WHO NEVER LIES, promised before the ages began and at the proper time manifested in his word through the preaching with which I have been entrusted by the command of God our Savior. (Titus 1:1-3 ESV, emphasis mine)
Those 4 words in this description really stuck out to me as one of the best parts of this chapter. “God, who never lies”. Don’t miss this my friends. In fact in Proverbs we read 6:16-19 it says that God hates liars and back in Numbers 23:19 it says “God is not a man that he should lie.” I am sure there are many other references in the Bible about lying, but these are just a couple that came to mind. Don’t miss this God never lies. There are promises in God’s word that you can take away and stake your life on because they are well His promises. He is trustworthy and He is true.
Paul is writing this book to Titus, whom he calls a true son in the faith and he greets him with grace and peace. But the next few paragraphs, if I had been Titus, well I might have been more discouraged than encouraged at first glance. Titus has been left behind by Paul in Crete. Apparently Crete was not the happiest place on earth to be. Titus has been left with the job of establishing the churches there and setting up the elders in the churches. Paul gives him a list of qualifications for him to look at while he is setting up these elders which don’t seem to be hard for him to find. But apparently the people of Crete were not, well the most stellar people. In verse 12 it is pointed out “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons” and this was pointed out by one of their own people. In other words Titus truly had his work cut out for him. These were people who were pretty much living however they wanted and Titus had to figure out how to help them get their churches off the ground and then he was being told how they were all liars and were unfit people. Can you see why I struggled?
But I kept reading and I kept asking God to reveal to me what is the take away from this chapter and then it dawned on me. Why would Paul leave Titus behind if these people were a lost cause? Why would God have directed Paul, who obviously was a true man of God by this point of his life to leave Titus behind to build churches, to teach the people of Crete if they were a lost cause? He wouldn’t. There are no lost causes as long as there is breath in someone’s lungs. Titus had a big job in front of him, but Paul found the Cretans worthy enough to appoint Titus to be there. He was giving him directives and Titus was going to have to hold firm to his teaching no doubt.
If you have been praying for someone for a long time that in you, you wonder if they could be a lost cause, please find comfort and encouragement in this chapter of Titus. That even though the descriptions given of the Cretans paint them to be pretty corrupt people, that God directed Paul to give them Titus to teach and to love them and to point them to the faith. You may be someones Titus today. Ask God how you can teach and how you can love them. And then you have to remember it’s a process. Rarely do we get those Damascus road experiences. Most of the time the process is happening so that God can do His work in their life. When you have someone that you are praying for over a long period that maybe some might deem a lost cause you just have to keep praying, keep staying on your knees, keep dragging them in your mind to the foot of the cross and keep laying it down and then trust God to do the work. Be their Titus.
Please pray for our President, Vice President, Governor, and our country today!