Sunday, June 14, 2009

Titus 2: What does "becometh" mean?

"But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:"
Titus 2:1

–verb (used with object) be attractive on; befit in appearance; look well on: That gown becomes you. be suitable or necessary to the dignity, situation, or responsibility of: conduct that becomes an officer.

From the verse and the meaning of the word, I understand that Titus 2 is a discussion of things that are "suitable or necessary to the dignity" of sound doctrine.

I want to be suitable, so I think the chapter deserves my attention.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

All That Night

This originally appeared in Streams in The Desert by Mrs. Charles Cowman. It was a real blessing to me this morning and I wanted to share it.

Author: Mrs. Charles E. Cowman
Source: Streams in the Desert
Scripture Reference: Exodus 14:21

God Works in the Dark

"The Lord caused the sea to go back…all that night"
(Exod. 14:21).

In this verse there is a comforting message showing how God works in the dark. The real work of God for the children of Israel, was not when they awakened and found that they could get over the Red Sea; but it was "all that night."

So there may be a great working in your life when it all seems dark and you cannot see or trace, but yet God is working. Just as truly did He work "all that night," as all the next day. The next day simply manifested what God had done during the night. Is there anyone reading these lines who may have gotten to a place where it seems dark? You believe to see, but you are not seeing. In your life-progress there is not constant victory; the daily, undisturbed communion is not there, and all seems dark.

"The Lord caused the sea to go back…all that night." Do not forget that it was "all that night." God works all the night, until the light comes. You may not see it, but all that "night" in your life, as you believe God, He works. --C. H. P.

"All that night" the Lord was working,
Working in the tempest blast,
Working with the swelling current,
Flooding, flowing, free and fast.

"All that night" God's children waited--
Hearts, perhaps in agony
With the enemy behind them,
And, in front, the cruel sea.

"All that night" seemed blacker darkness
Than they ever saw before,
Though the light of God's own presence
Near them was, and sheltered o'er.

"All that night" that weary vigil
Passed; the day at last did break,
And they saw that God was working
"All that night" a path to make.

"All that night," O child of sorrow,
Canst thou not thy heartbreak stay?
Know thy God in darkest midnight
Works, as well as in the day.

--L. S. P.

Friday, May 8, 2009


Unmerited Favor
The grace of God
Abundant grace
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ
Sufficient grace
Saving grace
Grace with you
Hope through grace


"Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace,"

2 Thessalonians 2:16

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Titus 2: Some Questions

1. Who wrote this? (the man, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit)

"Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness;"
Titus 1:1

2. Who was it written to?

"To Titus, mine own son after the common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour."
Titus 1:4

3. What was the purpose?

Instruction for Titus to set things in order and ordain elders.
"For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:"
Titus 1:5

4. What is the expressed purpose of chapter 2?

It is an explanation of sound doctrine as indicated by the colon at the end of verse 1.
"But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:"
Titus 2:1

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Read it again

Read Titus chapter 2 again as we prepare to study it. Think about it. Who is it talking to? What do the words mean? Do they remind you of other verses?

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Read It!!!

Most people are bothered by those passages of Scripture they do not understand, but the passages that bother me are those I do understand.
—Mark Twain

I think that the Bible has to be one of the most talked-about, analyzed, and least read books. Many times, even when we read it, we read it in snippets. I heard one person call it the "fortune-cookie Bible." We draw one-liners and feel good statements from its pages and we don't read it enough to even know what it really says, let alone live by it.

Over the coming days, I want to do a simple study through Titus, chapter 2. I'm not going to reveal any new doctrine or epiphanies, I just want to look at what the Bible says in light of the Bible. In order to get ready for the study though, I need to read it.

If you want to read it with me, here it is.

"But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine: 2 That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience. 3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; 4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. 6 Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded. 7 In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, 8 Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you. 9 Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again; 10 Not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.
11 "For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; 14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
15 "These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee."
Titus 2

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Things to think about

We often have choices. Should I or shouldn't I? There are many things in the Christian life that we sometimes refer to as "questionable." (Personally, I don't think as many things fall into the questionable category as we would like to believe.)

So how do we make a choice when faced with things questionable? Viewing a choice in light of Scripture is the wisest thing.

This is not an exhaustive list of questions to ask when faced with a decision but it is a start. It is also not in any particular order.

❏ Is it right?
“All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death.” 1 John 5:17

❏ Will this bring me near some temptation?
“But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.” Romans 13:14

❏ Does this give place to the devil?
“Neither give place to the devil.” Ephesians 4:27

❏ Am I trusting God or depending in my own strength?
“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Proverbs 3:5,6

❏ Is it doubtful?
“And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” Romans 14:23

❏ Will it cause someone to stumble?
“It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.” Romans 14:21

❏ Does it appear evil to anyone?
“Abstain from all appearance of evil.” 1 Thessalonians 5:22

❏ Would the Lord Jesus Christ do this?
“For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:” 1 Peter 2:21
“For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” Romans 8:29

❏ Will it please God?
“And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.” John 8:29

❏ Am I trying to impress others with my spirituality?
“But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles’ feet. But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God. And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things. And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him. And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in. And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much. Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out. Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband. And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.” Acts 5:1-11

❏ Do I hope somebody notices me?
“Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.” Galatians 5:26

❏ Does it edify?
“How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.” 1 Corinthians 14:26

❏ Am I being selfish?
“Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.” Philippians 2:3,4

❏ Am I denying the flesh?
“If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:26
“And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” Luke 9:23

❏ Am I putting Christ first?
“And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.” Colossians 1:18

❏ Is it expedient?
“All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.” 1 Corinthians 10:23

❏ Will it bring glory to God?
“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31

❏ Am I deceiving myself or being deceived?
“Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.” 1 Corinthians 3:18

❏ Do I know better?
“For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol’s temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols;” 1 Corinthians 8:10

❏ Am I searching for an excuse to justify what I want to do?
“And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.” Luke 16:15

❏ Do I have to hide it from anyone? sneak around?
“But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.” 2 Corinthians 4:2

❏ Did I handle the word of God deceitfully?
“But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.” 2 Corinthians 4:2

❏ Will this in any way defile God’s body?
“If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” 1 Corinthians 3:17

❏ Can I sincerely thank God for it?
“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18

❏ Can I do this in Jesus’ name?
“And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” Colossians 3:17

❏ Can I go all the way with it?
“And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;” Colossians 3:23
“Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.” Ecclesiastes 9:10

❏ Have I prayed about it?
“If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:” Psalms 66:18
“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” Philippians 4:6

❏ Will it increase or hinder my prayer life?
“Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.” 1 Peter 3:7

❏ Am I breaking one commandment in order to keep another?
“Cursed be he that doeth the work of the LORD deceitfully, and cursed be he that keepeth back his sword from blood.” Jeremiah 48:10

❏ What does my pastor think about it?
“Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.” Hebrews 13:7
“Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.” Hebrews 13:17

❏ What do my church brethren think about it?
“Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.” Proverbs 11:14
“Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellors they are established.” Proverbs 15:22

❏ Would I like to be doing this when Jesus Christ returns?
“And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.” 1 John 2:28

❏ How will it appear at the Judgment Seat of Christ?
“But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” Romans 14:10-12
“For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” 1 Corinthians 3:11-15

Hope this helps.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

I want MY way!

"And it came to pass after these things, that Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard, which was in Jezreel, hard by the palace of Ahab king of Samaria. And Ahab spake unto Naboth, saying, Give me thy vineyard, that I may have it for a garden of herbs, because it is near unto my house: and I will give thee for it a better vineyard than it; or, if it seem good to thee, I will give thee the worth of it in money.
And Naboth said to Ahab, The LORD forbid it me, that I should give the inheritance of my fathers unto thee.
And Ahab came into his house heavy and displeased because of the word which Naboth the Jezreelite had spoken to him: for he had said, I will not give thee the inheritance of my fathers. And he laid him down upon his bed, and turned away his face, and would eat no bread."
I Kings 21:1-4

When I read about King Ahab, I can just see him flinging himself across his bed and refusing to eat. Ahab wanted his way and if he couldn't have it, he was going to pout. If it weren't so sad it would be funny.

Even sadder is the idea that we have an entire culture that acts the same way when God doesn't give us our way. My husband preaches against the idea of a "vending machine God." So many people have the idea that if they put in the right combination of actions and prayers and push the right buttons then the blessing of their choice will surely spew forth.

That's not how it works. That very mindset is not a mature Christian mindset.

When I was a kid, I was pretty good in school. I had a couple of years when I didn't try as hard and my grades slipped from straight-A's to A's & B's. I was working again to bring my grades back up and someone said I should claim the verse:

"Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart."
Psalm 37:4

As a 13-year-old, that sounded pretty good to me. If I just did what God wanted, I could have anything I wanted. Then I started looking closer. Did that mean God would give me anything I wanted? Would He give me the object of my desires, or would He give me the desires themselves?

Even as a child, I knew that the better thing was to have God-given desires. So that was how I prayed.

Through the years, those people I have known who focused on the objects of their desires, their WAY, haven't fared well. Those who wanted God to give them the desires themselves have grown in the Lord and are the happiest people I know.

Don't be like Ahab.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Hope Deferred

"Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life."
Proverbs 13:12

It was the summer of 1969. I was an eight-year-old little girl and I went to summer camp for the first time. Like all little girls, I was in love with horses and the main reason I wanted to go to camp was to ride the horses. It was a Bible camp and I would enjoy the classes and the crafts but my whole week was focused on riding the horse. My parents had given me the $2.00 for the horse ride and I treasured that money like it belonged in Fort Knox.

Finally, the day for the ride came. I ran down to the barn and waited in line for my turn. I would be on the second ride of the day, so I had to wait about 45 minutes. I paced. I craned my neck to search the trail for the returning horses. I kicked the dirt. Then the terrible thing happened. Fooling around, I stepped on a board with a nail in it. The nail went through my tennis shoe and stuck in my foot. One of the horse hands had to pick me up while another on pulled the board loose from my shoe and foot.

As the horses returned, instead of fulfilling my dreams, I was being carried to the first aid station. Thankfully, I had received my tetanus shot the month before, but I still had to sit in the bunkhouse and soak my foot in Epsom salts.

It was horrible. There I was, a little girl, alone and in pain. Worse yet, the trail ride passed right below the windows of the bunkhouse. All the lucky kids were having the time of their lives riding the horses I should be on!!! Woe is me!

Two days later, I got to ride the horse and once again, all was well in my world. But, for a couple of days I was absolutely heart sick. I had looked forward to that ride for weeks and my hope was deferred.

It would be just a funny little story about a little girl who stepped on a nail and didn't get to ride a horse, except that something else happened that week. Remember the brief mention of Bible classes? During one of those Bible classes, the Lord spoke to my young tender heart and I committed my life to serve Him full time.

I still love horses and ride anytime I get a chance, but every single day of my life, I serve the Lord. I may have despaired over missing a horse ride, but the desire that began that week in July in 1969 has been a tree of life since.