Our Household in God’s Household

Today’s reading is Titus 2.

Yesterday, we learned there were insubordinate, empty talking, deceivers who were upsetting whole families teaching for shameful gain what ought not be taught. At the beginning of today’s reading, Paul turns that around on Titus. “No matter what anyone else is doing, Titus, you teach what accords with sound, healthy, faithful teaching. Those other guys are upsetting households, you settle them.” And then he talks about how everyone in a household should behave, whether male or female, whether old or young. But keep this in the context. Paul didn’t write this here so when we are preaching a series through Titus we could preach some lessons on the home. He is actually describing the battle in the vile culture of Crete. Please see, the battle isn’t won on Facebook. It isn’t won in a courthouse. It isn’t won on the floors of Congress. It is won in our households. Sure, it is great when laws get passed that support truth. But in the midst of Crete, Christians fight the good fight of faith not by conducting political battles but by living in their own households distinctly and differently, living soberly, steadfastly, lovingly, self-controlled, exemplary lives in a way that the ungodly are put to shame as they try to find some way to make an accusation against us. I think this may be a needed teaching for us today as well.

Tomorrow’s reading is Titus 3 .

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Discipline is Hard

Today’s reading is Hebrews 12.

I want life to be easy. But where would an easy life lead? If every day were a walk in the park, would I understand how much I need God? Would I figure out how messed up I am in my heart and mind? Enter discipline. Doing whatever I want without facing consequences is fun and easy, but eventually it is destructive. Discipline is hard and painful. I don’t like it. But God puts me through it in the hope of saving my very soul. I often wish there was an easier softer way for me to grow, but I’ve come to realize I’m pretty dense and thick-headed. If God is going to get my attention, He has to get my attention where it hurts. I can cry, whine, moan, rebel, but God’s painful discipline is what trains me and gives me life. Who knew that discipline itself is really the grace of God? Let’s thank God for His discipline today.

Monday’s reading is Hebrews 13.

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Why Judas?

Today’s reading is Mark 4.

Have you ever wondered why Jesus picked Judas as one of the twelve? He knew the future. He knew how it would end up. But He picked him anyway. Was Judas a bad guy and Jesus just needed a bad guy to make sure He got betrayed in the end? I don’t think so. Judas was apparently good enough that none of the rest had a problem with him being in charge of the money bag. He wasn’t an obviously bad, awful man filling a spot and biding time for Jesus. I suggest Judas was chosen because Judas was qualified. By God’s grace, he had everything he needed to be a great disciple of Jesus and a great apostle. However, at the same time, he also had everything he needed to be a betrayer. The fact is Judas is just like us. We have everything it takes to be a traitor, but by the grace of God we also have everything it takes to be great disciples and servants of Jesus. The question is which will we choose. Start today. Which will you choose today?

Tomorrow’s reading is Mark 5.

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How Will They Know We Love God?

Today’s reading is John 14.

Did you hear what Jesus said at the very end of today’s chapter? “I do as the Father has commanded me, because I always like to keep the rules.” Nope. “I do as the Father has commanded me to show I’m better than everyone else.” Nope. “I do as the Father has commanded me because deep down inside, I’m a Pharisee.” Nope. “I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father.” Wow! Who knew? I thought keeping the commandments was about rules, regulations, and legalism. That stuff is for Pharisees. But Jesus says doing what God says was His way of letting the world know He had a real relationship with the Father. I wonder if that might work for us too. Since our Teacher took that path, perhaps we disciples should follow Him.

Tomorrow’s reading is John 15.

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The Real Family of Jesus

Today’s reading is Mark 3.

I doubt we in our modern, western, individualistic culture will ever fully appreciate what Jesus said when His mother and siblings came calling. “Who are my mother and brothers? Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.” WOW!!! In that culture, family was everything. Belonging to a clan or tribe was paramount. And Jesus explained that His clan, His tribe, His family was not listed in the records of the genealogies. Rather, His family is recorded in heaven. Those who surrender to Yahweh as Father are Jesus’s siblings. We are His real family. Praise the Lord!

Tomorrow’s reading is Mark 4.

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