Nancy & Allen Tate
We are living in uncertain and stressful times. How can we help? One way is by living upright lives regardless of what challenges we may face, that there might be godly examples for others to see and find encouragement in.
A verse I have always loved speaks of Christ coming back to be admired “in” His saints (2 Thessalonians 1:10). Christ seen and admired in us. What a calling!
After I am saved, I am to mature and grow. My salvation is a free gift, but my character is formed through choices I make. As I yield to the Lord, He works in my life until it becomes “yet not I but Christ” living and being seen in me (1 Peter 2:2; Ephesians 2:8; 1 Corinthians 15:31; Philippians 2:13; Galatians 2:20).
Song of Solomon 8:5 asks, “who is this that comes up from the wilderness leaning on her beloved?” There has been a change! This is our testimony. We are called to “be” witnesses unto Him, whatever the situation or circumstance (Acts 1:8).
God gives us the enabling power to “become” that witness as we learn to draw on His strength, spending quality times apart with Him in prayer, worship, and His word. We have increased opportunity to do this today! Then we in turn can be a place of refuge, strength, comfort and encouragement to others in troubled times.
I find great joy in times with my husband, Allen, as he sings, prays, and reads scripture. What precious fellowship!
Allen wrote the following to share with you:
Paul’s purpose in writing the book of Titus was to “further the faith of God’s chosen ones and lead them to the full knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness” Titus 1:1 (TPT). Paul points out that the gospel will be accepted or rejected, based in part on how we are perceived. He speaks of the importance of three things: sound doctrine, good behavior, and good works.
Our doctrine is fundamental! But our doctrine is to be supported by our behavior. Paul talks about embracing a lifestyle that is consistent with sound doctrine and describes the sort of character that should spring from good teaching. We are to live responsible, honorable, and God-fearing lives, being self-controlled, upright, and godly; lives dedicated to God.
When we first heard the gospel, we looked at the life of the person presenting it, and, consciously or not, we made decisions about the gospel based on the life and behavior of the presenter. Important to whether we accepted the gospel, was whether we felt the person presenting it had a credible life.
Our respect for the person presenting the gospel gives credence to their words. As a child, my first Sunday School teachers were people of high moral character, with loving spiritual concern for me. I had high respect for them, so when they taught the gospel, I believed they were speaking truth.
Titus 2:5 directly exhorts us to good behavior so that the word of God is not blasphemed. Satan cannot attack sound doctrine successfully, so he chooses to attack those who present it. Good character sustains us!
Do we want the gospel that we present to be accepted by those who hear? Let’s heed the words Paul gave to Titus:
“Above all, set yourself apart as a model of a life nobly lived. With dignity, demonstrate integrity in all that you teach” Titus 2:7 (TPT).
“…have no more to do with godlessness or the desires of this world, but to live, here and now, responsible, honourable, and God-fearing lives” Titus 2:12 (Phillips).
Thank you, Allen!
And what opportunity we have today, to share Christ with others not just through our words, but through our lives. I sometimes ask myself, would anyone look at my life and want to be a Christian? Would my behavior cause anyone to want to know the Lord? What do people feel when they are around me? Can they sense His peace, His presence, His love, His joy? Or do they just hear my mouth speaking words and preaching sermons?
May our lives match our words! May we “be” witnesses in the time we are living in, a time when there is so much uncertainty. May our words edify and our lives be a model of integrity. May we “be” a people in whom Christ is seen and glorified.