ADORATION – Reflect on God’s Greatness
God is Beautiful God is the sum of all desirable qualities. All of our good and righteous desires, all of the desires that really ought to be in us or in any other creature, find their ultimate fulfillment in God.
The beauty of our lives is so important to Christ that his purpose now is to sanctify the entire church “that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish” (Ephesians 5:27). Thus, we individually and corporately reflect God’s beauty in every way in which we exhibit his character.
Praise God that He is Beautiful
Praise God for the beauty in creation, in humanity, and in relationships. Look outside at the beauty of creation, or consider the beauty of a sunrise. Thank God for that beauty. Think about a close relationship with a friend or family member. Praise God for the beauty and joy you experience in relationships. He is the source of beauty.
CONFESSION: Confess your sins to God and receive his continued mercy.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
THANKSGIVING: Giving thanks to God for his specific blessings in our lives.
“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” Psalm 100
SUPPLICATION: Bringing our requests to God.
- Bring your personal prayer requests to God.
- Pray for Christian Challenge as they meet tonight for their first summer session. Ask God to increase students’ love for Him, love for one another, love for God’s word, and love for the lost.
Titus 1 – The Message
1-4 I, Paul, am God’s slave and Christ’s agent for promoting the faith among God’s chosen people, getting out the accurate word on God and how to respond rightly to it. My aim is to raise hopes by pointing the way to life without end. This is the life God promised long ago—and he doesn’t break promises! And then when the time was ripe, he went public with his truth. I’ve been entrusted to proclaim this Message by order of our Savior, God himself. Dear Titus, legitimate son in the faith: Receive everything God our Father and Jesus our Savior give you!
A Good Grip on the Message
5-9 I left you in charge in Crete so you could complete what I left half-done. Appoint leaders in every town according to my instructions. As you select them, ask, “Is this man well-thought-of? Is he committed to his wife? Are his children believers? Do they respect him and stay out of trouble?” It’s important that a church leader, responsible for the affairs in God’s house, be looked up to—not pushy, not short-tempered, not a drunk, not a bully, not money-hungry. He must welcome people, be helpful, wise, fair, reverent, have a good grip on himself, and have a good grip on the Message, knowing how to use the truth to either spur people on in knowledge or stop them in their tracks if they oppose it.
10-16 For there are a lot of rebels out there, full of loose, confusing, and deceiving talk. Those who were brought up religious and ought to know better are the worst. They’ve got to be shut up. They’re disrupting entire families with their teaching, and all for the sake of a fast buck. One of their own prophets said it best:
The Cretans are liars from the womb,
barking dogs, lazy bellies.
He certainly spoke the truth. Get on them right away. Stop that diseased talk of Jewish make-believe and made-up rules so they can recover a robust faith. Everything is clean to the clean-minded; nothing is clean to dirty-minded unbelievers. They leave their dirty fingerprints on every thought and act. They say they know God, but their actions speak louder than their words. They’re real creeps, disobedient good-for-nothings.
22 God be with you. Grace be with you.
Look over the disqualifying and qualifying traits that Paul gives Titus as he considers the selection and training of pastor candidates. Do you think that if this is God’s ideal for church leaders that his ideal for church members is less? Clearly God will give different gifting to those he calls as pastors, but his desire is for everyone in the church to live to the same ethical standards. These traits are a really good model of what it would look like to train for godliness. Think them through not as something for pastors to aspire to, but for your own life as well. For instance, as you consider “self-control,” what area of your life needs attention? We all tend to have areas where we are more or less self-controlled. This is about direction not perfection. Self-control is not an arbitrary standard that God sets to test our worth. It is a key aspect of living in his freedom. Spend some time on these traits, personalize them, pray about them.