Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Titus: Finally

Thanks for joining me on this journey through Paul’s letter to Crete. The church was struggling because it wanted to look a lot like the world around it.

Today, we’d call that tolerance. And we should be gracious to other points of view and other cultures and traditions.

But not all ideas are equal.

Paul made that clear in his letters. Although some people were trying to convince the church people that the ways of the world were more educated, more thoughtful, more pleasurable, Paul said there was death in returning to the world.

We have the same temptations today. You may know people who followed Jesus for a while but then decided the world’s ways looked pretty good.

You may know people who didn’t want to have self-control but wanted to do what they wanted to do. You may be that person.

Following Jesus isn’t easy, because we have to say “no” to the ways of the world and say “yes” to Jesus. That may mean we give up some things.

Even though those things aren’t good for us, they seem good for us in the beginning. And we find ourselves addicted and pulled away from Jesus.

When we keep our eyes on Jesus, we remember his love and gentleness.

We live in upside-down world today, where naughtiness gets a pat on the back while the virgin is mocked. But, oddly, it entices. We can lose our bearing quickly.

The key is the way of wisdom, holding firm to God’s Word. No matter what the world offers us, following the way of Jesus leads us to the nature of God, where we find kindness, love, mercy, generosity, and eternity with the Creator of the universe. That's worth resisting today's culture for.

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