4 Building Blocks for Successful Discipleship-part 3-Bearing the Burdens

This installment in the Invest series is the third building block for successful discipleship- bearing the burdens. The first installment was simply titled Invest , the second was Invest-part 2, the third was 4 Building Blocks to Successful Discipleship-part 1-Be an Example, and the fourth was part 2-Build the Relationship.

I’m definitely not an expert on the subject, I don’t have it all figured out, and I have so much to learn.  The tips and tools I’m sharing in this bible study series on biblical discipleship have been born out of a lot of mistakes and failures, and a few successes.

Everything is a learning experience if you let it be.  Discipleship thus far has been a blessing, even when it was heartbreaking and hard.

~Galatians 6:2~ Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. Bear means to carry, to take up, to lift off of someone.  A burden is heaviness, weight, trouble, and a load.  Some examples of things that commonly weigh women down are:

  • Finances
  • Relationships
  • Emotions
  • Work/school/sports
  • Sin

So far the blog post that has gotten the most comments on is From Worry to Worship~ Shifting your focus from the “What ifs” to “What is”.  A lot of women carry that burden of worry on their shoulders and need the help of a sober minded woman to learn how to turn that worry into worship.  

Bearing the burdens in discipleship is:

CounselingDiscipleship is a lot of counseling. Yes, you are teaching them the word of God, and training them how to walk with God, but you are also walking beside them as they go through life.

The two main things to remember when counseling:

  • Listen more than you speak- Proverbs 18:13~ He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.  Don’t try to give counsel before hearing what is exactly going on in their lives.  Let them share what’s on their heart.  Ask questions to get to what the real burden is.  That is one way you’re going to lift that off of them.

~Proverbs 17:28~ Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.

There’s a time to give advice, and there’s a time to just listen.

Think of the example of Job’s friends when he lost everything.  They sat silent and mourned with him for the first seven days (Job 2:11-13).  Then Job finally speaks of his misery and in chapter 4:2, Eliphaz says “who can withhold himself from speaking?” and begins to let Job know why he thinks Job’s in that predicament.

A lot of what these friends said to him was truth, but not true of Job’s situation, nor was it necessary or helpful.  They didn’t have the knowledge that Satan was tempting Job to blaspheme God.  We don’t have full knowledge of everything going on in another woman’s life either, so run it through that filter- is it kind, helpful or necessary?

  • Leave them with wise counsel- They really don’t need our opinion, or advice, they need help bearing those burdens with counsel from the word of God. Proverbs 19:21~ There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.

This is where being familiar with your bible is essential. You need to know the scriptures that address the specific burden they have.

You may feel ill-equipped to do this.  I’m going to help get tools in your hand to be able to be more confident in this area, by providing a how to study the bible series in the future.  But you have to remember that in that position of feeling inadequate to minister to someone else, is exactly where God wants you.

Rely on the Holy Spirit’s leading. He knows exactly what they need to hear, so if you are in tune with the Spirit and following his direction, you’ll be giving wise counsel.  Before every discipleship session or before you answer any text or phone call, pray that the Spirit would give you direction.

If it’s a situation that’s pretty serious and over your head, don’t be ashamed to tell them that.  Direct them to your trusted counselor or someone you know has a testimony of godliness and wisdom that could help.  We don’t have all the answers, but God’s word does and he has placed skilled counselors within the body for this exact reason.

So prayerfully, and with the Spirit’s leading, share with them wise counsel from the word or help them get the help they need.  The next key component to bearing burdens is to have:

Compassion

  • Love them like Jesus- My favorite example of having compassion is the story Jesus tells in Luke 10:25-37, about the good Samaritan. He had compassion on him, dressed his wounds, gave him his ride, took care of him, and provided for his financial need to get the recuperation he needed.

To fulfill the law of Christ is to love your neighbor as yourself, like the good Samaritan did. Sometimes we need to help bear their burdens physically by providing material needs to help lift their financial burden a little.  Maybe we need to babysit for them to give them a little break.  Or go to the funeral when their loved one dies.  Organize meals for them when they need it.

~1Peter 3:8~ Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous.     

  • Lead them to the Lord-  Matthew 11:28-30- Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.  Some people are carrying around a burden of guilt, shame, and sin, and need to be brought to the Lord for salvation.

Sharing the good news of the gospel lifts those burdens. That’s loving them, and having compassion and care for their soul.

Casting those cares on Christ

  • Lift them to the Lord- Pray for them! Jesus is really the one who bears all of our burdens.  We can’t hang on to them, we have to lift them off of our disciple or friend, and lift them right up to Jesus.

Lift them up to the throne of grace so they can obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. You may be the only one praying for them.

  • Lead them to the throne- In the last point you are praying, in this one you teach them how to do it themselves. Always be setting the example for your disciple and training them how to walk through the trials of life with the Lord.Teach them how to cast their cares on Christ, so they will eventually go straight to him to bear their burdens instead of to you.

When we bear the burdens in discipleship by counseling, with compassion, and casting the cares on Christ, we minister in a way that changes lives. When we minister like Jesus did, we can know the blessing of fruit that remains.

~Romans 15:1~ We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.

4 Building Blocks to Successful Discipleship- part 2

As you may know, I’m taking this month to share the bible study material I’ve written on biblical discipleship.  It’s a series titled Invest.  The first installment was simply titled Invest, the second was Invest- part 2, the third was 4 Building Blocks to Successful Discipleship- part 1- Be an Example.  This post will cover the second building block to successful discipleship, which is building the relationship.

Discipleship is all about investing the transforming truth of God’s word into another person, living life with them, and helping them to grow in their faith, character, and ministry. 

Women especially need this relational component.  We crave connection, companionship, and compassion. In the context of Titus 2 discipleship relationships, we need to be willing to help meet those needs of other women.

Think of it in terms of a mother-daughter relationship. Would a daughter grow and thrive with a mom who only gave principles, promises, and facts? No way! She’d be starved for affection and attention. She needs quality time.

The counsel, care, prayers, and pats on the back in addition to sound doctrine from her mom are essential to her becoming a virtuous woman of God. Daughters need the encouragement and support of their mothers.  Oftentimes they need their presence and prayers more than their preaching. It’s the same with spiritual mother-daughter relationships.

When building the relationship in discipleship, there are three things that are important to focus on:

 1.The Foundation

  • Salvation- In Matthew 7:24-29 Jesus describes the difference between wise and foolish builders. Wise builders (the obedient ones who hear and do), build upon the rock (Jesus), while the foolish (those who hear but don’t do), build upon the sand.  The storms of life come at both of the houses, but only the wise one will stand.

If we look at these verses in light of discipleship relationships, unless they’re built on Jesus Christ- they will fall apart. The foundation of our relationships must be our common salvation through Jesus Christ.

Share your testimony and have your disciple share hers. If she’s not born again, be intentional about sharing the gospel with her, and showing her in the scriptures how she can be saved.  Be prayerful and prepared for your time together, you never know when she’ll be ready to give her life to the Lord.

  • Study 1John together- This is a great book to start studying together to begin discipleship because it’s all about eternal security. 1John 5:13-These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. There are 12 proofs of salvation in this book. It really helps to alleviate or to validate any doubts of salvation.

Without securing the foundation of salvation, your relationship with your disciple will be unstable as you will be on uneven ground. She won’t think biblically, live righteously, or learn faithfully.  

2. Fellowship

  • Fellowship is community and communion, sharing intimately in the word and work of the Lord. This is a vital component to the discipleship relationship. In reading through the gospels, and looking specifically at how Jesus interacted with his disciples, we can learn how to be relational like he is.

Jesus made the first move and connected with the disciples, ate with them, prayed with them, taught them God’s word, ministered with them, and prepared them for his departure. All of the Lord’s fellowship with his disciples was to train them how to relate to others and do the work of the ministry to advance the Kingdom of God when he returned to heaven.

Our partnership with our disciples in ministry is to do the same.  We must spend time with them and minister to them like Jesus did, all the while training them to do the same for their disciple when we move on.  We need to encourage and equip our disciples like Jesus did through biblical fellowship.

This kind of fellowship doesn’t just happen, you have to be intentional and plan it.

  • Have them over for coffee, or for dinner to meet your family.
  • Go shopping or to the movies.
  • Have them over for a counseling and prayer session.
  • Spend time teaching her the basics of how to study her bible.
  • Do side studies with her.
  • Take her with you as you minister to others.
  • Send a bible verse or encouraging texts throughout the week, check on them, and for prayer requests.
  • Keep in contact via social media or email if you have too, just make sure they know that you’re thinking of them and they matter to you!

While you fellowship with your disciple in these ways, make sure you ask questions, and get to know them.  Find the common ground in physical and spiritual things, and build on that.  Every woman is different and will need different things from you, so remember to be sensitive to her unique situation and schedule, and be flexible.

  • Remember your source of strength, wisdom, compassion, and love, is Jesus Christ. (John 15:1-5) You can’t have true biblical fellowship with your disciple without your own personal fellowship with Christ. He fills you up with what you need to pour out to those you minister to. Abide in Christ, in the word and in prayer, seeking His presence and power to do all things for His glory. Partner with Jesus to minister to your disciple.  Apart from him you can do nothing, but with him you can do all things.

We must be intentional to secure the foundation, to invest time in fellowship, and to beware of the Foe who seeks to destroy this relationship.

3. The Foe

  • In John 10:10, Jesus says that “The thief cometh not, but for to steal and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”  Satan wants to steal the glory from God, and kill our fruit by destroying our relationships.  He will use busyness, sickness, death, insecurities, and drama to distract us from intentionally investing in our disciples and to distract them from being available to meet with us.

When distractions start to pile up we have to recognize it as spiritual warfare, pray about it, and be even more purposed to engage in building the relationship.  When the warfare comes that’s how we know we’re on the right track, so we can’t give up!

  • He divides- Satan hates discipleship because it doesn’t just affect one person. It transforms entire families and that in turn inspires other people, and turns them to Christ. If we allow the distractions or drama to get between us, our relationship will surely fall apart, and that’s exactly what the enemy wants.

Satan will use all kinds of tactics to try to divide God honoring relationships. That’s why it’s so important to have that sober mindset.  Run everything through the filter of what you know to be true-about God, the person, yourself, that relationship, your purpose, your responsibility etc!!

Ecclesiastes 10:18 says By much slothfulness the building decayeth; and through idleness of the hands the house droppeth through.  Relationships take work.  They’re sometimes messy and complicated. But they can also be a great source of joy, and they’re necessary.

Let’s be intentional to invest time in building our discipleship relationships by securing the foundation of salvation, having sweet fellowship with Christ and our disciple, and being aware of our Foe’s agenda to destroy us.

~Proverbs 24:3-4~ Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established: and by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.

 

4 Building Blocks to Successful Discipleship- part 1

Here’s the next installment of my biblical discipleship series titled Invest- 4 Building Blocks to Successful Discipleship, part 1- Be an Example.  You can read the two previous posts here and here.

~Titus 2:3~ The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;

God is infinitely more concerned with us being godly women than with us doing anything for him. That is why his exhortation to godly character precedes his instruction to teach younger women.

The more mature women in the body are to be an example of:

Sanctified Behavior– “in behavior as becometh holiness”

  • Stand Out from the Crowd!   This church plant in Crete was in the midst of a pagan, idolatrous, wicked environment. The world we live in is no different. The world our girls are growing up in is a crooked and perverse place.  The ladies that come in fresh from the world with no benefit of a godly upbringing carry the baggage of their carnal mindset, just like I did, and need to know what is expected of them as a new believer.  They’re going to need women to look to. They are looking for women like this!

If you read my blog post titled “I’m a Fool!”, you know that when I got saved I was really foolish.  I wanted to be wise and godly so the Lord taught me his word, and gave me a spiritual mentor, a living example to learn from.  I got to see a sober, submissive, Spirit-filled, servant in action.

He didn’t do all that for me just for my sake or the sanity of my husband and children, he sanctified me (and continues to) so that I can be an example to other women.  So that I can disciple and teach from a place of humility, understanding, experience, and God-given authority. And he wants to do the same for you!

Fast Fact: Holiness means uniqueness, set-apartness, or sanctified.

The aged women in the body should stand out from the immature, and the lost, they should be unique.  They should make holiness look good for the younger women, as something they should aspire to.  Psalm 29:2 says to “Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.”  Holiness is beautiful to the Lord, and it should be to us as well.

Our holiness is dependent on our walk with Jesus, our worship of Jesus, putting in the words of Jesus, and following the ways of Jesus. Ladies should be able to see from our attitudes and actions that there is something very different about us, something they desperately want themselves. The good things listed here that the mature women are to teach the younger women, she needs to be living out in her own life.  Not perfectly obviously, but making progress through her sin issues, always pursuing Christ-likeness. This is sanctified behavior.

The younger women should see that we don’t just read and teach these things, but we actually believe them enough to obey them!  Proverbs 31:10 says “Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies.”  Is it not the same in this world today? Virtuous women are so rare, and so hard to find.  I think it’s time to change that!

  • Stop the Carnality! At salvation the Lord starts conforming us to the image of Christ by pointing out areas in our lives that aren’t holy.  He brings us from carnality to Christ-likeness the more we repent at his conviction of sin, and submit to walk in his ways instead of our own.

~1Peter 1:15-16~ But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

Speaking Truth – “not false accusers”

  • Stop Slandering! “Accuser” comes from the Greek word “diabolos” meaning Satan or traducer.  This word is also used as “slanderer” and “devil” in the New Testament.  Proverbs 10:18 says “He that hideth hatred with lying lips, and he that uttereth a slander, is a fool.”

Slanderers seek self-elevation and start division.  A false accuser is a pawn of Satan who is being used to sow discord within the body, by spreading lies.

For a biblical illustration of this, read Numbers 12, and checkout my blog post on Miriam- A devilish diva!

The bible says that death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof (Proverbs 18:21).  You have in your words, the ability to speak truth that brings life, or lies that bring death. Slander is deadly to relationships, and kills the unity within the body.

~Proverbs 31:26~ She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. 

We are to be the example of sanctified behavior, speaking truth, and of a:

Sober Mindset– “not given to much wine”

  • Stay out of slavery to sin! “Given” means to be enslaved to, to be in bondage to, or become a servant of.  Not given to much wine means not a slave to alcohol.  This is the same instruction given to pastors in 1Timothy 3:3, Titus 1:7, and for deacons in 1Timothy 3:8. So the aged women are held to the same standard as the pastors and deacons of the church.

The bible forbids us from being drunk on alcohol.  Ephesians 5:17-18 says “Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is, and be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.”

While the bible specifically mentions being drunk on wine, we know that in our world today there are so many more things we can ingest to dull our senses and change our mood and mindset that ultimately bring us into bondage.  We become enslaved to them, and we turn those things instead of to the Lord to help us in time of need. We as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ are not to be controlled by anything other than the Holy Spirit inside of us, and we are not to put anything in the place of God.

  • Start thinking soberly!To change our actions, we must change our thinking. Romans 12:1-2 says “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”  Our minds are renewed and we are transformed by putting the word of God in.

A sober mind is a controlled, disciplined, sound mind that filters everything through God’s word.  The only way to have a sober mind is to fill our minds with divine truth.  When trial or temptation comes, we need to cast down imaginations (2Corinthians 10:3-6), and think on things that are true (Philippians 4:8). 

In that moment of decision, stop and ask yourself “what is true?” and apply God’s word to it.  Walk in the Spirit and choose to believe God’s word over how you feel. Contrary to popular belief, you can help it, you do have a choice, and it is possible to be free of emotional instability and bondage to habitual sin.

Pray for the Lord’s help to remember truth, resist temptation, and remain triumphant.  Be intentional to invest in your spiritual growth, be an example to other women by being sober, speaking truth, and having sanctified behavior.  Give them something they will want to follow and learn from!

Biblical discipleship the way Jesus did it is intentional, personal, radical, and fruitful. Stay tuned for the next installment of the Invest Series for building block number 2-Building the Relationship!

Invest- part 2

Invest.  It’s been the theme word of my life for over a year now.

After several years of being taught the word of God and trained by godly men and women how to be a faithful woman of the word, God pressed on my heart to focus on being intentional to invest all I had learned into other women.  I had been teaching in one-on-one discipleship for awhile, but God opened the door to be able to invest in the women at church via leading a women’s bible study.  I taught them a study out of Titus 2 that I wrote, called Invest.

That experience was like a long awaited dream come true! I’ve had a burning desire to teach the word of God since I got saved, but had to properly prepared to teach sound doctrine. It was a long, hard road, but it was well worth it.

I didn’t know it at the time, but getting to teach those women was just training for the next platform God would give me. I taught them for about a year when we were called out from our home church to plant a new church in the next county.  Giving up that ministry was so hard.  I was excited about being a pastor’s wife, and leading the women’s ministry for our new church, but leaving all of those sweet disciples behind was bittersweet.

I know that the word will not return void, and that the truth that was invested in them will continue to work on their hearts and minds, and be evident in their lives.  I hope and pray that those women grabbed hold of the desire to invest and are actively doing that today.

~Philippians 1:9-11~ And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.

After a few months in our new field, I started this blog, and then began teaching the Invest study here with our new women’s ministry.  Since the material has been such a blessing to us, I wanted to put portions of it on Daily His Disciple to expand the reach of the word.

In the first installment of this series, I gave you the first couple of questions that we should ask when we study the bible.  You can read that post here.

The first question is: What does the text literally mean to the people it was written to?   

The second question is: How is God revealing himself, and what can I learn about Him in this passage?

Approaching bible study in this way helps us to put the scriptures into context, and to give us a deeper understanding of the character of God.  After we’ve asked these two questions, we can then move onto:

The third question is: What does this text mean to me personally and how does God want me to apply it to my life?  

So often we open our bibles asking this question and none other.  We read the scriptures to learn more about who we are, or to get our nugget for the day. For years I read the bible this way.  Until I read a book called Women of the Word by Jen Wilkin.  This book revolutionized my bible study!  If you haven’t read it yet, you really should get it, read it, and begin applying the bible study tips she shares.  You’ll be glad you did!

The first section of the Invest study covers the context and lays the foundation for the rest of the study. It’s based on Titus 2:3-5~The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.  

In this passage of scripture, Paul gives the character that a woman of God should possess, and how to get it– by being taught by an older, more spiritually mature woman. God wants you to learn so you can teach.

It’s not enough for the pastor to teach sound doctrine from the pulpit. (Even though that’s wonderful!) If it were, we wouldn’t have these instructions. God knows that ladies need other ladies to teach them how to be godly and bring him glory. We need to see it lived out, we need the accountability, and we need the counseling that comes with discipleship.

An aged woman is spiritually mature and proven faithful.  This is a woman who has gained some wisdom and is able to teach other women because her character and conduct line up with the guidelines God gives for a godly woman. All of us are younger or older than someone else, both physically and spiritually, and should be learning and teaching no matter what our age.

Just like a succulent summer garden, diligent plowing, careful sowing, and daily watering, yields rewarding fruit.  We should each desire to be fruitful, and what I want to stress with this study is not the quantity of the fruit, but the quality.

We will reproduce what we are. So we have to be intentional about investing in our own spiritual growth so that we can produce Christ-like disciples.  

Ways to invest in our spiritual growth:

  • Read and study the bible 
  • Pray faithfully
  • Listen to sermons
  • Attend church regularly
  • Have fellowship with mature believers
  • Get discipled
  • Attend Bible studies
  • Read books by solid Christian authors (Recommended Resources post coming soon!)
  • Be involved in ministry
  • Listen to wise counsel

To be intentional in these things means that we’re going to have to be:

  • Disciplined over our flesh
  • Diligent to prioritize our time
  • Determined to choose to invest in the spiritual rather than the physical
  • Discerning of what is the best use of our time, talent and treasures.

If your days look anything like mine, we all too often find ourselves:

  • Distracted by worldly pursuits
  • Daunted by daily plans
  • Defeated by guilty pleasures

Don’t you know that that’s exactly where the enemy wants to keep us?  Because when we are lost in the fog of our flesh, or deafened by the noise of this world, we’re ineffective for the kingdom.  We can’t invest in someone else what we don’t possess ourselves.

~Romans 13:14~ But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

Teaching the younger women good things was not an option for these mature women, it was expected.  It was their role within the body of Christ, to help establish sound doctrine in the church.  This was how they contributed to making the body of Christ stand out above the wickedness and perversion of the world around them.

As believers and members of his body, we are also responsible for bringing him glory through the teaching of his word to other women in life-on-life discipleship.  It’s effective.  Women teaching women works, if we do it well.

Take stock of your life right now.  Do you have the character of the aged woman in Titus 2:3?  Then find someone to invest in!  If you’re in the younger woman stage, where you need a more mature woman to invest in you, then find one!  Pray for God to send you a ministry-minded, mission-focused, virtuous woman who will faithfully invest the truth of God’s word into you and help you to grow in faith, character, and ministry as well.

~2Timothy 2:2~ And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.  

Invest

A call to invest…

Psalm 145:3-5~ Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts.  I will speak of the glorious honour of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works.  

There are ladies in each one of our generations who don’t know the unsearchable greatness of our God.  There are those in the next generation who haven’t heard of his mighty acts or the glorious honor of his majesty.  If we don’t tell them, who will?

No matter your age or stage of life, your purpose is the same- to glorify God by carrying the truth to the next generation. Investing truth is my passion!

The purpose of Daily His Disciple, and my ministry to other women as a whole, is to encourage women to know the word, exhort them to live the word, and equip them to invest the word.  It’s also the goal of our entire women’s ministry at New Life Baptist Church, where my husband is the pastor.  I recently started teaching a bible study I wrote based on Titus 2, simply titled Invest.  

I thought I would tie in some Saturday Study Snippets from the Daily His Disciple Facebook page, with the lessons from the Invest study, while I work on new content for the blog.

The first Saturday Study Snippet was this bible study tip: When we study the scriptures we need to ask ourselves three questions. (I’ll give you question one and two today, and the third on Saturday, so stay tuned!)

The first question is: What does the text literally mean to the people it was written to?  Basically, establish the historical context.(Here’s the entire post.)

Reading the scriptures this way, thinking about the original audience, will help you to properly interpret and apply the bible. Some great resources for determining the historical context of the scriptures are: Study Bibles, Halley’s Bible Handbook, Blue Letter Bible, or your favorite bible app.

Context of Titus:  The book of Titus is a Pastoral epistle, written by the Apostle Paul around 65 a.d. to one of his Gentile converts and fellow laborers-Titus.  Paul had left Titus in Crete to set up this local New Testament church.  He instructs him on how to select the leadership, warns him of false teachers in the area, gives the character and conduct guidelines of the people within the church, and exhorts them all to maintain good works as they eagerly await the Lord’s return.  The apostle Paul is instructing Titus to establish sound doctrine and sanctify disciples in this church in Crete.

Paul is stressing the importance of investing sound doctrine into every believer so that they are set apart from the wickedness they were in the midst of.

It’s sound doctrine that was needed to counter the false teaching.  It’s sound doctrine that corrects wrong thinking and promotes right living.  It’s sound doctrine that saves the sinner and sanctifies the saint.  It’s sound doctrine that establishes and grows a local New Testament church. 

The second study question is: How is God revealing himself, and what can I learn about God in this passage? Be intentional to look for the Lord!  Write down his attributes and actions, instead of just the principles and promises that pertain to you and your situation. (Here’s the entire post.)

God gave us his word so we can know him intimately and love him intensely.  But if we only read it to see how it applies to our lives or to get some comfort or peace for ourselves, without really seeking his presence, we’re missing out on a deeper relationship with the Author of our salvation.

 

~Titus 2:3-5~ The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; that they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

Using our study snippet on this passage, we can learn so much about God:

  • He cares about the needs of women
  • He knows the areas we struggle with the most
  • He has a divine design for women
  • He knows we need relationships with other women
  • He is holy
  • He has a holy standard for his daughters 
  • He cares about our husbands and children
  • He is serious about his word

In three short verses we have a better understanding of our caring, holy, omniscient God!  Imagine how well we would know him if we were intentional about investigating the scriptures instead of merely reading them.  I’ll have the next question and more from the Invest study coming at ya later. In the meantime, start utilizing these two study snippets, and see how your knowledge and understanding of not only the scriptures, but also of the Savior matures.

~2Timothy 2:15~ Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.