Titus 1:5–16 (NIV84)
Titus’ Task on Crete
5 The reason I left you in Crete was that you might straighten out what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you. 6 An elder must be blameless, the husband of
but one wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. 7 Since an overseer is entrusted with God’s work, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness,
not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. 8 Rather he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. 9 He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that
he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.
10 For there are many rebellious people, mere talkers and deceivers,
especially those of the circumcision group. 11 They must be silenced, because they are ruining whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach—and that for the sake of dishonest gain. 12 Even one of their own prophets
has said, “Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons.” 13 This testimony is true. Therefore, rebuke them sharply, so that they will be sound in the faith 14 and will pay no attention to Jewish myths or to the commands
of those who reject the truth. 15 To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted. 16 They claim to know God, but by their actions
they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.
Step by step, Paul outlines the requirements
for those who wish to lead as stewards of God’s Church. Then he turns his focus to the false teachers, who do not measure up in understanding or teaching the truth, in their corrosive behavior, or in their motives. As living, active members of God’s
Church, potential leaders should aspire to know and understand His truth and to serve in the roles He provides. They and their families need to live a godly life that avoids empty talk, deceit, and any teaching that turns away from God’s truth. Purity
is a tall order, though, and we cannot make ourselves pure. Yet God steps into our lives and purifies us by His Gospel. Thank God that through Jesus Christ, He makes us pure and leads us through His trustworthy Word!
I pray: Jesus, purify me with Your righteousness so that I may lead in my family and serve faithfully among Your people. Amen.
Edward A. Engelbrecht, The Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis, MO: Concordia
Publishing House, 2009), 2090.
Titus 1 (NIV84)
1Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ
for the faith of God’s elect and the knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness— 2 a faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time, 3 and at
his appointed season he brought his word to light through the preaching entrusted to me by the command of God our Savior,
4 To Titus, my true son in our common faith:
Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.
Paul opens his
Letter to Titus and the churches on Crete with a greeting that asserts his authority, recaps God’s plan for salvation, and notes his personal bond with Titus. Most of his greeting revolves around the Gospel, because this is so central to Paul’s
life that he can hardly speak (or write) without mentioning it. God saves us from sin and condemnation and makes us fit for His kingdom. The only logical response to such love, grace, and generosity is, like Paul, to overflow with His praises and share this
joyous news with others. Through Jesus Christ, the Father rescues us from our shortcomings yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
I pray: I praise You, O God, for giving me grace
and peace in Christ Jesus, my Savior! Make me a sincere and faithful child in the communion of saints. Amen.
Edward A. Engelbrecht, The
Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2009), 2089.
2 Timothy 4:19–22 (NIV84)
19 Greet Priscilla and Aquila and the household of Onesiphorus. 20 Erastus stayed in Corinth, and I left Trophimus sick in Miletus. 21 Do your best to get here before winter. Eubulus
greets you, and so do Pudens, Linus, Claudia and all the brothers.
22 The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you.
In closing, Paul asks Timothy to greet the other Christians at Ephesus, whom Paul had earlier grown to love. There is no Christian who lives to himself or herself alone. We are a family, joined together in Christ!
Timothy faces a difficult task, but he does not face it alone. Other Christians in the Body of Christ will shoulder the load with him. God has likewise given fellow Christians to us, whom we will find gathered with us in worship. Partaking of the Word and
the Sacraments in the communion of saints, our gracious heavenly Father will lighten our loads and lift our burdens.
I pray: Thank You, Lord, for my fellow Christians
whom I name before You in my prayers. Amen.
Edward A. Engelbrecht, The Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2009), 2086.
2 Timothy 4:9–18 (NIV84)
9 Do your best to come to me quickly, 10 for Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia. 11 Only
Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry. 12 I sent Tychicus to Ephesus. 13 When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, and my scrolls, especially the parchments.
14 Alexander the metalworker did me a great deal of harm. The Lord will repay him for what he has done. 15 You too should be on your guard
against him, because he strongly opposed our message.
16 At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. May it not
be held against them. 17 But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth. 18 The Lord will
rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Paul requests that Timothy visit him at Rome, confident
that his fellow Christian will prove faithful. We should not hesitate to ask others for their help, particularly when our need is great. Probably they are more than ready to give us aid and require only to know our need. The self-sacrificing generosity that
Christians show toward one another comes from only one place: the self-sacrificing love of Christ Jesus, who gave Himself fully for our salvation.
I pray: Thank You,
Jesus, that You have given all things for me. Give me Your Holy Spirit, that I may be bold, both to serve others with self-sacrificing love and to ask for such love from others when I am in need. Amen.
Edward A. Engelbrecht, The Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis,
MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2009), 2086.
2 Timothy 4 (NIV84)
4In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge
the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: 2 Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 3 For
the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth
and turn aside to myths. 5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.
6 For I am already
being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord,
the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his Faced with the thought of his imminent death, Paul impresses upon Timothy the importance of carrying on where Paul will leave off, preaching
the Word faithfully. We should not judge our pastors’ preaching on whether they say the things we personally like to hear. We should judge preaching instead on God’s Word. God’s Word sometimes cuts like a knife when it exposes our sin. But
after the Law comes the Gospel of peace, binding up the wounds inflicted by the Law with the sweet Gospel, which proclaims Christ’s forgiveness for all our sins.
Make me an ever-ready hearer of Your Word, O Lord. Do not let me seek preaching that satisfies my sinful desires, but give me preaching that will continually return me to the forgiveness You have given me through Your Son. Amen.
Edward A. Engelbrecht, The Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis, MO: Concordia
Publishing House, 2009), 2085.