Charles Stanley (July-22-2021) Daily Devotional: Thriving in Our Present Culture
Titus 1 - 1 Paul, a bond-servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the faith of those chosen of God and the knowledge of the truth which is according to godliness, 2 in the hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised long ages ago, 3 but at the proper time manifested, even His word, in the proclamation with which I was entrusted according to the commandment of God our Savior, 4 To Titus, my true child in a common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior. 5 For this reason I left you in Crete, that you would set in order what remains and appoint elders in every city as I directed you, 6 namely, if any man is above reproach, the husband of one wife, having children who believe, not accused of dissipation or rebellion. 7 For the overseer must be above reproach as God's steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain, 8 but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled, 9 holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict. 10 For there are many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, 11 who must be silenced because they are upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not teach for the sake of sordid gain. 12 One of themselves, a prophet of their own, said, Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons." 13 This testimony is true. For this reason reprove them severely so that they may be sound in the faith, 14 not paying attention to Jewish myths and commandments of men who turn away from the truth. 15 To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled. 16 They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed.
Society’s philosophies and values are everywhere—on radio and TV, in books and magazines, and in conversations at the workplace and corner coffee shop. Believers can’t avoid the pressures to be and think like everyone else. And yet the Bible calls us to live in our culture without becoming part of it.
In his letter to Titus, who ministered on the worldly-minded island of Crete, Paul explained how we are to accomplish this. Those who are above reproach—meaning blameless and unmoved by the sins of the culture—must be “holding firmly the faithful word” (Titus 1:9). Paul was saying that we must cling to the Word of God and develop a lifestyle of applying His principles.
The Bible is the revelation of God—He tells us what He thinks, how He acts, and what He expects of us—but the Bible can’t help us if we never open it. Make time to read Scripture daily and carefully meditate upon it. What do the passages mean and how do they apply to our life? Scriptural truths are most powerful when we believe the Word wholeheartedly and obey it consistently. As we take practical steps to keep Scripture in our everyday life, we will reflect Christ in the world without being of the world.