Sunday Stillness – How Can God’s Word Change You?
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Thank you for all your prayers and emails during this flu. I am happy to say that I am on the mend.
I am continuing to study Titus using the SIMPLE Method of Bible Study and Ed Hird’s book Restoring Health. Today I am working through Titus 1:7b. If you want a PDF of the SIMPLE Bible Study – please click on SIMPLE Bible Study by Janis Cox.
Of course, I start with a prayer for God to open the Scripture to me.
S – Say the passage aloud.
- not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain (Titus 1:7b, NIV).
I - Identify the characters, the setting, and the circumstances surrounding this passage.
When I think of the pirates Paul is talking about – yes they were violent and robbed others. How hard must that have been for Titus to speak against. Their whole way of life needed to change.
M- Make a list of the thoughts, questions and ideas.
What’s the opposite of violent? – peace loving, and grace giving.
What’s the opposite of pursuing dishonest gain? – living honestly, working for your money, telling the truth.
I began thinking of this world – nowadays. What do we hear and see on TV, movies, books, video games? Violence, murders. What would Paul say to our world? STOP it. If we want to follow Christ, we have to stop this way of thinking and viewing. What we see is then enacted out in real life. I think of this next generation growing up with violent video games – how is that affecting their minds?
And dishonest gain? We see that in all walks of our lives. People cheating on taxes, people trying to get a “fast buck”, people scamming others. Lotteries – aren’t they just trying to get money that wasn’t earned? Look at big companies – CEOs charged with fraud. The crash of 2008 – greed of the banks and lending companies blinded them to what could happen.
What is happening?
Ed writes a wonderful chapter on this verse.
Our glorification of violence makes us our own worst enemy. Our pride naturally leads to anger and aggression.. Loneliness creates anger (Restoring Health – Mind, Body and Spirit, Ed Hird, page 40).
P – Pray again for God’s guidance.
L- Life – How can I apply what I have been studying to my life?
It’s always funny (to me at least) what God brings to my mind. It is not always what I think about reading the passage, or writing my questions, or even reading Ed’s thoughts – sometimes it is out of the blue.
1. – Not Violent –
I used to read violent books. I wondered why I didn’t sleep well. I used to watch the news before bed. I wondered why I didn’t sleep well. I believe it is good to keep up with what is happening in the world and for that reason I read the news on my IPAD in the morning – never before bed.
I now read good books, with love, redemption, excitement, troubles that are overcome, journeys and struggles.
2 – Not Given to Dishonest Gain.
I don’t think I ever purposefully lied or took money illegally. However, my giving heart had to melt before I could open the door to being generous. One sermon many years ago cracked open the door to giving in my heart. The question was asked: How much do you pay to heat your house? Shouldn’t you pay that amount or more to heat your heart?
Hubby and I now look for God’s leading of where to give. Try it and as Ed says:
Our giving must be out of thanksgiving and love for what Jesus did on the cross (Restoring Health, page 42).
Generosity is a healthy mark of a Spirit-filled ex-pirate (Ibid. page 43).
This also brought to mind taking Dave Ramsey’s course, called Financial Peace, and how this changed our thinking too.
E – Exit the passage with a prayer for God to help you.
Lord, thank you for showing me the ideal way to live – Your way. Help me as I struggle with keeping peaceful at all times. As I go out into the world help me to pray when I see violence and dishonest gain. Help me to have a generous gentle heart. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.
Janis is the author of the award winning children’s book, Tadeo Turtle, published by Word Alive Press. Available in Kindle Format, in bookstores, online and from her website. Curriculum available upon request.
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