Sunday Stillness – How are we easily deceived?
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 1:10. 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.
For there are many rebellious people, mere talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision group (Titus 1:10, NIVUK).
I – Identify the characters, the setting, and the circumstances surrounding this passage.
Rebellious People: are they the ones who are far from God? who make their own rules? who are violent? who pursue dishonest gain? who lie? who cheat? who don’t follow God’s word? Or just any of us who take our own route instead of checking with God. (Doesn’t that happen a lot?)
Mere Talkers: sometimes people think they know everything but they don’t have solid knowledge. Some just talk to hear themselves talk. Or send forward emails (a technological form of talking) that they don’t check the veracity of the statement.
Circumcision Group: Those who were of Jewish faith and believed one needed to be circumcised to be a Christian. Those who followed the rules, by the letter, man’s rules, not God’s.
The King James Version for Titus 1:10 says:
for there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of circumcision.
M- Make a list of the thoughts, questions and ideas.
Reading Ed’s book, I learned more about how we are deceived into thinking that what we do is okay – but it may not be. For instance, Ed talks about labyrinths. At one time I thought of putting in a labyrinth on our property. Somehow that didn’t come to fruition. I am so happy. After reading the history of labyrinths in Ed’s book I changed my mind.
The Labyrinth has a history of human sacrifices, and cult worship. It was a place to keep the Minotaur in a type of jail, with no chance of escape. Sacrifices of young teens were made to this beast. This is the story of the beginning of labyrinths (in Crete).
The emphasis in the actual written documentation about Labyrinth usage was not how to enter the labyrinth but how to escape the labyrinth (Ed Hird, page 49, Restoring Health).
Being westerners, we often fail to realize that seemingly harmless ‘physical”‘ techniques can have significant questionable spiritual impact on our lives (ibid. page 50).
Ed reminds us of yoga that also has swept the country – it seems only physical in nature but,
we fail to see the religious syncretism that we are involving ourselves in (Ibid. page 50).
I know many may disagree about the danger of these forms of expression. But I check out Yoga, Tai Chi, anything Zen and consider what it may be really.
Read Ed Hird’s wonderful articles:
I do agree with Ed that you are what you do. So be careful you are not pulled where God does not want you to be. If you have any weird inklings that something doesn’t seem right – get out of there.
I don’t want to be deceived by the world.
P – Pray again for God’s guidance.
Very interesting time once again.
L- Life – How can I apply what I have been studying to my life?
As I read Ed’s book about the call of the world – the deceivers that we may not see as deceivers, God reminded me to keep watch. I have to remember Whom I worship. And I must keep all my activities focused on Him.
It is not a neutral thing whom and what you worship. You become like what you worship… Your view of God is the highest truth about you, as it shapes everything you do (Ed Hird, Restoring Health, page 53).
Am I being easily deceived by the world? Are you? Look around you. What do you see? Where are you putting your energy and focus? Television? Video games? Gossip?
Why do we have such bullying in schools? Why the racism? Are you involved with activities that might be pulling you away from Jesus?
Are we being deceived?
but test them all; hold on to what is good (1 Thessalonians 5:21, NIVUK).
E – Exit the passage with a prayer for God to help you.
Father, this is all so confusing. What we see as innocent may not be innocent. Help us to discern what is good for us and not harmful to our spirits. I don’t know the answers. But I know You do. Help us as we pray together for discernment so we know whether we are being deceived. Help us to be watchful and hold on to what is good. Protect us we pray. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.
Are we being deceived by what looks innocent to us? (click to tweet).
Today is Sunday Stillness.
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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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