Sunday Stillness – How to live like Sons and Daughters of God
This week I look at Titus 1:5 using the SIMPLE Method of Bible Study. I am also trying to memorize as I go. I have memorized this far. So far – so good.
S – Say the passage aloud.
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 (Titus 1:5, NIV).
I – Identify the characters, the setting, and the circumstances surrounding this passage.
Paul had to leave Crete (we are not told why). He left Titus in charge. That was a big undertaking. Paul trusted Titus and found him dependable. The two of them must have started to spread the Gospel but had not begun to build churches so the first step would be to appoint elders.
M- Make a list of the thoughts, questions and ideas.
What is an elder? How were they appointed? Did they all come from one church? Where was that? How did they start a new church? What needed “straightening out”? What was left unfinished?
From Ed’s research I found out that during the time of Pentecost many Cretans were present and were filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:11). Those people had gone back to Crete as spirit-filled believers, filled with hope. But trying to “fix” the pirates needed some straightening out. This takes time.
Building a church is no easy task and cannot be competed in a moment. (Paul) was naturally exceptionally talented, he never grew tired in all his work, and yet he confesses that he left the work half done…. it takes more than just a year or two to restore a fallen church (John Calvin from Restoring Health by Ed Hird, page 34).
The Cretans had met Paul – he had begun the ministry but it was up to Titus to build strong healthy leaders from the ex-pirates.
P – Pray again for God’s guidance.
L- Life – How can I apply what I have been studying to my life?
Many of us come from backgrounds we may not be proud of or actions we wish we had not done, words we wished we had not said. But we must remember that our “pirate pasts” were left on the cross. God uses each of our pasts for His glory and to spread His Word.
We are on a level playing field in God’s eyes.
Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you (Romans 12:3, NIV).
That’s why we need to band together and encourage one another.
We are Sons and Daughters of a mighty God – Let’s live like that.
Personally, I love the words in my Bible that said – straighten out. Other NIVs said – put in order.
But really God needed to straighten me out.
For someone who used to lose her temper all the time when I didn’t get my way – I have changed. I still have control issues but they are much less than before.
My daughter gently asks her 2 year old when he find things not going as planned – “Is it a big deal or a little deal?” This seems to stop him in his tracks to consider his options.
We need to ask that question when we feel anger, worry or fear. If it’s a little deal – let is go. And if it is a “big deal” then we need to find out how to react in Christ.
God loves to be in all the details, big or little. But if we can remember to act in TRUST and HOPE at all times – big deals can become smaller ones, because God can works through all deals.
I love the quote: God is not finished with me yet. (Philippians 1:6)
So when we are in a temper state, a confused state, an uncontrollable state – STOP – reconnect with our Saviour. Let Him bring the peace and grace needed to work out a situation.
E – Exit the passage with a prayer for God to help you.
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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Today is Sunday Stillness – Join us – spread His Word through your words.
Thank you to all bloggers who are joining me in Sunday Stillness.
I love your SIMPLE acronym… and encouraging, thought-provoking words!
It certainly has made the verses in the Bible come alive for me. Thanks.
Holy Spirit inspired for sure.
Beautiful thoughts on a passage that would be easy to skim by!
Interesting to note that. I find studying Scrioture this way has been so enlightening. I too would have skimmed over this verse. But God can bring many things to light if we let Him.
Love how your daughter asks her toddler, “Is it a little deal or a big deal?” I may need to try that!
Yes I thought it was a great idea but not just for toddlers. We all need to ask it of ourselves.