Sunday Stillness – What is a strong faith-filled leader?
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 1:8. 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.
Rather he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined (Titus 1:8, NIV).
I – Identify the characters, the setting, and the circumstances surrounding this passage.
It is interesting to note that the King James Version says: a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy and temperate.
a lover of good men? compared to loves what is good. I am still working on figuring this out. Any ideas?
sober: one meaning is being self-controlled
temperate: one meaning is moderate or self-restrained.
Paul continues to talk about elders – those who will lead the new Christians in Crete. He has stated the word “blameless” twice. This time he expands on the qualities of a leader.
M- Make a list of the thoughts, questions and ideas.
The choice of words in the KJV, sober and temperate, seem alluding to alcohol consumption. Knowing the pirates – obviously they did have a problem in drinking to excess.
The point being that a leader of the church should be open to scrutiny.
I think of churches nowadays. I hear of leaders being in disgrace – not following these guidelines. Why does this happen so often? Are they so hard at work that they forget to stay focused on Jesus?
P – Pray again for God’s guidance.
L- Life – How can I apply what I have been studying to my life?
Lots of thoughts and words in this passage.
I hear God saying that strong leadership is important to build the church. As many are coming to Christ in other parts of the world, we have to encourage them to follow Paul’s words to Titus.
Building leadership! A focus that is needed in all our churches. The push in North America is to build big churches – but that’s not giving time, sometimes, to build good leaders. Maybe we need smaller churches but with more faith-filled congregants? Each new member needs a mentor, and needs to build a strong foundation of faith. This takes time. Are we taking the time to do this?
Pastors – Are they feeling isolated and where do they get fed? Who reminds them to stop, drop and pray? Who reminds them that their focus must be on Jesus first?
What about the word hospitable? I think that means to be open to whomever God brings to our door. It means to be charitable when God shows us how.
Goodness? When we seek good people, we build relationships. We share. We care. A community is built. When we do good, it reminds us of Who God is. God is goodness. Can we be like that?
Goodness almost needs a press agent to convince people of its value (Ed Hird, page 43, Restoring Health).
Self-Controlled Not letting circumstances or emotions control us, seeking God instead. That is something I have learned over the past 15 years. To control myself. Not to fly off the handle. To think when I am hurt. To wrestle with God over situations. To take time in prayer.
I love this quote which although attributed to John Wesley seems to have some controversy about that fact. But I still like the quote.
Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.
E – Exit the passage with a prayer for God to help you.
Lord, it seems once again that focussing on You keeps us healthy. You tell us to look after our bodies, minds and spirits. Help each of us to follow Your direction. Show us how to care best for our bodies – exercise, nutrition; our minds – reading, talking and thinking; our spirits – prayer, fasting, study and focusing on You. Thanks for Your Word that stretches and prepares us for good works in this world. 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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