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Sunday Stillness – What is a strong faith-filled leader?

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.

REstoring Health ed hird cover

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 Cox


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.


You can find her on Facebook, and Twitter. Tadeo has his own Facebook Page.




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When is Enough – Enough?

by Jennifer Slattery (reprinted with permission)

We’ve all had those moments in our life when we’re ready to throw in the towel. We’ve prayed and prayed, fervently and with faith, for something or someone, to no avail. And we’ve all had those moments when God’s Spirit has burned within us so strongly, we just knew things were going to turn around, our loved ones were going to finally take that leap of faith, our house was going to sell, we were going to get that job. Whatever. But then the moment passes, and our loved ones are still headed down a different road, the house continues to sit, and the job we’ve worked so hard and long for is given to someone else. So what do we do? When is enough – enough?

I’ve been on both sides of this coin many times. I have moments where my faith is so strong I’m ready to turn mountains into molehills and to command trees to uproot themselves and jump into the sea. But I’ve also had many moments, way more than I’d like to admit, where I’ve thrown my hands in the air with a scowl and a vehement accusation hurled at God.

Yesterday God gave me just a glimmer of His heart, and it overwhelmed me with sadness. I’m not sure if sadness is quite the word. Sadness mixed with intense longing. I couldn’t stop crying, and praying. As I prayed, I listened to Addison Road’s “What Do I know of Holy” over and over. Not sure why, but the song drew me. Even now, as I think about it, tears resurface. What do I know of Holy? What do I know of God? My human mind fails to comprehend. So what do I do? I box Him in to what is manageable, or understandable. Yesterday, God shattered my nice little package with an intense, overpowering love.

I understood instantly that what I was feeling was God’s heart for the person He was calling me to pray for. And I have to tell you, my human love paled in comparison to the gut wrenching emotions that swept over me. And just when I thought I was done praying, and ready to get on with my day (the laundry never did get done and that article I keep talking about never did get written) it’d hit me again, like a Mack Truck straight to the chest, and I was back to tears and desperate cries to my Holy Father.

The pain was so intense it frightened me. If God felt such heartache for this person, did it mean that the person I was praying for had walked away completely? Was God in mourning? The thought terrified me and sent me into another tailspin of fervent prayers. I begged God for mercy, for intervention, for nothing short of a miracle. And then I received an email from a fellow writer who had also been called to pray. She relayed to me the words God had spoken to her, and they resonated so deeply, I was instantly reduced, once again to tears. And more prayers. An hour later, I received another email from another friend who was also being called to pray. She, too, provided words of affirmation and encouragement. Through out the evening, my yahoo account lit up with confirmation after confirmation that I was not, was not, was not to give up. Whether it took a week, a month, a year, or even decades.

So again I ask, when is enough – enough?


And now I’m going to listen to that song again. Want to join me? Oh, LORD, if you touched my face, would I know you? Touch us now. Overwhelm us with Your love.


Jennifer Slattery

Jennifer Slattery writes for Christ to the World Ministries, the Christian Pulse, and Samie Sisters and is the marketing manager of the literary website, Clash of the Titles. Find out more about her and her writing at her devotional blog, Jennifer Slattery Lives out Loud.