Paul's letter to Titus is one of his Pastoral Epistles (the others being 1 & 2 Timothy). In these letters Paul gives instructions to young shepherds about the pastoral care of the flock of God under their care. These letters were probably written between A.D. 63 and 65, after Paul's release from his first imprisonment in Rome (c. 60-62). Paul was probably martyred in A.D. 67 or 68.
Titus was converted by Paul, and was one of the young men he took around with him, trained, and sent out to shepherd churches needing help. He is not mentioned in Acts, but is mentioned 13 times in other books of the New Testament. He was a Gentile, but Paul did not circumcise him (Gal 2:3). This demonstrated Paul’s conviction that faith in Jesus alone is all that is necessary for salvation. Titus worked, among other places, in Corinth (2Co 7:6,7). At the time of this letter, he was shepherding believers in Crete, an island of the Mediterranean. Later, he pioneered Dalmatia (Yugoslavia). [2Ti 4:10]
Crete was a hard mission field, for the people were famous for being lazy gluttons and liars (1:12). But Christ died to change sinners into saints.
PREACHING THE TRUTH
Titus 1:1-4 (Fri.) February 12
Key Verse: 1:1
1. Knowledge of truth leads to godliness (1)
Paul writes about the kind of faith that God's elect must have. Faith comes from a knowledge of the truth, and the knowledge of the truth leads to godliness. Though we know a lot of theology, history, philosophy, ethics, etc., if our knowledge does not lead us to live godly lives, it is not true knowledge. A godly person is one who knows God and is growing in the image of Jesus.
2. The foundation of faith and knowledge (2-4)
True faith and knowledge rest on the hope of eternal life. This is a sure hope, because God promised it before the beginning of time. God does not lie. God keeps his promises. At the appointed time, he kept his promises to Adam, Noah, Abraham and David by sending Jesus to die for our sins and to give us eternal life. No one can live without hope, and only the hope that is rooted in God's promises is sure hope. Jesus accomplished our salvation; now, Paul--and all Christians--must tell the people of the world about it because this is God’s command.
Prayer: Lord, let your truth in my heart change me into a godly person.
One Word: Truth leads to godliness
Titus 1:5-9 (Sat.) February 13
Key Verse: 1:9
1. Appoint elders in every town (5)
A church needs spiritual order; so there must be leaders. Strong spiritual leaders make an environment in which God's people can grow and do God's work. Paul instructed Titus to appoint elders in every town. The selection of elders was not a popularity contest; they were to be appointed by God's servant, on the basis of spiritual qualifications.
2. Qualifications for leadership (6-9)
A leader's personal life is important. He should be faithful to his wife and he should discipline his children. (See 1 Sa 3:13.) He should not give in to anger nor should he use violence. He should not use his position to lord it over others, nor to get personal gain. He must open his heart and his home to all of God's people. Above all, he must study and obey God's word, and encourage others by teaching the Bible as it is.
Prayer: Father, raise up 10,000 Bible teachers who love the Bible and know that it is your word of truth, and teach it diligently to others.
One Word: Shepherds for God's flock
TO THE PURE ALL THINGS ARE PURE
Titus 1:10-16 (Sun.) February 14
Key Verse: 1:15
1. Rebellious people (10-14)
A rebellious heart is displeasing to God because it springs from man's first rebellion against God (Ge 3). In Crete, there were some rebellious people who held on to their own ideas and refused to study the Bible; they deliberately tried to confuse and burden new Christians with unnecessary rules and rituals in order to get rich. They were good talkers, and they preyed on sincere believers. Cretans were known as liars and gluttons, so God's servant should rebuke them for their own good, to teach them sound faith. Sound faith is living according to the truth of God's word.
2. To the pure all things are pure (15-16)
If one who has a pure heart is rebuked according to God's word, he will accept it and repent and grow. If one has a crooked, unrepentant heart, then the rebuke of God's servant will only make him angry. Purity of heart belongs to those who have repented of sin, accepted God's forgiveness and been purified by Jesus' blood.
Prayer: Father, purify my heart and help me live according to the truth of your word.
One Word: A pure heart for valentine’s day
SET AN EXAMPLE
Titus 2:1-10 (Mon.) February 15
Key Verse: 2:7
1. Self-controlled and pure (1-8)
Sound doctrine involves the way we live as well as what we profess to believe. Keeping spiritual order is a part of sound doctrine. The young shepherd must teach older men to be self-controlled and worthy of respect. Older women should live reverent and pure lives; they should not gossip or be addicted to alcohol; they should teach younger women by precept and example to love their husbands and children, to be busy at home, and to be kind, self-controlled, and pure. The young shepherd must be a prayerful and sincere Bible student and a clear and forceful messenger of the word of God. He must set an example by his life, so that no one can malign the word of God.
2. Make the teaching about God attractive (9-10)
We do not live in a slave society, but people on the bottom of society sometimes feel like slaves. God's people must not be rebellious; they should set an example of diligence and honesty, so that unbelievers will be drawn to Jesus.
Prayer: Father, help me to study your word faithfully and live by it.
One Word: Set an example
Titus 2:11-15 (Tue.) February 16
Key Verse: 2:11,12
1. God's saving grace has appeared (11-12)
The grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. Jesus' death and resurrection is God's grace--his gift of forgiveness and life. All who receive his grace are saved. This grace sets us free from the power and guilt of sin. The word "self-control" appears 4 times in this chapter. Self-control means saying "no" to worldly passions and ungodliness. It means not living by our feelings but by the word of God.
2. A people of his own (13-15)
Jesus gave himself for us to redeem us from wickedness and purify us to become his own people. He wants us to set our hope fully on him and wait patiently for his glorious second coming. He wants us to live upright and godly lives, challenging the corrupt and ungodly world around us by eagerly doing what is good. He saved us so that we might become for him a holy nation and a kingdom of priests (1Pe 2:9).
Prayer: Father, help me to live a godly life in an ungodly world.
One Word: God's grace saves us
REMEMBER GOD'S GRACE
Titus 3:1-8 (Wed.) February 17
Key Verse: 3:4,5
1. Ready to do what is good (1-5a)
Paul says that Christians should do what is good (1, 8b,14). Once, we did what was evil. To a greater or lesser degree all of us were foolish, disobedient, and enslaved by passions and pleasures. We kept grudges and envy in our hearts. But we who have tasted the mercy, grace and love of God must now do what is good. This means that we should show consideration and humility to all people. We should be careful not to injure others by what we say; rather, we should build up others. We have peace with God, so we should have peace with men.
2. God's love for mankind (5b-8)
God loves all mankind, so he sent his only Son Jesus to save us. God, in his great mercy, not only forgives our sins by the grace of Jesus, but he also washes us by his word and Spirit; he changes us in the inner person, taking away all bitterness and anger. He gives us new hope and makes us heirs of eternal life.
Prayer: Father, thank you for loving this sinful human race, and for loving and saving me. Help me to do what is good.
One Word: Saved by grace to do what is good
AVOID FOOLISH CONTROVERSIES
Titus 3:9-15 (Thur.) February 18
Key Verse: 3:9
1. Arguments are unprofitable (9-11)
There are always people who try to stir up controversy within the fellowship. We should not fall into such a trap, because arguments and controversies are generally useless and unprofitable. A divisive person should be warned not to stir up controversy. If he doesn't listen, then warn him again. If he still persists in his divisiveness, then have nothing to do with him. All of our conversation with one another should build up, not tear down.
2. Devote yourselves to doing good (12-15)
Paul urged Titus and the other coworkers to show hospitality to each other. Specifically, they should do everything possible to help two brothers, servants of God, who were passing through. God's people must work hard to provide for themselves and their families, and they must serve others joyfully and freely.
Prayer: Lord, protect me from using my big mouth to argue with others. Help me to devote myself to doing good to God's people.