Paul mentions Titus in Galatians 2:1-3, and we find out that he was a Gentile.
Then after fourteen years, I went up again to Jerusalem, this time with Barnabas. I took Titus along also. I went in response to a revelation and, meeting privately with those esteemed as leaders, I presented to them the gospel that I preach among the Gentiles. I wanted to be sure I was not running and had not been running my race in vain. Yet not even Titus, who was with me, was compelled to be circumcised, even though he was a Greek. (Galatians 2:1-3 NIV)
He wasn’t of Jewish decent like Paul was. He most likely wasn’t raised in a home that upheld all the Jewish traditions. He wasn’t even circumcised which was a standard before Christ’s death and resurrection. I imagine that at times he probably felt like an outsider, but he was a great example of how much things changed after Jesus came and died. No longer was it about your family line, but about your faith.
We hear about Titus again from Paul in 2 Corinthians 8:16. Paul writes that Titus was concerned for the Corinthians. God had broken his heart for them.
Finally, we learn a lot about Titus through Paul’s letter to him in the book of Titus. It’s a short book in which Paul gives Titus instructions on how to deal with problems in the churches on the island of Crete, a little island below Greece.
When I first read Titus, I picked out a few things that Paul says directly to Titus. We don’t know how long Titus had been on Crete, but like any pastor, he probably had his ups and downs in the church. We do this in life. Some days are really good and meaningful and we feel really great at the end. Then there are the others that leave us feeling discouraged. Maybe we messed up or something didn’t go the way we wanted, or maybe, you’re just down for no good reason. We are teens and we have hormones, or at least I do. Sometimes, life is just hard.
To Titus, my true son in our common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior. The reason I left you in Crete was that you might put in order what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you. An elder must be blameless, faithful to his wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. (Titus 1:4-6 NIV)
So, the first the Paul does is tell Titus why he’s in Crete. I feel sure Titus knew the reason Paul sent him, so why did Paul repeat himself? Sometimes we all need to be reminded of our purpose. Through the craziness of life, we can forget God and the gospel. We just go through the motions, doing STUFF that doesn’t have meaning. Also, we have a tendency to worry. Even if you’re not labeled a “worrier”, we all worry about things. Ridiculous things. My biggest problem is the future. I start thinking so much about the future that I forget to live in the now. I forget my purpose. Paul reminded Titus of his. What is our purpose?
• Prov. 3:5-6 LOVE GOD
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
• John 3:34-35 LOVE PEOPLE
For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit. The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands.
• Philippians 2:13 It’s not our purpose. It’s God’s. We can’t do anything without Him.
For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
So when you start feeling non-purposeful, remember that you do have a purpose. Love God, and seek Him. What a comfort we have knowing that it’s not up to us. That He knows all the plans that He has for us.
Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness.
Paul tells Titus, pastor of churches, to make himself and example. How do we become an example?
• …because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia.(1 Thessalonians 1:5-7 NIV)
Paul says the church became imitators of them and the Lord. So obviously, become an imitator of Jesus Christ. Read the Bible. Find out who this guy is. I know it sounds strange, but fall in love with Jesus. Talk to Him, obey Him.
Next, DISCIPLESHIP. Find someone who imitates Christ through their actions. Follow someone who’s following Christ. Have someone you can look to and get guidance from. Hang out with them. Then, you’ll become an example. There are no perfect people besides Christ. He is our ultimate example.
Third thing Paul tells Titus is in Titus 3:3-7.
At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.
(Titus 3:3-7 NIV)
Remember who you were, and what Jesus did. Never forget the Gospel, the sweet, sweet Gospel. “He poured out this Spirit on us abundantly, through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that having been justified by His grace, we may become heirs with the hope of eternal life.”
The Gospel is our foundation. It makes up who we are. We have to start living like a Gospel changed group of people.
In Romans 8 it tells us that “we are not obligated to the flesh.” Romans 8:15 says “For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father!’”
THANK GOD we don’t have to work for righteousness. Never forget the day Jesus flipped your life upside down. If you don’t have that, make it happen. There is nothing greater than knowing a God that knows everything about us, yet loves us the same.
Conclude: When life is getting you down, and things are crazy, 1) realize your purpose 2) Be an example 3) and remember the Gospel