DAY 21 - Read Daily20-11-2019 | Emily Middleton | YOUTH
Day 21 - Gospel Proclamation
Questions for reflection:
- On a daily basis, how aware are you of your need to share the gospel with the lost? What fears or excuses do you have? How do they stand in light of God’s Word?
- Have you ever considered that Jesus has rescued you from yourself and your God-denying ways? What then has Jesus rescued you to? How can we strive for godliness without starting to depend on our own righteousness?
- As followers of Jesus, what is our ‘blessed hope’? How often do you put your life in view of eternity? How burdened are you for those around you who are in danger of eternal death?
Devotion Transcript (Watch on Baptist Youth Youtube Channel)
15 Declare these things; exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you.
She’s a one foot tall, bearded, ‘salt and pepper’-coloured ball of fluff. It’s none other than Rosie - a cheeky, little schnauzer who stole my dad’s heart.
Rosie has a troubled past. Before becoming part of my family in 2018, she was used and abused. When a surgery meant that she could no longer bring in any profit, she was no longer wanted and so her cruel owner decided to give her up, hoping that someone else would take her off his hands. That person was my dad. He’s a big softee and he just couldn’t say no.
Rosie obviously had her issues - she spent her first few months with us hiding in the corner. However, after months of dad’s perseverance, she flourished, and now happily follows dad anywhere he goes, tail wagging.
She was rescued and her life was transformed. What would have been the point in bringing her home if we had just fed her and let her be forever miserable? It seems obvious. Yet all too often, we declare the Gospel, giving all the attention to the fact that we are rescued without ever mentioning the life that we are rescued to.
In Titus ch2 vs 15, Paul instructs Titus to “Declare these things” - “these things” being the truths that he has just highlighted in vs 11-14. And these truths were not just for Titus to declare on the island of Crete. Their declaration today is not just the responsibility of your pastor or the full time evangelists. As a follower of Jesus, you are to declare them. You have surrendered your life to Him and He is commanding you to “Go into all the world and proclaim the Gospel to the whole creation.” (Mark ch16vs15)
Firstly, declare the truth in that “the grace of God has appeared bringing salvation to all people” (vs 11).
The Messiah, the precious Lord Jesus has appeared. He, being the Son of God, is fully God and yet, of a virgin, He was born into this world as a human being. “He committed no sin” (1 Peter ch2 vs 22) and although He was completely undeserving, He gave His life on the cross and bore all of God’s wrath towards the sin of the world. 1 Corinthians ch 15 vs 3-4 says “that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures”. He has made a way to rescue us from eternal death in Hell to eternal life in Heaven; He has made a way for us to have a close relationship with our Heavenly Father; He has made a way for us to live out the purpose for which we were designed - to glorify God. It’s “salvation to all people” so declare it to all!
Secondly, declare the truth that the Gospel trains the follower of Jesus “to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in the present age” (vs 12).
As we have previously learnt, false teachers on the island of Crete loved to promote their religious and ritualistic ‘godliness’. Yet it only provided a good cover up - the problem of sin was left completely unresolved. It is only the Gospel that can produce godliness; it is only the
Gospel that causes a person to completely turn their back on their own sinful desires in order to honour God and live in the way that He wants them to. Yes, Jesus rescues us from the judgement for sin that we deserve however, He also rescues us from the life that we were living - a life in defiance of God, a life in which we would never experience true purpose or satisfaction. He has rescued us for a life of abundance where we know the joy of walking with our Heavenly Father. Vs 14 says that Jesus “gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession who are zealous for good works.”
Thirdly, declare the truth that as followers of Jesus, we are “waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” (vs 13).
Jesus is coming again and this time, not as a suffering servant but as a conquering King Who will judge the world. He will come in power and glory and as His followers, we will spend forever worshipping Him in the beauty of His majesty. Free of sin and suffering; endless joy and happiness. It’s the most wonderful and exciting future. Jesus says to His disciples in John ch 14, “Let not you hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” Let this world know of such ‘blessed hope’ - a world where so many are hopelessly in danger of eternal judgement.
As well as declaring, Paul also instructs Titus to “exhort and rebuke with all authority.” He wants Titus to do more than just tell the people these truths - Paul wants Titus to “exhort and rebuke” the people. Titus is to be passionate about what he teaches and to greatly encourage the people to live in the light of Gospel truth. Titus is to help the Cretan followers of Jesus identify sin in their lives - he must lovingly criticise them when necessary. He is also to do so “with all authority”. It’s not Titus’ authority - it’s God’s. This Gospel truth is given by God, the One Who is King over all, and so Paul is also able to write “Let no one disregard you.” In the face of much opposition, they were not to back down. This Gospel truth was of an all-powerful God.
How passionate and excited are you about the Gospel? As followers of Jesus, we must really encourage those around us to put their trust in Him. Have you ever had to rebuke? Not shouting or judging or shaming but humbly coming to someone, lovingly showing them where they are going wrong and directing them in the light of Gospel truth. In the face of opposition, do you keep sharing the Gospel? Are you confident of its authority because it is given by God?