“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” – John 1:1
How quickly time passes! Already, we are in the 12th month and, in spite of, God has been good, and His mercies endureth forever. Looking over the days of our lives, many of us wish we could join with Jim Croce who, in 1973, wrote the song “Time in a Bottle”.
If I could save time in a bottle!
COVID-19 brought us quickly into a new dispensation in the affairs of mankind. Every movement of creation is structured based on time. Now that we are in the season of Advent, the word of God tells us that it was in the fullness of time that God sent forth His son – born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law.
The psalmist David admonishes us to number our days and apply our hearts unto wisdom because of time.
Titus was a Gentile who converted to Christianity through the teachings of Paul as he went from place to place on his missionary journeys proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ. Paul advises Titus on how to teach the various groups in the church – the older women and men who, in turn, will teach the younger men and women. The passage of time is not only for elders, but also youngsters – how to act and behave, in church and out of church. Everything is pure to those who are themselves pure, but nothing is pure to those who are defiled and unbelieving, for their minds and consciences have been defiled. They claim that they know God, but their actions deny it. They are hateful and disobedient, not fit to do anything good.
But you must teach what agrees with sound doctrine. Instruct the older men to be sober, sensible and self-controlled, to be sound in their faith, love and endurance. In the same way, instruct the elder women to behave as women should who live a holy life. They must not be slanderers or slaves to wine. They must teach what is good to train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, and to be good housewives who submit themselves to their husbands, so that no one will speak evil of the message that comes from God.
In the same way, urge the young men to be self-controlled. In all things, you yourself must be an example of good behavior. Be sincere and serious in your teaching. Use sound words that cannot be criticized, so that your enemies may be put to shame by not having anything bad to say.
Workers are to submit themselves to their employers and please them in all things. They must not talk back to them or steal from them. Instead, they must show that they are always good and faithful, so as to bring credit to the teaching about God our savior in all they do.
Remind your people to submit to rulers and authorities, to obey them, and to be ready to do good in every way. Tell them not to speak evil of anyone, but to be peaceful and friendly, and always to show a gentle attitude toward everyone. For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient and wrong. We were slaves to passions and pleasures of all kinds. We spent our lives in malice and envy – others hated us and we hated them. But when the kindness and love of God our savior was revealed, he saved us. It was not because of any good deeds that we ourselves had done, but because of His mercy, that He saved us through the Holy Spirit who gives us new birth and new life.
Avoid stupid arguments, quarrels, and fights about the law. They are useless and worthless. Give at least two warnings to those who cause divisions, then have nothing more to do with them. You know that such people are corrupt, and their sins prove that they are wrong.
As we wind down 2021, with the celebration of the birth of our Jesus Christ, the Word of God from the Book of Titus should be our constant study in preparation to begin the new year with a new attitude, a new determination to cease from evil and embrace good, a new resolve to be kind, noble and gracious. To go into 2022 as the Word tells us, and not to put new wine into old bottles. We will only be hurting and defeating ourselves from the wonderful blessings that God has in store for us.