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Summary: Obedience is a key factor in the Christian life and it starts with the pastor of the church.

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Series Title: Pastoral Leadership, By Example (Titus)

Message Title: Beacons in the Gloom

Scripture: Titus 1:3

Titus 1:1 Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ for the faith of God’s elect and the knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness--2 a faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time, 3 and at his appointed season he brought his word to light through the preaching entrusted to me by the command of God our Savior,

I grew up in a rural area in Northeast Texas. Now, however, I spend most of my time surrounded by people in the city. Whether it is family or the person next door, or the person living in the apartment above us, there is always someone near and, at night, there is always some form of light outside. Yet, when we travel back to the rural areas and spend an evening or so there we are reminded of the total lack of people, and, the complete ‘darkness’ when we are outside when the sun goes down and there is no moon.

It’s a very capable illustration. In the city, even when you may be on a street that has no street lamps, there seems to be enough light to walk around without the bother of carrying a flashlight. Though they do call it ‘light pollution,’ it does help the people keep from bumping into each other. Whereas in the countryside or rural areas, many activities simply have to move inside due to darkness.

As Christians, we have the light of God shining in our lives and shining through our lives [for the benefit of others.] Additionally, when we surround ourselves with Christians, their light shines into our own lives. We are able to easily see the ‘spiritual’ way, or stay on the ‘spiritual’ path because of the light. That is probably one of the reasons that the writer of Hebrews says in chapter 10, verse 25,

25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Surrounding yourselves with other Christians ensures that you have sufficient light even on those days where you really don’t feel spiritually healthy. Their smiles or kinds words are ‘brighten’ your day, or pick you up and enable you to cross the bridge of depression.

Not only does God use our fellow Christians during fellowship times to bring light into our lives, but He uses pastors. Yes, He uses pastors and the spiritual light of the church will only rise to the level that is being given off by the pastor, both socially and in the pulpit. Sometimes you may not feel like being a beacon, but you may be the only ‘beacon in the gloom’ that a person may meet. And, each one of those times has been appointed for you to bring that light in their life.

and at his appointed season he brought his word to light

God does not do anything ‘off the cuff.’ He has a plan that He follows. I mean, if He didn’t have a plan, then He would not be God, would He?

Let’s look at some other ‘appointed seasons.’ In Ecclesiastes, King Solomon writes concerning these seasons or these times.

3:1 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: 2 a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, 3 a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, 4 a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, 5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain, 6 a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, 7 a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, 8 a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.

Other places in the Bible tell of God’s appointed times or planning. He told Abraham that He would return at the appointed time and Sarah would have a son. Jesus also followed a strict time schedule concerning His life and ministry on this earth.

(Matthew 26:18) He replied, "Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, ’The Teacher says: My appointed time is near. I am going to celebrate the Passover with my disciples at your house.’"

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