Summary: Discusses letter from Paul about separation.
Letters from home
All Scriptures listed NKJV: The New King James Version. 1996, c1982. Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
One of the dangers of email is the endangered species of written letters.
Letters give us a sense of personal history that you can’t find in history books.
I enjoy writing letters, and I enjoy reading letters. During my research of my personal family history, I found letters online written by Great Grandparents and other family members.
Several years ago, Ronald Reagan’s family published a collection of his of letters. There is collection in print of C.S Lewis letters.
Written letters give a personal record of history, relationships, and emotions.
Most letters are written because one of the parties is far away and the other party has a specific message to bring.
Such is the case with The Book of Titus. Titus is found on page 1058 and 1059 of the red Bibles under your pews.
Titus was a letter to a friend, with a specific message, but includes a personal historical account of the relationship between two men.
When I write a letter, the most important messages are found in the first paragraph and the last paragraph.
This is where I usually write “I love you” to my wife, or” Thank you” for a gift, or “Let’s go fishing” to my Dad.
The last four verses of Paul’s letter to Titus, carries the same impact. This is the very personal message that Paul wants to convey to Titus.
Titus was a friend of Paul’s. He had a similar relationship to Paul as Timothy did. He was a friend and apprentice in missionary work. The relationship with Paul is so similar that I Timothy and Titus are very much alike.
Titus was Paul’s special representation on the island of Crete. So what Paul says to Titus at the very end of the letter is important to Titus and gives us an example of what Paul thinks is personally important as he closes his letter.
As we close this series on being halfway home, there is a message for us as well. The message is personal and is imperative for us to follow. We have instructions for how we are to finish strong over the next six months.
First, we see that we must interact with others.
The last three verses are found at the bottom of page 1059, Titus; beginning with verse 12.
12 When I send Artemas to you, or Tychicus, be diligent to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there. 13 Send Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their journey with haste, that they may lack nothing.
Paul says several things here. He says that he is sending people, he wants Titus to come to him, and Titus should send others.
We see a society of movement. People are moving in and out of their lives constantly. They are being sent, summoned, and sent away. Paul definitely is working as a team effort.
He knows that he can’t do it all on his own. Everywhere we see Paul, constantly building the team. When a person was added, he mentored them and guided them in the faith.
Paul describes the church as a body in I Corinthian 12. He uses the analogy of the human body to describe how to respond to others in the church.
27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. 28 And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues.
And Paul continues 29-31
29Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? 30Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? 31But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. (1 Co. 12:27-13:1, NKJV)
We all have a part to play. In order to tap into these areas, we must interact with people.
This is probably one of my weakest areas. I enjoy getting in the books, getting focused on what I’m doing, and getting in my own little world. But there is so much that would be accomplished, if I spent more time with people. And I’m learning that I have to force myself out. My wife encourages me in that area.
It is imperative that we all learn to work with others.
I was watching the C-Huts being built once the last several weeks, and was thinking about this sermon. I saw a principle of significance; nothing is built by one person. If it is a C-Hut, if takes on entire work crew; electricians, contractors, roofers, brick layers, and builders.