Summary: Becoming a leader
Titus 1 - Maturing into Leadership - October 2, 2011
Turn with me this morning to the book of Titus, chapter 1. Titus is in the NT, towards the back, 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews. Titus is a letter written by the Apostle Paul to one of his young protegés, a young Greek man named Titus. Paul had left Titus on the Greek island of Crete, a 160 mile long island in the Mediterranean Sea, just south of Greece - an island filled with pagans. But the gospel had come to this island, and in the midst of the idol worship many churches had been established. But there was a problem - the churches needed something straightened out: they needed leaders. Paul left Titus on Crete to straighten out this problem. We looked last week at the first five verses. Today we want to move on. Let’s look at chapter 1 and I’ll begin reading with verse 1.
Read 1:1-9 Pray
In the first century church, just as in the 21st century church, people come from all different backgrounds. Paul was also a mentor to a young man named Timothy. Timothy had a good background. He had a godly mother and godly grandmother and since the time he was a little boy he knew the scriptures. But there were many others who came out of pagan, idol-worshiping backgrounds. They didn’t have a background and they started at “square one.”
It’s the same way in the church today. While there are not a lot of people in the church coming out of idol worshiping homes, a great amount of people come from homes where God’s truth was not taught. In my youth group growing up, I came from a churched background, a friend Tom came from a religious but inactive background, and another friend Craig came out of a clueless, unchurched background.
A third of the people in Owosso are unchurched - they never go to church beyond Christmas and Easter. Another third are sporadic attenders, and what they learn at church has no direct relevance or bearing about how they live their life. And then probably a third come from an informed, churched background. Sadly, often when we come to church, we think everyone who comes in will also know everything we have learned in the last 30 years in church. But that just ain’t so!
I remember in our last church one of the young women who came from an unchurched background asked Ronda - John 3:16 - What does that mean - what’s John, what’s the 3, what’s the 16, why is there a colon there? Maybe you have the same questions. The key is that no matter what background you come from, no matter where you start on your spiritual journey, the focus is to GROW!
The writer of Hebrews laments the sad state of the Jews in the first century. He writes in Hebrews 5:12 - You have been Christians a long time now, and you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things a beginner must learn about the Scriptures. You are like babies who drink only milk and cannot eat solid food. And a person who is living on milk isn’t very far along in the Christian life and doesn’t know much about doing what is right. Solid food is for those who are mature, who have trained themselves to recognize the difference between right and wrong and then do what is right.
Today, no matter where you are on your spiritual journey, we want to look to grow spiritually, to become more like Jesus. But HOW do we do that, how do we grow? Well, we need to keep a goal in mind. And of course our goal is to be like Jesus. Romans 8:29 tells us, God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son. But for many of us that really doesn’t help us a lot. Sure, we wear WWJD bracelets and if we’re tempted to have an affair, we can say, What Would Jesus Do? But it would be nice if God gave us another way to focus on our goal. And He did!
A little boy was having nightmares one night. You know, the bad kind where you have to go to mama. Often it's no use going to dad because he just says, “Go to your mother.” So that’s what the little boy did. He went to his mother and said,“Mama, mama, I'm having nightmares!”
She calmly replied, “It's OK honey. Here's what I want you to do: I want you to go back to your room. I want you to knell down by your bed. And I want you to pray to Jesus and he'll fix it.”