Reading for Wednesday, Feb. 29: Titus 1
Titus 1 is a good chapter to read as a follow up to yesterday’s reading in 1 Peter 5. The majority of this chapter is devoted to the role of overseers in the church.
But Paul’s introduction is chock full of theological content. Paul identifies himself as a “servant” in v1, but the word is often used even more descriptively for “slave”. As God’s servant / slave, Paul speaks on the authority of his master, the Source of truth, godliness, and hope (verses 1-2). Paul holds up the unfading promises of God, “who never lies” (1.2). Paul sees the ministry of the church occurring at this “appointed season” (1.3) under the sovereignty of God Himself.
The shepherds over God’s flock should seek to emulate the same qualities as God the Father, summarized in the phrase “above reproach”. Such a man demonstrates faithfulness: to his wife, to his children, and to the Lord’s body. He leads his family in the faith, refusing to indulge either his temper or his fleshly passions. He shows hospitality, models self-control, and encourages others through teaching soundly.
Although these characteristics are directed to Titus as qualifications for overseers / elders, there is also a general application to all who would follow the Lord. If God has determined that these are the kinds of qualities He seeks in His shepherds, I think we would all do well to try and live by these same characteristics. Since these qualities are important to God, we should aspire to have these same traits formed in our character. Am I a man or a woman who could be characterized as being “above reproach”? Do I manage my family well? Am I showing hospitality? What message do I teach?