Friday, November 9, 2012

No Cloudiness With God

Titus 2:1-2 But as for you, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine. Older men are to be temperate, dignified, sensible, sound in faith, in love, in perseverance.

Some time ago I had a counseling appointment where the husband had stated that a friend scoffed at him because he was going to a Christian counselor rather than someone who would help him with his relationship. It seems that this friend of his had a concept that all Christian counselors do is hammer people with the Bible and beat them into submission no matter what their real heart desire might be.

This gave me an opportunity to share with the individual about our God of relationships who understands without any cloudiness what it takes to live a full and satisfying life filled with a joy that surpasses any daily happiness. And our primary way of learning about this God is to absorb ourselves into His Word and to take it fully to heart.

I was reminded of the movie “Fireproof” where the husband, Caleb, was challenged to take a 40 day dare by his father, and he only did it because his father insisted. His heart was not there, and there was a lot of discouragement along the way. But one day he learned that it was more than just jumping through hoops, but it was about the relationship and that relationship first and foremost was with the God he came to know. And as he came to know God and trust him, God’s Word came alive and God worked powerfully to change Caleb. In the movie Caleb’s marriage found newness not because of the hoops that were jumped through, but because of the hearts that were changed.

Titus tells us first and foremost to teach sound doctrine. The world does not have this and the world does not have the God who makes it powerful. And as we age in Christ we should evidence more and more of His character. The character traits expressed in verse two are those that should be continually growing in us and one day mark every one of us. But they don’t fully happen overnight, and once they begin to happen they don’t stay there without constant attention.

Someone who has experienced life and dealt with it properly before God is someone who can then be clear minded when things happen. He is someone who is worthy of respect and wrapped in self-control. He does not become sound in his faith by accident. He does not become sound in love by osmosis (absorption). And he does not become able to endure by hiding his head when situations arise. If you have an idea what you want to look like in the end (Christ), then you need to seek fully after Him now and submit yourself to His work in your life.

Joe Burgess (From 2009 02 08 Small Group blog and edited for posting)

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