Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Titus 1:10-16

             Back in the 1980s and 1990s there were a number of pastors and ministry leaders that got in trouble with the government over issues of fraud, misuse of funds, etc. Jim and Tammy Baker were one of those ministries. I read somewhere that when Jim Baker got out of prison he said that he began to read his Bible in prison. He discovered that what he had been preaching was not in the Bible at all. He said that there was a whole circle of pastors and ministry leaders that had just been listening to each other and preaching one another’s sermons without really searching the scriptures. It is easy to fall into false, twisted, or distorted teaching when we are not diligent in the Word.

            Early in the life of the church a number of core teachings of the Apostles were challenged or threatened. The first was the gospel itself. Circumcision and Law were added to the gospel. The apostles were very clear that the gospel was a gospel of grace, not law. Later issues like the deity and the humanity of Jesus, and the nature of the Trinity were attacked. False teaching has always threatened the church.

            In Titus 1 Paul said that elders need to “hold firm” to the Teaching, “to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.” Why is that so important? Why sound doctrine? Isn’t it enough just to teach people to do the right things? If we just do the right things isn’t all this doctrine stuff less important? Why do we have to know all this doctrine stuff? Why can’t we just leave that to the preachers and seminary professors? There are three reasons that Paul addresses in this passage. First, because sound Christian living is grounded in sound biblical teaching. Second, because we live in a world littered with false teachers. Third, because there is something in us that makes it so easy for us to fall into false, twisted, or distorted teaching when we are not diligent in the Word. Because false teaching threatens biblical living. Healthy Christian living is rooted in Healthy biblical teaching. We must know what we believe. What are you doing to increase your understanding of God and his Word?

 

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Inauguration Day, Mediations on Psalm 20

Psalms 20:7-9 (ESV)

[7] Some trust in chariots and some in horses,

but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.

[8] They collapse and fall,

but we rise and stand upright.

[9] O LORD, save the king!

May he answer us when we call.

 Today is Inauguration Day in the United States. President Trump has moved out of the White House. President Biden will move in. For many it is a day of celebration, and for many it is a day of frustration and grief. We are a divided nation. But if your hopes and dreams were tied to President Trump, or if your hopes and dreams are tied to President Biden, then they are in the wrong place. One might as easily write Psalm 20:7 to read, “Some trust in Democrats, and some in Republicans,” or “Some trust in Biden and some in Trump.” It is the next line in Psalm 20:7 that reminds us, “We trust in the name of the LORD our God.”

 Trump and Biden, Republicans and Democrats “collapse and fall, but we rise and stand upright.” Every king, every ruler, every president, every dictator in history has fallen, but those who belong to God still stand. Empires have risen and fallen, great world powers have sunk to second rate powers, or even collapsed altogether, but the Church still stands. Even in the prophetic End Times Tribulation, Revelation 15:2 describes martyred believers as, “those who had conquered the beast and its image and the number of its name.”

 If we succeed in influencing our culture toward moral and ethical behavior, or if we see our country and our community call “evil good and good evil,” either way we cannot lose. Not only can we not lose, but in the meantime we are called to respect and pray for those in authority over us, whether we believe they have a right to that rule or not. Under the evil emperor Nero Paul wrote in Romans 13:1, “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.” In 1 Timothy 2:1 Paul wrote, “I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.”

 Psalm 20 ends with the words, “O LORD, save the king.” Nebuchadnezzar had carried Daniel and his friends into captivity and made him a eunuch, yet when Nebuchadnezzar had a dream that predicted that he would lose his mind and live as an animal for a season, Daniel said to him, “My lord, may the dream be for those who hate you and its interpretation for your enemies!” (Dan 4:19). If you prayed for President Trump, then pray for President Biden just as much. If you cursed President Trump, then God forgive you. Do not put your faith in this new administration. Put your faith in God. If you have cursed Biden, then God forgive you. Do not put your faith in the old administration. Put your faith in God. Some trust in Trump, and some in Biden, “but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.” May that be true!

Friday, January 15, 2021

Titus 1:1-4 (pt 3)

Titus 1:2-3a (ESV)

. . . in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began and at the proper time manifested in his word through the preaching

The first verse of Titus talks about a “knowledge of the truth which accords with godliness.” That godliness is lived “in the hope of eternal life.” Perhaps that is one reason that godliness is so lacking in the lives of believers. We too often live for the moment rather than for eternity. The old hymn by Alfred B. Smith says,

With eternity’s values in view, Lord

With eternity’s values in view;

May I do each day’s work for Jesus

With eternity’s values in view.

We are often so overtaken with busyness, bills to pay, and things to do. Add to that the distraction of Covid-19 and the political upheaval, and we lose our eternal perspective. We too often live as though now is all there is. But the promise of eternal life is rooted in the very nature of God. Titus 1:3 says that God promised eternal life, and that God “never lies.”  

God cannot lie. Titus 1:12 says “Cretans are always liars.” The Bible Knowledge Commentary says that’s a quote “from Epimenedes, a Cretan poet and philosopher from the 6th century BC. . . .  By Paul’s day the saying had become a proverb which merely emphasized the low reputation of Cretans generally”.[1]  Crete was considered the birthplace of Zeus. One source referred to Zeus as an all-powerful liar. The Greek and Roman gods regularly used lies and deception. In contrast, God cannot lie. He is that God of truth, who always speaks truth. His promise of life eternal can be trusted.

It was promised “before time” or “before the ages began.” The word for time here is chronwn, that is chronological time, time that we measure. But this promise of eternal life was before not just time, but before time eternal. Genesis 1:1 starts out, “In the beginning. . .” Time as we count it started in Genesis 1:1, but God’s promise of eternal life was given before that. If it was given before time began then to whom was it promised? The answer has to be that God the Father promised it to God the Son on our behalf. It is in Christ Jesus, God the Son, that we enter into life without end.

It was a promise given before time began, but manifested at the proper time. Here the word time is not chronos, time as we count it. The word is kairois, a specific time, a fitting time, an appropriate time. At just the right time the promise of God was manifested or made visible in the person of Jesus Christ.

But the verse doesn’t stop with the promised being manifested. It says that it was manifested through proclamation. As believers in Christ we have this tremendous promise of eternal life that gives focus, meaning, and purpose to everything we do. Covid-19 and the political upheaval of our day tends to distract us from the eternal. If we would keep our eyes on the eternal then the difficulties and confusion of the day tends to melt away. Whatever happens in our world, it is not a world without end. It is just for a season, and then comes eternity. Let us keep an eternal perspective and let us proclaim the Good News.

 

 



[1] Bible Knowledge Commentary on Titus 1:12

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Titus 1:1-4 (Pt 2)

Paul is not only a servant of God for the sake of God’s elect, but there is a purpose, a goal that he has in mind for serving the church. His message and service is for the sake of their knowledge of the truth. The word knowledge is epignosis. Gnosis is knowledge. Epignosis is full knowledge gained through personal experience. Paul does not want the church to hear about his encounter with God. He want them to have their own encounter with God. His desire is that each person would fully experience the truth of the gospel.

When I was in Jr. High I had a Honda 55 Trail Bike. One day I broke the chain and wrapped it around the front sprocket, which broke some gears and totally messed up the engine. After taking Small Engines class I tore the engine apart and rebuilt it, but it never ran quite right after that. I can’t tell you how many times I tore that engine apart and put it back together. But I can tell you this. The first time I tore it apart took me a whole lot longer than the last time. By the time I was done I knew that engine. Clearly I wasn’t a very good mechanic, because it never ran quite right after that, but I knew every sprocket, every gear, every screw. Before I started I knew about the engine, but by the last time I tore it apart and reassembled it, I didn’t just know about the engine, I knew the engine. Paul wants the church to know God that way. He wants us to experience God fully and completely. Why? Because faith and knowledge promote godliness. Godliness affects every area of life. Sound, good, or healthy teaching is foundational to the health of the church.

Paul wrote that faith toward God and knowledge of God “accords with godliness, in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began and at the proper time manifested in his word” (Tit 1:1b-3a). Faith toward and experiential knowledge of God produce godliness in the context of eternity. Do you know God?

 

 

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Titus 1:1-4 (Pt 1)

In Titus 1:1 Paul wrote that he was a servant (doulos) of God and an apostle (messenger, or one sent on a mission) of Jesus Christ. Paul is a servant of God. The only other place Paul uses that phrase, “servant of God” is in Romans 13 where he calls the governing authority a servant of God. But if you think back to Paul’s conversion in Acts 9. Paul was on his way to Damascus to kill Christians. On the way he encountered God. A bright light shone and a voice came asking, “Why are you persecuting me?” Paul’s response was, “Who are you Lord?” From that point on Paul did what God told him to do. He thought he was serving God, but after his conversion he began truly serving God. He is a servant of God. He is also a messenger of Jesus Christ. In Acts chapter 7 Paul was standing by, watching the stoning of Stephen, and approving of his death. Now Paul has become a messenger of Jesus Christ who will experience beatings, imprisonments, and worse because of the gospel, the message he has for the world.

Paul is a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ for the sake of God’s elect. When you read that you can’t help but go back again to Paul’s pre-conversion life. He did everything he could to destroy God’s elect, God’s chosen, believers in Jesus Christ. The church is called God’s chosen or elect, and Paul is serving God’s elect in order to serve God.

Perhaps we forget the significance of that. Serving God is not about sitting on a mountain meditating. Serving God is about serving others. It is about placing others above self. Paul wrote to the Philippians, in Philippians 2:4, “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Whether we are talking about interpersonal relationships in life, marriage in particular, or church, we are called to be servants, placing others above ourselves.

The older I have gotten the more I realize how selfish I am. It’s humbling to look back over life and realize that those moments when I felt used, those moments when I wanted to do something fun rather than take five minutes to help someone, those moments when I got frustrated with my wife instead of seeing her needs ̶ those are the moments that reveal our hearts. God forgive us for failing to serve. Paul understood that he was a servant of God for the sake of God’s elect. Are we a servant of God for the benefits of being his servant, or for the sake of others?

 

Monday, January 11, 2021

Psalm 11

Psalm 11 appears to be in chiastic form. The center of the chiasm points to the central idea which is that “the LORD’s throne is in heaven.” The outside edges of the chiasm point to the application which is to take refuge in the LORD because “the upright shall behold his face.” As evil increases and opposition to the LORD grows, some have counseled David to flee and hide. The enemy is increasing. The foundations are being destroyed. There is nothing we can do. Run and hide. But David turns from such counsel. He recognizes that the LORD is still the LORD. He has not stopped being God. He has not abandoned his throne. The LORD has not run and hid. Because “the LORD is in his holy temple,” and he sees and tests or examines all. His throne is in heaven. No matter what happens to the spiritual or political foundations, it does not shake the foundations of God’s temple in Heaven. The evil may be opposed to the godly, but the LORD is opposed to the evil. The evil may shoot in the dark at the “upright in heart,” but God rains coals on the wicked. No matter what happens in this world, it does not shake the foundations of Heaven. It does not shake the throne of God. The simple truth of this psalm is that God never stops being God, and whatever we see here on this earth, the perpetrators of evil will one day answer to God.

 

Perhaps our vision is to short. Like those encouraging David to run and hide, we can only see the danger in front of us. We feel compelled to either attack or flee, but neither is what we are called to do. We are called to stand firm in the truth in light of the fact that God is still God. We need an eternal perspective. We need to see beyond our present comfortable lifestyle to the truths of eternity that govern life. As opposition to the church increases, our temptation is to either respond in frustration and anger, or build the walls higher around us and stay safe. What God has called us to is to be the church, the Body of Christ in a broken world. God is our refuge. Whatever happens in our world, may we never lose that eternal perspective. God has not called us to be safe, he has called us to be faithful.

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Finding Rest

In 1 Kings 19 God has just used Elijah to rid Israel of 450 prophets of Baal. They had a theological showdown on Mt. Carmel. A face-off between Dieties. Jehovah -vs- Baal. One prophet of the LORD stood against 450 prophets of Baal. By the time the day was over 450 false prophets lay dead, and there was no doubt in anyone’s mind as to who served the true God. Then Elijah climbed to the top of the mountain and began to pray for rain. When the Lord gave a sign that the rain was coming Elijah sent word to Ahab that the rain was on its way and he’d better get his chariot down off the mountain. He then proceeded to race down the Mt. Carmel on foot, beating the chariot to the bottom. What a day. It surprises us, then, that Elijah flees for his life in the face of  Jezebel’s threats instead of standing up to her and challenging her with her sin, as John the Baptist was to do to Herod, years later. Yet if we stop and think about it, it is not all that surprising. Here is a man physically, spiritually, and emotionally exhausted from perhaps the most trying day of his life. If anyone is in need of rest it is Elijah. What would you do? It seems that Jezebel’s threats were the straw that broke the camel’s back. I think that, like Elijah, we too would have fled for our lives.

 

To me, the big question is not why did Elijah flee, but how will God react? Will he chide him for unbelief? Discipline him for not following through on his victories? Hide from him in disappointment? To me, the amazing thing in this chapter is that there is not one word of correction, not one hint of disapproval, not a single act of discipline. Here we find the God of fire and judgement responding to his prophet in gentleness and understanding, sending an angel to make sure he eats, speaking in a still small voice, gently encouraging and rebuilding a vision for ministry. God is not only a God of anger. He is also a God of rest. It is almost as if He reached several hundred years into the future, took the words that Jesus would speak, and applied them to Elijah, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Mt. 11) Here was a man who desperately needed rest and the God of rest was there to meet his every need. What kind of rest does God  offer in the midst of times like these, times of heaviness, depression, weariness, and despair? We find Him offering Elijah Physical rest, Spiritual rest, Intellectual rest, and Emotional rest. He offers the same to each of us. “So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his” (Heb 4:9-10).

Friday, January 1, 2021

Letter to a discouraged pastor

 I came across this letter I wrote to a fellow pastor a few years ago. I thought it was worth sharing as we start a new year.

Dear -------,

You are often in my prayers. Yes, being a pastor is hard. It is hard because we often do not see results, or we do not see results as quickly as we would like. It is hard because there is always more to be done than we have time and energy to do. It is hard because we often fail to live up to our own expectations and we assume that our expectations are God’s expectations. It is hard because we so badly want people to know God and to change and grow. The truth is, being a pastor is not hard. It is impossible. At some point we need to come to a place of brokenness where we realize, admit and accept the truth that we can’t do it and it is not about us.

 

Being a pastor is hard because sometimes God allows us to go through a desert when our soul feels dry. We pray but it feels like God is not there. We read the Word of God but it feels empty. We try to minister but we feel inadequate, and sometimes even angry. I have often found myself in this desert over the years. In fact I wrote a poem about this based on James 1:17:

Sometimes I Feel ...

Empty, Dead, Dry, Devastated, Worn out, and Exhausted

Sometimes I feel like a piece of beef jerky

torn

          salted

                   and dried

But my God never changes!

He’s like a candle that never flickers

a bulb that never burns out

          a sun that never sets

                   a light that never dies

My emotions are like variegated cloth

with dark patches and bright spots

constantly changing as experience

dips in and out of the shadows ...

But in all my variation He is always the same.

He is the constant pure glow of

holiness,

          faithfulness,

                   and love...

On Him I can Depend!

© 1994 Richard C. Weinert

 

When I am in that desert I need to often remind myself of several truths.

 

1.     God loves these people and so should I. It is too easy to begin to resent and be angry at the very people God has called me to minister to because I do not see them growing and changing as I think they should. Take some time to thank God for each person and the good things about them.

 

 

2.     It is necessary to spend time in the desert on the way to the Promised Land.  I have to remind myself that whether I feel God’s presence or not, God is there. He promised that he would never leave me nor forsake me. (Romans 8; Hebrews 13) Following God is a matter of faith, not sight. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11) I have discovered that my desert times are what prepared me for times of fruitfulness.

 

3.     It is in these desert times that I need to consciously and intentionally refocus on God. Prayer needs to be more about listening and less about talking. It needs to be filled more with worship and thanksgiving and less with requests and demands. It needs to be more silence and less talking. I need to spend time in the presence of God without speaking.

 

4.     It is often in these times that I need to change up my Bible reading/Bible mediation practice. If I have been reading and meditating on short passages I may need to simply read as much as I can without thinking too much about it. If I have been trying to read through the Bible in a certain period of time I may need to slow down and read the same passage every day for a week. It sometimes helps me to begin writing about what I am reading. The process of writing causes me to think through the passage in a fresh manner.

 

5.     I need to make sure that I am getting enough physical rest and that I am not looking to something to fill me that may actually drain me. When I begin feeling this way I will often stay up late feeling that as long as I am up late the morning will take longer to come. The problem is that all I accomplish is to be more tired in the morning. I tend to watch mindless television as a way of not thinking about things, but that only compounds the problems. It never helps. Some people turn to pornography, fantasy or alcohol as a way of escape. All of these things compound the problem rather than helping.

 

Hebrews 4 says that there remains a rest for the people of God. You need to make sure that you are intentionally building times of rest into your life. Rest takes different forms. When we have been mentally and spiritually active rest might take the form of something physical. Hard work or hard play, or just a long walk is sometimes helpful. Other times rest takes the form of a nap or a good night’s sleep. Sometimes rest means listening to someone else’s sermons instead of preaching more of my own. Ultimately Christ is our rest, but there is also a need for physical, spiritual and emotional rest. The busyness of ministry will suck you dry unless you are very intentional about resting. I find it interesting that Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness (Luke 5:16) and that he took his disciples away to the wilderness after they had been out preaching (Luke 9:10). Jesus needed those times of rest and he knew that his disciples needed to get away.

 

You are not alone. Everyone in ministry wrestles with this. I had a long conversation in Ukraine with a missionary facing some of the same things. I often feel this way. Many times ministry is hard and lonely. We don’t see the fruit until years later. Sometimes we won’t see it until we get to Heaven. I am amazed at how God has used ministry that I did 40 years ago, but it has only been in the last 10 years that I found out about it. That is why we walk by faith and not by sight. Just remember that ultimately it is not about you. This is God’s work. He will accomplish his purpose in his time. Trust him, rest and wait. We always work from a position of rest in Christ so Hebrews challenges us: “Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience.” (Hebrews 4:11 (ESV)) It doesn’t say, “Let us strive to do ministry.” It says let us strive “to enter that rest.” All effective ministry comes not from working longer and harder, but from resting in Christ.

 

I hope this is helpful. You are in my prayers.

 

By his grace,

Rick


Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Psalm 119

Psalms 119:1-3, 175-176 (ESV)

Aleph

[1] Blessed are those whose way is blameless,

who walk in the law of the LORD!

[2] Blessed are those who keep his testimonies,

who seek him with their whole heart,

[3] who also do no wrong,

but walk in his ways!

 

[175] Let my soul live and praise you,

and let your rules help me.

[176] I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek your servant,

for I do not forget your commandments.

 

Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible. It starts “Blessed are those whose way is blameless.” Interestingly, after 175 verses, the psalm concludes with verse 176, “I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek your servant for I do not forget your commandments.” It is the law of the LORD that is blameless. Blessing comes to those “who keep his testimonies.” Yet despite the psalmist’s love for God’s law, his grief over those who ignore God’s law, and his passion for God’s word, he concludes, “I have gone astray.”

 

Reading through this psalm is convicting. It causes me to wonder if I love God’s law as much as the Psalmist does. It leads me to confess that I do not weep over the sin of the world like the Psalmist. It makes me wonder why reading the Bible sometimes feels more like a chore than like reading a letter from someone who loves me greatly. Yet even the Psalmist concludes, “I have gone astray.”

 

Psalms 119:9-11 reads,

How can a young man keep his way pure?

By guarding it according to your word.

With my whole heart I seek you;

let me not wander from your commandments!

I have stored up your word in my heart,

that I might not sin against you.

 

It is the word of God that keeps us pure, and yet we stray. The word of God leads us to holiness. It also leads us to humility. Perhaps that is the lesson from this psalm. God’s word reveals God, it guides us, and it keeps us humble. When we come face to face with the person of God through the word of God we begin to see ourselves as we really are.

 

A young boy whose muscles are starting to develop may look in the mirror, flex his muscles and think that he is pretty impressive, until he stands next to a weight lifter or a professional football player. Suddenly he realizes how far he has yet to go. So it is with us. We like to think of ourselves as pretty good people. We pray. We go to church. We’re honest. We help those in need. We’re pretty good. And then we open God’s word. We see even just a glimpse of God through his word and we realize how much we have yet to learn. We meditate on God’s word and we realize how far we have yet to go to live true holiness. God’s word encourages us, equips us, and reveals God to us. It also humbles us, which is a good place to be for God “opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (Jas 4:6).

 

Through God’s word we learn two amazing truths. First, his word keeps us from sin. Second, his word reveals that we have a long way yet to go. It is in the tension of those two truths that we live. “With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments” (Ps 119:10)!

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Luke 2 Meditations (Pt 3)

Luke 2:12-14 (ESV)

[12] And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” [13] And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

[14] “Glory to God in the highest,

and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

 

The King James Version of verse 14 reads, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” The NIV says, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” The Greek is a little vague in this verse, resulting in a variety of different ways in which the angels’ song is translated. It reads, “Glory in the highest to God, and on earth peace among men favor/good will/good pleasure/delight.” The last word can mean any of those possibilities, but the Greek is not clear on whether it is describing the people, or whether it is describing God’s attitude toward people. I actually like the NIV translation the best. “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” The Bible Knowledge Commentary says of verse 14, “God’s peace is not given to those who have good will, but to those who are recipients of God’s good will or favor.” However it is to be translated, I think the central idea is that the Savior King who was just born brings peace and favor to mankind.

 

The angels announced it in worship. The shepherd’s declared it in wonder. There were actually three responses in the first twenty verses of Luke 2. All three are as appropriate today as they were on the day of Jesus’ birth. First was wonder. The shepherds were “filled with fear” (verse 9). Everybody they spoke to “wondered at what the shepherds had told them” (verse 18). “Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.” The first response to the news of the newborn king was wonder. Sometimes I think we have lost the wonder of the story. Christmas is a time to reflect on the truly marvelous truth that God became man. “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons” (Gal 4:4-5). Reflecting on that truth should move us to wonder.

 

Second, wonder leads to worship. The angels worshiped. “Suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God” (verse 13). The shepherds worshiped. “The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them” (verse 20). Worship is a proper response to the birth of the King. Thus, we sing at Christmas celebrations. We worship and praise. We sing the angels’ song, “Gloria in excelsis Deo " which is Latin for "Glory to God in the highest." We sing, “Joy to the World, the Lord has come.” We sing, “Joyful, joyful, we adore thee, God of glory, Lord of love.” At Christmas we come together to worship.

 

But it is the third response that we have perhaps forgotten. We sometimes act as though all this good news, the peace on earth, the favor toward men, and the joy to the world is only for us. The angels announced the birth of the king. The shepherds “made known the saying that had been told them” (verse 17). Even though there was “no place for them in the inn” (Lk 2:7), according to verse 10, the “good news of great joy” was for “all people.” This is news to be shared. This is not news to be celebrated and kept private. It is news for all the world to hear. This Christmas let us wonder at the truth of the Christmas story. Let us worship and praise our God. But never let us keep the news to ourselves. This is good news to share. “Glory to God in the Highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” What an incredible truth that God’s favor should rest on mankind. How can we keep such news to ourselves?

 

Titus 1:10-16

             Back in the 1980s and 1990s there were a number of pastors and ministry leaders that got in trouble with the government over is...