Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Are you one of the peculiar?

Artist A.P.s sketch of "That they (the older women)
may teach the younger women" - Titus 2:3-4

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Titus 2:1-15

TO CHEW ON: "Who gave Himself for us that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works." Titus 2:14

Paul gives Titus instructions on what to teach the various people in his congregations about lifestyle and attitude. I don't know if following his teaching would have set them apart from their unbelieving peers. Probably. For in the second half of Titus 2, when Paul is explaining why they should live this way (because they are looking forward to the return of Jesus - vs. 13), he calls them "His (God's) own special people." He is reminding Titus and all the Christ-followers that though they may no longer fit in with their neighbours, they fit in with God.

These days, when our everyday contact with the world through personal interaction, TV, the internet, and radio may far exceed our contact with people of faith, we may also feel like misfits. At such times it is good to remember that we too are "God's own special people." As such we are:

1. His special treasure (Exodus 19:5).
2. Chosen and holy (Deuteronomy 14:2).
3. Exalted (Deuteronomy 26:19).
4. Blessed with strength and peace (Psalm 29:11).
5. Guided as a flock (Psalm 78:52).
6. Included, even though we're Gentiles (Acts 15:14).
7. Characterized by zeal (Titus 2:14 - today's focus verse).
8. A people with God's law written on our hearts (Hebrews 8:10).
9. Called "a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation" (1 Peter 2:9).
10. A people with whom God chooses to live (Revelation 21:3).

If you're feeling isolated, odd, "peculiar"—the word the King James Version translators use to describe the people of God in 1 Peter 2:9—encourage yourself today as you review how God looks at you. As Bible teacher Dr. Dan Hayden says in an article called "A Peculiar People":
"Christian friend, I hope that you are encouraged to know that you really are 'peculiar'. You belong to a special group of people who are the unique possession of God. You are a member of His eternal family. And that means, of course, that you are the special object of His love and care. It also means however, that we are to live consistent with who we are."  - Read all of "A Peculiar People."

PRAYER: Dear God, I'm so encouraged to review what it means to be part of the company of Your people. Help me to live in such a way that I will bring credit to You and my fellow citizens of this "holy nation." Amen.

MORE: God's goal for His people
"What is He after, then? What is His goal? What does He aim at? When He made man, His purpose was that man should love and honor Him, praising Him for the wonderfully ordered complexity and variety of His world, using it according to His will, and so enjoying both it and Him. And though man has fallen, God has not abandoned His first purpose.

Still He plans that a great host of mankind should come to love and honor Him. His ultimate objective is to bring them to a state in which they please Him entirely and praise Him adequately, a state in which He is all in all to them, and He and they rejoice continually in the knowledge of each others love—men rejoicing in the saving love of God, set upon them from all eternity, and God rejoicing in the responsive love of men, drawn out of them by grace through the gospel."
- J. I Packer, Knowing God, p. 97-98 (1975 edition).

Bible Drive-Thru

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