Tuesday Devotional: Titus 1


Read Titus 1bible

The Holy Spirit works dramatic and undeniable transformation in the lives of sinners.  The Holy Spirit does not do adjustment or alteration, but complete redesign.  This new design in the new self finds its only parallel in the life of Jesus Christ.  His character is the only one that resembles the radically new desires of our heart and ensures that these new desires are meant for permanent display.  When testing the work of the Holy Spirit, the only standard must be the life of Jesus Christ.

Claiming to have met God and to know him stands for nothing if the fruit of his spirit is not represented in the new self.  Any and all efforts to lead others in the way of Jesus Christ will be fruitless without the leadership and spirit of Jesus Christ being made anew in the new self.  Leadership of self is stubbornly juxtaposed to the leadership of God.  A person led by the world for success in this world will not and cannot lead compatibly with the will of the Lord.  The ways of the Lord are holy and righteous, and the ways of man are sinful and self-serving.  Therefore, as one person assumes a leadership role over another, whether in a marriage, a friendship, a profession or a church, the standard must always be the life of Christ and his authority over the lives of sinful man.  There is no acceptable worldly authority in any human relationship that can unleash the healing power God intends to unleash.  This feat is impossible for man.  It cannot be accomplished.  It cannot be realized out of human effort.  The leadership that does not oppress, does not neglect, does not harm and does not destroy can only come from a model that has never done such things.  The leadership of Christ is love, peace, strength and healing.  Only by complete submission to his leadership can one ever lead others in this world and produce the same fruit that his leadership does.

Tuesday Devotional: 1 Corinthians 1


bibleRead 1 Corinthians 1:10-17

It is far too easy for us to place unjustifiable importance and honor on those men and women who lead us, while forgetting the role they play within the framework of spreading the Gospel of the one and only Jesus Christ.  There was only one sacrifice.  There was only one redeemer.  There was only one who became a servant to all in a mission to save all.  Church leaders, called to instruct others in the Gospel, are by nature sinners like you and I.  They could not save themselves, and required the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

Becoming distracted by leaders and forgetful of the man Jesus Christ bypasses the necessity of faith in the life of a Christian.  Following a human requires little to no faith in the gospel: they are physically in our presence, we can hear their words directly as they speak them, and they can likewise hear ours.  We are tempted to accept these leaders as advisers with good stories and useful life lessons, and not representatives of Jesus Christ.  In fact, it is quite possible for one to attend church, read the Bible and pray without the deeply personal need for the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.  When we hope in man and not Christ alone, our transformation in the image of Christ is cut off at the source. We will never truly change, we will never be free and we will never truly have life in its purest form.  No man can change another man and make him new.  Only the work of Jesus Christ, and faith in Him as Savior, Lord and God can do that.  Church leaders are stewards of this love story of God and his children, but they are not characters in the story.  They, like us, have been given the story, blessed by it and now share it with others.  We must never forget the purpose of this story, that its focal point is always Jesus. By His name and by His stripes we are healed.