“This is a trustworthy statement; and concerning these things I want you to speak confidently, so that those who have believed God may engage in good deeds. These things are good and profitable for men.” Titus 3:8 NASB

This letter was written by Paul to Titus around the same time 1 Timothy was written. Many believe that Paul stood trial in Rome and was acquitted and released for two or three years before he was arrested again, this time in Ephesus. During his release Paul was putting men like Titus and Timothy as pastors in various areas where churches had been established. These two letters contain valuable instruction for believers and Christian leaders. This makes them important for every Christian to read and understand.

The trustworthy statement Paul is referring to is found in Chapter 3:3-7. Verse 3 was meant to remind us of our state before we were saved. It is important that we do not lose sight of what God has saved us from. We were helpless and hopelessly enslaved, heading for judgement and to Hell. But God who is rich in mercy and grace has done for us what we could never do for ourselves, Paul declares in verses 4-7. God did this because He loves us. God’s love for us is expressed in His kindness toward us. In 1 Corinthians 13 we find that love is patient and kind. That is really it. The rest of 1 Corinthians 13 describes what patience and kindness is and does. God didn’t tell us to hurry and shape up. In verses 5-7 Paul says, “He saved us, not on the basis of our deeds which we have done in righteousness but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that being justified by His grace we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”   NASB

I often hear Christians longing for the rapture of the church and for the Lord’s return when He sets up the Millennial Kingdom. I have to admit that I have had those longings from time to time, but God is not done yet. There are more people for God to save so I need to be patient. Peter writes, “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some would count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9 NASB

I would not be surprised to find that people had been longing for the Lord’s return years before I was born or even saved. I’m glad God is patient and I am reminded I need to be patient as well, even with difficult people. I need to remember that Jesus died for my worst enemy. Getting a right perspective on who I was before I became a Christian and who I am now that I have realized the price that was paid for my salvation helps me to get a different perspective regarding difficult people. I have learned to pray for their salvation. I have also learned to practice forgiveness. I am learning that I need to be patient and kind. The more I do these things the more profitable I am to my Lord. This, of course, is the subject of verses 1&2 of Titus 3.  I am most profitable to my Lord when I am trying to glorify Him instead of myself.

Be Profitable

Pastor Dave