Matters of Faith: Yet There is Hope!

Rev. J_Loren RussellTHERE IS YET HOPE!

Rev. J. Loren Russell, BA, MDiv.

Titus 2:1-8 (NKJV)

But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine: 2 that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience; 3 the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things— 4 that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.
6 Likewise, exhort the young men to be sober-minded, 7 in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, 8 sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you.

I wanted to write an uplifting and inspirational article to cheer up my readers after the recent series of events throughout the nation and the world, but those incidents just kept happening. It seems that before one incident was over, another suddenly appeared. Of course, I am speaking of the senseless acts of violence and death that has dominated the headlines of media worldwide. Then I was led to this passage of scripture. There I discovered that there is yet hope!

Paul is writing to Titus, one of his young protégés, instructing him about the conduct that is most becoming of an ambassador of Christ. He instructs him on what and how to teach the people, he also emphasizes that he is to lead by example in all that he does. I have a Bible that is titled, “God’s Word for Peace Officers.” It is written to help officers of the law to reconcile their labor and their faith. The text I referenced is cited in the book to point out the level of integrity they are to perform their duties. If peace officers who are of the faith, conducts themselves with integrity, most, if not all of the misconduct would stop. This scripture demands more than personal conduct, it commands conduct that will impact their comrades and fellow officers. Those who exercise the highest level of integrity must be living examples for like-minded officers, and guides for those who are not believers.

What intrigues me about this text is its multi-directional approach. To the older men and older women, the younger men and younger women, whatever their role was, Titus is told and instructed to teach and to exemplify integrity in all things. Not some things, but in all things! To show integrity one has to live with honor; to be reverent, one has to be respectful; to be incorruptible, one has to live a principled and moral life. Strengthen the weak and empower the strong. If a colleague or subordinate is inappropriate in their speech, in their actions, in their deeds, integrity steps in and says, “Not today!”

This is not only good instruction for those in law enforcement, it’s also good instruction for each of us. Those who are being taught must follow the instruction. Those who have been taught must lead the way. That is only possible, as Paul sums up in the third chapter, when we humble ourselves and have learned to be, “3 …ready for every good work, 2 to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men. 3 For we were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. 4 But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. 8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men.”

There is yet hope!

Be Blessed!

Rev. J. Loren Russell is President/CEO of The JLR Company for Church Financial Consulting, an associate minister at both Goodwill and The Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx, hosts “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” on Soul 1 Radio (internet), Mondays 8:00 – 10:00 PM., or by phone at 626-226-1448.
Join him at First Sharon Baptist Church – 233 East 116th Street (2nd -3rd Avenues) NYC, NY 10029 on Sunday, July 24 at 11:00 AM. Also, Tuesday, July 26 at 7:30 PM at the Baptist Minister’s Evening Conference, 350 E. 165 St., Bronx, NY 10456 (Mt. Lebanon Baptist Church)

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