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Believe Right. Live Right.

Daily Reading: Titus 2-3

Scripture Focus: Let no one disregard you. (Titus 2.15)

Devotional Thought: On a recent trip to Tennessee, I spent some time with my grandchildren. We had a wonderful few days, but I especially liked our conversations around the dinner table each evening. For some reason, Avery – our oldest granddaughter – got it in her mind that she wanted “Pahpooh” (that’s me) to tell her stories about her momma. After I obliged her on Thursday, I found that she was even more insistent on Friday. I couldn’t think of any more stories to tell, so I tried changing the subject. It didn’t work. She kept on bringing the conversation back. I tried just talking to the others at the table. That didn’t work, either. She just kept repeating herself, louder and louder: “Tell me a story about when my momma was little.” Then I tried to just not talk at all, pretend I wasn’t there. Didn’t work. She was persistent. She would not let me disregard her requests.

That’s the kind of persistence that Paul told Titus to show. “Let no one disregard you!” Earlier, Paul had told Titus to “teach what accords with sound doctrine.” But instead of giving a doctrinal discourse, he launched into a "laundry list" of how to live the Christian life. Paul apparently believed that our theology is to make a difference in the way we live. Sound theology cannot be divorced from sound living.

In this context of sound living, Paul told Titus, “Let no one disregard you.” If our doctrine is not quite right, people will not care, but if our living is not right, people will quickly take notice and reject our doctrine. No matter what we say about God, our lives speak louder than our words. Let no one disregard you.

Prayer: Grant, O Lord, that by the power of your indwelling Spirit, I would live in such a way that people would receive and not disregard my testimony. To the glory of Jesus, I pray. Amen

Psalm of the Day: 129 Your testimonies are wonderful; therefore my soul keeps them. 130 The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple. 131 I open my mouth and pant, because I long for your commandments. 132 Turn to me and be gracious to me, as is your way with those who love your name. 133 Keep steady my steps according to your promise, and let no iniquity get dominion over me. 134 Redeem me from man's oppression, that I may keep your precepts. 135 Make your face shine upon your servant, and teach me your statutes. 136 My eyes shed streams of tears, because people do not keep your law. (Psalms 119:129-136)

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