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They Deny Him

Daily Reading: Titus 1

Scripture Focus: They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work. (Titus 1:16)

Devotional Thought: When Paul wrote to the churches - especially to pastors - he didn't mince words. The church in Crete, where Titus pastored, had some who were “insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers,” (v10). He says this especially of the circumcision party (Jewish believers) and is most likely referring to their determination to turn Christianity into an extension of the Jewish faith by requiring certain laws and rituals from Gentile believers. Paul warns about “not devoting themselves to Jewish myths,” (v14) which is especially powerful considering that all of Paul’s life up to his moment of conversion had been dedicated to this very thing!

These empty talkers and deceivers can be easily found in our own time. Though not teaching Jewish law and circumcision, they are certainly “teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach,” (v11). Think of the popular church leaders who preach the “health and prosperity gospel.” They “profess to know God, but they deny him by their works,” (v16). Faith in Jesus does not come with a promise of health or wealth. In fact, believers are told to expect the opposite. “Take up your cross and follow me,” (Matthew 16:24); “In this world you will have trouble…” (John 16:33); “If the world hates you, understand that it hated me first,” (John 15:18).

For us to expect our lives to be easier as Christians is simply not Biblical. However, we have promises and a hope that is far superior to any “easier” life now. We know that we can take heart through any tribulation, for Jesus has overcome the world! Let us not tolerate teaching from the detestable and disobedient, but instead surround our hearts and minds with the true gospel that is proclaimed in Scripture.


Prayer: Lord Jesus, guard our hearts and our minds from heresy, from false teaching, from anything that would lead us astray from the purity of the gospel that you have laid out in your Word. Thank you for the certainty of the Scriptures.

Psalm of the Day: 65 You have dealt well with your servant, O LORD, according to your word. 66 Teach me good judgment and knowledge, for I believe in your commandments. 67 Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep your word. 68 You are good and do good; teach me your statutes. 69 The insolent smear me with lies, but with my whole heart I keep your precepts; 70 their heart is unfeeling like fat, but I delight in your law. 71 It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes. 72 The law of your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces. (Psalms 119:65-72)

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