August 24, 2020
Titus 1:1:1-5
Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ to further the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness— in the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time, and which now at his appointed season he has brought to light through the preaching entrusted to me by the command of God our Savior,
To Titus, my true son in our common faith:
Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.
The reason I left you in Crete was that you might put in order what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you. 

New International Version (NIV)
                What is the hardest job you have ever had?  I started working in my early teens for $1 an hour.  A travel agency employed me to hand out brochures to people who were leaving a store on our Airbase in Germany.  This sounded like an easy way to make a lot of money to me.  Working with people was fun.  Being turned down was not fun.  In the end it was a bit boring.  Ministry on the other hand has never been boring to me. 

                Paul left Titus with a tough job.  He was supposed to straighten out a new church that was struggling.  What was the goal?  You hear it in Paul’s greeting:  “to further the faith . . .”  Wait.  So a pastor’s job is to further the faith of his flock.  How far has our faith gone?  So the Christian life is lived in forward motion.  We are going somewhere in our walk with God.  Are we any further along in our faith walk and our knowledge of God than we were a year ago?  A month ago?  A week ago? 

                Growing in grace is a hard job.  It doesn’t require earning but it does include effort.  Progress is not easy to measure.  But if our faith is moving in the right direction, we will find ourselves on the road to godliness.  Each step is taken in hope of eternal life.  There is no sense asking, “Are we there yet?”  We have not arrived.  But we can further our faith.  We can develop deeper trust in our God who has proven to be trustworthy.  In the early days of contemporary Christian music, the summer after my sophomore year in college, Steve Camp sang a song, “You take me farther and higher each day.  You take the fear of loving away.  Just when I think I’ve reached the end, You take me farther and higher again.”
Pray with me:         
Father, help us to grow in grace today, to go farther and higher than we ever have before.  Teach us to trust you more.  Give us hope for the future you have planned for us.  We pray in Jesus’ name.  Amen.  
Join us in memorizing the Word.  Scripture for this week:    
Matthew 6:27-28
Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 

Our 2020 Every Day with Jesus readings will follow the Foundations New Testament reading plan.  Copies of the reading plan are available at Tallowood Baptist Church, or download your copy at REPLICATE.ORG 
We would love for you to join us as we read the New Testament through this year, five chapters a week.  In addition I will continue my long-standing practice of reading one Psalm a day through the year.  Use Robby Gallaty’s H. E. A. R. plan to study each chapter (also found at REPLICATE.ORG). Highlight verses which speak to you, explain what they mean in your own words in a journal, apply them to your own life, then respond by doing what God tells you to do.  

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