Daily Meditations Published by IT Fellowship of North America & Europe Diocese of Mar Thoma Church
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Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
THE COST OF DISCIPLESHIP Titus 2:1 - 10 V.7: "In all things, you yourself must be an example of good behavior. Be sincere and serious in your teaching."
A hen and a pig approached a church and read the advertised sermon topic: “What can we do to help the poor?” Immediately the hen suggested they feed them bacon and eggs. The pig thought for a moment and said, “There is only one thing wrong with feeding bacon and eggs to the poor. For you, it requires only a contribution, but for me, it requires total commitment!”
The term “cheap grace” can be traced back to a book written by German theologian, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, called The Cost of Discipleship, published in 1937. In that book, Bonhoeffer defined “cheap grace” as “the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ.” The emphasis is on the benefits of Christianity without the costs involved; hence, the adjective cheap to describe it.
In today's portion for meditation Titus 2:1-10, we can see that Titus was left by apostle Paul on the island of Crete to set things in order among the Christians there and to discipline them in Christ . Because of the evil society in Crete, Paul commands Titus to teach the different groups of people in the Church to act like holy people and not like Cretans. He was to teach : Older men - to be clear-headed and in control of their minds and emotions. They are to be worthy of respect and not do things that would cause them or the name of Christ to be disrespected. Older women - to control their tongues and not speak badly of others. They should also not be under the control of alcohol. They are to teach what is good through their words and through their actions and train younger women to love their husbands and children, and to be self-controlled, pure, caretakers/ builders of their home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands.
Young men - to exhibit self-control. Because Titus was a young man, Paul urges him to be an example to the young men in Crete, by showing integrity and dignity in his teaching and by using sound speech. Slaves - to submit to their masters and be always pleasing, good, and faithful so as to bring credit to the teaching about God. They must not answer them back or steal from them.
Discipleship is best understood as an orientation of one’s life toward becoming like Christ. This can only be accomplished by following Christ. Three Elements Are Required for True Discipleship: 1. Being a Disciple requires that you are learning (Matt 11:29 "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”) 2. Being a Disciple requires that you put God’s Truth into actions by living it. 3. Being a Disciple requires that you prioritize God in your choices
God is not calling perfect people to be His ambassadors in this world. There was no one perfect among the twelve apostles. There is only one kind of disciple Jesus really has, and that’s an imperfect one trusting in His perfection.
Lord, help me to set a good example for those who look to me to see in my daily living what a Christian's life should be.
Thought for the day Salvation is free, but discipleship will cost you your life - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
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