Daily Meditations Published by IT Fellowship of North America & Europe Diocese of Mar Thoma Church
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
PRIESTHOOD: THE ANOINTED MINISTRY Exodus 40:12-16 Bring Aaron and his sons to the entrance to the Tent of Meeting... wash them with water. Then dress Aaron in the sacred garments, anoint him and consecrate him so he may serve me as priest (Exodus 40: 12-13). Priesthood among the people of God was a divine command and initiation. God wanted some people to be separated for the special ministry among his people. God appointed Aaron and his descendants to take up this kind of ministry among the people of God. Priests are always separated and appointed as channels that connect God with his people. All throughout the history of Israel, priests played an important role in connecting people with God and to lead and guide them in the statutes of God. But there are incidents in the Bible where the priests failed in their duties and that led the people to go away from God. So the priests have a special and significant ministry to perform in this world among his people. Two important things
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Community Formation Around Resurrection Experience Acts 23:1-10 Vinod Johnson Carmel MTC, Boston, MA 6 When Paul noticed that some were Sadducees and others were Pharisees, he called out in the council, “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. I am on trial concerning the hope of the resurrection of the dead.” Sometimes, the only thing that keeps you going through a brutal winter is the hope for the spring. It may have been a hard hope to hold on to this particular year in New England - a year in which Boston considered dumping not tea, but the ever growing mounds of snow into its harbor. And yet, the waist deep snow has dissolved away. White desolation has given way to increasingly visible green shoots of spring. A resurrection is at hand! In this passage, Paul tries to defend himself before the Sanhedrin Council. He seeks to drive a wedge between the Pharisees who believed in resurrection and the Sadducees who did not; even though neither believed in the resur