Scripture:    “This is why I left you in Crete so that you might put what remained into order and appoint elders in every town as I directed you…(there are qualifications): if anyone is above reproach; the husband of one wife; …children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination.

For an overseer, as God’s steward, (he) must be above reproach.  He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined.  He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine AND also to rebuke those who contradict it.”  Titus 1:5-9

Observation:   Are these impossible qualifications?  Because the Word of God is true and accurate, presumably not.  But these qualifications (and others in Paul’s letters) get questioned more than a bit.  What are the principles behind these two lists?

Application:   Unpacking Scripture (or not) can get us into all kinds of disturbance.

Let me be clear: I am NOT inferring either by explicit or implicit statements that Scripture can be twisted into something more palatable to my selfish, self-centered mind.  Paul wrote about that in 2 Tim 3 and I should be warned—“having a form of godliness…”  May it never be!!

I am saying that, if a scripture is NOT clear, there is a responsibility to engage trying to understand the Scripture there may be a question about.  At the end, there is always Deut 29:29 to fall back on: “The secret things belong to God…”  Be aware: the Holy Spirit may put understanding out a bit in the future while other things are learned first.  Patience, patience.

From my perspective, there is a single overriding principle alluded to in this section of Titus.  It is the public display of “Walking worthy of the Gospel; Walk worthy of the calling in which you have been called; Pursue these things, be immersed in them”; and etc.

In my Jesus Festival days it was described as being “Sold out for Jesus.”  That was 46 years ago.

During these 46 years I can testify that I did well, then didn’t do well; I ebbed and flowed with the tide of life and those circumstances.  All the time I tried to keep my feet moving ever so consistently (even if the movement was microscopic) towards the Kingdom.

I write the above as an encouragement—to me as a reminder to keep going, to anybody else for the same.  The references above are not only for leadership in the local church, it is for any of us who are looking for and chasing the Pearl of Great Price.

Taking a page from the XX philosopher: Keep walking worthy of the Gospel, my friends.

Prayer:   Lord Jesus, thank you for being patient with me over all the years; thank you for Your faithfulness in the light of my unfaithfulness manifested daily.  How can I ever thank you enough?   AMEN.