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WWJD, What Would Jesus Do? It was all the rage a few years ago. You saw the slogan everywhere, on bracelets, hats, T-shirts, handbags, tote bags, Bible covers, bumper stickers – everywhere. While the intent was to goad people into considering their actions in light of how Jesus might have conducted Himself in our circumstances, it left out a very important detail that made the whole thing extremely subjective. It didn’t first ask or answer the question: “How did Jesus think?” What would have been His thoughts behind His actions? Our text in Titus 3:1–11 has something to say about that. We read it today along with Luke 13:18–21; Psalm 119:73–80 and Proverbs 6:20–9:18 on Through the Word in 2020. I’m Reid Ferguson.
Proverbs 9:10 reminds us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom – and that it is the knowledge of the Holy One Himself which gives us that insight. We must come to know Him. What He likes and dislikes. What He has said about Himself. What He has done in human history. How He thinks. What only Scripture and the incarnation can reveal to us. And 1 Cor. 2:16 says that Believers have the mind of Christ. So we are pressed to examine Scripture for those places that reveal how Christ thinks as a way of grasping Him, fellowshiping with Him, and revealing Him to the World.
A wonderful snapshot of that comes to us in the way Paul instructs Titus in ministering to the Church where he is.
Note 4 things.
1. (1-2) We need to be REMINDED what Christianity looks like lived in the World. We so easily lose sight of this, lose focus. Forget that we are on mission – and not just living our lives for ourselves. That we are part of the great, unfolding cosmic plan of Christ – carried out in the most mundane of everyday occurrences and relationships. There is no sacred/secular division allowed. We are not to be one thing in Church and with our brothers and sisters in Christ, and another at work, at home, in the store, in the restaurant, in our business dealings, at play, etc. So our attitude toward authority structures, how we speak to one another, avoiding and not walking into quarrels, being gentle and showing courtesy toward all people are things we need to be constantly reminded of. In this text, that is an imperative, not a suggestion.
The Spirit inspired this.
This is how Jesus thinks.
2. (3) We need to REMEMBER who we once were, lest we grow hard against unbelievers. Condemning, contemptuous and uncaring. Complaining and lacking in compassion and concern for their souls and eternal destinies. Jesus never grew hard, even though He had never fallen. How much more us? He had compassion on the lost.
This is how Jesus thinks.
3. (4-7) We need to REFLECT on who we are and what we have. When we lose sight of these realities, we open ourselves up to being dazzled and tempted by the world. You can’t bribe someone who has everything. The World loses its power over us – when it can only offer us lust of the flesh, lust of the eye and the pride of life, if we are convinced of God’s promise to have our fill of every legitimate desire for eternity.
This is how Jesus thinks. Re-read His temptations in the wilderness.
4. (9-11) We need to REFUSE those things which work contrary to what we’ve received.
This is the mind of Christ: “And he who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to him.” John 8:29
HDJT? That’s the bigger question.
And we can’t answer that by mere imagination or speculation. Only by revelation.
God willing, we’ll be back tomorrow.