Yesterday I started thinking how can I serve the Lord when I retire. Admittedly that is still a few years away, but I prayed upon it amongst other things. Today I felt urged to look deeper into the book of Titus.
Paul tasked Titus with finding elders for the churches within Crete. What caught my attention the most though, first was verse 1:7 and then later verses 9 -11.
Why? Because of all the feel good give “my ministry” money and God will reward you people out there that have TV shows and other things.
The main phrase that sticks out in verse seven is “filthy lucre”.. In that actual break down of the Greek it is actually the entire phrase “given to filthy lucre” which is the word aischrokerdes. Which is from aischros (shameful) and kerdos (gain). Basically greed. Titus is to look for someone who is not seeking money or riches especially when gotten through lies and deceit.
Paul also clearly states that they even profess to being of the faith in verse ten: For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision.
Titus was set with the commission of finding elders for the church in Crete so they could talk against those that do these selfish self-seeking endeavors at the expense of those of the church. For we are called to serve others in need. Not only of material need but spiritual need.
It is these con-artist that prey upon our desire to serve and take advantage of it for their own ends. They are wolves in sheep’s clothing and it is something we must do our best to fight against.
13 This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;
14 Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.
Above you see Paul telling those of the faith to be rebuked sharply so that they may return to the faith and not to heed to stories and commandments made for and by men, because they are turning away from the truth. This is seen throughout Christianity since it foundation. Time and again humans pervert the Gospel to suite their own needs and desires. Adding ceremonies and rituals that only glorify the people not God or His Son Jesus.
Nowhere in the Bible does it state that if you give money to expect more money to be returned to you. Nor does it say we are to receive our rewards here and now, but we are to receive our rewards after the return of Jesus. To be a Christian is to live in hardships not go around in fancy cloths, cars or houses.
In closing, I leave you with the last verse of Titus Chapter 1:
16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.