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Thank You James Franklin Hyde

Read: Titus 2:1-10

 

I stepped outside last evening to latch the gate. It didn't want to close. I used both hands to try to press the latch into the hole, and finally with much effort, the gate was secure. Taking a bit of time on a nice evening works okay, but what if it had been really windy or raining cats and dogs? I definitely needed to do something to make that little job quicker before that was the case. Then I remembered what might work. Silicone. Yes, the excellent product that has been the answer for so many little household dilemmas, and it didn't let me down. I wondered who actually was responsible for this "helper in a spray can." His name was James Franklin Hyde, and he was born in 1903. He is considered to be the "Father of Silicones", and I appreciate the work this chemist did that, even now, makes many tasks simpler and more pleasant.

 

In Titus 2:1-10, we read about practical things we can do that make it easier for us or others to share the gospel. These ways of speaking and behaving take away some of the friction that sometimes can close a door even before we even say our first words about the Savior's love. Let's look at merely a few of the things Paul says in this passage. For example, Titus first speaks to the older men and women. Much of what he says in these verses in Titus looks quite a bit like the unconditional love that he defines in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. These are beautiful pictures of lives that, if lived out by the older men and women, would be attractive not only to the younger believers but also to those who watch who have not yet been born again, John 3:3. After all, what wife wouldn't want to honor and submit to a husband who was sensible, worthy of respect and sound in faith and love? A praiseworthy goal for the older men. An honor to be the earthly picture of Jesus' love for His church, Ephesians 5:28-33. How beautiful each believing woman would appear to the world, whether married or not, if her speech would be gracious, and her actions kind? How attractive each one would be if she were not ensnared by alcohol but rather if she would be led by the Holy Spirit, Ephesians 5:18!

 

What about the young men? Their lives are to shine too. Their behavior is to be marked by self-control, integrity and dignity. Their good works and sound teaching are to be evident. What a contrast between this kind of a life compared to the kind of actions the world often touts as praiseworthy. Instead of the foolish and unreliable men that are often displayed in the television shows or movies, God's younger men are to be an example of lives lived with honor. When this is the case, those who would want to bring an accusation would have nothing they could say. No way to hinder the gospel because of any wrong doing they have observed.

 

There is still one group Paul addresses in these verses. It is slaves. Thankfully, we don't have slaves as they did in the Roman empire. Even so, the qualities Paul speaks of in verses 9-10 are on perfectly displayed by Jesus. The One Who came not to be served but to serve, Matthew 20:28. He gave His life as a ransom for us. He is the One Who made Himself of no reputation and was obedient unto death, Philippians 2:5-8. He did His Father's will in everything, John 6:38. The Bible never lauds slavery, but it was a huge part of the Roman world into which the gospel came. Paul speaks here of serving with sincerity and faithfulness and that these qualities adorn the gospel. This kind of attitude, the kind Jesus also displayed perfectly, helps open the door for the telling of the gospel, Titus 2:10. It is once again, because there is such a sharp contrast between the ways of God and the world's ways. It is true that living our lives as Paul exhorts us to in these few verses does not mean that people will flock to us to hear about the One we love. What is true is that our lives that are ever growing to look more like Jesus, Romans 8:29; 2 Corinthians 3:18, can remove some of the roadblocks that might block the presentation of God's truth, and allow the beauty of His love to be seen with fewer obstacles blocking the view. +We can make it easier for the one who follows us to share what is true about the Lord when our lives show His beauty instead of copying the world's norms.

 

1 Peter 2:11-12 11 Dear friends, I urge you as strangers and temporary residents to abstain from fleshly desires that war against you. Conduct yourselves honorably among the Gentiles, so that in a case where they speak against you as those who do what is evil, they will, by observing your good works, glorify God on the day of visitation.

 

 

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