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In God's Beautiful Plan


"Older men are to be temperate, dignified, sensible, sound in faith, in love, in perseverance. Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored."
Good Morning My Beloved,

I would like to welcome all of you to worship this Lord's Day!
We are so grateful for each of you, our beloved brothers and sisters in Christ, we are so thankful that you were lead to join with us today.
The church is called both the body and the bride of Christ, therefore, I believe that the church should continuously be developing as the body, corporately, displaying the splendor and wonder of our Living Savior. As His bride, He is committed to presenting us, "having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless," before a holy God. As the church, our witness to the world, is our lives, which should beautify the gospel message and a point lost and dying people to the Living Savior. Beloved, godly living must be built on the sound doctrine in God’s Word, which reproves, corrects, and trains us in righteousness, equipping us for every good work.
Unfortunately, many churches today, have trended toward specialized ministries for the last several decades. Often, these ministries have found their genesis in current social trends leading the churches into areas that are impossible to justify with what has been written in the Word. Far too often, the ministries developed have dramatically altered the concept of the congregation, the novel face of the assembly, rendering them unrecognizable as the New Testament church. I find this to be very disturbing.
I strongly believe, that one of the most significant factors contributing to this descent into irrelevance, is a complete failure to teach sound instruction from the pulpit. In some measure, this failure has been driven by the demands of unconverted church, who are convinced that the services of the congregation should be adjusted to satisfy their lust for entertainment. Tragically, many church goers have become either incapable of thinking deeply or they are just unwilling to confront their own disobedient attitudes.
However, we must continue to preach, reprove and rebuke and exhort, and do it patiently, and with careful instruction. There will of course, be much resistance to these calls for holy living, however, we must not equivocate.
Let us bow our heads.
Heavenly Father, 
Father, thank You for the richness of Your Word. Lord, we pray that would bring much stability, great strength, character and wisdom to Your people. We pray that You would preserve Your church, Lord, as the older generation who has accumulated spiritual experience, walked with You for so many years, may we pass on these life changing truths and their practical implications, to a younger generation. Guide them, and bless them with a ministry, that would become a treasure, a tremendous blessing for generations to come.

Lord, we know that turning this around is such a major task that only You can do, however, we pray O' Lord, that You would strengthen us through Your Holy Spirit to deal with the task at hand, we pray
for the many families listening to this message, who are so very dear to our hearts. For the
the precious women, old and young, the fathers and husbands. O God, how I pray,that these things would be lived out in their homes and the families, the things that stand against everything that this culture teaches.

Father, my heart is so heavy today, burdened with so many who claim to be Christians, claim to believe the Bible and live in total disregard of everything that it teaches and therefore, shame the very testimony of the One they proclaim. Lord, I pray that You would make us faithful in the disciplines of this life to do only what honors You, brings glory to Your name.
We pray in Christ's precious name 
Today's Message: In God's Beautiful Plan
Throughout the Word of God, there are a number of passages urging us as believers to act in a manner consistent with the faith that we proclaim. These passages are provided with the assumption that those reading them hold to the truths that define the faith. Allow me to just read a few of these passages, for you to consider today, God demands that we live lives according to what we profess. I want to be clear, these are in the Bible, these are not merely my personal opinions, so if you take issue with the teaching in Word, take it up with God. I am called to teach what the Scripture teaches, not share my own opinions.
I Corinthians 1:2, "To God’s church at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus and called as saints, with all those in every place who call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord—both their Lord and ours."
I Corinthians 6:8-11, "Instead, you act unjustly and cheat—and you do this to believers! Don’t you know that the unrighteous will not inherit God’s kingdom? Do not be deceived: No sexually immoral people, idolaters, adulterers, or anyone practicing homosexuality, no thieves, greedy people, drunkards, verbally abusive people, or swindlers will inherit God’s kingdom. And some of you used to be like this. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God."
And, in Ephesians 5:1-16, Paul says "Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints; and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 
Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them; for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light. For this reason it says, “Awake, sleeper, And arise from the dead, And Christ will shine on you.” Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil."
I'd want to draw your attention to the fact that the Corinthian and Ephesian congregations, though they may be dysfunctional, they were Christians! They were identified as belonging to God, as declared holy in Christ Jesus and therefore, they are identified as God’s people. However, they're redemption did not instantly qualify them as living righteous lives. They still needed to be taught, they still needed instruction. And, although a congregation may be composed of those who are saved, those who are known by God and who are declared holy in His sight, even today, it does not mean that they automatically choose actions and lifestyles that qualify as being righteous and godly. They still commit a number of behaviors and actions that are obviously detestable before the Lord.
The Scriptures clearly show us, that there are distinct roles for both men and women in the church and in the home. Further, it should not need to be said, that if God has created an individual as a male, they should not seek an operation, in order to alter the sex to which you were born. It is a sin to seek a sex change to become a female, or vice versa. God designed the sexes in order that they would complement one another. Therefore, there should not be any competition between the sexes. Men should affirm the God given beauty value of women, not seek to emulate them and likewise! And, women should also affirm the God given role and strengths of men, without attempting to emulate them as well.
Furthermore, we are called to relate to different ages and genders in appropriate, God ordained ways. In I Timothy 5:1-2, Paul tells us "Do not sharply rebuke an older man, but rather appeal to him as a father, to the younger men as brothers, the older women as mothers, and the younger women as sisters, in all purity."  
There is not to be a complete separation, between the various ages in the church and family. Rather, there is to be to be interaction, because the church is the family of God, and in the family there are all different ages for the benefit of the entire family. The older generations have wisdom and experience to impart to the younger, that one cannot not possibly obtain, with years of living and experience. And, the younger generations have idealism, energy, and enthusiasm, that can be used to encourage the older generations, that may have faded over time. While it is true, that by having the older and younger together, whether in the church or at home, can create tension. However, God’s design is that we learnto live harmoniously, furthermore, learning from one another.

Nowhere in Scripture, are we called to have a traditional service for one group, and another contemporary service for another. If any of you are able to find such a teaching, please, by all means, direct my attention to it! I believe that younger generations need to learn to sing the hymns and the older generations also need to learn some of the more contemporary music. While it is fine to have a Bible study class for younger families or a separate social events for the seniors, it is imperative that we all learn to work together, and get to know one another, across the board, regardless of age. I refused to cater to such selfishness, because the Word of God is sufficient for all generations. We are to love one another, to be consumed by the Word of God, and live in unity for the kingdom. There will not be separation in heaven, for race, age or class, we will all be together, and so we must learn to do so here on earth!
Well, as you can see, I've gotten a bit on topic, however, I believe that it important and needed to be addressed. If you would open your Bibles with me to the Book of Titus chapter 2, today we will be studying verses 2-5.

I would like to encourage you to follow along with me as I read, to set the text in our minds, as we prepare our hearts for what the Holy Spirit is saying to each of us. Titus 2:2-5.

"Older men are to be temperate, dignified, sensible, sound in faith, in love, in perseverance. Likewise, older women are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, o be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored."
In verse 2, the Apostle Paul gives us a list, allow me to point out, the list given here are not exhaustive, they are not comprehensive, in that every Christian virtueshould necessarily apply to each of these age categories. Rather, Paul is just hitting a few salient qualities that pertain to each group. The term, "older men," is obviously a relative term. He is using it of himself when he was in his sixties . I'd also like to point out, the fact that these qualities, are not automatically developed with age. If you are older and these qualities do not describe you in this present day and age, then you still need to focus on them rather than go on as you are. Paul uses the Greek word "nēphalious," which is the translated English temperate, it means not to be intoxicated by wine or strong drink. However, it also has the meaning of being sober-minded and clear-headed.
He also says that older men are to be dignified, which is the Greek word "semnous," meaning to be serious in purpose or having the personal dignity that invites honor and respect. Paul goes on to say that
older men are to be sensible.Obviously, this is a requirement for elders, however, it for all believers as well. It means to be balanced and under control, not to be impulsive or giving into various passions or lusts.He also states that older men are to be "sound in faith, in love, in perseverance."Again, by sound, it means healthy. In other words, older men are to have a healthy faith in God that comes from trusting God in the practical matters of life that comes with time, over years. As one grows older, rather than becoming more grouchy or hard to live with, we are to become more loving. Rather than becoming more intolerant and hardened towards others, we are to become more gracious and compassionate.
The, Paul adds that older men are to be sound in perseverance.What Paul is saying is, older men should know how to bear up under life’s trials with a buoyant hope in the promises of God. Rather than dropping out of the race, older men should be running with endurance by fixing their eyes on the Lord Jesus Christ. I have known a number of men, who have gotten along in years, who simply drop out of the race, most generally however, due to issues with health or mobility. However, older men who have these qualities will stand out in the world and are still capable of pointing others to the beauty of Christ.
In verse 3, Paul goes on to say that "Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good." Contrary to what many have come to believe today, godly older women have a vital role to play in God’s beautiful body, the church. They are to be reverent in their behavior.Reverent literally means suitable to a sacred person, much like a priestess in a temple. The reverent woman fears God and lives in His presence. By behavior, Paul is pointing to their demeanor, their inner character. He then uses the Greek word, " diabolous," malicious gossips, which means engaging in speech that is slanderous or falsely accusatory. Allow me to point out, that malicious gossips is a single word in Greek, that is used 34 times of the devil! It literally means to throw things at people. A godly woman will not repeat damaging stories, that she hears about others. In other words, she will not spread rumors or half-truths that would bring damage to someone’s reputation.
Paul goes on to say that older women are not to be enslaved to much wine.There is a direct connection between a loose tongue and intoxicating drink. A woman who drinks too much will probably talk too much. As you grow older, it is easy to begin having a drink to block aches and pains, to drown loneliness or depression. Because, before too long, you are addicted to alcohol. That is sin, that is sin! It's sin, because that you are not relying on the Lord and experiencing the joy of His salvation. By "teaching what is good," which is the Greek word "kalodidaskalous,"  is often translated beautiful or attractive. As a footnote, the older women, and not Titus, that were to teach the younger women how to be truly beautiful, namely, to be godly. The word encourage means to make sensible. Younger women often, feel overwhelmed by the difficulties of rearing children and keeping house. Unfortunately, feel like they would be happier if they could just abandoned their responsibilities. Older women should help them think sensibly about the importance of those duties.
Many younger women today, who just coming to Christ from ungodly backgrounds, often have not had godly role models in their lives, to teach them how to make their homes places for their families. They've not been taught how to properly love their husbands and children. Feminism has taught them to forgo their families needs and find fulfillment in a career or in extra marital affair.  Of course, this is not always the case, however, I have seen this be the case, more often than not.
Paul instructs Titus, in verses 4-5, "that so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored." Again, many younger women today, have little or no understanding of how important the job of homemaker is. Sadly, many of them also they lack practical knowledge needed in how to do it. Frankly, they are often undisciplined, they spend their time watching TV, or on social media, when they should be cooking, cleaning or taking care of the house and family needs. I am so grateful, that I grew up in a home, that was a refuge for me. For the most part, it was a pleasant place to be because mother was pleasant and because of her hard work in caring for our families needs.
Paul lists seven ways in which the older women are to help make the younger women more sensible; first, "to love their husbands." Unlike many have been mislead to believe, this is not automatic. It requires deliberate effort. The Greek word that Paul uses, "philandrous," implies the love of friendship. A husband and wife need to cultivate the closeness needed for true companionship. Love for your husband. begins in how you think about him each day. If you constantly complain about his bad habits and run him down all day, in your thoughts, allow me to inform you, you are not loving him. Even though it may be challenging at times, you must begin each day by thanking God for him and by considering his needs and how you can meet them. The philandrous kind of requires time spent together, sharing your hopes and dreams, thoughts and feelings. It takes open communication between two people. That said, the younger generation must learn to keep their personal business off of social media! 
The next instruction that Paul gives, is that younger women are to love their children. Again, it doesn’t come naturally, especially when they try your patience by their disobedience. You are sinning against God and your children if you just slap them around in anger, call them derogatory names. While women are always going to be their children’s mother, as they grow older you should also cultivate a genuine friendship with them. The The Greek word used here, "philoteknous," also implies the love of a friendship.
Paul then says that younger women are to be sensible.  It simply means to be in rational control of one’s impulses and passions. They are also to be "pure," which is the Greek word  "agnas," It has been my experience, that typically, most women are tempted to sexual immorality when their emotional needs are not being met by their husbands. And, if that is true in your situation, please, by all means sit down and talk to your husband about your needs. Having an adulterous affair is never the answer!
Paul says they are to "workers at home," I know that many women today, look upon this as outdated sounding sexist, however, allow me to remind you, that it is God’s design and wisdom. No woman gets to the end of life and says, "Ah, I’ve had a satisfying life as a corporate executive. Just look at all those client memories I have!" Seeing your family walking with, and growing closer to God and loving one another brings true joy, that cannot be found by the superficial satisfactions of this world. You have to work at making your home an attractive, warm and inviting place for your family to be.
Paul tells Titus to instruct the older women to teach the younger women to be kind. The Greek word used, "agathas," literally means "good," however, in the context it also includes kindness. It generally means to be an all around nice person. The kind woman thinks of the needs of others and will go out of her way to meet those needs. When a family member is upset or discouraged, she responds with caring, sympathetic and kind words.
The next one, is about as out of sync with American culture as it could be, but it is still God’s word of truth. You have a choice: God’s way or the world’s way. The world’s way asserts self; it stands up for one’s own self centered rights. It places demands on others in order to get one’s own way.
However, God’s way surrenders all to Jesus as Lord, first and foremost. It judges one's own selfishness, seeks the good of others before self. God’s way is,"Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves." God’s way of submission tends to grate against our selfish human nature. I'd like to address a common misconception here, submission does not imply inferiority or becoming a doormat for any man. I want to be perfectly clear on that! "To be subject" is a military term, to put oneself in rank under another. 
Allow me to give you an wonderful example; although Jesus is equal with the Father, He voluntarily put Himself under the Authority of the Father, in order to carry out the divine plan of salvation. Christian marriage is to reflect the image of God. Husbands and wives are to be an earthly picture of Christ and the church, with husbands loving their wives sacrificially and wives respecting and submitting to their husbands. This does not imply one's superiority over another, as many have misinterpreted it to mean.
Paul ends verse 5, with "so the word of God will not be dishonored." A woman who claims to be a Christian, however does not demonstrate love for her husband and children, moral purity, and being a godly homemaker, is not a good representation of the gospel. However, a woman who does exhibit these qualities, will stand out amongst the other women who are of the world!

In Closing...

God desires all of us to focus on becoming His beautiful children, not as the world, in outward appearances, the ever fading beauty of this fallen world, but the inner, lasting, eternal beauty that comes from a loving, transformed heart that is obedient to Him. We often refer to a beautiful person as being attractive, because, let's be honest, beauty certainly attracts. A beautiful place, like the Grand Canyon, or the picturesque view of the Smokey Mountains, tend to attract people's attention, they are drawn to it. The body of Christ should be so beautiful that those who do not know Jesus Christ, the Savior, are attracted to Him through us. So, I would like to encourage all of us, to get to work on helping Christ's church develop into a beautiful body for His glory!
May it be so...
And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

Now and forever, in Jesus' name

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