What or who holds the hammer? Saturday, Nov 30 2013 

According to Jewish tradition, Abraham was born under the name Abram in the city of Ur in Babylonia. He was the son of Terach, an idol merchant, but from his early childhood, he questioned the faith of his father and sought the truth.

He came to believe that the entire universe was the work of a single Creator, and he began to teach this belief to others.

Abram tried to convince his father, Terach, of the folly of idol worship. One day, when Abram was left alone to mind the store, he took a hammer and smashed all of the idols except the largest one. He placed the hammer in the hand of the largest idol.

When his father returned and asked what happened, Abram said, “The idols got into a fight, and the big one smashed all the other ones.” His father said, “Don’t be ridiculous. These idols have no life or power. They can’t do anything.”

Abram replied, “Then why do you worship them?”

What or who holds the hammer in your life? What or who do you give adoration to?

Just wondering at this time of year what Apostolic people might allow to hold the hammer in their life?

Thanks for reading.

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Titus Wednesday, Nov 13 2013 

Titus

Titus was a pagan Paul led to Christ.

He became one of Paul’s most trusted co-workers. Paul calls him brother, partner( 2 Cor 8.23), and fellow helper. Paul sent him to Corinth ( 2Cor 8.6) and to Dalmatia ( 2 Tim 4.10)

The book to Titus is about Crete. Crete was not an easy place. The people were duplicitous, wild and sensual. Cretans were in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost. Maybe they took the gospel back to their island?

Titus is not mentioned in Acts. He is mentioned in 2 Corinthians, Galatians, 2 Timothy, and of course Titus.

He first appears in Scripture as Paul’s companion in Antioch before the council of Jerusalem. Paul took him to that conference because he was a gentile, as a test case. Would he be accepted into fellowship without conditions?

He is sent to Crete or asked to remain there to deal with the problems of the church there. He had served well as Paul’s emissary to Corinth and dealt with the issues there. That experience possibly served him well on how to come to grips with the Cretians.

Titus appears loyal, wise, brave and capable, and most of all thick skinned.

He is usually compared to Timothy. Both were young and gifted protégés of Paul. Both were trusted with delicate missions at times.

There are differences between them. Timothy was half Jewish, Titus was full blooded gentile. Paul circumcises Timothy to increase his usefulness among the Jewish population. Paul then uses Titus as a gentile to face down the Jerusalem prejudice against Gentiles.

It seems to me Paul was released from prison for a while because he desires Titus to meet him at Nicopolis (Tit 3.12). Somehow maybe Paul visited Crete? He has a definite opinion of the character of Cretians.

Paul tells Titus to organize the churches there. In writing to Titus Paul lets him know that he wants Titus to come to Nicopolis. Paul tells Titus that either Artemas or Tychicus will replace him.

The book of Titus has 44 words that do not appear anywhere else in the New Testament.

Today I submit for your thoughts The Two Tituses.

Vespasian, the Roman general, and founder of the Flavian dynasty, had a son named Titus. Vespasian became Emperor, and his son Titus also became famous as a general. Titus concluded the siege of Jerusalem that was begun by Vespasian. Titus’ soldiers burned Jerusalem to the ground. Jerusalem in 70 AD was humbled for 2000 years by Titus the Roman General.

In AD 79 Titus became Emperor of the Roman Empire. The next year he dedicated the coliseum where many many Christians would eventually die.

Earth had it’s Titus!

The Titus we know belonged to another world. This Titus is revealed in the Book of the ages! He traveled with the great Apostle to the Gentiles. He was known to the Christians of the first century. We know him as the pastor of the church at Crete.

Many today would prefer the wealth, prestige, and legacy of being an Emperor of the Roman Empire. We in the church know that is but temporal and passing.

The Titus we honor and seek to emulate made it into the roll call of Heaven. Today around the world people will read of Him in their daily Bible reading. Every succeeding generation of people know of Titus the Christian Pastor.

When you compare the sheer number of people who know of Titus the Christian pastor verses Titus the Roman Emperor, it shouts what really matters. Millions and millions through the centuries and millenniums have read and admired Titus the Christian Pastor.

Those who read and know of Titus the Roman Emperor, learn of him in a history class mandated by their curriculum, and soon forget him.

Can this simple example speak to someone today to seek the eternal not the temporal? Earthly fame erodes with time, while heavenly fame endures eternity!

Personally I have no desire to meet Titus the Roman Emperor. But I smile at the thought of one day meeting in person, Titus the Christian pastor, companion of Paul, contemporary of Timothy, survivor of Jewish bigotry, and early church hero!

How about you? Which Titus do you admire?

Picture yourself standing at the great judgment seat of Christ. Which Titus do you want to be?

Titus the Christian pastor will no doubt hear the glorious refrain, ” We’ll done, Enter thou into the joy of The Lord”

And Titus the Roman Emperor? Anyone willing to change places with Him at that moment?

Thanks for reading today.