Titus 3:12-15 Closing Instructions

The little things don’t mean a lot; they mean everything!

Paul has a few final instructions for Titus. These are personal requests but he throws one more corporate directive into his closing.

Titus was left in Crete to do a job. Paul knew he could do this job faithfully and fully. But there were other things still ahead for Titus. Paul was sending him replacements so he could join Paul once again. This speaks of the special bond between Paul and Titus. Titus was like another son to him and he relished having him with him in the field.

Although Titus was wanted by Paul’s side, there were still a few tasks that remained. The most urgent one appears to be sending two other ministers of the gospel back into the field. Titus, through the church was to make sure that they had everything they needed for their journey. I figure the main need was money.

Such a difference from when Jesus first sent His disciples out. They were told to take nothing. Not so after His resurrection. He told His disciples, before giving them the “great commission” of “go into all the world and preach the gospel” (Mark 16:15), that they would need to bring supplies for their journey (Luke 22:36). That was the state of missionaries and disciples during Paul’s time too. God could, and probably often did, provide for all their needs but providing for those carrying the gospel was now the duty of the church.

Which brings us to Paul’s final corporate instructions. He was calling the church to step forward in “good works” by meeting the needs of the causes set before them. I wonder why Paul put in the caveat of “urgent need(s).” Was this direction actually for the corporate body or the individual believer? Probably for both as the corporate body is made up of individual believers. But I’m seeing this portion of scripture in a little different light right now and want to explore it.

“And let our people learn to devote themselves to good works, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not be unfruitful” (verse 14). I feel like the needs Paul is addressing are needs that arise in the day to day life of the believer. Not specifically a believer’s need but a need that is noticed by a believer in his daily activities. These kinds of needs could include the mother in line in front of you at the grocery store who has to choose between milk and bread for her children because she doesn’t have enough money for both. Or maybe the person standing on the side of the road with the hood up on the car. These are needs that can’t wait for the next church meeting to decide if they should receive help. These are urgent, right now, concerns that a believer can act on.

We can’t act on every “need” we see but we can be available to the Holy Spirit to meet the ones He points out. I feel guilty sometimes when I pass a person holding a sign asking for assistance of some kind but God knows which needs are real and which are ways to get sympathy and money. I trust Him to lead me in this area, and He does!

Yes, our churches need to be in the business of helping those who are spreading the gospel. But I need to be in the business of following God’s lead in meeting the day to day needs He puts in my path. That starts with an open heart and a willingness to go where He leads.

Father God, thank You for using me on some occasions of meeting other’s needs in the past. I’m certain You haven’t finished with me there. Please keep my heart in tune with You so I can hear Your prompting. Thank You that I can help meet many of my grown children’s needs. I pray this speaks to them of Your love as well as mine. Let me do nothing out of selfish motives but with a heart dedicated to show Your love to those in need. Thank You for meeting all of my needs! The biggest need, having Jesus as my Lord and Savior.

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