Todays readings.. Joshua 14, Isaiah 19, Titus 1,2&3
“THEY PROFESS TO KNOW GOD, BUT ….”
These days less and less people “know God” – and even many of those who claim to do so, fail to commit their lives to him. But this has always been the case. We see it in the history of God’s people: we are reading the book of Joshua and about the establishment of the nation after wandering in the wilderness for 40 years. But after it was established and Joshua and that generation died, “They forgot God, their Saviour, who had done great things in Egypt” [Psa. 106 v.21] We will soon read of the highs and lows of the nation in the days of the Judges.
Our world reached an inspiring high in many nations when the Bible was first translated and printed – but in the last century, and especially today, the whole world has descended to a terrible low. Today we read the short letter Paul wrote to Titus whom he had “left in Crete” [1 v.5]. What a challenge faced Titus to get the Cretans to live a Christ-like life: the situation he faced is quite comparable to today. “A prophet of their own,” says Paul, “said, ‘Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.’ “ [1 v.12] This is also true of far too many today.
Paul then makes this point to Titus, “To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled.” [1 v.15] How very difficult it is to be “pure” amid the impurities surrounding us in today’s godless world. Paul then surprises us by adding, “They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.” [v.16]
Some still “profess to know God” today – but the old principle is always true, ‘actions speak louder than words’. How vital that our actions ‘speak’ for what we really are in our hearts and as a result we “live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our … Saviour Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.” [2 v.12-14]
May we all genuinely “profess to know God” and live lives which show we mean what we say, our actions demonstrating that we have committed our lives to him – and – we long for everlasting life in “the promised land,” becoming, for our Saviour, “a people for his own possession” to help him rule a renewed world.