Today’s Reading: Luke 10:1-9
Go your way; behold, I am sending you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. (Luke 10:3)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.Through these last three days, the Church gives thanks to God for the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We’ve already praised God for the work He did through St. Timothy. We praised God for bringing St. Paul to faith and sending him out as an apostle. Today we praise God for the work He accomplished through St. Titus, Pastor and Confessor.
Titus was a friend and co-worker with St. Paul, traveling with him on his third missionary journey. Paul had Titus remain on the island of Crete to serve as pastor. He was tasked with establishing good order in the congregations and to identify and train other men who could be faithful pastors. Paul wrote a letter to Titus, describing what qualifications and duties pastors should possess. This letter still instructs the church to this day.
Serving in Crete was not easy for Titus. Some people were teaching false things about Christ and how we are saved. Paul encouraged Titus to teach the truth of the Word against these adversaries. The new pastors who were being trained also had to be equipped to stand against these false teachings.
Pastors still need to protect the church against false teaching today. Satan and the world always bring new lies against the Gospel to try to deceive people away from Christ. Jesus and the Apostles specifically warned the church that these attacks would keep coming (see Luke 10:3 and Acts 20:28-31). So pastors not only proclaim the Gospel in love. They also need to recognize false teaching and counter it with the truth to protect Jesus’ sheep in their care.
Always pray that God would raise up faithful pastors and equip them for the work. We thank God for our faithful seminaries at Ft. Wayne and St. Louis and all the programs that prepare the next generation of pastors to serve.
But God also calls each believer to learn the Word so they can be mature in faith, strong in love, and avoid false teaching. You grow in the Word by attending worship and Bible Study, reading your Bible, and faithfully studying Luther’s Small Catechism. The Catechism contains simple explanations of the key teachings of Scripture. If you know it well, you will be well protected against those who lie about Christ.
As we thank God for St Titus, we also thank God for all who train new generations of pastors. May God equip them for faithful service to the Church. We also praise God for all faithful Christians serving in all the vocations that God has given them. May we all be mature in Christ, faithful to the Word, and ready to serve in love. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Almighty God, You called Titus to the work of pastor and teacher. Make all shepherds of Your flock diligent in preaching Your holy Word so that the whole world may know the immeasurable riches of our Savior, Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
-Pastor Jeffrey Horn is Pastor at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Escondido, CA,
Audio Reflections Speaker: Patrick Sturdivant, Development and Marketing Executive at Higher Things.
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