God has clearly communicated in easy to understand terms His desires. God wants 21st Century Women of Grace who follow His pathway to life-long usefulness. This desire of God was embraced by generation after generation of believers: which led to personal spiritual disciplines, focused priorities and deeply impacting lives.
But in modern times, it seems we have lost that sense of urgency that earlier generations of Christ's church all seemed to share.
Earlier generations of believers had a sense of urgency that is summed up by the final words of the Apostle Peter. Just before his execution for his faith, Peter wrote to the churches these sobering words: since everything is going to get dissolved, burn up, and destroyed, live for the One who makes all you do in His Name—last forever (II Peter 3:11).
Because we love the Lord, we want to do anything and everything that pleases Him. That is the conclusion Peter expresses in these verses. Since life is short, since everything on Earth is headed for the incinerator: we should consider how we live.
As we open to the book of Titus this morning, never forget that each person in the church that originally got this letter seemed to share this urgency that made them all want to be sure that new believers were nurtured.
This urgency was based on a personal conviction these believers had embraced that:
Titus 2 is the
Pattern God Gave
Early believers urgently wanted to be rewarded at Christ's Bema Seat Judgment, so these verses were their marching orders to keep them on track, God shared a curriculum that any believer in any level of Roman society could relate to and embrace as their priorities.
For the past 20 centuries God is asking each of us to check our priorities against His. He wants us pointed His way so that our life can become a pattern of grace that can be used to mentor, encourage, coach, tutor, teach, train and guide another’s life towards Him. That is: The Pathway of Usefulness to God
There is nothing greater in life than to be useful for God! As we stand with our Bibles opened to Titus 2:3-5, listen to the very voice of God speaking not to a select few, but to every woman, of any age, here today:
3 the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things— 4 that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.
When God set the curriculum for His Church, thus is what He chose to be taught. In simple words that everyone alive in the First Century church could comprehend, Paul wrote to Titus. The early believers of Crete not only understood, but they had a picture of this quality burned into their mind from the Roman culture alive and moving all around them.
Christ is looking for
Godly Women of Influence
Titus was instructed to make sure that the older women were tuned to what God considers most meaningful and profitable for their lives. As I read this list and describe these qualities, do a mental check up on how you are doing ladies. These five qualities are to become the life-priorities for grace-energized women.
v. 3 the older women likewise, that they be:
Priority-1: “Reverent in behavior” as the Greek words ieroprepeis katastematai are rendered in the NKJV/ESV/NAS, KJV “in behavior as becometh holiness”, and NIV “reverent in the way they live”. The only church-wide curriculum for women starts with this call for all women to behave as representatives of God. This means that our God desires that every woman in Christ's church: Live Holy in an Unholy World.
In the ancient world the prime temples to the chief gods were intentionally built outside of town. People had to stop, take a bath, change into special clothes and then walk down a "sacred way" often stretching a mile or more to the temple. They were led down the sacred path by individuals who acted as representatives of the gods. That word for ‘acting as a representative of a god’ is the word Paul uses to describe the devout and godly character of the Titus 2 woman.
The first desire God has for every woman is for her to be consecrated, a living sacrifice, crucified with Christ, surrendered, and yielded, totally His. That’s God’s desire for you, is that what you are asking Him to do in your life?
Priority-2: “Not slanderers” as the Greek words me diabolous are rendered in the NKJV/ ESV/NIV; KJV “not false accusers”, and “not malicious gossips” in the NAS.
God is looking for godly, mature women who will never allow their speech to get hijacked by Satan, the ultimate terrorist. God desires that all women be known as those that Speak Gracefully in a Graceless World.
God is looking for godly, mature women, who will mix their words with His grace so that when they speak, they speak gracefully. God wants to harness the tongue of every woman, He wants no surrender of this most powerful tool. Women of grace have their words used by God for His glory. Have you renewed His control over your talking today?
Priority-3: “not given to much wine” as the Greek words oino pollo dedoulomenas are rendered in the NKJV, “or slaves to much wine” in the ESV, “or addicted to much wine” in the NIV; and “nor enslaved to much wine” in the NAS.
God is looking for godly, mature women who will Discipline (their) Appetites in an Undisciplined World. Nothing is more important, and no priority is higher than surrender to God as His servants.
We are never to surrender to any other outside control to become its slave. Today “not given to much” goes far beyond merely wine. There are so many forms of alcohol never imagined in the Biblical times that can be abused, plus drugs (both the acceptable and unacceptable kinds) that can be abused, tobacco that can be abused, wonderful varieties of food that can be abused, beautiful varieties of fashionable clothing that change with every season that can be abused, housing options, exercise options, recreation options—all that can be abused and become addictions.
God wants your chosen surrender of all of your appetites to the One who bought you and owns you (I Corinthians 6:19-20)? Are you on a daily basis reminding your body that it is not in control, and that it is the mind of Christ you are seeking to control your desires (Romans 6)?
Priority-4: “teachers of good things” as the Greek word kalodidaskalous is rendered in the NKJV, and “teach what is good” NIV/NAS/ESV. God is looking for godly, mature women who will surrender their minds, bodies, appetites, conversation, and time to Him so that they Model Godliness in an Ungodly World. The woman of grace takes the time needed to cultivate a vital walk in the Word with the Lord. She lives the walk, teaching by action even before words.
Have you decided to seek first God’s rule over your mind, so that you let His Word so richly dwell in your life that you can be a tool in His Hands? God desires women who are on call for Him to live a life that younger women admire for its godliness; and then want to be taught how to follow the Lord like you are.
Priority-5: v. 4 “That they admonish” as the Greek verb sophronizosin is rendered in the NKJV; “and so train” in the ESV; “then they can train” in the NIV; “that they may encourage” in the NAS.
God is looking for godly, mature women who will make it their life-long goal to resist the temptation of self-absorption in all the activities of life and instead ask God to guide them in how to fulfill His desire to be personally Investing in others in a Detached World. This wise, focused, and restrained living was the single character quality God wanted in every level of His Church. The core value of nurture never ends in a godly woman’s life, she lives to see Christ growing in those her life can touch.
God designed women to be investors, nurturing others. Are you looking for ways to nurture your children if you have any, and to reach out into a younger woman’s life and become her spiritual mentor, wise counselor, and encourager? God says that is part of the ministry in Christ's Church that pleases Him.
Christ is looking for
Young Women of Godliness
To be that woman of influence, these were the seven characteristics God was looking for on your spiritual resume, Paul asks Titus to explain.
v. 4b the young women:
Priority-6: “to love their husbands” as the one Greek word philandrous is translated in the NKJV/KJV/NIV/NAS/ESV. This compound word is made up of two Greek words: phileo (a close friendship) and androus (husband) and means to be a husband-lover, a woman totally devoted to her husband.
The most powerful tool in God’s hands before a watching world, is a band of godly wives, who live out in their marriages, Christ's Self-sacrificing Love in a Selfish World, and this was the FIRST lesson God asked that each young woman be taught.
This godly woman goes against the tide, and dies to selfishness, self-centeredness, and self-indulgence; so that those around her see the love of God through self-sacrificing life. Remember this word that starts the list describes a wife who is love-filled, respect-reflecting, and the best-friend-in-all-the-world to their husband!
If you are married, or ever are going to get married God wants you to Love your Husband: but whether you ever are married or not, the God of the Universe is pleased by your life if you cultivate—self-sacrificing love in a selfish world.
God desires women who display His plan for marriage summed up as godly women who are best friends with their husbands. Is that the direction of your life, your marriage, and your heart of obedience to the Lord?
Priority-7: “to love their children” is one word in the Greek text, philoteknos; and it means to be a lover of children. So godly mothers love their children with a love that is described precisely, by the Spirit of God in the word He chose.
God says I want phileo love that can be felt, as a grace-prompted-mother’s special ministry in Christ's church! These women continue as mothers and godly women who demonstrate Christ's Nurturing Love in a Loveless World.
If you are married and have children, God wants you to Love your Children: but even if you are never married or have children, the God of the Universe is pleased by your life if you cultivate—nurturing love in a loveless world.
Do you see your role as the mother, nurturing your children at home as a God-given calling? If you have children at home there is no higher calling in all the Universe than to nurture them with Christ's love before a loveless and watching world.
Priority-8: v. 5 “to be discreet” is the Greek adjective sophronizosin that God inspired Paul to write, and is translated in the NKJV as “discreet”, NAS “sensible”, or NIV/ESV “self-controlled”. This is the only quality desired by God in all four groups of the church (men/women, younger/older) who are in tune with the Lord, and also are Focusing on God in a Foolish World.
This word describes being serious about spiritual things; living a disciplined life: which means self-controlled and not addicted to anything. No matter what your situation, background, or temperament, the God who owns you wants you to be discreet, sensible, and wise in the decisions and choices you make.
Are you a godly woman in tune with the Lord? Then He desires that you focus on His Word, while everyone else is distracted and amused. Will you make daily choices to cultivate a deep and transforming focus upon God through His Word, so that His desires become more and more known and obeyed in your life?
Priority-9: “chaste” (KJV/NKJV) or “pure” (ESV/NIV/NAS) is hagnos, the Greek word that God chose for Paul that is one of the key words of the Bible. This word here describes a young woman who is Pursuing Modesty in an Immodest World. She never chooses to display her beauty in a way that could displease God. This character choice is so important to God that He guided the Apostles to speak of this purity and holiness over 300 times in the New Testament that encompass every reference to
describe the sanctified lives he demands from His children. Purity is the description (adjective hagnos) of the believers who are allowing God to sanctify (verb hagiazo) them.
Even in the midst of a society given to wickedness, even if everyone else does it, if you want your life to be rewarded with the greatest of all joy when you hear Christ's “Well done, good and faithful servant”, then you must obey the desire of God that you be chaste: Jesus Christ is pleased when He sees you pursuing modesty in an immodest world.
Have you decided as a godly woman, that you will pursue this quality God so clearly desires in your life? Do you dress and conduct yourself in such a way that the first way that those who see you would describe you to others is “modest” or “holy”?
As God’s Temple, the Lord has clearly said that since He lives in you, He wants you modest, chaste, and holy for Him. Is that your deep desire today?
Priority-10: “homemakers” (NKJV), comes from the Greek word oikourgos also translated as “keepers at home” (KJV); “to be busy at home” (NIV); “workers at home” (NAS); and “working at home” ESV. All the versions portray God’s desire for women of grace to offer her homemaking in worshipful service to God. God desires His godly women of the church to Pursue Homemaking in a Homeless World.
As the world has fewer and fewer nurturing homes where Christ’s love is seen and felt, women of grace transform even the most menial household duty into an offering of worshipful obedience to God. God designed women, not men, to have the calling and responsibility of shaping and keeping the home!
If you are married, with or without children, the God who made you desires that you respond to His call to be a Homemaker: but even if you are never married, and whether or not you have children, God asks you to please Him by pursuing a welcoming home in a homeless world.
Titus 2 teaches younger women the centrality in God’s plan of a woman’s priority being her home.
Do you as a godly woman know that this is the role God has given to you, for you on a daily basis to receive His well done good and faithful servants? Each day that you accept and follow God’s desired plan for your life, that day pleases God and is redeemed for eternal reward.
Priority-11: “good”: translated “good” (KJV/NKJV) or “kind” (ESV/NIV/NAS) is what God is looking for in a Titus 2 woman. The Greek word is: agathous. God asks for godly young women who at every level of life will Pursue Kindness in a Harsh World. God is good, the fruit of the Spirit is goodness, and a godly woman’s heart is fixed upon this goodness (Proverbs 31) in all she does.
The colder and darker the world may get, the Lord wants us standing out clearly as good: our Master is pleased when we are pursuing kindness in a harsh world.
Paul reduces God’s desire for how we live to just one word: good; which is also the only basis of rewards of Christ's Bema Seat (II Corinthians 5:10).
Our eternal rewards are based on the grace-prompted goodness God sees in our behavior through life. Is that desire God expresses to us what starts the agenda of our activities we desire to do each day?
Priority-12: “Obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed” (NKJV). God’s Spirit led Paul to use the Greek word hupotasso which means “be subject to”. God did not want to convey that He was asking all wives to ‘obey’, which is a completely different word, rather He chose this word that is translated in the ESV “submissive”, NIV “subject to” and NASB “subject to”.
God designed gender-specific roles for the marriage partners, and godly women, when in step with the Spirit, and energized by grace choose to Pursue Submission in a Rebellious World.
For every woman who is married, the Lord has clearly called you to an attitude of submission to your husband: but whether or not you are ever married, God is pleased by you Pursuing submission in a rebellious world.
Women of grace want to know and do what God desires for them. In this rebellious world, often willfully ignorant of God’s plan, the woman of grace wants to step in line with what God desires. Have you said yes Lord, I want to do Your will, not mine?
Think on what these verses say. Let the immensity of what is on paper in front of you, settle over your mind, these are:
For Every Woman of Grace
God has laid out His desires, for the personality, goals, priorities, and lifestyle of a woman that is totally His.
God's Word is before you, held and read by you. And those Words from God: describe the choices, the habits, and the personal agenda that every 21st woman of grace should live for.
With time ceaselessly running by at the speed of 60 minutes per hour, Titus 2 is God’s way for every woman to grab and invest that time in an eternal savings account.
21st Century Women of Grace follow God’s pathway for eternal, and life-long usefulness to God.
Because God asks for these qualities it means that He will enable us by His grace to master every area of our life to make our lives pleasing in His sight.