June 2: Transformers
2 Chronicles 4:1–6:11; Titus 1:5–9; Psalm 92:1–93:5
Some people are like spectators in their faith communities—they simply watch while others interact, serve, and reach out. But Paul’s instructions to Titus about overseers show us that communities need people who will do more than just show up.
“For it is necessary for the overseer to be blameless as God’s steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not violent, not greedy for dishonest gain, but hospitable, loving what is good, prudent, just, devout, self-controlled, holding fast to the faithful message according to the teaching” (Titus 1:7–9).
Titus was counteracting the harm false teachers had caused in the Cretan community (Titus 1:11). He needed the leaders’ assistance to succeed. At first, Paul describes this type of leader as someone who doesn’t commit certain actions—anger, desire for personal gain, drunkenness, or violence. But Paul also realized that leaders did need to take certain positive actions—showing hospitality, loving what is good, and holding fast to the gospel. Only by avoiding some behaviors and embracing others could they transform the community by being instruments of change.
There will be periods in our lives when we’ll need to humbly accept the help of others. But there are also times for action, and our motives will be just as important as our conduct.
The believers on Crete needed to be molded and shaped for godliness. Likewise, we need God’s word and His Spirit to provide us with wisdom not only to respond, but to do so with the right action—showing hospitality, loving what is good, and being committed to the good news of Jesus Christ. Then, as transformed people, we can be used to advance His kingdom.
How is God prompting you to be used in your church community? How can you respond?
REBECCA VAN NOORD
- And he made an altar of brass twenty cubits long, and twenty cubits broad, and ten cubits high. And he made a molten Sea of ten cubits from brim to brim, round in compass, and five cubits high: and a line of thirty cubits did compass it about. And under it was the fashion of oxen, which did compass it round about, ten in a cubit compassing the Sea about: two rows of oxen were cast when it was molten. It stood upon twelve oxen: three looked toward the North, and three looked toward the West, and three looked toward the South, and three looked toward the East, and the Sea stood above upon them, and all their hinder parts were inward. And the thickness thereof was an hand breadth, and the brim thereof was like the work of the brim of a cup, with flowers of lilies: it contained three thousand baths. He made also ten caldrons, and put five on the right hand, and five on the left, to wash in them, and to cleanse in them that which appertained to the burnt offerings: but the Sea was for the Priests to wash in. And he made ten candlesticks of gold (according to their form) and put them in the Temple, five on the right hand, and five on the left. And he made ten tables, and put them in the Temple, five on the right hand, and five on the left: and he made an hundred basins of gold. And he made the court of the Priests, and the great court and doors for the court, and overlaid the doors thereof with brass. And he set the Sea on the right side Eastward toward the South. And Huram made pots and besoms and basins, and Huram finished the work that he should make for King Solomon for the house of God. To wit, two pillars, and the bowls and the chapiters on the top of the two pillars, and two gates to cover the two bowls of the chapiters which were upon the top of the pillars: And four hundred pomegranates for the two grates, two rows of pomegranates for every grate to cover the two bowls of the chapiters, that were upon the pillars. He made also bases, and made caldrons upon the bases: And a Sea, and twelve bulls under it: Pots also and besoms, and flesh hooks, and all these vessels made Huram his father to King Solomon for the house of the Lord of shining brass. In the plain of Jordan did the King cast them in clay between Succoth and Zeredathah. And Solomon made all those vessels in great abundance: for the weight of brass could not be reckoned. And Solomon made all the vessels that were for the house of God: the golden altar also and the tables, whereon the showbread stood. Moreover, the candlesticks with their lamps, to burn them after the manner before the Oracle, of pure gold. And the flowers and the lamps, and the snuffers of gold, which was fine gold. And the hooks, and the basins, and the spoons, and the ash pans of pure gold: the entry also of the house and doors thereof within, even of the most holy place: and the doors of the house, to wit, of the Temple were of gold. So was all the work finished that Solomon made for the house of the Lord, and Solomon brought in the things that David his father had dedicated, with the silver and the gold, and all the vessels, and put them among the treasures of the house of God. Then Solomon assembled the Elders of Israel, and all the heads of the tribes, the chief leaders of the children of Israel unto Jerusalem, to bring up the Ark of the covenant of the Lord from the city of David, which is Zion. And all the men of Israel assembled unto the king at the feast: it was in the seventh month. And all the Elders of Israel came, and the Levites took up the Ark. And they carried up the Ark, and the Tabernacle of the Congregation: and all the holy vessels that were in the Tabernacle, those did the Priests and Levites bring up. And king Solomon and all the Congregation of Israel that were assembled unto him, were before the Ark, offering sheep and bullocks, which could not be told nor numbered for multitude. So the Priests brought the Ark of the covenant of the Lord unto his place, into the Oracle of the house, into the most Holy place, even under the wings of the Cherubims. For the Cherubims stretched out their wings over the place of the Ark, and the Cherubims coverd the Ark and the bars thereof above. And they drew out the bars, that the ends of the bars might be seen out of the Ark before the Oracle, but they were not seen without: and there they are unto this day. Nothing was in the Ark, save the two Tables, which Moses gave at Horeb, where the Lord made a covenant with the children of Israel when they came out of Egypt. And when the Priests were come out of the Sanctuary (for all the Priests that were present, were sanctified and did not wait by course. And the Levites the singers of all sorts, as of Asaph, of Heman, of Jeduthun, and of their sons and of their brethren, being clad in fine linen, stood with cymbals, and with viols, and harps at the East end of the Altar, and with them an hundred and twenty Preists blowing with trumpets. And they were as one, blowing trumpets, and singing, and made one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the Lord, and when they lifted up their voice with trumpets, and with cymbals, and with instruments of music, and when they praised the Lord, singing, For he is good, because his mercy lasteth forever) then the house, even the house of the Lord was filled with a cloud, So that the Priests could not stand to minister, because of the cloud: for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of God. Then Solomon said, The Lord hath said that he woul dwell in the dark cloud: And I have built thee an house to dwell in, an habitation for thee to dwell in forever. And the King turned his face, and blessed all the Congregation of Israel (for all the Congregation of Israel stood there.) And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, who spake with his mouth unto David my father, and hath with his hand fulfilled it, saying, Since the day that I brought my people out of the land of Egypt, I chose no city of all the tribes of Israel to build an house, that my Name might be there, neither chose I any man to be a ruler over my people Israel: But I have chosen Jerusalem, that my Name might be there, and have chosen David to be over my people Israel. And it was in the heart of David my father to build an house unto the Name of the Lord God of Israel. But the Lord said to David my father, Whereas it was in thine heart to build an house unto my Name, thou diddest well, that thou wast so minded. Notwithstanding, thou shalt not build the house, but thy son, which shall come out of thy loins, he shall build an house unto my Name. And the Lord hath performed his word that he spake: and I am risen up in the room of David my father, and am set on the throne of Israel as the Lord promised, and have built an house to the Name of the Lord God of Israel. And I have set the Ark there, wherein is the covenant of the Lord, that he made with the children of Israel. 2 Chronicles 4:1–6:11
- For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest continue to redress the things that remain, and shouldest ordain Elders in every city as I appoint thee. If any be unreprovable, the husband of one wife, having faithful children, which are not slandered of riot, neither are disobedient. For a Bishop must be unreprovable, as God’s steward, not froward, not angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre. But harberous, one that loveth goodness, wise, righteous, holy, temperate, Holding fast that faithful word according to doctrine, that he also may be able to exhort with wholesome doctrine, and convince them that say against it. Titus 1:5–9
- It is a good thing to praise the Lord, and to sing unto thy Name, O most High, To declare thy loving kindness in the morning, and thy truth in the night. Upon an instrument of ten strings, and upon the viol, with the song upon the harp. For thou Lord, hast made me glad by thy works, and I will rejoice in the works of thine hands. O Lord, how glorious are thy works! and thy thoughts are very deep. An unwise man knoweth it not, and a fool doth not understand this, (When the wicked grow as the grass, and all the workers of wickedness do flourish) that they shall be destroyed forever. But thou, O Lord, art most High forevermore. For lo, thine enemies, O Lord: for lo, thine enemies shall perish: all the workers of iniquity shall be destroyed. But thou shalt exalt mine horn, like the unicorns, and I shall be anointed with fresh oil. Mine eye also shall see my desire against mine enemies: and mine ears shall hear my wish against the wicked, that rise up against me. The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree, and shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bring forth fruit in their age: they shall be fat and flourishing, To declare that the Lord my rock is righteous, and that none iniquity is in him. The Lord reigneth, and is clothed with majesty: the Lord is clothed, and girded with power, the world also shall be established, that it cannot be moved. Thy throne is established of old: thou art from everlasting. The floods have lifed up, O Lord, the floods have lifted up their voice: the floods lift up their waves. The waves of the sea are marvelous through the noise of many waters, yet the Lord on high is more mighty. Thy testimonies are very sure: holiness becometh thine House, O Lord, forever. Psalm 92:1–93:5