By Mike Riley

In Titus 2:14 – KJV, Christians are deemed as a “peculiar people”. For most folks, this term means “weird” or “unusual”, and in a sense this meaning is not altogether foreign to the common English translation. However, the idea behind this adjective in the Greek use of the term, is that such a people has been chosen by God, to be possessed by Him, and therefore as a result are a “special people” (Titus 2:14 – NKJV) Also note 1 Peter 2:9; Deuteronomy 14:2; 1 Chronicles 17:22; 2 Corinthians 6:17-18. Christians may indeed be a bit unusual in this world, but it is not because we seek to be artificially weird. Instead it is because we are aware of the sacrifice made by God on our behalf (John 3:16-17), a sacrifice that has made us “peculiar” in a very unique way – His own people (literally, “A people as an acquisition”). How then might we practice this properly understood peculiarity?

In Paul's letter to Titus (Titus 3:1-11), Paul gives us a list of behaviors that ought to characterize people who are God's unique possession. This is not an exhaustive list, simply because Paul had in mind the needs of the folks Titus was working with in Crete (Titus 1:5; cf. Acts 27:7-12). But these things surely do apply to us in principle. Other such lists of properly “peculiar” behavior are found in Ephesians 5:1-11; Colossians 3:10-17 and Galatians 5:22-26.

1) Be subject to the proper authorities (Titus 3:1) – Government has a role as God's servant (see the example of Cyrus (2 Chronicles 36:22-23; Ezra 1:1-4; Ezra 5:13-17), as well as Romans 13:1-7 and 1 Peter 2:13-16).

2) Be ready to do and maintain every good work (Titus 3:1,8).

3) Speak evil of no man (Titus 3:2).

4) Do not be involved in senseless brawls – Instead, manifest your quiet strength as a child of God (Titus 3:2).

5) Remember the sins of your past and that you have been saved by God's grace in Christ when you obeyed the conditions of salvation as set forth in the gospel – This remembering will help you keep in mind who you were, who you now are, and to Whom you belong (Titus 3:3-7).

6) Avoid foolishness – This admonition has in it the idea of thinking seriously before one speaks. Rapidity of thought is not nearly as important as careful consideration of what one says (Titus 3:9).

7) Reject the influence of people who would divide the church and divide you from God – Such people are self-condemning (Titus 3:10-11).

In these most perilous of times, we must never forget that we belong to God (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). It is said that a wise grandfather used to keep his grandchildren in line by telling them as they left the house, “Remember who you are!” God, in using the word, “peculiar”, is telling us the same thing.

When I was growing up, Sunday was a day set aside for rest and reverence. Most stores and businesses were closed and most folks got together with family for Sunday lunch. There were “blue laws” which allowed only basic necessities such as food or gasoline to be purchased. Yeah, Sunday’s were different back then. Nowadays, it’s hard to tell Sunday from any other day of the week (other than a lot of people are off work). Every conceivable business or recreational activity is available, allowing us to purchase or do most anything on the “first day of the week”. As convenient as this is, it poses a great challenge to the disciple of Christ. Instead of Sunday worship taking priority, it would seem that “going to church” is something we do as long as there’s nothing else happening. This is especially true when it comes to the evening services. But as we continue to strive for spiritual growth, we must make the commitment to place God’s service first and not just work it in when we can.

Let’s remember to:

By Mike Riley

In Romans 8:35-37, the apostle Paul who was beset by problems on every hand (2 Corinthians 4:8-18) stated: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or anguish, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Even as it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; We were accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.”

The problems we face will either defeat us or develop us – depending on how we respond to them. Unfortunately, most people fail to see how God wants to use problems for good in their lives. They react foolishly and resent their problems rather than pausing to consider what benefit they might bring.

With the above thoughts in mind, the following are five ways God wants to use the problems in our life:

In the letters to the churches of Rome, Corinth, Colossi and Philippi, the Apostle Paul expressed his deep gratitude for those congregations. He was thankful for their faithfulness, fellowship and spiritual growth. Even though these groups of Christians struggled with temptation and sin, Paul appreciated his relationship with the church. Can we say the same about ourselves? Are we thankful for the church? If so, how do we express our appreciation? Here are a few ways and reasons we should be eternally grateful for this great institution

  • Jesus Christ Died for the Church -Acts 20:28; Eph. 5:24-25
  • The Benefit of a Spiritual Family —Eph. 3:14-15
  • Love for One Another is Found in the Church —1 Peter 1
  • Forgiveness is Found in Church Fellowship—I John 1:7
  • Gratitude Shown by Consistent Fellowship -Acts 2:42

By David Hersey

Definition of Reverence In the Old Testament

In the Old Testament definition of reverence, “reverence” occurs as the translation of two Hebrew words: Yare’ (pronounced yaw-ray’), which carries the meaning of “fear.” This word is used to express the attitude toward God Himself. “God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him (Psalm 89:7). “Ye shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the LORD, (Leviticus 19:30; 26:2). The thought being one of fear, awe and respect. The second word, shachah (pronounced shaw-khaw’), carries the meaning of “falling down” as in the prostration of the body. It is used to express the attitude and bearing toward another who is considered superior. “Then Bath-sheba bowed with her face to the earth, and did reverence to the king, and said, Let my lord king David live for ever” (1 Kings 1:31). Compare also 2 Samuel 9:6 and Esther 3:2,5). The thought with this word being honor, submission and obeisance.