Paul, an apostle of Jesus, gives instruction to Titus to correct false teachings that were causing people to live godless lives. Anyone who preaches and teaches the gospel, and whose message or doctrine does not lead its adherents to live a life of godliness cannot rightly claim that their message agrees with the sound doctrine of the apostles and the words of Jesus Christ. To “rightly divide the word of truth” one must be committed to the office they have been called whether it is apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor or teacher (Eph 4:11).
When I think of commitment I think of the Apostle Paul, his discipline, determination, and dedication to the preaching and teaching of the word of God. How else could he write “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? ….For I am sure, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God, in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:35-39 RSV).
As leaders we are held to a higher standard to preach and teach God’s Word not just by what we say but our lives should be an example as well. We never know who is watching us and our lives may be the only Bible someone may ever read. We need to examine ourselves and ask ourselves the question “Am I a model of commitment in word and deed? Can someone look at my life and want to follow me?” If the answer is “NO” then you’ve got some work to do.
Gracious Father please search me and reveal to me any area of my life that is contrary to your word, help me to correct it and to become a model of commitment so that others that I come into contact with may be encouraged to live a life of godliness. Amen.
Deloris Harris is a second year student at McCormick Theological Seminary and serves as Pastor of Oasis Christian Ministries International in Evanston, IL.