By Charles Stanley
What do we mean when we talk about a "godly life"? The godly man or woman lives a life guided by the Holy Spirit. This person has a passion for God, seeks an intimate relationship with Him, and is always growing wiser and more mature.The godly person makes decisions based on biblical principles rather than personal preferences, and serves God faithfully.
How many people around you would be described in that way? How close are those words to a definition of your own life? Do you speak, dress, and relate to others in a way that conforms to that definition? In Titus 1:5-16, God’s Word shows us how to live a godly life in a world that grows darker with each passing day.
Key Passage: Titus 1:5-16
Supporting Scripture: Isaiah 40:8
1. We live in a world that opposes almighty God. Paul wrote to Titus with instructions about how to pastor a church in Crete.As we read about the conditions there, we are reminded of our own world. "For there are many rebellious men, empty talkers, deceivers" there (Titus 1:10). We notice several characteristics of an ungodly world. First, it is secular. For many of its people, there is no place for God in daily life. Second, we live in a materialistic world. The greatest driving force around us is the greed for money.Third, we live in a sensual world, filled with the uncontrolled pursuit of pleasure. Finally, this is an anti-Christian world in which some groups try to remove every reminder of God.
2. We live a godly life by clinging to the Word of God. How can you and I live a godly life in a world that is opposed to our Lord and Savior? Paul writes that a believer can do so by "holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict" (Titus 1:9). The Bible is the mind of God on the printed page; the story of His work in our world, and our guide for every day of life.
3. The power of God’s Word leads us to salvation. What happens when we hold fast to the faithful Word of God? First, it leads us to salvation. No other book can point us in the direction of forgiveness for our sins, rescue us from our own rebellion against God’s righteousness, and nourish our souls.The power of God flows through His Word, offering you the free gift of salvation.
4. The power of God’s Word guides our steps. This wonderful book, the awesome and eternal Word of the living God, gives us practical help for every day of life, and practical wisdom for every decision that we may face. We can come to the Word of God to seek answers, and He will give us those answers. Every problem of life has its solution in these pages.
5. The power of God’s Word lifts our burdens. David came to God’s Word when he felt deep sorrow, and the Word brought him joy. In the same way, there is no depression or despair so deep that we cannot find comfort in the healing words that are in God’s book. Whether we read the psalms of David or the writings of Paul, all of it is inspired by the Spirit of God.
6. The power of God’s Word brings us peace and joy. When we are troubled, our friends give us advice. But nothing they can tell us offers peace, unless they give us the Word of God and His promise never to leave or forsake us. What else but the Bible can bring you such joy? Whatever our circumstances may be,we can feel contentment when we cling to the Word of God.
7. The power of God’s Word keeps us from sin. Every moment that we read the Scriptures, we are being cleansed. His Word cleanses us from wrong thinking. It cleanses us from lust, anger, resentment, and doubt. Why? Because the Word of God reminds us that those emotions do not describe who we have become in Christ.
8. The power of God’s Word brings us physical health. Not only do the Scriptures clean the mind; they provide health for the body. Sinful emotions have a negative impact on our health, but the wholesome peace and joy of the Bible clears those negative emotions away and helps us to be strong and vigorous.
9. The power of God’s Word brings us back to God. When we get off track in life, it is His Word that can reach and restore us. Hearing the Word of God convicts us of our sin, leads us to repentance, and guides us in restoring the joy of our salvation.
10. The power of God’s Word exposes false doctrine. Many lies and error-filled teachings surround us. They are in the media, in the advice of our friends, and everywhere else. Held up to God’s eternal Word, these errors are exposed for the destructive lies they are.
11. How can we cling to the Word of God? Therefore, as Paul exhorts us, we must hold fast to the Word of God. We must read it carefully, meditate upon it daily, and study it seriously. Then we must believe it wholeheartedly and apply it personally. If we do all these things, we will be transformed by His Word. He will give us just the verse we need when we need it.
12. What are the consequences if we fail to cling to God’s Word? When we begin to think the way the world thinks, the world wins our affections. We begin to compromise our convictions as we find that worldly values dominate our conversation and redirect our focus from God. The world influences our dress and it steals God’s tithe. It alters our schedule and it feeds the mind with sensual thoughts leading to immoral actions. Finally, the world ruins our testimony and renders us useless to God’s kingdom.
These are dangerous times for the mind and soul, but we have the living Word of God to sustain us. It is our handbook for every moment of life. The Word is our assurance of salvation. It pulls us through our earthly trials with confidence.
As the prophet Isaiah wrote, "The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever" (Isaiah 40:8). If we cling to it faithfully, we will also stand.We will experience joy, hope, and peace. May we stand as a testimony to the living Word!