Happy New Year everyone!

Well, nothing blew up, nothing quit working and the Lord has not taken us out of this world! That only means one thing: the Lord wants to keep us here, He has work for us to do and His longsuffering with this evil world is so that someone else may be saved or come unto the knowledge of the truth (of right division and Paul’s distinct calling and message). II Peter 3: 13-15 says, “Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you...” Even though we know this passage is written to Israelites and that we are not partakers of their promises, we are still looking for a promise for us, that of being taken out of this world as it grows worse and worse. And also we look forward to living and reigning with our precious Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ! Paul says in Philippians 1:23 that to be with Christ is far better than being on this earth! I believe that! However, because the Lord has left us here, we know His will for us is, “denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” (Titus 2:12-14) What are these good works for us, as women? What things are righteous and godly for us to do in this present world? Certainly, witnessing to those around us, but in the passage, in the same chapter, we can see that the Lord’s will for women is that of making a difference in the lives of others, first and foremost being in that of the lives of our husbands and children. Titus 2:4-5 tells women to “be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.” These instructions tell us what the Lord considers to be “good works” for us. To not do them causes the Word of God to be blasphemed. Can I assume then that to do these things promotes the work of the Lord? What better way can I serve my wonderful Lord than to do the things He tells me to do and that cause His work to go forward?

Let's all renew our commitment to the Lord to do the things of Titus, chapter 2. Let’s determine to love our husbands! Let’s determine to do the things that would be truly loving our children! Let’s obey Titus, chapter 2, in all of the things it speaks to women about! Titus 2 speaks to us about our marriages. If any are experiencing problems in their marriages at this time, test the Lord! See if His Word is true, and love your husbands at all costs, no matter what you are feeling or experiencing in your marriage at the moment. We know that true, scriptural love is the sacrificing of oneself for the good of the other. I Cor. 13:4-5, tells us many things this love should include, “Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth no itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked; thinketh no evil...” If we do these things, the Lord will be pleased, it will bring honor to his word, and the Lord will work all things "together for good,” (Rom. 8:28), in our marriages.

Titus 2 speaks to us about our roles as mothers. We should love our children, too, by sacrificing our own wants, needs, and desires for their good. In the passage, we are told this includes being “keepers at home” for them. It also includes proper scriptural discipline according to the book of Proverbs. It includes all of the things of I Cor 13:4, but I am thinking specifically of the phrase, “seeketh not her own” in the context of raising our children. What a difference would be made in this world if mothers everywhere practiced this verse? Women the world over are seeking “their own identity, their own needs to be met, time for themselves, even their own money, and their own life! The list could go on. To truly, scripturally, “love” our children is not the natural loving feeling we normally have toward our children, but it is to DO the things that are best for them, putting our own needs aside. Let’s all make a vow to make a difference for the Lord and His work in this new year, and in this new millennium. The Lord is not through with us yet and we have a new opportunity to serve Him, to do His will, and be the women the Lord has called us to be. I, personally have a new year, a new slate, so to speak, and a new opportunity to do something that matters for all of eternity. I pray that I will walk worthy of this calling. Ephesians 4:1 says, “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called”. Pray for me in this new year as I pray for all of you.

Let’s hear from some of you on what is your commitment for the new year.

Happy “loving” and “serving”,
Mary Atwood,
wife of pastor Steve Atwood,
Grace Bible Church, Chattanooga