A NEW YEAR TURNAROUND
One of the Apostle Paul’s most trusted associates was Titus. He had helped Paul in Corinth and then was sent to the island of Crete to bring order to the church there and establish leadership.
Crete is a large island in the Mediterranean Sea south of Greece. It is probably the same place as the ancient Caphtor from which the Philistines originated. It is famous for its civilization of Minoans who were the earliest originators of Greek culture. And for the stories about King Minos and the Minotaur, the imaginary half-bull, half-man monster.
The people of Crete were known for their sinful behavior. They were notorious for their corruption and excess. Paul quoted their own Poet Epimenides who wrote hundreds of years before, “The people of Crete always tell lies. They are greedy and lazy like wild animals” (Titus 1:12).
Paul went on to say about them, “They are disgusting. They won’t obey God and they are too worthless to do anything good” (Titus 1:16). In fact, the phrase “like a Cretan” when describing someone whose behavior is bad comes from these very people.
Titus certainly had his hands full dealing with such a group of people. Yet, he did a great job in turning around a difficult situation. He fulfilled his gospel assignment well for tradition holds that he was the first bishop of Crete. I was able to visit the church of Saint Titus in Heraklion dedicated to his ministry.
Paul tells us in II Corinthians 8 that Titus was dependable and diligent. He dealt with a tough situation on more than one occasion. He is a model for how to succeed under trying circumstances.
When I went to Crete the first thing our tour guide told us was that Crete was 99% Christian. What a turnaround! This place that was so immoral and godless is now almost entirely Christian.
Maybe you face a challenging situation as we begin the new year. You may wonder if it is possible to turn it around. It can be hard to have hope when the circumstances are so intimidating. But look what happened to Titus. An entire country was changed and experienced an amazing turnaround.
God can help you just like he did Titus. Be diligent and committed. Depend on God to do something that will bring about a complete turnaround for you in 2019!
About Rick McDaniel
Rick McDaniel is a noted author, international communicator and church leader. He is the founder/senior pastor of Richmond Community Church in Richmond, Virginia. The church is known for its contemporary and innovative services and has a worldwide reach through www.highimpactchurch.tv. McDaniel has earned three degrees including an advanced degree from Duke University and is the author of six books including his latest "Turn Your Setbacks Into Comebacks." He has traveled and spoken at conferences and churches worldwide spanning six continents.
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