A Gracious People

One of a Pastor’s greatest joys is to have his congregation accept the preaching of God’s Word with readiness and without controversy.  Often times the Word of God flies in the face of our accepted traditions and  human understanding.  Scripture tells us that the preaching of the gospel will be foolishness to some people.  Even to God’s own children many times the scriptures seem archaic and sometimes ‘optional’.  But as a church, Center Hill, believes that our final authority is the written Word of God for all matters of faith and godliness.

We are currently in the middle of a series of messages in the book of Titus.  A letter written by the Apostle Paul to a young Pastor, Titus, who was left on the isle of Crete to ‘straighten things out’ that were amiss in the church.  It has not been an easy series to preach as a Pastor for the self examination that it has required and because of controversial matters such as our past week’s message.  Paul is concerned because false teachers have entered into the church and caused ‘whole families’ to be ruined.  The Apostle gives clear instruction to the young Pastor on how to deal with these false teachers and then turns his instruction to how to live graciously in Christian community.  This he does by dealing with several classes of people, including older men, older women, younger women and younger men.

The strong words of Paul to the younger women of this church seems to contradict the secular teaching of this world and our society today that proclaims that a women is to find her ultimate fulfillment in career status or financial advancement.  Paul makes the point that the gospel message of grace and it’s power to change lives is made overwhelmingly evident to an unregenerate world when the younger women of faith find the highest calling and fulfillment in their devotion first to their husband and then to her children.  Paul no where says that a women can’t have a career or work in the work place but he makes very clear that if a women makes her career or financial advancement a greater priority than her commitment to being a godly wife and mother than she transgresses Scripture.

It was this, one of the most difficult messages I have had to preach, that was our passage last week.  The discussion of our people in Sunday School that followed and the comments from this past week have been a blessing to me as Pastor.  It has ALL been gracious.  Many times the Word of God can seem offensive but our people at Center Hill have shown themselves to be committed to the proclamation of God’s Word even when they may not agree or are not sure.  Our people have graciously submitted themselves to the scriptures since I have been Pastor here and it is a great joy and privilege for me to proclaim God’s Word each week.

Thank you Center Hill, I love being your Pastor.

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