Tuesday, April 19, 2016

We Must Be Intentional to Avoid Controversies

Photo by Jeremy Weber
Scripture: Titus 3:9
But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and strife and disputes about the Law, for they are unprofitable and worthless.

Insights: One of the tools and techniques of our adversary Satan is to get us focused on nonessential things and to make them preeminent issues.  It would not take one long to read through the Bible to discover genealogical records were of importance to the nation of Israel.  We know from the biblical evidence whose families were permitted to serve as the high priestly class.  We know who was permitted to serve in a kingly or even a gubernatorial position.  As a result of these genealogies, the early church really dealt with some issues regarding leadership and position.  Those who had under Jewish regulations been people of importance all of a sudden found they had no positional power and these foolish controversies began to spring up.  There was another class of people, who did not have the proper pedigree, but they were highly intelligent.  They created a ruling class by becoming the interpreters of the Law.  Once again, when the early church comes on the scene we find those who engage in disputes over the Law and trying to reenslave believers to the futile system of the past.  Paul calls both of these activities unprofitable and worthless.  In the modern day church we may not fight over genealogies or the Law, but we do over menial things all the time.  We say things like, “we have never done it that way before.”  We fight over worship preferences.  We fight over ministry involvement.  We fight over methodologies.  In really bad situations we fight over the color of the carpet or the paint on the walls.  In every one of these situations we have lost sight of the main thing.  We are to be about preaching the gospel of reconciliation to a lost world.  We are to be displaying before people the love of Jesus.  Our falling prey to these other insignificant things is a tactic of Satan and we need to be mindful of it.  Thom Rainer in his book I Am A Church Member has a chapter titled I Will Not Let My Church Be about My Preferences and Desires.  All too often these sub issues are exactly about what this chapter discusses.  We make our preference and desire the real issue and not the heart of God.  Beloved, may we stop getting sidetracked and may we follow hard after Jesus.  Let us make Him the main thing with which we are consumed. 

1. What are some areas or issues in which you get yourself worked up?
2. Are these areas of real significance or are they like the genealogical arguments of Paul’s day?

Prayer: Father, this area is another in which all too often I focus on things which really are not of importance, but I make them important.  Forgive me for not making the main thing, proclaiming Your Son’s love, the main thing.  Amen.

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