Old Testament: Deuteronomy 7:12-16
Morning Psalms: Psalms 95, 31
New Testament: Titus 2:1-15
Gospel: John 1:35-42
Evening Psalms: Psalms 35
As a child, I lived with the knowledge that God was always present, that He was a warm, comforting presence whenever I needed.
However, as I grew older and more “worldly”, I read and experienced intolerance and hypocrisy by an all-too-human church that fell back upon scripture it alone was allowed to interpret. I also looked around each Sunday morning, and I saw people repeating the same words week after week, like some moral checklist. The religion that I had grown up in seemed a lifeless example of “Do as I say, not as I do”. I eventually turned my back on the whole thing, and I started my own quest to form an understanding of life.
That quest led me back to the beginning, to what Jesus taught. Reading Titus, I’m reminded of what it means to follow Christ, of what it should look like.
“In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say.” (Titus 2:7-8)
I believe people’s hearts refuse to follow those that speak commandments but do not act in accordance with the message of love and integrity that Jesus taught. Watching people living out the message that Jesus preached, however, compels others to want to learn more. “Who are these people who put others first? What is this that brings such strength and inner peace?”
I recall that Jesus kept it really simple: Love God with all your heart, and love your neighbor as yourself. Living that, and not just saying it, is the most profound and fulfilling life-quest I have found.