For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.
History and Context:
Titus was not mentioned in Acts, but in Galatians he is mentioned as one of Paul's companions travelling to Jerusalem (Gal. 2:1,3). Later Titus stayed on the island of Crete in order to help establish the church there. Paul is writing Titus to instruct him on how to lead and establish the church in Crete. Overall thebook shares many similarities with 1 Timothy.
There is a lot of debate about how the "end times" will play out. A lot of people seem to be attempting to use the topic to invoke fear in people, but this scripture makes two things clear. First, there will be a "glorious appearing", Jesus is going to appear before us, and second, this appearing brings us hope. We can hope in His return and understand that then is when His creation will come to perfection. Paul commends us on how we are supposed to live as we wait for this day. We should live soberly, righteously, and godly. When looking at the greek words used in this passage we can see that this is three levels of discipline in one self. Soberly means to live in control of one's own actions. It could be translated as self-mastery. It means that we must first master our own desires and actions. Righteously is directed towards our relationship with others. It is simply to live right towards others, to be fair, just, honest, and to act in integrity towards others. Godly denotes our actions towards God. It implies a reverance and a worship towards God.
Again this is an opportunity to check yourself and how you are living.
First think and pray about whether you truly have full self-control. There are many addictions which have control over people. We always talk about alcohol and drugs, but there is also caffeine, food, being with people or not being with people, using foul language, etc. Anything that you do not have complete control over in your life, needs to go.
Secondly, consider your actions towards other people. Are you living rigteously with others? Are you treating them fairly, in honesty and integrity? We are called to walk in love towards others.
Thirdly, how is your relationship with God? When you pray are you just performing a ritual, or do you pray out of passion and love for God? In the worship service do you truly worship, or do you complain about the music? Do you read the Bible and get inspired by it, or do you practically fall asleep while reading? The final step is to live in passion towards God.
Lord, I know that you are coming back and I find hope in that. I also feel challenged to live as Paul told us to live. So Lord help me to recognize the areas in which I do not have self-control. Also help me to see where I still need to treat others better and where I am lacking in my relationship with you. Renew the passion and desire in me that I once had for your presence and for your Word. Thank you Lord! In Jesus' name, Amen!