Friday, May 30, 2014


Have you ever had someone come to you when you were in a crises, put their arms around your shoulders and say, “I have been praying for you.” ?  These are wonderfully encouraging words.  What strength I feel when someone gives me a hug and says “I love and appreciate you.”

Hearts are refreshed through our expressions of affection.  Let someone know today that you love them (Philemon 1:7).

Thursday, May 29, 2014

A Beautiful Vessel

Sometimes believers emphasis our unworthiness to the point that we can no longer see the beauty of God's creation in who he made us to be.  All we see is our failures.

Paul wrote, "That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus"  (Philemon 1:6).

Notice he said" to acknowledge every good thing in you in Christ"

Remember to worship God for what he has done in you and how he created you to be a beautiful vessel of his.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Faith Toward the Saints

Paul talks about Faith toward the The Lord Jesus Christ and the saints (fellow believers) (Philemon 1:5).  We understand faith toward The Lord Jesus, but how do we show faith toward saints?

Relationships of all kinds require faith including relationships with people in the church.  We have faith that God will work in us and through us, bringing his glory to those we know.  We have faith that church members have a desire to do good.  Most people do not set out to hurt others.  We handle situations as best we can, but are naturally prone to mistakes.

When we are aware of how often we have filed others, we find it easier to forgive those who fail us.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Something to think about

It looks like there were two other people who lived with Philemon. Apphia who most likely Philemon’s wife and Archippas, probably his son.  Philemon also hosted a church.

At the time of Jesus’ death and resurrection, the believers attended synagog.  But by the time Paul writes to Philemon, the persecution is so grey that believers had to either meet in secret and/or in homes.  Paul’s friend, as we know, was a wealthy man who had slaves.  But this man was not only rich in worldly goods, but that Philemon’s faith and love toward the Lord Jesus and the Saints was evident. (Philemon 1:5).

We often connect faith toward God as part and parcel of believing in God, but how do we have faith toward the Saints (fellow believers)?

Something to think about today.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Philemon - Introduction From English Standard Version

Philemon is about reconciliation and relationships between Christians.

Onesimus (which means “useful”) was a slave of a believer named Philemon in Colossae. Apparently Onesimus had stolen from Philemon and fled.

At some time while Paul was under arrest, Onesimus met him and became a Christian. Paul apparently wrote this letter at the same time as Colossians and gave it to Onesimus to carry back to Philemon (see Col. 4:9). Paul appealed to Philemon to accept Onesimus back into his household, but as a brother in the Lord rather than a slave.

In Paul’s estimation, Onesimus was far more “useful” (v. 11) now that he was a Christian. Paul even promised to pay whatever debt Onesimus might owe Philemon

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Cultivated Friendships

Have you noticed how often Paul individual friends and how he needs them?  One of his friends was a former slave.  Another was a lawyer.  Another a pastor. Another a tent maker.  He had friends from all walks of life.

Life may be moving along smoothly and we may not take the time to connect with each other.  Then without warning our life is turned upside down.  That is when we recognize the need for support (Titus 3:12-15).  Do not ignore your gifts of friendships.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Warped Individuals

We are not to continue to be patient with a person who stirs up trouble.  We are to warn them once, at the most twice, then have nothing to do with them.  Recognize that some individuals are warped, sinful and have condemned themselves by their choices (Titus 3:10-11)

We can focus too much on forgiveness so that we make forgiveness a weapon to further hurt those who have been wounded in the war against Satan.  Scripture does not teach forgiveness without repentance. 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Chained or Free

We were hateful, hating one another, but according to God's mercy he saved us ( Titus 3:3-4).  He saved us through "the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit " (Titus 3:4-5).  Regeneration is the making of a new person.  Renewing is to make new, or refresh.  I see the two as identical twins.  They are only distinctive as we get to know them better.    

God removes the sinful nature and makes us to be partners of his Divine Spirit (2Corinthians 5:17; 2 Peter1:4).  Yet in another sense he has made us who we were designed to be.  Sin led us into rebellion, which in turn chained us so that we were no longer free to be ourselves.  The Holy Spirit revives us, resuscitates God's original design.

How marvelous the thought is that, no matter what we have experienced in life, no matter how much we have failed, God is still able to make us into the person he designed us to be in the first place.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Don't Ever Forget

 Pride is one of the most deadly and sometimes most invisible sin.  If we are exhorting others, how do we remain humble?

Paul's receipt against pride is to remember, "We ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another."

It's enough to remember we are only changed because of God's mercy and grace toward us.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Seven Directives

What practical advice should a pastor give his congregation?  Paul lists them ( Titus 3:1-2).

Obey the law
Obey magistrates, judges, police officers
Do good works
Don't speak evil of anyone
Do not get into fights
Be gentle
Speak respectfully to all individuals

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Bad Advice

We have been speaking about the authority of a pastor to rebuke and exhort his congregation.  But what about the pastor who gives bad advice?  Does the pastor 's authority extend into the homes of his congregates? Should the bishop control the decisions of other Adults?

A woman had been praying that God would save her son.  When the son came to her asking for help because he had gotten involved with drugs, she excitedly told her pastor about what she saw as a miracle.  The pastor told her she had to remove her son from the home to protect her other two children from the influence of the eldest son.  He threatened if she did not do this, he would no longer help her.  She sent her son away.

In the end, the son rejected God from the pain of being rejected.  The second son left home the next summer to live with his brother.  The daughter also rejected God because of the pain in the home.

Scripture describes the home as a relationship between husband and wife, parents and children, not Pastor and families (1 Corinthians 11:3-16, Ephesians 5:22-33). Though pastors are usually a great source of advice, each parent must make the final decision.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014


Unfortunately there are many believers in America that do not read the Bible.  All their understanding of God's Word comes from others.  But there are also believers who read the Bible, but whose hearts of rebellion have not yet been set free. It is often the latter group who dare to defy a pastor's authority in the church.

Paul has clearly defined the authority of the Pastor or deacon when he says they are to speak, exhort and rebuke with all authority.

We must each ask ourselves how we respond when corrected by our spiritual leader.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Don't Allow Them to Despise You

Paul tells Titus to speak and exhort and rebuke with all authority.  "Let no man despise thee" (Titus 2:15).  We have no control over what others think of us.  So how can we keep others from despising us? Is that even possible?

The need to be liked has driven too many of us to destructive behaviors.  We have compromised the truth.  We have not stood up for what was right out of fear of rejection.  We have allowed havoc to reign in our homes, churches and businesses in an effort to avoid conflict.  Surly this is not what Paul is admonishing Titus to do.

When Paul exhorts, "Let no one despise you", he is telling Titus and the rest of Christ's followers  to speak the truth regardless of how others may view us.  If they despise us, we speak the truth.  If they love us, we speak the truth.  If they are indifferent to us, we speak truth.  Our speech should be considerate, kind and wise, but it must never speak anything less than truth.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Saturday Morning

I want to take a brief moment to thank you for praying for me.  On Saturday morning I woke up at three AM to a wonderful sense of God's peace and direction.

God has answered your prayers for me.  Thank you from my heart.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Need you to Pray for Me

Please forgive my delay in writing a post.  I am going through an extremely difficult time in my life at the age of 63.  I need people to pray for me and my family.  Thank you for your patient understanding.

Please return to the post on Monday as I will attempt to be back on schedule.

Thank you again,

Sincerely in Christ,

Shirley Fay

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Are You Religious Hammer?

Scripture says Jesus came to save us from all iniquities and to create us into a special people who seek to do good works (Titus 2:13-14).  We are not protected from the evil actions of others, but we are protected from Satan destroying our souls.  No one or no thing can separate us from God.

Eternity lasts much longer than our earthly life.  Whatever the physical outcome of our life here, we will live in joy forever there.  So let us live as citizens of heaven sent on a mission of love and good works.

By the way, do not be so focused on witnessing that you miss knowing and loving the person.  Who are they?  What are their interests?  Your interest in helping them achieve their goals is a much more affective witness than hammering on their need for God.  Let a God speak to them through your good works.  There will be plenty of time to witness when they ask you.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Too Heavenly minded

There is an old saying that holds a great deal of truth.  "He is so heavenly minded that he is of no earthly use."  The message is that the subject has over spiritualized everything.  Some Christians are so caused in being spiritual that they do not know how to carry on a normal conversation.

Paul writes that we are to do what is right, not allow ungodliness into our lives, and avoid being driven by lust (Titus 2:12 ).

Get to know people.  Discuss all kinds of topics.  Be knowledgable in social issues.  Let who you are be a light in the darkness.  The grace of God that brings salvation will appear to men through your interaction with them (Titus 2:11-12).

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Heavy or Light - Personal Choice

"Young men are to use sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you" (Titus 2:7-9).

Is this scripture guarantee that behaving in a certain way protects a person from other speaking evil against them?  No.  It does mean that the person who us of sound speech will continue to have a clear conscience.

A clear conscience is a much lighter load than pretending to have one.