Titus: September “Community Devotional”
Paul, a bond-servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the faith of those chosen of God and the knowledge of the truth which is according to godliness,  in the hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised long ages ago,  but at the proper time manifested, even His word, in the proclamation with which I was entrusted according to the commandment of God our Savior;  to Titus, my true child in a common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.
 For this reason I left you in Crete, that you might set in order what remains, and appoint elders in every city as I directed you,  namely, if any man be above reproach, the husband of one wife, having children who believe, not accused of dissipation or rebellion.  For the overseer must be above reproach as God’s steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain,  but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled,  holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, that he may be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict.
 For there are many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision,  who must be silenced because they are upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not teach, for the sake of sordid gain.  One of themselves, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.”  This testimony is true. For this cause reprove them severely that they may be sound in the faith,  not paying attention to Jewish myths and commandments of men who turn away from the truth.  To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled.  They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient, and worthless for any good deed.
[2:1] But as for you, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine.  Older men are to be temperate, dignified, sensible, sound in faith, in love, in perseverance.  Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips, nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good,  that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children,  to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be dishonored.  Likewise urge the young men to be sensible;  in all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified,  sound in speech which is beyond reproach, in order that the opponent may be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us.  Urge bondslaves to be subject to their own masters in everything, to be well-pleasing, not argumentative,  not pilfering, but showing all good faith that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in every respect.  For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men,  instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age,  looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus;  who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.
 These things speak and exhort and reprove with all authority. Let no one disregard you.
[3:1] Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed,  to malign no one, to be uncontentious, gentle, showing every consideration for all men.  For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another.  But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared,  He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit,  whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior,  that being justified by His grace we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.  This is a trustworthy statement; and concerning these things I want you to speak confidently, so that those who have believed God may be careful to engage in good deeds. These things are good and profitable for men.  But shun foolish controversies and genealogies and strife and disputes about the Law; for they are unprofitable and worthless.  Reject a factious man after a first and second warning,  knowing that such a man is perverted and is sinning, being self-condemned.
 When I send Artemas or Tychicus to you, make every effort to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there.  Diligently help Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their way so that nothing is lacking for them.  And let our people also learn to engage in good deeds to meet pressing needs, that they may not be unfruitful.
 All who are with me greet you. Greet those who love us in the faith.
Grace be with you all.