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12-24-21 “A Night Filled with Purpose”

“A Night Filled With Purpose” (Titus 2:11-14)

Purpose; Meaning; Christmas / Titus 2:11–14

Sermon type: Textual Topical

Proposition: With the appearing of Jesus beginning at Christmas, we’ve been given a knowledge of our true purpose and can no longer live as those in the dark about how to live.

Introduction

1. Background to Titus

The story of our epistle lesson, Paul’s letter to Titus, is that he left a young man on the island of Crete, which is about 100 miles south of the Greek mainland. His description of the inhabitants of the island is not too flattering. He says that what the Cretan philosopher Epimenides said is true, “Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons” (Titus 1:12b). Speaking of some members of the church there he says that they are “full of meaningless talk” (Titus 1:10b). And there he is really hitting at the problem on the island of Crete. The people there lack purpose; they lack a meaning for what they do.

The island dwellers of Crete (otherwise known as Cretans) were notorious for lying, corruption, violence, and sexual sin. The Greek word for, “one who is a liar” originates from the word, “to be a Cretan.” (from PreachingToday.com)

I. So Many in our Day live with no Purpose. They are in the DARK.

1. “full of meaningless talk” (Titus 1:10b). Meaningless, without purpose, empty, in the dark about life.

II. Christians Have Seen the LIGHT! We are called to live as Children of the Light.

1. Titus 2:11 “For the grace of God has appeared” (epiphainō–appear, give light)—we understand our purpose.

2. Causes us to reject a lack of God awareness (ungodliness) and a life driven by our passions—instead we direct our actions (self-controlled) towards purpose.

Conclusion

1. A modern example

Pastor Steve Yeschek, Crystal Lake, Illinois, lost his sister, Judy, after a five-year battle with cancer. She was a woman who, as Steve described her, was a party animal—a big drinker with a self-contented lifestyle. She was someone everybody loved, because she exuded excitement and a thrill for life.

When Steve tried to share Jesus with her over the years, she would laugh it off and keep partying. But at the age of 44, her world caved in. She found out she had breast cancer. She later learned her husband had cancer, too. Adding to the devastation of these two blows, she discovered her husband was having an affair. He subsequently announced he didn’t love her anymore and left her.

It was in that context that she began to ask eternal questions and soon prayed to receive Jesus as her Savior. From that time until her death, Jesus and his Word and purpose became her priority. With the same gusto she lived life as an unbeliever, she now approached her new life in Christ. Her greatest aim was winning others to Christ. She boldly shared her faith even as she was undergoing surgery after surgery, praying for a miraculous healing from the Lord.

Judy ultimately came to see that the greater miracle would be for her friends and family to come to know Christ. Even as she struggled for every breath, she talked her way out of the hospital about ten days before her death so she could be baptized and publicly proclaim Christ as the only way of salvation.

Judy invited everyone she knew to come to her baptism service. Under the Spirit’s anointing, she powerfully and urgently shared her testimony. Her 84-year-old father came to faith in Christ that night and was baptized—along with her ex-husband, a number of nieces, a college roommate who was a New Age cultist, her aunt, her sister, and others.

Ten days later, Judy died. Even still, more people came to know the Savior. When Steve read the message she had prepared for her own funeral service, another 100 people prayed to receive Christ that day.

Source: From a sermon by Pastor Bob Page, Crystal Lake, Illinois (used by permission) — cited at PreachingToday.com

2. Gives us direction in a time of Pandemic

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