In every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive. Titus 2:10
The year was 1916 and Nelson had just graduated from medical school in his native Virginia. Later that year, he and his bride of six months arrived in China. At the age of twenty-two, he became a surgeon at Love and Mercy Hospital, the only hospital in an area of at least two million Chinese residents. Nelson, together with his family, lived in the area for twenty-four more years, running the hospital, performing surgeries, and sharing the gospel with thousands of people. From once being called “foreign devil” by those who distrusted foreigners, Nelson Bell later became known as “The Bell Who Is Lover of the Chinese People.” His daughter Ruth was to later marry the evangelist Billy Graham.
Although Nelson was a brilliant surgeon and Bible teacher, it wasn’t his skills that drew many to Jesus; it was his character and the way he lived out the gospel. In Paul’s letter to Titus, the young gentile leader who was taking care of the church in Crete, the apostle said that living like Christ is crucial because it can make the gospel “attractive” (Titus 2:10). Yet we don’t do this on our own strength. God’s grace helps us live “self-controlled, upright and godly lives” (v. 12), reflecting the truths of our faith (v. 1).
Many people around us still don’t know the good news of Christ, but they know us. May He help us reflect and reveal His message in attractive ways.
What can you learn from people whose life seems to draw others to the gospel? What things can you do (or stop doing) to make the gospel attractive to others?
Loving God, help me to be a good representative of the gospel. Help me to draw others to You.
Titus, one of Paul’s gentile converts (Galatians 2:3; Titus 1:4), was Paul’s faithful “partner and co-worker” (2 Corinthians 8:23). Paul sent Titus as his personal representative to deal with the troublesome Corinthian church, which testifies to his character and maturity as well as to his leadership and pastoral abilities (7:6–7, 13–14; 8:6, 16–17; 12:18).
Wherever Paul established a church, he appointed elders to take care of it (Acts 14:23). Scholars aren’t sure who started the church in Crete, but when Paul found that no elders had been appointed to shepherd the young converts, he sent Titus to organize and supervise the church (Titus 1:5). Paul wrote this letter to guide Titus through the supervisory process, instructing him to teach the believers how to live lives that honor God. He emphasized godly leadership (ch. 1), gracious behavior and good deeds within the church family (ch. 2), and instructions for living within society at large (ch. 3).
Learn more about living in union with Christ.