Everyone with me sends you greetings. Greet those who love us in the faith. Grace be with you all. (Titus 3:15)
And so we come to the close of Paul’s letter to Titus. Titus certainly had his work cut out for him. He had elders to ordain, false teachers to rebuke, and ragged believers to encourage.
It was nice to hear “everyone” who was with Paul sent their greetings. We aren’t sure who this “everyone” included, since Paul’s journeys at this point aren’t chronologically accounted for in the scriptures. But it is possible, since Paul left Titus on Crete, Titus was aware of who might be included in the group.
This also explains why there were those in Crete who were capable of loving “everyone” (us). Some significant relationships had obviously been forged during the days the gospel was being planted.
Paul’s words remind us all how important our relationships are in the Lord’s church, regardless of where we serve, or how long we are separated.
Every now and then I hear from those who receive our Morning Devotions whom I haven’t seen in person for a long time. In fact, let me take this opportunity to give a “shout out” to some special people in Florida, Kentucky, Indiana, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Illinois, and anywhere else I have forgotten.
And it is great for me to connect with our military personnel, government workers and missionaries who are serving half-way across the world. Can you imagine what it would have been like for the Apostle Paul had he had access to the Internet?
There are many messages in this loving farewell. One is to value and treasure our relationships with brothers and sisters in Christ, regardless of how the miles might separate us. Obviously, none of us have the ability to maintain an infinite number of relationships, and we must have realistic expectations of others. But we can still pray for one another, and with the blessing of social media send out an occasional greeting.
We should also be willing to invest our lives with church families as our careers take us to different places. A military family once shared a rule with me: Within the first week of moving to a new location the moving boxes had to be on the curb, and within the first month they needed to be worshipping with a new church family. They had learned the hard way how important it is to use the time we have to form relationships with other believers…because you never know when you might cross paths again. And even if we don’t in this life, we will certainly see each other in heaven.
Grace be with you all. That’s because it is grace that binds us together, grace that keeps us of one heart and mind, and grace that brings us home.
Thank you for going on this journey with us through the book of Titus. Everyone here sends their greetings.
Dear God, thank You for your church family. In Jesus’ name, Amen.