God made us to live in community. We are made for relationship, whether in marriage, family, friendship, work, or a church body. And while relationship is often hard and costly this side of heaven, God uses it to shape us more and more into the likeness of His Son.

In Titus, Paul describes this wonderful opportunity for growth in godliness that comes through relationships. When we show a younger brother or sister a godly example to emulate, we spur them on to grow in holiness. When we lovingly correct one another, our words can help someone draw nearer to the Lord. When we live sacrificially for one another, we model Christ’s example and become more like Him.

Paul instructs older men and women to be examples to the younger generation. We live in a culture where everyone wants to be young, stay young, and pretend they are young—but in God’s Kingdom, age brings with it the wisdom that comes from having walked with the Lord for many years. Imagine how different our nation would be if each young person growing up today had a godly elder speaking into his or her life. Imagine the older generation spurring the younger on to godliness and the young people encouraging the older generation in return.

Paul also speaks to slaves and their masters. For us today, there’s much here that applies to the relationship between employees and their employers. You may not like your boss—but your boss is God’s gift to you. As you work for your employer as though working for the Lord—respectfully, enthusiastically, and faithfully—you display the very heart of God with your life, and you may even open a door to share the Gospel in the workplace.

In our personal time with God, we get to know our heavenly Father, but in our relationships with other people, we get to know ourselves. God uses our loved ones—and those we have a hard time loving—like a chisel to shape us into men and women who reflect the image of Christ to a broken world.

Prayer: God, sometimes loving people is hard. I know that I am often unlovable. Give me Your love for others. May my interactions be pleasing to You as I pursue godliness in my relationships. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17).

Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef’s sermon series I Belong: LISTEN NOW

Check out more from Dr. Michael Youssef, here!

About The Author

Dr. Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

Even before he was born, it is clear that God had a vision for Michael Youssef. His mother was in poor health when she became pregnant with Michael, and because his life was in danger at the time of birth, the doctor recommended terminating the pregnancy. An abortion was scheduled. But God intervened and sent the family pastor to reassure them that God was involved in this pregnancy. He told them not to be afraid and that the child would be "born to serve the Lord." Michael's parents accepted the pastor's message as a message from God and obeyed. His mother gave birth, and lived to see him give his life to the Lord at the age of sixteen.

Believing that God had called him out of Egypt, Michael sought an exit visa in a time in which no university student was allowed to have a passport or leave the country. God intervened again, and miraculously he managed to acquire a visa. He immigrated to Australia, where he studied at Moore Theological College in Sydney, was ordained as a pastor, and met Elizabeth who became his wife.

The Youssefs came to America in 1977, and in 1978 Michael received a master's degree in theology at Fuller Theological Seminary in California. Then he earned a doctorate in social anthropology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Michael served nearly ten years in the Haggai Institute, traveling around the world more than 32 times, teaching courses in evangelism and leadership. He rose to the position of Managing Director at the age of 31 years. The family settled in Atlanta, and in 1984, Michael became a citizen of the United States, making his dream of many years come true.

He founded The Church of The Apostles in 1987 with fewer than 40 adults with the mission of "Equipping the Saints and Searching for the Lost". The church has since grown to be a congregation of over 3,000 people today. This church has driven the international ministry of Leading the Way. While it is heard by millions at home and abroad, behind every message preached through radio waves, is the heart of a pastor, willing to nurture and care for these people. Clearly God has uniquely equipped Dr. Youssef to speak to a global audience. The path he has taken has given him an understanding and firm grasp of the Scriptures that transcend cultures. He preaches, teaches and calls with a sincere, based on the authority of the inerrant, inspired Word of God. With his personal knowledge of the Holy Land, its history and culture, Dr. Michael Youssef transmits life to listeners all over the world.

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