Nuclear giants but ethical infants

Good morning everyone,
Our theme for this month: “Mighty Prevailing Prayer”
Our Bible verse for today: “… to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; in fact, they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, and unfit for any good work.” Titus 1:15-16 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Nuclear giants but ethical infants”
Today I want us to consider one more devotional thought about how mighty prevailing prayer (prayer that persists until it prevails) changes us. Sometimes the reason persistent prayer is needed is to change us (the pray-er) and to help us to see the object of our prayer in a clearer way so we can then be more effective in our dealings with them.
Titus was a protégé of the Apostle Paul. He had been assigned by Paul to be the pastor of a church on the island of Crete. Evidently, this was a major undertaking because the Cretans were an extremely difficult people. Paul described them as being rebellious, full of empty talk and deception, dishonest, liars, evil beasts, and lazy gluttons. In short, a tough crowd.
The situation with Titus helps to illustrate the point I’ve been making over the last several days about how important it is for us to truly understand the people we’re dealing with so we can then be effective in our ministry to them. As was taught in a previous devotional, the Holy Spirit will use our prayer time for such people to open our own eyes so we can understand them better.
Sometimes our time in prayer for them will help us to understand that a person is hurting and in need of grace and compassion. But sometimes the Holy Spirit will use our prayer time for them to dispel any naivety on our parts about the people we’re dealing with. In that case, prayer will help to strengthen our resolve in dealing with them. Such was the case with Titus in Crete. He was a young man who was fairly inexperienced. The Cretans were accomplished liars and cheats. They were manipulative, deceptive, dishonest, and lazy. Titus needed to understand that about them and then be prepared to deal with them on that level.
I recently came across a statement made by World War II General Omar Bradley regarding a disturbing trend he saw developing shortly after WWII. He said, “The world has achieved brilliance without conscience. Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants.” When I read that it occurred to me how much more that description fits our own society today. We live in a world of very smart, very technologically advanced people, but people who are morally and ethically stunted. Character has died. We live in Crete.
Our persistent prevailing prayers for people will often lead us to acts of extraordinary grace, kindness, and compassion. But sometimes those same prayers will serve to stiffen our resolve and help us to see that we must stand firm in our opposition to evil. Such was the case for Titus in Crete, and sometimes it’s true for us too.
God bless,
Pastor Jim
Copyright © 2021 Oak Hill Baptist Church, All rights reserved.

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