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The LORD is near - Thursday, December 26, 2013
by Jacob Redekop, Brian Reynolds, John van Dijk, Eugene P. Vedder, Jr

One of themselves, a prophet of their own, has said, Cretans are always liars…This testimony is true; for which cause rebuke them severely, that they may be sound in the faith.
(Titus 1:12-13)

Have you ever thought about one word or phrase for an entire day, mulling it over in your mind, looking at it from different perspectives, defining it in different ways? Words or phrases like: atonement, precious blood, eternal life, God of all comfort? When the apostle Paul wrote to his young Christian helper Titus, he carefully selected a word he used only once in all his writings – “apseudes.” In fact, it is only used once in all the New Testament. If you saw that word in a text or email, would you keep mulling it over in your mind, and would it be enough to keep you excited, “pumped,” for the day?
Perhaps it is a slight exaggeration, but really, when Titus read that expression apseudes, it probably gave him his thrill for the day. He was a young man working for the Lord on the island of Crete in the Mediterranean. Before the good news of Jesus Christ reached this island, it seems many of the people had earned a nasty reputation. Like other sinners, these people had slipped into the practice of lying, to the extent that it had become an accepted part of their culture; apparently their norm. In fact, in the Mediterranean area, other people called these islanders ‘liars’ (Ti. 1:12). It is against this backdrop that Titus opens up the letter from Paul and reads: “ho apseudes Theos.” Did he fall to his knees ad thank the Lord for such a reassuring and strengthening thought for the day? That one word was probably enough to keep him going right straight through until midnight! But wait. Are you not experiencing the same thrill that Titus did? Maybe it’s a language barrier. Here it is in English, “the non-lying God.”
P. Ramsay


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