By What Authority?
Speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Titus 2:15
True exhortation is grounded in God's authority—the Scriptures. Pushing my (David's) opinions or advice on my spouse may be giving advice or even nagging, but it is not exhortation. "Exhortation with all authority," as it is stated in today's Scripture verse, implies spending time in the Scriptures becoming familiar with the authority of God. "These things," which were to be the content of Titus's urgings, were the things the Holy Spirit had inspired Paul to write.
The best exhortation from Scripture is the living letter of my own life. Without this example of a life truly changed by the power of God's Word, my exhortative words are shallow and have little impact.
Over the years of our marriage, more exhortation has come through example than through preaching. When words of exhortation have come, their true impact has come through the confirmation of a changed life. Each relationship and each home looks to some authority for its direction and standards. Homes are built upon sinking sand or upon the solid rock of God's everlasting Word:
"The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever" (Isaiah 40:8).
Scripture is our firm and eternal foundation. During many a time of confusion I've needed direction or answers for my family. What a joy it is to have a scriptural insight or principle come to mind at just the right time—during drive times, during time alone, or during moments of prayer—and what a blessed joy to share these things with my wife.
That's what real exhortation looks like!
What steps can you begin taking today to make sure the words of exhortation you speak are backed up by the Word of God and by a life changed by that Word?
Thanks, Father, for the unshakable foundation of Your Word.
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