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PROBLEM SOLVING: Titus, the Man to Look For

“For there are many insubordinate, both idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, 11 whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole households, teaching things which they ought not, for the sake of dishonest gain.” Titus 1:10-11

While Timothy had a shepherd’s heart and a tendency toward timidity, Titus was the man to call upon when a church had a problem. The apostle Paul sent Titus to both Corinth and Crete to organize the chaos and establish leaders. Titus later returned to Corinth to organize the offering Paul wanted to collect for the church in Jerusalem. Still later, when conflict arose between the Corinthian church and Paul, Titus took the initiative and negotiated with the church until he achieved peace. Paul trusted him more than anyone else to solve problems and make peace among the people.

Problem solving is the fastest way to gain leadership. Left alone, things go awry. Left alone, people go astray. Left alone, plans go amiss. When someone steps forward with solutions they catch the attention of others. The man with the plan is the man with the power. Consider the characteristics of good problem solvers:

1. They anticipate problems – Titus anticipated problems at Corinth and prevent a possible church split.

2. They accept truth – Titus was always honest with Paul and the troubled churches he led. He faced reality.

3. They see the big picture – Titus knew how to deal with the church in Crete, due to his larger perspective.

4. They handle one thing at a time – Titus took the initiative and dealt with one major conflict at a time.

5. They don’t give up a major goal when they’re down – Titus tenaciously addressed the conflicts in Corinth until he solved them.

When you face a problem, how do you react? Do you ignore it and hope it will go away? Do you feel paralyzed or powerless? Do you ten to give up after one attempt at a solution? The ability to solve problems comes from experience facing and overcoming obstacles.

Sunday Morning

“21” Crucial Qualities of Christians:  #14 – Problem Solving

John 16:25-33

I. The Quality Defined

a. John 16:33

II. The Shunamite and Elisha

a. 2 Kings 4:8-37

III. Esther and Mordecai Follow Through

a. Esther 8:1-14

IV. A Creative Solution

a. Mark 5:21-34

V. Conclusion

a. John 16:33

Sunday Evening

Where Are the Dead?

Eccl. 12:1-8

I. Hades Introduced in Old Testament

a. Gen. 37:35

b. Gen. 49:33

c. Job 17:13-16

d. Job 10:20-22

e. Num. 16:30

f. Psalm 17:15

II. Hades Fully Revealed in the New Testament

a. Luke 16:19-31

b. Matt. 16:18, 21

c. Luke 23:42-43, 46

d. Acts 2:24-31

e. Phil. 1:21-24

f. 2 Cor. 5:1-10

g. Rev. 20:11-15

III. What Happens If You Die Right Now?

  PROBLEM SOLVING: Sarah Does God’s Will Her Way

Gen. 16:1-16

Those who master problem solving find that it’s one of the fastest ways to gain leadership in any group. Anyone who can solve problems will never lack influence.

But the influenced gained isn’t always positive. Consider the case of Sarah. God told her husband, Abraham, that his offspring would grow as numerous as the sands of the seashore and the stars in the sky. But there was a problem: Sara was barren and past the age of childbearing. As the years passed, God’s promise didn’t appear any closer to fulfillment.

Sarah faced a problem and felt compelled to solve it. Lacking the patience to trust God to keep His promise, Sara looked to her own methods. After waiting more than a decade for a son, she felt she had waited long enough and unwisely attempted to fulfill God’s will in her way, through an Egyptian servant named Hagar.

Sarah’s solution, however, gave her no peace. When Hagar became pregnant by Abraham and bore a son named Ishmael, Sarah despised both Hagar and her newborn son. Hagar had done what she was asked, but satisfaction eluded Sarah.

The true problem facing Sarah was not a need for offspring, but her own impatience. Sarah wanted control – something that has afflicted many leaders throughout history. Instead of trusting God, Sarah tried to make the promise come true by using her own method and according to her own timetable. She depended upon her own strength when she should have leaned on Almighty God. She illustrates what happens when an insecure leader tries to work independently of God.

Do you identify with Sarah? Do you struggle with a desire to control problems rather than doing things God’s way? If so, ask God to reveal how He would have you deal with your problems in a way that honors Him!

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