11/8/16: Now You Be Good
My father, Vincent Isaiah Norris, passed into Glory after complications from two strokes. Before those debilitating events, though, he had been attacked by Alzheimer’s. My parents deeded their gorgeous house to my young family and me, so we had the awesome privilege of living under the same roof with them during those final years of Daddy’s life. Even though he didn’t know who we were, we knew who he was and we were there daily to lovingly care for him.
Because of our constant presence, the family was there when Daddy started having his first stroke. We noticed his one side becoming weak and immediately called for an ambulance. When help arrived, they had Daddy sit on the couch so they could check him out. Matthew, my oldest son then only five-years-old, climbed up on the sofa beside his Poppa, even while the paramedics were doing their work. He and Daddy had a very special relationship, and for one brief moment, the love they shared broke through the Alzheimer’s. Daddy moved the oxygen mask from his face, looked at Matthew and said, “Now you be good.” These were the last words my father would ever utter. He was completely incapacitated for several more months before he died.
In the tiny book of Titus which has only three chapters, Paul mentions “good” or “good works” eleven times.
- A bishop is to be “a lover of what is good.” Titus 1:8 (NKJ)
- The unbelieving are “disqualified for every good work.” Titus 1:16
- Older women are to be “teachers of good things.” Titus 2:3
- Young women are told to be “good.” Titus 2:5
- Young men are told, “In all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works.” Titus 2:7
- Employees are admonished to show “all good fidelity” to their employers. Titus 2:10
- Paul reminds us that Jesus gave Himself “that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.” Titus 2:14
- To everyone reading the letter, Paul says, “be ready for every good work.” Titus 3:1
- Again he says, “Those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works.” Titus 3:8
- Paul says that our good works, “are good and profitable to men.” Titus 3:8
- Then before closing, in the next to the last verse of the book, Paul asserts one more time, “And let our people also learn to maintain good works.” Titus 3:14
Paul mainly uses two Greek words for “good” in this book. “Agathos” is intrinsic good. This refers to your attitude of wanting to benefit yourself and be of benefit to others. “Kalos” is extrinsic good. This is the word used in the phrase “good works,” and it has to do with the beautiful and valuable things we actually do for others. In other words, the Scriptures are telling us to be good both inside and out.
With those words to my son, it seemed as if a mantle passed that day from Daddy to Matthew. Just like my father, all through Matthew’s life, he’s been a really good kid and very serious about the Lord. But how apropos for the last words – indeed the last sermon – of this preacher and most respected man I ever knew, to be “Now you be good.” Goodness, this very simple yet profound attribute of God Himself, is available to us. As He pours His goodness into us, we in turn are expected to pour it out again. My father understood and lived that. He wanted his little grandson to understand and live that. He wanted us listening in to understand and live that. Paul made sure Titus understood that. So I say to you, “Now you be good.”
©2016 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.
Mission Trip Update! After 7 airplane rides going and coming, our American team is home from Africa. I am forever changed. I send my most heartfelt thanks to all who helped through both prayer and finances. More details to come.
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