Sunday, May 18, 2014

Lasting Influence

As I was reading my Bible in the book of Titus, and researching the man Titus, I came upon this short phrase in 2 Timothy 4:10, "Titus has gone to Dalmatia." Titus had been left on the island of Crete to appoint elders in the churches and correct wrong teachings when the Apostle Paul moved on to Nicopolis.1 Eventually, Titus traveled further as well, making more Christian disciples and starting other churches. One of those places to which Titus went was Dalmatia. "Dalmatia is a historical region of Croatia on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea."2 It is thought that Titus established the first church in ancient Salona, which was situated near today's town of Solin.3 Our friends Steve and Amie Gosselin and their two girls recently visited the Dalmatian region. They were impressed by the "mountains, forests, and 1800 km of beautiful coastline with stunning ancient ports and hundreds of Adriatic islands."4 Dalmatia is also a place that has been highly influenced by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Approximately 90% of Croatians identify with the Christian faith in one form or another.5

Dalmatia today remains a testimony to the lasting influence of a single life. We do not know much about humble Titus. It appears that he did not write anything that tells us more about himself. All we have are 16 verses in the New Testament that tell of his work, mostly done alongside Paul.Yet, the fruit of his labour can be seen in Dalmatia today. Of course, if Titus had not taken Christian teachings to Dalmatia it is likely that someone else would have; and Titus was not the only evangelist to travel through this region with the Gospel. Others built upon his work to make the region what it is today; but, the point is, Titus did go to Dalmatia. He started something there. It stirs my imagination to think that you and I can have, and may already be having, a significant influence on generations that follow. It is a humbling and sobering thought.


1 Titus 3:12
2 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dalmatia
3 http://www.catholic.org/encyclopedia/view.php?id=3628
4 http://www.steveamie.com/pages/~longwayhome7_6
5 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Croatia
6 "Paul writes of journeying to Jerusalem with Barnabas, accompanied by Titus. He was then dispatched to Corinth, Greece, where he successfully reconciled the Christian community there with Paul, its founder. Titus was later left on the island of Crete to help organize the Church, although he soon went to Dalmatia, Croatia." http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=2352

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