May 1, 2018

Today you should read: Titus 3

My wife and I are living in the midst of the terrible twos with our daughter. Many within our church family have been quick to point out that in their experience the terrible twos lasted until the age of 5, or sometimes, until adulthood and beyond. Regardless, I am witnessing the doctrine of total depravity playout through a daughter who frequently exemplifies the idea that you do not have to teach children how to sin.

Yes, I love my daughters very much and they are amazing, but they are little sinners who sometimes rebel. In those moments, I could yell, spank, do timeouts, take stuff away, or any number of parenting strategies to correct behavior until I get the desired conformity. However, my goal with my daughters is not only right actions. I want them to have a right heart attitude.

I’m not saying our parenting strategy is the best or that we even execute it the way we should. What I am saying is that as a student of theology, correction ought to align with our belief about God. That’s why we repeat things like:

“What is obedience?” “…Doing the right thing, the right way, all the way, with a happy heart.”

“What does it mean to love someone?” “…To want their absolute best.”

(Josie will sometimes cry because mommy or daddy is at work) “Why do we work?” “…To serve our family and help people.”

“Mommy and Daddy want to bless you and give you good things, but we can’t reward disobedience… What is obedience?”

Both rebellion and the discipline that follows has theological implications. Thus, our parenting strategy should cultivate good theology from a loving Father that we can trust. Looking at Titus 3, Paul has a lot to say about correcting behavior. But like with a child, correcting behavior is only part of the issue.  

Verse 4 begins what Bible scholars refer to as a “preformed tradition” (this is why the NLT has it as a separate indented paragraph).

4When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, 5 he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. 6 He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. 7 Because of his grace he made us right in his sight and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life.”

If you ask, “Why should I submit to authorities in government?” (1a) “Why should I obey?” (1b) “Why should I watch how I talk?” (2) The answer is because we are sinners saved by grace, and inheritors of eternal life. This hope that we have should change how we live. That means dealing with false teaching that leads to corrupt worship, which is one of the primary things Paul is addressing in this short letter.

Ask yourself today:

Does my salvation change how I live? At home? At work? Etc.

What is one theological truth that needs to be communicated through action today?

By: Tyler Short — Connections Ministry Associate


April 30, 2018

Today you should read: Titus 2:9-15

What does the grace of God in our lives do? We often think of grace in reference to when Jesus died on the cross. This is absolutely true. However, if we stop there we are not seeing or experiencing a full picture of what grace is. When we dig deeper into what grace is and what it looks like in our lives we see that there is so much more. This passage sheds light on much of this.

What are some of the things that the Grace of God allows us to do?

1. Renounce ungodliness
2. Avoid worldly passions
3. Be self-controlled
4. Live Godly lives
5. Redemption from all lawlessness
6. Zeal for good works
7. Exhort and rebuke with Authority

There is much more that God’s grace allows such as the ability to endure trials and struggles in our lives. God’s grace is what brings us through immense heart-ache and pain. We limit because we do not necessarily connect well to it or take the time to let God reveal His unending grace. The grace of the Lord should fuel us and spur us on to accomplishing all that He has planned for our lives.

When you think of God’s grace, what comes to mind? When you read the things one the list above, what things are true in your life and what are not? What ways can you start embracing God’s grace fully?

We would love to hear what ways you can do this in the comment section.

By: Dakota Gragg — Student Ministry Associate

April 28, 2018

Today you should read: Titus 2:1-8

sound (adjective) • competent, reliable, or holding acceptable views
doctrine (noun) • a belief or set of beliefs


Titus 2 opens with a command regarding these two words. They need to be understood together, because a lot is at stake. Why? Well, we all have doctrine. Everyone believes something, whether it’s about themselves, God, the world, the afterlife, beauty & aesthetics, law… you name it. We all have beliefs. That’s at the core of what it means to be human. We think — we reason — we believe. So doctrine is a given.

The adjective makes all the difference. As Christians, we must reign our beliefs under the  authority of scripture. What we believe must be sound. It must be found trustworthy, aligned with God’s word. Here’s what Paul tells us about the reliability of scripture, the only source of sound doctrine:

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16–17)

What he says here is that God’s breathed-out words are able to teach us, show us where we are wrong, correct our wrongs, train us, equip us, and give us purpose by doing God’s work. To me, this really gives weight to the importance of sound doctrine. It reveals the need to make sure that I am seeking sound doctrine. And conversely, it gives more-than-subtle hints as to where unsound doctrine will lead me.

The rest of the section of Titus we’re studying today builds off of this discussion into how sound doctrine affects our lives. We find specific commands regarding character, behavior, and overall Christian living. Some of this is broken up by gender, which does show us God’s design and a good discipleship primer (“train the young women”, “urge the young men”). There are also commands found here that should be applied by any Christian (“sound in speech”, “show integrity”, “not slanderers”, etc). It would do us all good to ask the Holy Spirit to grow us in these areas.

All that to say, this is quite a passage. What did God teach you? What can you apply to your life and faith this week from Titus 2:1-8? 

By: Todd Thomas — Worship & College Pastor

April 27, 2018

Today you should read: Titus 1:10-16

I’m so excited about our brief journey in the book of Titus. This letter, of course was written to Titus by Paul and deals with order in the church among other critical themes.  It’s what we call a Pastoral Epistle. Titus is the pastor on the island of Crete.

Paul begins this letter and gets right into the thick of it. The danger of misusing our words in God’s church.  This was a problem in the early church and is still a problem today.

Whoever said, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” was crazy!  Words are our primary weapon of choice to inflict pain on others.  As we so often say at Center Point – before you speak you should ask three questions and then speak accordingly:

  1. Is it true?
  2. Is it kind?
  3. Is it necessary?

Let’s do a short Bible study today on these few verses and see what God teaches us.

  • We are RESPONSIBLE for our words.  (v.10)

Paul tells Titus to deal with the following issues in the church:

  • Rebellious people
  • Engaging in useless talk
  • Deceiving others

We must be cautious of all of these – not having a rebellious heart – not practicing useless talk (and we do), and not deceiving others.

Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes–these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God.  Ephesians 5:4

It would be better to be thrown into the sea with a millstone hung around your neck than to cause one of these little ones to fall into sin.  Luke 17:2

NOTE:  This is especially true regarding salvation (v.10b).  The critical danger in adding anything (like works or baptism) to salvation or taking anything away is overwhelming.

  • The DANGER:  Turning from truth to false teaching.  (v.11)

People follow false teaching because they haven’t been taught truth.  Truth is the solution to false doctrine. When you know truth – you won’t accept error.  We must be extremely careful about this today. There are many top selling authors and “preachers” who are marketing false doctrine and Christians are buying it by the millions.  And I DO MEAN millions – remember what verse 11b says – they do it only for money. BE CAREFUL!

  • We must not hold on to myths – but TRUTH with a pure heart. (v.14)

We worship myths and traditions often more than the truth of God’s Word.  Stop listening to myths and check everything out with Scripture.

Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.  Acts 17:11

  • What we say and do REFLECTS our relationship with God. (v.16)

Remember it’s easy to proclaim our faith – but our faith isn’t confirmed by what we say – it’s by what we do.

Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.  Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’  Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’  Matthew 7:21-23

You can claim to know God with your lips but deny Him with you life.

What’s God speaking to you about today?  What do you need to tweak in your walk with Him?

By: Tim Parsons — Lead Pastor