Titus: Part One
In The Chaos • August 16, 2020 • Mike Ashcraft
Even though Paul penned his letter to Titus thousands of years ago, his words speak to issues facing our modern world - individualism, consumerism, and disorder. We fight for control and look out for number one. We reason that if everyone believed, thought, and see the world the same way we do, all the problems would disappear. But, it's simply not the case. As Christians, we have a choice: we can add to the chaos of our world or contribute to the healing of our culture. The unfinished business before Titus, and us as well, is serving as an attractive reflection of the Gospel presence in the world at large. Living this way requires us to be dependent on grace and pay attention to our lives and the impact we have on others. We should be helpful, hopeful, and bring value to the places around us
Titus: Part Two
A Checklist & A Way • August 23, 2020 • Mike Ashcraft
The way we live speaks louder than our words. We bear the integrity of God's image and leverage the influence of His love. The voice of our church is what WE say to the world around us—how we trust and handle being trusted matters. Sound doctrine goes deeper than sound thinking. It doesn't serve as a checklist for our behavior, but rather provides a framework to foster God's work deep within our hearts. The influence we leverage comes from the influence we receive. An encounter with God's truth must shape the way we live our lives. His grace is the source of our counter-cultural force. What we do now matter to the generations to come. We have an individual responsibility as well as a corporate opportunity to make an impact.
Titus: Part Three
The Pattern & Preparation • August 30, 2020 • Mike Ashcraft
Jesus didn't come to fix our bad behavior. He came to free us from a governing rule that causes us to get stuck in destructive patterns by extending to us an opportunity to live under the direction of His love. Before we can impact our world, Christ's love must first impact our hearts. The way of Jesus is complete, full, and sufficient, but it's also ongoing and unfolding. It's not what we know that matters, but rather the things we trust enough to live by. A pattern of preparation allows Jesus to do His purifying work within us. We're redeemed through a new allegiance and purified through a fresh surrender. To surrender is to trust.
Titus: Part Four
A Bent Culture • September 6, 2020 • Mike Ashcraft
Change doesn't start with a strategy; it begins with surrender. We will not get God's vision on our terms. Jesus calls us out to surrender then sends us back into the world to serve. Every act that contributes to healing brings the force of the Gospel on our culture and bends it towards God's Kingdom. The unfinished business is to bring a Gospel presence that affects the culture. Everything we do has the opportunity to add to the chaos or to contribute to the healing. God hasn't called us to do everything, but He's called us to do something. The influence we leverage is both an individual responsibility as well as a corporate opportunity. Faith only requires the next right thing. God is redeeming His creation through the lives of His redeemed people.