Beginnings Week 7 – Service

This is part of a 12-week series designed around some basic Christian disciplines that will propel you to spiritual growth!

If the above player does not work for you, simply click this link: Service

Here is the podcast above in a nutshell…

Welcome to week 7 of Beginnings where this week we focus on the strength of the church: service!

Service is considered a step of maturity for those fully committed and zealous believers, but a quick trip through the Bible lets us know that God considers it a fundamental principle of the faith.

Service is counter-cultural in a consumer driven mentality. Think of the language used as people “shop” for churches checking out worship styles they like, seeing if the preacher speaks to them or not, and investigating what each church has for their kiddos.

Hmmm. I wonder what would happen if we “shopped” for churches looking for the biggest needs so that we could serve more?

Mark 10 contains the attitudinal summary of Jesus’ take on Christianity: 42 And Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 43 But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant,d 44 and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

So, that’s pretty clear. Jesus is all about service, and He expects His followers to, well, follow!

Let’s take a quick tour of service through the Bible:

  • SERVICE IS AN EVIDENCE OF FAITH – James 2:18 “But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.”
  • SERVICE IS A WORK ETHIC – Ephesians 4:28 “Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.”
  • SERVICE IS IN ALL THINGS – Colossians 3:23-24 “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.”

So here’s the scoop… there is a verse in the Bible about you: 1 Peter 4:10 which says,“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.”

This means everyone has a gift (including you), other people need your service and when you serve you to become a vehicle of God’s grace!

So, let me suggest you do a few things here:

  1. Find your gifting, either by trial and error, or take the online test we provide at CrossPoint:
  2. Talk to your pastor and either ask for a suggestion as to where you might serve or just straight up volunteer for something that interests you!
  3. Finally, throw yourself into it!

Make sure to check out the podcast for more on this topic and then get in the game!
Seeking more of Him and less of me,

Andy Addis
Pastor, CrossPoint Church
John 3:30 

Beginnings week 6 – Giving

This is part of a 12-week series designed around some basic Christian disciplines that will propel you to spiritual growth!

If the above player does not work for you, simply click this link: Giving

Here is the podcast above in a nutshell…

Welcome back to beginnings and our spiritual journey of Christian discipleship!
This week we approach the discipline of giving, or as some call it, tithing.

Your first question might be, is giving a discipline? Yes, because it’s not about money, it’s about the heart.

According to Bible scholar John MacArthur, “Sixteen out of [thirty-eight] of Christ’s parables deal with money; more is said in the New Testament about money than [about] heaven and hell combined; five times more is said about money than [about] prayer; and while there are 500 plus verses on both prayer and faith, there are over 2,000 verses dealing with money and possessions.”

All of that should reinforce the notion that each time the Bible speaks of giving, it’s not focusing on money. It’s focusing on the heart.

Matthew 6:21 says,”For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
To make the above verse makes sense, just reverse it in practice: if you have trouble caring about something… invest in it. You will be amazed how suddenly it becomes important to you.

Here are some quick study points regarding money from a biblical perspective:

  • Money is not evil – 1 Timothy 6:10 “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.”
  • Money can be a distraction – Matthew 6:19-21 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
  • Money can be a blessing – Acts 2:44-45 “And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.”
  • Money should not control you – 2 Corinthians 9:7 “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
  • Money is serious to God – Malachi 3:8 “Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. But you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’ In your tithes and contributions. 9 You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me, the whole nation of you. 10 Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.”

So what do we do? If you’ve decided that giving is a spiritual discipline to be added to your life, what comes next? Here are three suggestions to get you going:

  1. Start Somewhere – 10% (also known as the tithe) maybe the best practice spiritually, but the reality of our financial situations often does not allow for that kind of obedience. So, until we get ourselves to a financial place of obedience through discipline in spending and good stewardship decision-making, the goal should be to start somewhere. Simply waiting until things get better is a procrastination technique that means you will never start.
  2. Be Sacrificial – wherever you begin your bringing/giving journey, it should be sacrificial. The point of making an offering is that it is a sacrifice. Sacrifice means your life should somehow be required to adjust, and that alone will help you continue to remember God, who has provided for you.
  3. Be Consistent – the key to any discipline is to be consistent in its practice. Scriptures teach in 1 Corinthians 16 that the earliest disciples made giving a weekly practice.

I hope this encourages you to adopt deeper and deeper levels of discipleship in your life. Don’t forget to listen to the podcast for more content than this article, and follow-up with the next steps listed below!\

Seeking more of Him and less of me,

Andy Addis
Pastor, CrossPoint Church
John 3:30