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: http://crosspointnow.net/gifts
  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

Beginnings 5 – Community

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: Community

Here is the podcast above in a nutshell…

Welcome to week 5 of Beginnings where this week we focus on the backbone of the church: Community!

The Church is not an organization or an institution. The Church is the gathering of people who are believers which means the Church is the people. Coming to a service, or giving to a program is not Church. Until you are living life together and sharing your faith with others, you aren’t a part of the church… you’re just in a club.

The Bible teaches that community is God’s plan. For example:

  • Acts 5:42 And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.
  • Acts 2:46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts,
  • John 13:34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
  • Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

At CrossPoint we call our opportunity for community, Grow Groups. At a Grow Group, you will experience Bible study, meaningful prayer, real/safe relationships, pastoral care, vibrant faith life and true disciple making!

Because of all this, here is a true statement: your connection to church and your passion for faith are directly connected to community. Without community, your connection grows weak, and your passion will dim.

It’s just the truth.

So here is your challenge. First, surrender to God’s Word and agree that being in community is a biblical command.

Second, either jump into a group or sign up to be contacted.

Third, resolve to stay in because there will be challenges, but this is a matter of discipleship and well worth the cost.

Make sure to check out the podcast to hear all of this and a lot more and then take the plunge. Be a part of Grow Group!

You will not regret it.

 

Seeking more of Him and less of me,

Andy Addis
Pastor, CrossPoint Church
John 3:30

Beginnings 4 – Prayer

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: Bible Reading

Here is the podcast above in a nutshell…

Welcome back to Beginnings, I’m so glad you’re on this journey!
This week we focus on a Christian discipline that is already widely practiced by most of humanity: Prayer.

Because there is a God-shaped hole in the heart of every human being, people have been praying since the beginning of time, in every culture, in every language.

Even people who claim not to believe we’ll find themselves crying out and in times of difficulty. It’s just a part of who we are!

The key is to remember that prayer is a conversation: we talk, listen,  consider our circumstances and remember the role we play… He is God; we are not.

But many of us have been intimidated over the years. We think there’s some special language full of thees and thous that need to be spoken. There is not.

We think that people who ‘really’ pray can drone on and on for hours. They do, and it’s not necessary.

And we have heard so many people pontificate with particular expertise in their prayers that we think we could never do that. Good, they’re usually not praying, they’re performing.

The book of Romans says that the Holy Spirit will interpret even your groanings, so no need to get wordy. The book of Hebrews says that we have permission to enter the presence of God with boldness and confidence.

So why are we waiting?

When Jesus taught his disciples to pray (The Lords Prayer) He gave them an incredible model:

  • Adoration – Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.” Matthew 6:9
  • Submission – “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:10
  • Provision – “Give us this day our daily bread,” Matthew 6:11
  • Confession  – “And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” Matthew 6:11
  • Protection and Direction  – “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Matthew” 6:11

If we can learn to “pray then like this” we will truly be growing in Christ.

Make your goal this week to memorize the Lord’s Prayer, to download the Bible study/prayer card listed below and then get to praying!

Make sure to listen to this week’s podcast to hear all this content and much more. Many blessings my friends!

Seeking more of Him and less of me,

Andy Addis
Pastor, CrossPoint Church
John 3:30

Beginnings 3 – Bible Reading

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: Bible Reading

Here is the podcast above in a nutshell…

Welcome to this edition of Beginnings! This week we tackle one of my favorite disciplines in all of Christianity: Reading the Bible!

It’s so important that we develop this discipline, and let me encourage you with a few reasons why. First, the Bible is a bestseller year after year. If you’re not reading it, you’re missing out. Second, History is dotted with people whose lives have been changed by God’s word. You should be in it simply because it’s a life changer. Third, it is spiritually powerful. There’s no way I can prove this to you. You can only learn by experience, but God’s word is “living and active” (Hebrews 4:12) and will interact with you as you read it.

Don’t be hampered by the common roadblocks that keep some people from learning to read the Bible. Find a translation that works for you. I’ll recommend a few from the easiest to understand to more difficult but accurate: the New Living Translation, The New International Version and/or the English Standard Version. Each one of these has its merits, but the most important thing to remember is if you have a translation that makes you want to read it… that’s the best translation.

Now, you may query, how do I read the Bible? I am so glad you asked!

What if I told you there was a legend to the map, right in the Bible? Something that told you how to read the Bible from the pages of Scripture itself.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “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.”

There it is, God’s instructions for how to read the book He gave us. When this passage says that the Bible is, “Profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction and for training in righteousness” it is giving us four filters to pass our Bible reading through that will help us get the most out of our study.

  • I have condensed these concepts into four simple words:
    Summarize (for teaching) – after you’ve read a passage, summarize it in a nutshell. Don’t apply it, or hyper-spiritualize it, just restate what it said in the simplest way possible.
  • Expose (for reproof) – once you know what the meaning of the passage is, explore what it says about you? God’s word always interacts with us, either affirming our current situation or giving instruction as to what to do next.
  • Change (for correction) – once something has been exposed, it’s a gift that gives you the opportunity to make a change. What’s the next step for you to line your life up with this passage? What needs to happen as a result of applying what you just learned?
  • Prepare (for training in righteousness) – if I make the change(s) this passage suggests, what are the long-term effects in my life? If I change to line up with God’s word how could that be preparing me?

It’s as simple as that! Reading It Right is a tool to help you grow spiritually and understand God’s word more completely. You can find out more by going to www.readingitright.com, or simply listen to the podcast linked above for much more than we covered in this short article.

Many blessings and may you continue to grow as we take part in these Beginnings.

Seeking more of Him and less of me,

Andy Addis
Pastor, CrossPoint Church
John 3:30

Beginnings 2 – Baptism

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: BAPTISM

 

Here is the podcast above in a nutshell…

Welcome back to Beginnings! We are on our second week in this journey of spiritual growth, and I want to invite you to a discussion on baptism.

For some, this topic is of utmost importance to the spiritual life, for others, it’s a minor issue. But, the only way we will know just where to place it on the scales of importance in our spiritual life is to prayerfully investigate and see what God’s Word says.

Here is what it isn’t:
Baptism is not essential for salvation. Jesus work on the cross was complete, and our efforts do not make it any better, nor can our lack of effort diminish its value.

Here is what it is:
A Symbol – going into the water and coming out reflects on the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.
A Testimony – our personal baptism declares our identification with Jesus.
An Obedience – even though it is not essential to salvation, it is essential to obedience. Jesus commanded us to go into all the world and make disciples and baptize them in Matthew 28.

So that leaves us with some pressing questions.

Q: Who should be baptized?
A: Everyone who believes in Jesus Christ. Acts 2:41 describes the story of a day in which 3,000 people became followers of Jesus, and everybody (every say everybody) got baptized that day.

Q: How should I be baptized?
A: The word baptism literally means “to dip under water” in the original Greek. In fact, the word in Greek is pronounced “bap-tee-zo.” So, even though there are many forms of baptism in existence today, baptism by immersion is the Biblical model.

Q: When should I be baptized?
A: As soon after you have believed as possible! But, that is the key. It’s very important that your baptism reflects a personal decision you have made to follow Jesus Christ. So, a baptism before your personal understanding and decision to follow Jesus is just a religious activity and not a true act of obedience or worship.

There are many more questions that people have like how do I get baptized? What will I have to do, or say? What if I am afraid of crowds/water/preachers? What does it look like the day of my baptism?

To hear the answer to these questions and hear a word on one of the greatest baptisms in the Bible, make sure to check out the podcast link below!
Seeking more of Him and less of me,
Pastor Andy Addis
CrossPoint Church
John 3:30

Beginnings 1 – Assurance

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: ASSURANCE

Here is the podcast above in a nutshell…

One of the most critical and necessary steps towards spiritual maturity is establishing confidence in your salvation. Doubt concerning the Bible can be investigated. Doubt surrounding God can be philosophized. But doubt about your own salvation is a tool of the devil used to cause you frustration, weariness, and anxiety.

Doubting your own salvation is not uncommon… the struggle is real, and you’re not alone!

And, those doubts may come from a variety of sources: lack of spiritual education, some personal failures, a difficult time in life, etc.

But, understand that God wants you to have absolute confidence in your salvation and a reoccurring theme throughout His word is joy. So, if you’re not experiencing confidence in your relationship with God and joy because of it… then this is where we need to start!

First John 5:11–13 says, “11 And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. 13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.”

So there it is, God wants you to have confidence in what He has already done in your life! And that’s the key… What HE has done.

First John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Notice what we do: confess.

Notice what He does: faithful, just, forgive, and cleanse.

We can have confidence in our salvation because it’s not on us. It doesn’t come from us. It is not dependent on anything we can do. But, it comes from God, and He is faithful and just.

To learn more about this, to join someone in a prayer of assurance for your faith and to explore issues like “losing your salvation,” make sure to listen to the podcast for the rest of the story!

Until then, be confident in what God has done and be filled with the joy that He has provided salvation for you and me.

Twas The Night

A few years ago I wrote this new take on “Twas The Night Before Christmas”.  So, I decided to make a recording of it for this year…

I hope it inspires you, I and all of us to ‘be’ Christmas for someone.

 

 

 

Subscribe to the CrossEyedLife podcast at: iTunes

Haggard or Haggai

“…for I have chosen you, declares the Lord of hosts.”
The closing words of the short book of Haggai.
They are especially important because they are spoken to a people who have been conquered, the Temple is in shambles and they are trying to rebuild with a lack of… well, basically everything.
After they set the foundation, some of the old timers who had seen the first temple started talking about the good old days and how this Temple was going to be nothing like ‘their’ Temple.

Sigh
.
The project is huge.
The cost is high.
Morale is low.
But, then something amazing happens. They obeyed anyway.
The response from God is immediate… “I am with you.”
God stirs the hearts of the leaders, the priests and the people and they start working.
Despite overwhelming circumstances, crippling pressure and massive unknowns, God gives them the ability to “Be strong” (three times in Haggai 2:4), “Work” (Haggai 2:4), and “Fear not” (Haggai 2:5). 
All because, “My Spirit remains in your midst.”
God then pours blessing on their obedience by six times using the phrase “I will” or “mine” in reference to Him finishing the task and filling up the Temple. 
God has this!
I do not know what your up against, or the weight that you are struggling under. But, I do know this; God’s not scared and He shows up in the lives of the obedient.
Maybe it’s time to stop focusing on the “I cannot”s floating around in your mind and start dwelling on the “I will”s in Gods word.
“…for I have chosen you, declares the Lord of hosts.”