In Times Past

“…that, regarding your previous way of life, you put off your old self [completely discard your former nature], which is being corrupted through deceitful desires, and be continually renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh, untarnished mental and spiritual attitude], and put on the new self [the regenerated and renewed nature], created in God’s image, [godlike] in the righteousness and holiness of the truth [living in a way that expresses to God your gratitude for your salvation].” –  Ephesians 4:22-23 (AMP)

Ephesians 4:22-24 is a very encouraging passage of scripture. The Amplified Bible tells us to “put off our old self… and be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude]”  In other words, you can overcome any negative situation or pain from your past if you will just get with God and say, “Yes, I did this in my past. And yes, it haunts me to this day. But I am a child of yours and I know You have a good plan for me.”

Of course that is easily said than done for many of us because we tend to keep looking in the rearview mirror. We want to stare at our past rather than focus on the future. Our hope should never be based on what’s in our past. Our hope should be based on God and His promises for our life. Philippians 3:13 says, “Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead.” 

Paul tells us to forget what was behind, but is that really possible? It can be very hard to forget some aspects of the past, especially those we are not proud of. Even though it is difficult to forget, we cannot allow our past to hold us back from our future. I believe as we move into 2016 that God has great opportunities planned for each of us. It is hard to see those opportunities ahead of us if we are too busy looking backward. Or in other words, we should not let our past deter us from our future. Our past can either be an anchor which holds us back, or a rudder which helps guide us forward.

The question is are we looking forward or backward? My prayer is that as we move into this new year we would be laser focused on Jesus Christ and seizing the opportunities Jesus Christ and all that He has for us. May this be a year where you grow closer to God than you have ever been and that you see life, others and opportunities through His eyes.

The book of Numbers records the Israelites journey from Egypt to the promised land. A trip that took 40 years. The Israelites stayed in the wilderness 40 years because they couldn’t see God’s vision for their life. They thought of everything in terms of their past. In fact, they complained to Moses that they wanted to go back to Egypt and return to a life of slavery because that’s what they knew. But God wanted them to get a new present and future in a land flowing with milk and honey.

If you want to see change happen in your life, you’ve got to see past what you’ve already seen and experienced.  

Discussion Questions:

  1. How much is the past a part of your present life?  
  2. What did you get that you did not expect from God, people, and circumstances in the past? What was your view of God before the situation occurred? When it was occurring? After it occurred?
  3. What do you want from God, people, and circumstances in the present so you can move past your past?
  4. What part of your past do you need to let go? What is one thing you can completely give to God now?

God Cares

“ When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? – Psalms 8:3-4.

This week we looked at the subject of worry. Peace is the opposite of worry. When you look at the subject of worry, you end up trying to come to grips with just how much God cares.  People are often concerned whether God cares. Because if you believe that God doesn’t care, you will not trust God, which leads to a control freak, which leads a person into a scary world of worry and anxiety. Most people have people that care about them, but God cares the most. 

When we keep our eyes focused on God, we remember his love for us and we realize we truly have nothing to worry about. God has a wonderful plan for our lives, and part of that plan includes taking care of us. Even in the difficult times, when it seems like God doesn’t care, we can put our trust in the Lord and focus on His kingdom. God will take care of our every need. And if every need is met, what do you have to worry about.

That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life-whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing?”  (Matthew 6:25 NLT)

“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” (Matthew 6:31-33NLT)

“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” (1 Peter 5:7 NLT)

God cares. In fact, he cares more than you care. He wants to help more than you want help. He knows what will help you more than you know what will help you. He is aware, and He cares.

If you knew and felt how much your heavenly Father cares compassionately and constantly about you, you’d have to love him back. If you feel like God is a million miles away, it’s because you don’t understand the kind of caring Father He really is. That understanding is the first step to real peace.

Discussion Questions: 

  1. Do you believe God cares about you? Why or why not?
  2. Does the belief that God cares change why you worry?  Why or why not?
  3. What steps can you take to worry less. 

Give Peace A Chance

“The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace.” – Psalm  29:11.    

John Owen said, “We cannot enjoy peace in this world unless we are ready to yield to the will of God in respect to our death. Our times are in His hand, at His sovereign disposal. We must accept that as best.”

Have you ever wondered what it took to live life in peace? Is it a choice, or something that has to be achieved? It is a choice. God’s will is for us to have peace. But we often allow our circumstances or other people to get us upset and angry, or we fret and worry about things we can’t control. When we do, it saps our peace. But if we really understand God’s Word, we can live in peace.

We waste so much time and energy worrying about stuff we can’t do anything about. And worry is never the solution. The Bible says in Matthew 6:27: “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” Yet, we still do. We worry about this and worry about that, and it eventually gets us nowhere. 

The answer is not to spend all your time and energy on fixing something that only God can fix. Instead, find peace knowing that God is in control. John 14:27 (AMP) says, “ Peace I leave with you; My [perfect] peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid. [Let My perfect peace calm you in every circumstance and give you courage and strength for every challenge.]” Interestingly, this is one of the final things Jesus said to His disciples before departing. Of all the things He could have said, Jesus made a point to talk about peace.

Notice that Jesus said He wanted to give them His peace. But achieving peace is not all that easy. Peace takes more than “wishing.” It’s easy to think, “I wish I didn’t get upset so easily,” or “I wish I didn’t have such a fiery personality,” or “I wish my circumstances were different, because then I’d have more peace.” But the truth is, wishing doesn’t change anything. We have more responsibility than simply wishing. The fact is we have responsibility for our lack of peace if we want to grow and change.

If we want to find peace we have to make any changes needed in our lives. The good news is the Holy Spirit is always willing and able to help us. John 14:26 says “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.”

Make a decision to have peace in your life. Even if you get mad easily or worry about things all the time, you can overcome it with God’s help. You can learn how to live with the peace Jesus gives. Just ask the Holy Spirit, and He will lead you to the peace of God that surpasses our understanding.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Have you ever experienced a time when worry helped you?
  2. When you are growing in the Lord, what are some changes you have seen in your life as evidence of growth in your walk with Christ? Is peace a byproduct of those changes? 
  3. Do you know someone who has peace in their lives.  What do you think enables them to have peace? 
  4. What changes would you have to make in your life now in order to eliminate worry?

Keep The Peace

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30. 

Society makes it difficult for us to have peace in life as we live in a hectic and complex world. Everything and everyone is moving so fast. Many times we wonder, is finding peace in the midst of all this even possible? Jesus promised that each one of us can experience true peace. John 14: 27  says “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” There is an often repeated quote: “But there is the quote that No God, no peace. Know God, know peace.” St. Augustine once said, “Our souls are restless until they find rest in God.”

Without knowing God’s peace in this frenetic, what’s next world, we will continue struggling to gain control, always finding ourselves fighting stress and anxiety within. Yet focusing on God can bring us peace, no matter what swirls around us on any given day. He’s the answer to our place of refuge. He is our safe room for peace. We can never fully escape all the mess this world may bring our way. But in the midst of what life deals us, we can remain steadfast, strong. 

Often, living a peace-filled life comes down to a choice. Choosing to rely on Him, choosing to trust Him no matter what, choosing to pray in all that we face, choosing not to be anxious, choosing to believe that He’s always with us and in control, and choosing to set our thoughts on the peace that only He can give.

God reminds us in His word that peace will not naturally just come our way. Psalm 34:14 says, “Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.”  There are no shortages of ideas on how to obtain peace. There are numerous books on the subject. They includes suggestions such as –  get away for a few days, relax, be happy, take a vacation, tune out, just don’t think about stressful stuff, and search for your inner place of peace. But these are all superficial, external fixes, that are at best temporary.

The peace of God is different. It’s lasting. Confident. Real. It gives us a deep reassurance in the midst of all that we face in our past, present, and future.  Isaiah 26:3 says, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.”

No matter what we go through in this life, or what we’re up against today, we don’t have to be shaken. We’re safe with Him. At rest. At peace. He sent His only Son, pure essence of Peace Himself, to give us lasting freedom and peace that only He can give.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Is there an area of your life where you find yourself constantly fearful of what might come or what won’t come?
  2. How can we be nearsighted, especially when it comes to finding peace?
  3. How can you speak peace into the lives of those around you?
  4. What are practical ways we can trust God for peace in our lives?

Rest In Peace

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” – John 14:27.

I don’t know about you, but “peace” is one of the last things I’m feeling at Christmastime. Peace is hard to find when we become hyper focused on the problems that are causing the lack of peace all around us. You have gifts to buy, people to meet with, parties to attend, cards to distribute as well as the other things you typically do all by one specific date – Dec. 25. It’s not like you can really put it off until the day after. It’s a deadline that is hard to put off.

With all the pain and violence recently in our world, these next words seem a bit ironic. “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased”.  (Luke 2:14) People think that Luke 2:14 is God’s personal “anti-war statement.” My point is not to debate what God thinks of the wars throughout history. God knows humanity all too well, Jesus said in Matthew 24:6: “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.”  

From God’s point of view, we are hopeless when left to ourselves. Our pride bristles at that. But the truth is, we are incapable of redeeming ourselves, which is the whole reason God came down from Heaven to earth at Christmastime. So what did the angels mean by “peace on earth?” They meant that finally, through the birth of Jesus Christ, mankind had the opportunity to find peace with God. And only when He, the Prince of Peace, is in charge can we ever expect peace in our world.

And He did it all for each of us. So we would be at peace with Him. And also so we could finally find peace in our own life. Not a peace coming from no wars or conflicts – unfortunately, they will always be around in this sinful world.

But His peace is one found even “in the midst of the storm,” when chaos is all around. A peace that makes no sense to anyone unless they have first met the Savior of the world. The one angels sang of, shepherds bowed to, and wise men were in search of.

In closing, I want to share one of my favorite Scripture passages that gives us great insight into finding that elusive peace we so long for in our lives: Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

I pray that each of us can truly find peace in the person of Jesus this Christmas season and at all times.  This passage in Philippians tells us that prayer brings peace. Don’t be overwhelmed, anxious or stressed, but instead bring it all to God. When you bring it all to God, then the peace of God will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. This December, let’s make it our aim to spend more time on our knees and less time looking for peace amidst the chaos around us. 

Discussion Questions:

  1. How can we best describe God’s peace?
  2. Read Philippians 4:7: Name four aspects of God’s peace from this verse.
  3. Do you tend to worry? What about? Is there ever a time when we have legitimate fears in our lives?
  4. Do you believe God’s peace can really be obtained?
  5. Pray and ask God to help you find His peace this Christmas season.

What, Me Worry?

“[That you may really come] to know [practically, through experience for yourselves] the love of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge [without experience]; that you may be filled [through all your being] unto all the fullness of God [may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself]! Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams]– To Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen (so be it).” – Ephesians 3:19-31 (AMP)

Alfred E. Neuman is the fictitious mascot and cover boy of Mad, an American humor magazine. The catch phrase on every one of the Mad magazines is “What, me worry?” The point being that while we don’t want to worry we do so anyway. We all have to admit that worry is a common temptation in life—for many, it is a favorite pastime. America, the most affluent society in the world is also the most worry-filled society in the world. But why do we worry? Jesus said, “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”(Luke 12:25). Then, in the following verse (Vs. 26) Jesus pointed something else out: “Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?”

If we sat down and really thought about it, I believe we would come to the conclusion that worry doesn’t do or accomplish anything. Worry never works. Worry never solves problems, and it wastes energy and time. It never extends life. Worry never hurries answers. It falsely gives one a feeling of “doing” something, yet it does nothing. It is unreasonable, unnatural, unhelpful and unnecessary. It is hard to argue with that, yet, how many of us would say yes to what, me worry?

The antidote to worry is trusting God. Instead of denying the fact that you’re worrying, face it with God’s Word. God never leads us wrong. James 1:17 says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above…” Jesus says in Matthew 7:11, “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” Stop worrying. Instead, start trusting God.

Most of us have read the story of Jesus walking on the water, found in Matthew Chapter 14. When the disciples saw Jesus in the middle of their stormy night, they called him a ghost. (Matthew 14:26) To them, it was anything but God. When we see ghosts on the horizon in our lives we have the same reaction. We see difficulties, trials and pain as anything but from God, so we worry. We fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.” (vs. 27) When Jesus is part of our lives, all the difficulties, the storms of life, will disappear. Life will be grand, almost perfect. Our questions will be answered. We will worry less. We know that is not the case. Life will not be perfect, and we will still worry and have questions. We must learn to trust God no matter the circumstances, whether in rough or calm seas because He can be trusted in all circumstances. 

Discussion Questions:

  1. Read Proverbs 3:5-6. This passage instructs us to fully trust in God, not on our own understanding. How do we know if God is trustworthy? What are some specific ways we can trust in Him?
  2. What is the difference between loving and trusting God in your opinion?
  3. Does trusting God mean that we will do whatever God says in the Bible, even if we don’t agree with it. Why do you think it’s hard to trust Him with everything?
  4. Sometimes God allows things in our lives that we would never choose on our own. Have you, or someone you know, found specific ways to continue to trust Him when life is really hard?
  5. What can you do to take your hands off your life, and simply let go? What is one thing you can completely give to God now?

You Can’t Out Give God

“ Then Peter said in reply, “See, we have left everything and followed you. What then will we have?” Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.” – Matthew 19:27-30

Have you ever thought about the difference between a sacrifice and an investment? A sacrifice suggests that you are giving up something while an investment should return something to you, even if it’s small. We invest time in our children, so they make good decisions. We invest money to send them to college. While paying for college can seem like a sacrifice, it is really an investment. 

We serve a God who gives and gives and gives. He leads the way for us. No matter what we give, God gives more. He demonstrated the extent of His giving by giving His Son, Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 9: 6-8 says this: “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” Verse 11 says, “You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.”

According to Jesus’ words to His disciples, our reward is eternal life and, oh, 100 times our investment. Simply put, you can’t out-give God. 

No matter what we give to God…monetary gifts, talents and abilities, time…we can’t out give God.

Charles Spurgeon said it this way: “God has a way of giving by the cartloads to those who give away by shovelfuls.”

Discussion Questions:

  1. Why do you think a spiritually-motivated and Bible-focused generosity movement is needed in the world today?
  2. Do you believe giving 100% of yourself to God is the most important step in learning to become a generous person?
  3. List some of the available time, talents, treasure, and things that God has given you. What is a way that some of these things could be used for the Lord and for others?
  4. Do you believe you can’t out give God? Can you recall a time when you experienced God’s crazy math and saw the Lord provide in unexpected ways?

You Can’t Do Life Alone

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” –  Hebrews 10:24-25. 

Do you remember the movie Cast Away? Tom Hanks plays a Fed Ex executive en route to an assignment in Malaysia when his plane crashes over the Pacific Ocean during a storm. The sole survivor of the flight, Chuck, washes ashore on a deserted island. When his efforts to sail away and contact help failed, Chuck learns how to survive on the island, where he remains for years, accompanied by only his handmade volleyball friend, Wilson. He counts the days necessary to catch the northeast trade winds that he hopes will take him into the shipping lanes and rescue. Chuck isn’t certain where he is headed, but figures that he would rather die at sea than spend the rest of his life alone on the island.

No matter how tough you are, no matter how independent or self-reliant you are, and no matter how much you pride yourself in the belief that you don’t need anyone, it just is not true.

You and I cannot do life alone. Even in the perfect Garden of Eden, God said to Adam, “it is not good that the man should be alone.” We were created to be in community. We were designed to need and want other people. Life is meant to be shared and experienced with others. There is strength in numbers.

One of the most important things for a Christian is their desire to belong. They don’t just want to be another face in the crowd, people want to be known and cared for. When a group of Christians get together, it creates an opportunity to listen and talk to each other.

Ecclesiastes 4: 9-12 says, “two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” We need each other.

Going to church is obviously essential and even commanded, but you worship in a crowd and fellowship in a small group. That smaller group is what you need. We need to trust, rely on, and depend upon other believers. God gave us each other to walk alongside, encourage, and spur one another one in the faith.

James 5:16 says, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” We are to carry each other’s burdens (Galatians 6:2), care for each other’s practical needs (Romans 12:13), and rejoice and mourn with each other (Romans 12:15).

I wish I could talk to each of you about small groups and community. Unfortunately I can’t. But, I encourage you to join a group if you are not already part of one.

Discussion Questions: 

  1. Do you participate in a small group? If not, why not?
  2. What do you see as the benefits of being in community?
  3. Join a group this spring.

Growing People Change

“…but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.”- 2 Peter 3:18.

In every story in the Bible where someone meets Jesus, that person is changed. The story of Zacchaeus (Matthew 19:1-10) is just one example. The same is true today. Jesus meets us where we are, but once we know Him, we will never be the same. As Christians, growing in our faith simply means being changed and becoming more like Jesus. 

God expects us to grow spiritually and His Word encourages personal examination as an element of growth:

  • “Let us test and examine our ways, and return to the Lord!” – Lamentations 3:40.
  • “Now, therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider your ways.” – Haggai 1:5.
  • “But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor.” – Galatians 6:4.
  • Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise,” – Ephesians 5:15.

It is important to remember that spiritual growth is a process, not a program. And as a process, it takes time, but more importantly it takes active involvement. Unfortunately we will not grow by osmosis or by association. We need to evaluate where we are and decide where we want to be both short and long-term. We can start with some key elements in growth: going and serving in church and small groups, studying the word of God, attending the Growth Track classes, and reading books or listening to podcasts, etc. in the area of spiritual growth. In addition to those, here are a few additional thoughts to consider.

Ask yourself when was the last time you did something new, or at least different than what you have always done. What have you tried in 2015 that you have never tried before. Trying new things, and sometimes failing is one of the best ways to grow. If you attend church and participate in a small group, what have you learned and more importantly applied in the last few months? How intentional have you been about learning and making them part of your life. James tells us to be doers, not just listeners. (James 1:22)

What have you been doing to manage or facilitate your spiritual growth? It is hard to grow if we are on the sidelines. Take control of your spiritual growth and if you are not where you need to be, take the steps to get there. 

And finally, pray daily. Prayer is simply talking to God. You don’t have to use big fancy words. There are no right and wrong words. Just be yourself. Give thanks to the Lord daily for your salvation. Pray for others in need. Pray for direction. Pray for the Lord to fill you daily with His Holy Spirit. It will help you grow spiritually.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What person has most encouraged you in your spiritual growth?
  2. When you are growing in the Lord, what are some changes you have seen in your life as evidence of growth in your walk with Christ? What are some changes you have seen in other’s lives as evidence of that growth?
  3. What event/activity/season of life caused your spiritual life to grow the most?
  4. At what period of your life would you describe as the time when you were closest to God?
  5. What changes would you have to make in your life now in order to grow more spiritually?

Saved People Serve People

“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’  And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.” – Matthew 25: 35-40.

Mother Teresa once said, “We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.” The idea is that there is so much that needs to be done and only so much we can do. Rather than everyone serving others why not have everyone serve themselves. That eliminates the concerns of who best to serve and how best to serve them.  There is one problem with that idea.

God serves others and He wants us to do the same. He’s set it up so serving others accomplishes almost everything He wants for us. In Matthew 20:28, Jesus tells his disciples that, “even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Because Jesus gave Himself up as the ultimate sacrifice for us, we are also called to serve others. At Northstar, we believe that the Church does not exist for us. We are the Church and we exist for the world. We have the responsibility and the opportunity to show the love of Christ by serving other people. In other words, saved people serve people so that served people can become saved.

Northstar is not built on the gifts and talents of a few, but on the sacrifice of many. One of the character traits that has marked us as a church has been the incredible volunteer spirit of the many people who make up Northstar. It’s one of the reasons that I love my church – because Saved People Serve People. And it’s never about excluding people, but about including people. Helping people find their fit – what makes them unique – and then fitting them in – helping them find a place of service.

I encourage you to serve if you haven’t yet. Ask yourself what it is that you do better than anyone else. God has perfectly designed you with a place of service in mind (Romans 12:6). That means that your skill set is a blueprint for where you should serve.  See what needs to be done. Look around and see a need and fill the need. If it looks like we’re in need of extra ushers, why not step up. Or maybe you notice that the check-in lines are getting long when you drop off the kids. Maybe that’s a perfect place for you to get involved.

The point is we need you. We want you to be a part of God’s body in the way He designed you. You’re here because of Him, and we know He put you here for a reason. Let’s find out together.

There are many opportunities to serve at Northstar. We want you to find the one that best suits your passion, personality, and availability. We believe that serving is key to your spiritual growth. Remember that saved people serve people.   

Discussion Questions:

  1. Every Christ-follower has at least one spiritual gift (Ephesians 4:7-8). Some people have not yet opened their gifts. What does Romans 12:1-2 suggest as reasons they may be having difficulty unwrapping their gifts?
  2. What does 1Corinthians 12:18-27 indicate is the purpose of our spiritual gifts?
  3. What hurdles do you have discovering and using spiritual gifts?
  4. How can you discover where God wants you to use your gifts? How can you tell you are fully using your gifts?