Having The Heart Of A Servant

“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”- Matthew 20:28.

It is not all that unusual to be driving along and encountering a person on the corner of the street holding a little cardboard sign. If you live in a city then you probably have seen people with cardboard signs on a regular basis. The fundamental question is what should we do when we pass by them on the street? 

The fact of the matter is that our hearts should break in compassion for those who are struggling. The Bible is also very clear about helping the poor. We are to have compassion for those who are suffering and show them grace. Proverbs 14:21 says, “It is a sin to belittle one’s neighbor; blessed are those who help the poor.”

Our calling is clear, we need to be gracious. But people with cardboard signs present us with a dilemma. How do we know that the person asking is actually in need? And how do we know if they will use our money the right way? Will they buy liquor or cigarettes?  If I give this person money will it help them for one day or will it help him or her at all? 

We sit in the car weighing the possibilities. Questions fog up our heads. We become conflicted by sometimes equal yet opposite views of the choices in what to do. We could give the person some money. But too often we often find ourselves torn and unable to make a choice. So we choose not to make a choice at all. In other words, our fear of doing the wrong thing stops us from doing anything, which precludes us from serving anyone at all.

We can serve others well when we actively decide to take on the role of a servant. When we study the life of Jesus, we find countless examples where He took on the role of the servant. From choosing to wash the feet of His disciples to the very decision of coming to earth and living as an ordinary human, Christ continually humbled himself for the sake of others and switched places with people in the lowliest of positions. If we want to be like Jesus, we need to remember that, in God’s eyes, everyone else is just as important as us.

By simply taking the position, what can I do today to serve, we’re opening ourselves up to a world of needs, not just the ones that are convenient or fit nicely into the time we’ve allotted to help. But the act of caring might not always require big, dramatic action. Caring for another person might mean going against what’s on the planned agenda or stopping to give a homeless man or woman a few dollars. The more time we spend examining what it means to serve others well, it comes down to having a servant’s heart. Serving others means seeing them as valuable and worthy to serve and be served, simply because God views them that way even if they are standing on a corner with a cardboard sign. 


Discussion Questions:

  1. What is your definition of servanthood?
  2. What hurdles do you have serving others?
  3. What must you do, beginning today, to acquire an authentic heart of a servant?

Your Mission Should You Choose To Accept It…

We cannot all go to the foreign field. We must express our interest in those who have not had our opportunities by our gifts… the fact still remains that there is nothing that will take the place of our hand-to-hand dealing with those who need us. We cannot perform all our charities by proxy. We must come in personal contact with those whom we would help.” – Clovis G. Chappell.

Years ago, the television show Mission Impossible always began with a scene in which the team leader, Mr. Phelps, would receive a tape describing his next mission. The tape invariably began, “Your mission, should you choose to accept it…” In other words, the Mission Impossible team chose whether they wanted to take on the job. For centuries, the military has asked its soldiers to volunteer to take unusual risks. This wasn’t an accident. People are more committed when they take on a job they have chosen rather than one assigned to them. Being on mission with God is no different. 

 I don’t know what comes to your mind when you hear the word missions, but we tend to think missions are confined to “missions” people. You know, the rare and very religious people who choose to move to third-world countries or who run mission teams at church. But the fact is that it is God who is on a mission and anyone who chooses to be a “follower of Jesus” is signing up to be a missionary with Him. Your mission field can be right down the street. 

You can start by getting to know your neighbors and then serving them. Being served feels good. Jesus himself modeled the perfect servant. In fact, in Mark 10:45 Jesus tells us that He came to serve. Think of what it could be like if you took on this attitude toward your neighbors and began serving them. Serve them by inviting them over for coffee or a meal. You could also serve a neighbor by cutting his or her lawn.

Being on mission means praying for others including your neighbors. If you were to pick one step to build a relationship with your neighbors, pick prayer. Prayer helps to move us away from self-dependence to God-dependence. Prayer helps us remember that while God desires to use us, it’s ultimately God who works in our neighbors’ lives. Ephesians 6:14-16 tells us, “When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth.I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit.”

We are all called to share in this mission. You are a witness to what Jesus has done in your life. You and I are to be witnesses of the truth of the Gospel. The Holy Spirit will empower you as you step out in faith and share your testimony and faith in Christ with others. It is not your mission to convince, convict or put a guilt trip on someone. It is solely to share the Gospel message and allow God by his Holy Spirit to do the work of salvation.

 Discussion Questions:

  1. What does it mean to be on mission for God? 
  2. We, like Jesus, need to be intentional about trying to connect with those who likely won’t set foot in our churches. Agree or disagree and why?
  3. What can we do this week to be more intentional?

Living The Generous Life

“ But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit upon his glorious throne…Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.” – Matthew 25: 21, 34-36. 

Generosity is commonly associated with tithing to a church or an organization. When we look at the generosity of the Bible, though, we see it goes deeper than just the amount of money we’re willing to donate. It starts with the generosity of God. 

Many people do not view God as generous. Somehow we got the idea that if we begged God for help and if we were good enough, He might show us a little mercy. The opposite is true, God is amazingly generous. He made the first move of generosity toward us. And the second move and the third. God was the first and is the most generous Giver of all.  

He went above and beyond anything we could have imagined.  God loved people so much that He gave. He gave His best (John 3:16). He gave His Son for you and for me. This act of generosity began in His heart first. He loved so He gave. Titus 3:4-6 says, “When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, 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. He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior.”

Jesus sees the love in our giving. Jesus was in the home of some friends when a woman came in and poured very expensive perfume over His head. Her generosity was significant because of the value of her gift: it was a great sacrifice and it revealed the depth of her gratitude. Jesus pointed out that this kind of generous gratitude and worship was to be forever connected to His followers.

We are most like God when we are generous and that generosity is tangible. Instead of speaking about money in Matthew 25, Jesus mentions food, water, clothes, and love. In 1 Kings 17, a widow offers the prophet Elijah her flour and oil, even though it’s all she has. It is a tangible, sustainable gift—not a financial one. In the same way, we can volunteer our time and resources in place or in addition to our finances.

Biblical generosity is also cheerful. God doesn’t want gifts motivated by a sense of duty or obligation. He wants us to give out of joy and compassion. If anyone knows generosity, it is God—who gave His Son to us freely, even when He knew we would abuse the gift. Our generosity should be founded in love, not duty.

No one is more generous than God. He’s the greatest giver of all time. And we should acknowledge that fact every day. “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ.” (Ephesians 1:3)

Discussion Questions: 

  1. What excuses do people sometimes make for not being more generous with their resources (time, money, and energy) toward others? What excuses have you made?
  2. Can you remember a time when your resources were very limited, and God provided for you?
  3. Identify one practical way you can be more generous in the weeks ahead. 

Don’t You Care?

In this week’s message we looked at Daniel chapter 10. One of the points I made in that message was that God is a caring, loving, compassionate father. He loves you more than you will ever understand. He loves you more than you can ever comprehend. He is loving toward you in everything that He does. The Bible says in Psalm 103:13, “As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.

Some of the disciples were fishermen. In Mark 4: 35-37 we read about Jesus calming a storm: “On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling.”

As fishermen, they were used to storms. But this one must have been out of the ordinary because they were scared. The ship was rocking and rolling, and water was coming into the boat. They were distraught enough to wake up Jesus to ask him one of the most important questions in life: “Teacher, don’t you care?”

Sounds familiar doesn’t it? We have asked or thought that question in any number of ways throughout our lives. “God, don’t you know I flunked that test and I may get kicked out of college. Don’t you care? My relationship with my kids is an absolute mess. Don’t you care? I should not have gone into business with him, but now I am stuck and this could blow up in my face. Don’t you care? I just can’t kick this habit. Don’t you care? My marriage is crumbling. Don’t you care?”

The answer is yes, 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 has a plan for your life.

God continually calls us to come to Him with our burdens and find rest for our souls: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28 – 29) He invites us to cast our worries on Him because He cares: “…casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7) He invites us to come to His throne and ask for mercy and grace to help us in our time of need: “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16) He offers strength when we are weak. “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)

If you knew and felt how much your heavenly Father cares about you, you’d have to love Him back.

Discussion Questions.
1. What are the things in your life right now that are troubling you?

2. Do you believe that God cares about your concerns? What does it mean to “cast” your anxiety on God?

3. How would life be different if you were confident that God cares about you?

4. How does it impact you to know that God cares about the little as well as the big things in life? Share one way you’ve personally experienced Him caring for a “little thing”.

5. How and where is God calling you to care? What action will you take this week?

Creating a Culture of Generosity

Core Statement: We will lead the way with irrational generosity. We truly believe it is more blessed to give than to receive.

This week we are looking at different values for our church. On Tuesday, we talked about being faith-filled, big thinking, bet the farm risk takers and today we are talking about irrational generosity.

What makes this value so important to me is because it was something I had to learn. As I have mentioned on multiple occasions, I grew up with a scarcity mindset. That means that you have this feeling that there’s simply not enough to go around and you’d better get yours while you can. As I learned what tithing was, I was afraid to do it because of that scarcity mindset, the fear of letting go. Now I look back and wonder what I was thinking. God created a universe that’s bigger than we can imagine. So how big is God, exactly? He is so huge that he is not bound by time or space, not needing or wanting for anything, and capable of creating our entire universe. Yet he is personal enough to have created us in his own image.  The Psalmist said: When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers— the moon and the stars you set in place—what are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them? Yet you made them only a little lower than God and crowned them with glory and honor.” (Psalms 8:3-5) So blessing my generosity was not a big problem for God. In reality, I had seen over and over again the miraculous provision of God and I started to understand that 90 percent with His blessings goes a whole further than what I could accomplish by holding onto all 100 percent. I now default to being more generous, rather than less.

In 2 Corinthians, Paul writes to the church in Corinth about the Macedonians who were dirt poor, yet gave a big gift. Paul was bragging on them: “In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity.” – 2 Corinthians 8:2. They simply gave from what they had. They were honored to give to the mission of Jesus Christ. First, they gave their lives to Christ. And then they gave of themselves to others.

He continues in verses 4, 5 and 7 in Chapter 8: “They begged us again and again for the privilege of sharing in the gift for the believers in Jerusalem. They even did more than we had hoped, for their first action was to give themselves to the Lord and to us, just as God wanted them to do…Since you excel in so many ways—in your faith, your gifted speakers, your knowledge, your enthusiasm, and your love from us — I want you to excel also in this gracious act of giving.”

We want to be a church of irrational generosity at Northstar. We truly believe it is more blessed to give than to receive. The fact is we have of hundreds of crazy people out there looking for opportunities to be irrationally generous. If you are a follower of Jesus, I want to encourage you to be irrationally generous. It becomes a mindset. It becomes who we are. Isaiah 32:8 says, “But generous people plan to do what is generous, and they stand firm in their generosity.” (NLT)

When all of culture says “consume,” a generous person stands firm and says “give.” Giving isn’t what we occasionally do, generous is who we are.

As followers of Jesus, we should be irrationally generous because we serve a generous God.

Discussion Questions:
1. When is the last time that you gave as much as you were able, and maybe even pushed it beyond that?
2. Think of someone who’s irrationally generous. Describe what has caused them to earn that reputation. How can you make generosity something that you plan for and stand firm for?
3. Share a time when you felt blessed from giving to others. How does it compare to other things that bring you joy?
4. What keeps you from giving more? What are you trying to protect when you choose against greater generosity?
5. What’s one change you need to make in your life in order to become more intentional or generous in your giving?

Tell Me, What Do You See?

“Research is formalized curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose.” – Zora Neale Hurston.

According to CASRO (Council of American Survey Research Organization), spending on marketing research across the globe is in the $18.9 Billion. That is the money spent to collect data from people like you and me, either via phone surveys, or online paid surveys, or any other number of means.That is a lot of money, but it is well spent. It is impossible to sell products or services that customers do not want. Research gives the company actionable data into the needs and wants of the customer.

The church needs market research as well. We want to connect to people right where they live, and we love them too much to leave them there if they are far from the heart of God. The question is how can we better serve the people who live by one of our campuses? Titus 3:14 answers that question: ”Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order to provide for urgent needs and not live unproductive lives.”

Everywhere around us are broken and dying people. There are people abusing drugs, there are children begging for food, widows needing help, homeless people in torn and dirty clothes. There was a mother with two babies—she was sitting at a laundromat weeping, her tears falling down on the faces of her hungry children.

Here’s the sad part. Most of those people live within a short distance from a church. Jesus identifies Himself with the least of these—He says I was hungry, I was thirsty, I was a stranger, I was naked, I was sick, I was in prison. We see it throughout the life of Jesus; He always had time for the least of these. In fact, most of the miracles that Jesus did was when He was just out and about. He didn’t plan outreach events with the disciples. He just did what He saw the Father doing, and that was loving  people.“Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.” John 5:19.

If we sing about things like God’s love, His heart, drawing closer to Him and wanting more of Him, we are going to inherit more of His heart. His heart is for you and me, and it’s also for the “least of these.” Yet do we see them? Do we cross paths with them? Can we do everything for every need. No we can’t. Can we do more? Yes, I believe we can. And that begins with opening our eyes to see the needs of people in our community.

We cannot open our eyes if we seldom wander outside the walls of the church. Nor will we meet urgent needs if we ignore it, treat it exclusively as a spiritual problem, or refer people to professionals and wash our hands of their trouble. We have a responsibility toward those who are, as Jesus says, “the least of these.”

Discussion Question:

1. Do I see the need around me, even when the need is minor?
2. What is my/our responsibility toward those who are, as Jesus says, “the least of these?”
3. Pray and ask God for wisdom in how to make a meaningful difference in people’s lives this Christmas.

A Call To Action

“I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough, we must do.” – Leonardo da Vinci

Most people like Christmas. What’s not to like. Yes, there are people who because of memories, or relational pain or for any number of other reasons tend to dread the holidays. But most people generally have a warm feeling about Christmas. Maybe it’s the collection of everything from the music, the anticipation, or the idea of thinking about yourself less and others more, due to gift buying. People just seem more merry and bright. As a pastor, I do know that more people seem open to church, religious activities and events than they do at other times of the year, some even feeling like it’s not really Christmas if we don’t go to church. Yet all this “good cheer” seems to only last for a few weeks around Christmas and then disappears for another year. The question is why.

My answer is simple. We live in an era of short shelf life and even shorter attention spans. Very little, if anything, has staying power. So sustaining something, especially something that’s seasonal, is hard to do. The reality is that for us to be really changed, we need to more like Jesus. And we need to be more like Jesus year round.

And that means giving ourselves to others. That means taking action. Jesus said in Luke 6:38: “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

I would suggest Jesus is not only talking about money, it is how you give your life to others in any form. During this season, who is it that needs forgiveness, encouragement or gifts of time, money or help? As Christians we need to find a way to give it.

A generous person gives grace to those who don’t earn it, don’t deserve it and without measuring whether they will return the favor. How we give out, is how we receive. How we “measure” our giving is how it will be “measured back to you.” How can we give more?  To see God work beyond what you can see. To go out of your way to express your love for God and others by making some person’s Christmas more bright.

Instead of leaving God’s gift under the Christmas tree, let this be the year you share this gift with others. I encourage you to get involved in giving back this Christmas.

You can help others this Christmas in so many ways. First, recognize the blessings that God has given you and use them rather than wasting them. Use what you have to help others and show them that God loves them and came to earth to die for them.

Discussion Questions:
1. Pray and ask God to let this Christmas time be a reminder to you of the importance of grace and giving. Think of some ways to give to others through acts of kindness and love.
2. There are opportunities to share the good news of Jesus. Some people see them as interruptions. Why do we not like God’s invitations? What do they interrupt?
3. God’s purposes do not always line up with our plans.  They are greater than our plans. How do you feel about this? Would you respond different this Christmas knowing this?
4. If with God all things are possible, why do we not think “bigger” when it comes to giving of our time, talents and money during Christmas?

Meet The Killjoys

In Sunday’s message, I talked about three joy-killers: disunity, pride and selfishness. And I talked about the solutions to each.

The Northstar vision is to help the whole world find and follow Jesus. We need to agree on our mission, our purpose, our future and the path to that future. In fact, we as a body of believers need to agree on a whole lot of things. To do this, the church must be united. And, for a church to be united, Paul recognizes that humility must prevail. Without humility there can be no unity, and where there is no unity, there can be no successful advancement of the gospel by a local church.

But even though unity is necessary, and even though unity is possible, unity is not automatic. Christian churches do not drift towards unity on their own. On the one hand, unity is a gift of the Spirit, but on the other hand, unity requires that we work towards being humble. If working towards humility is the key to unity, what does humility look like? Paul’s answer: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” Philippians 2:3-4.

This is not a case of “be humble” because Paul says so, or, “be united” because Paul says so. The reason we strive for humility is because it is the way we accomplish unity. And the reason we strive for unity, is because it enables us to carry out our mission. We should have the same mind, the same love, the same spirit, and the same purpose which is help the whole world find and follow Jesus.

Jesus is our example of humility. His demonstration of that humility should be enough incentive for every Christian in the church to “do nothing from selfishness” and to “regard one another as more important than himself.”

On the subject of selfishness. Selfishness comes naturally to most of us and God’s standard of selflessness does not. Remember Philippians 2:3: “Do nothing out of selfishness or empty conceit…” I can’t help notice the word nothing. Do you notice how much of the responsibility of obeying this verse falls on us? All of it. We can’t use Philippians 1:6 as an excuse or rationalization for our selfish tendencies. That verse says, “He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” So, if God wants me to be selfless He is going to have to do it. Unfortunately, it does not work that way. Part of the perfecting process God uses is our own obedience. We need to work on being more selfless every day.

1. How important is it that a church be unified? What specific things can YOU do to encourage greater unity at Northstar? How about encouraging greater unity in your home, marriage, family, community, school, etc? What effect do you think gossip has on unity? How does it do damage? Based on this week’s message, what rights are you willing to give up?
2. Consider what Jesus gave up by humbling himself to bring eternal life to us. What thought from the Philippians passage is most precious to you? Why? Have you ever humbled yourself by giving up something that you deserved for the benefit of others? Ask God to begin to show you how you are puffed up in any area of your life right now. Pray for humility.
3. How would you describe the differences between being selfish and selfless as a member of the church? How do you apply selfless wisdom in response to the gospel? Read the following verses and ask God to make you more selfless than selfish? What do the following verses say to you: “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.: (Matt. 23:12) “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you.” (James 4:10) “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you” (I Peter 5:6)

How To Be Rich Series Summary

We started the How To Be Rich series with statistics and facts that prove we are rich. If you earn $35,000 a year, you are in the top few percent of wage earners in the world. Much of the world  do not have the luxuries of a house, car, cell phone, cable TV, running water, and electricity to name just a few of the things we take for granted in the U.S.

For many of us, our problem isn’t that we’re not rich, our problem is that we don’t feel rich. The reason is simple. No matter how much you have, there’s always someone who has more. That causes discontentment because the more we have, the more you want. And the desire to feel wealthy causes us to place our hope in money instead of in God. We’re tempted to believe that if we make enough, we’ll be able to control our circumstances and create a better life for ourselves. But the Bible describes a different way of thinking about and using our wealth.

Scripture challenges us to look at our money differently because our lives are better when we place our trust in the One who richly provides. Viewing wealth through the lens of eternity loosens our grip on it and its grip on us. 1 Timothy 6:17-19 tells us that the generosity of rich people in this present age also lays up treasure for them in heaven. As you give away, your grip on wealth is released, and you open yourself up to the abundance of God’s Kingdom here and now.

Jesus tells a story/parable about a rich man who had surplus amounts of wealth. Since he was wealthy, it was assumed by the hearers of the story, he must be blessed by God, and smart. Saving for the future is an Old Testament concept. I will save it now, and consume it later was his motto, because all that is placed in my hands is for me, he had thought. Then God tells him he will die that night. Jesus says, “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves on Earth, but is not rich toward God.”

We do not get credit for what we leave. We only get credit for what we give.

I hope you will remember these four points on How To Be Rich:

  1. Do good for those who can’t or won’t do good for you – that was the hallmark of first century Christianity – expecting nothing in return.
  2. Don’t place your hope in riches, but in the One who richly provides.
  3. Since you have more, do more and give more.
  4. Viewing wealth through the lens of eternity loosens our grip on it and its grip on us.

So, be rich in generosity. God will do something in you, and through you, and you will take hold of the life that is truly life.

Discussion questions:
1. Reflect back on How To Be Rich series. What did you enjoy? What made a big impression on you?
2. How were you challenged during the How To Be Rich series? How did it change how you view your wealth and your responsibilities as a Christian?
3, 1 Timothy 6:19 tells us: “In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.” Does that idea resonate with you? Why or why not? Pray and ask God for his wisdom and help in creating “a firm foundation for the coming age”with your generosity.
4. Read Luke 12:13–21. In the parable of the rich fool, Jesus draws a connection between being rich toward those in need and being rich toward God. What is your opinion of this idea? What do you like about it? How does it challenge you?

Being Rich In What Matters Most

Nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something.” ~ author unknown

Pay it forward was a movie made in 2000 starring Kevin Stacey and Haley Joel Osment. It is a story about a young boy who did 3 good deeds for others in need. In return, all that the child wanted was that they pass on the good deed to three other people and keep the cycle going.

Haley Joel Osment’s character wanted to change the world in the movie, but Jesus has changed the world and continues to do so on a daily basis. The Bible teaches that we as Christians are to pay it forward by being rich in good deeds. “Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.” – 1 Timothy 6:18.

There are many examples of paying it forward in the Bible. The best known of those stories, the Good Samaritan, I talked about on Sunday. A man is robbed and left on the road for dead. Two people walked around him without helping. But the Good Samaritan took pity on him and went above and beyond to give him the help that he needed without regard for time or cost commitments.( The story can be found in Luke 10:25-37).

There’s another image that comes to mind when I think about being rich in good deeds. Remember the last scene in the movie It’s a Wonderful Life, when all of George Bailey’s friends show up at his home to repay him for all the good things he’s done for them over the years. George was never wealthy, and all the money they’re giving him is needed to replace some bank funds that were lost. But if you ever want to see a picture of someone rich in good deeds–and in the friendship and love that spring from them–then watch this movie this Christmas.

It is important to do good deeds because it is a demonstration of love towards others. There are so many opportunities to use our time, talents and gifts to help others, we only need to see the need. And when we help others, we lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life. Basically we are building up a heavenly bank account even if we are depleting somewhat our earthy bank account.

I’m praying that God is going to use this week’s message to unleash unprecedented amounts of compassion in our community. I honestly believe that our church is the answer to the needs in the lives of those around us needing God’s power and help.


1. So we are commanded to do “good deeds”— but what does this mean exactly? How do you define a good deed in your view? What type of good deeds are we to do?
2, It is apparent from a study of God’s word that we need to be intentional about doing “good deeds.”How can we be intentional?
3. When you help others, do you tend to help others in the way they need it or in the way you want to give it? Explain.
4. What do you think it would like for you to serve others outside of your comfort zone? How do you think it would affect you?
5. How have the good deeds of others in your church helped you spiritually and in times of need?
6. What’s one good deed you’ll commit to doing this week to help someone else?