Five Holy Habits - Service - Episode 52

Five Holy Habits - Service - Episode 52
Season 4 Sweet Selah Moments Podcas...

 
 
00:00 / 00:31:01
 
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You know what else we don't have time for unless we make it a priority? Service. Nicole and Sharon unpack how to serve wisely with limited resources and talk about the sweet, sweet benefits that come from helping another human being in need. This is definitely a holy habit we all should be forming. Join us as we talk about how to serve wisely.

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Read the transcript for Five Holy Habits-Service

Speaker 1 (00:02):

Are you ready to embrace a little stillness, some rest for your soul today? Welcome to the Sweet Selah Moments Podcast, where we stop and study God’s words and encourage one another to know him better and love him more. The Sweet Selah Moments Podcast is brought to you by Word Radio and Sweet Selah Ministries.

Nicole (00:29):

Welcome to the Sweet Selah Moments Podcast. We are in the middle of a series entitled Five Holy Habits of the Christian. So far, we have looked at the good habits of Bible reading, prayer and rest. Welcome to episode 52. Today we are going to talk about developing the holy habit of service. Sharon, what are some of your favorite and least favorite ways to serve as a Christian?

Sharon (00:52):

Oh, that’s a fun question.

Nicole (00:53):

Yeah.

Sharon (00:54):

Well, favorite ways would have to be serving with my mouth and my ears.

Nicole (01:02):

I love it.

Sharon (01:03):

That’s what works for me. My hands, not so much. Obviously I like words so doing this podcast is a blast. We have so much fun.

Nicole (01:12):

We really do.

Sharon (01:12):

We probably laugh too much, but that’s okay. I’m enjoying myself. It’s a good thing. Speaking at retreats, I love speaking at retreats and events. And then writing as well about the Lord Jesus, which is using words in a different way, not out of my mouth, but out of my hand I guess. And the huge gift of salvation, speaking about the huge gift of salvation is just my joy. I love sharing the gospel message. I love it. And then I like to encourage with words too. I like hearing people’s stories. So that’s using my ears I guess, sitting down with a cup of tea and pondering life with someone is life-giving to me. I love it. And hopefully it is for them too. So, and I love having people in my home. That’s another thing that I really enjoy. Whenever we moved in the military and then when we settled here in Dover, Ray and I have a tradition, I just take ordinary olive oil and I anoint our doorposts with a little cross. And then we pray and we just say, Lord, this home is yours. It is yours. You fill it with your love and your presence and then in the name of Jesus stop anything evil right at that door. Don’t let ’em in so the people that are in our home know your presence, Lord. So, and it’s just a thing we do. I love anointing a new house with oil.

Nicole (02:29):

That is so special. What a special thing, it’s dedicated to God.

Sharon (02:30):

I’ve done it a lot of times. Yeah, it’s His, it’s His. So, and then when people come over, Ray’s mom always had little presents on our bed, a little bag of presents. So every time, if you ever stay at my house, you’ll get a present.

Nicole (02:43):

Oh, how fun.

Sharon (02:45):

Yes, and I have so much fun filling them and I write a little note, oh, I’m so glad you’re here. So that’s joyful service for me. That is fun because it has to do with words and talking and hanging out with people, which is fun. Okay. So what I dislike?

Nicole (02:59):

Yeah. What do you not like?

Sharon (03:02):

I never want to be the one to clean up. Ever. I don’t want to wash the dishes. I don’t want to sweep the floor. I can’t even say the word sweep.

Nicole (03:13):

So distressing to you.

Sharon (03:15):

Ohhhh, I don’t, the other day I was at an If Gathering at our church.

Nicole (03:19):

Oh, yeah.

Sharon (03:20):

So at the end I’d talked to all the people and they’re gone and there’s just people working and I’m standing there feeling super guilty that I’m not working. So I said, oh, I’ll take these baskets downstairs. I can help. So this simple job, right? Carry three baskets down the stairs. When someone talks to me on the stairs and says, oh, you’ve lost weight. And I turned around with a laugh on the stairs because it was fun she thought that, the baskets flew out of my arms and I broke one of them.

Nicole (03:52):

Oh no, Sharon, who knew?

Sharon (03:54):

So I rest my case. I should not be allowed to help.

Nicole (03:57):

It’s clear people are your gift.

Sharon (04:00):

Yes, it’s just people. So anyways, how about you?

Nicole (04:04):

Well, Sharon, I have always loved babies and children. Always, always since I was little, little, I started babysitting when I was 10 years old and I would, I was helping in the nursery as soon as I was possibly old enough to be. Always in nursery and teaching Sunday school class for the younger kiddos, like first and second grade, I just love kids. Their just so fun, you know? I also love to sing and I really enjoyed serving in choir and being part of a worship team, you know? I don’t mind serving or helping with hospitality things, but my gift is not in thinking of how to do it well. It’s definitely not my gift to carry out a plan or an idea to the end. You know, like having to come up with a lesson plan to teach or having to do any sort of administrative paperwork or really organized planning is just the worst for me.

Sharon (04:50):

Is it, no kidding?

Nicole (04:51):

To sit and like, oh, it’s so hard. And to keep track of things and records; it’s not my gift. At all. I love, I’d much rather help someone who’s already organized and has already come up with a good system or just help with ideas or help problem-solve. I love helping them do it.

Sharon (05:07):

Just not planning it yourself.

Nicole (05:09):

Yeah, or teach something already planned. You know, I’m so thankful that you come up with the podcast plan and I can just come alongside you and add my thoughts and just chat with you.

Sharon (05:18):

It’s such a perfect partnership because every once in a while I’ve thought, would Nicole like to do more? I’m always coming up with the ideas and you’re telling me right now, no.

Nicole (05:27):

No, Nicole would not like to do more.

Sharon (05:30):

‘I’d be very happy for you to continue coming up with the ideas.’

Nicole (05:32):

Yeah, we can feel confident like, oh, this is great. We’ve just been reading about this. This is perfect. So I think God inspires you with the ideas that I would offer.

Sharon (05:40):

Isn’t that wonderful? God is so good. He really is. He pulled us together. I’ve always known that.

Nicole (05:44):

I know.

Sharon (05:44):

He absolutely did. So well, all right, well today we’re going to talk about serving and how to make a habit of serving. It’s kind of easy to get lazy in this area I think, Nicole. We get so busy with our own lives and jobs and reaching out and serving others just seems too much at times. And yet God’s really clear that our job as Christians is to use the gifts he has given us in service to others. It’s not an option. That’s why He gave them to us.

Nicole (06:12):

Yeah.

Sharon (06:12):

So we’re going to talk about the various ways we are to serve today and how we can create a habit of serving. We’re going to read several short passages of scripture and talk about three areas of serving and how to develop good habits in those areas. So Nicole, you are going to start us off please with our first area of serving.

Nicole (06:32):

Well, this first one is probably the most obvious one, but service in our area of gifting. We are given gifts from God and are asked to use them for the good of others in order to draw people closer to Jesus. I’m going to read from 1 Peter 4:10-11- “God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have a gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies, then in everything you will do, bring the glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever. Amen.”

Sharon (07:14):

Amen. I love that. And don’t you love that if you have the gift of speaking … speak. You’re not to necessarily go carry baskets downstairs and break them. It’s like, we all have a function in the church and if we all do our function, life goes better. We had a slogan in a church in Germany that we belonged to and it was this: they’d have a list of things to do in the church. ‘If everybody does something, no one has to do everything’.

Nicole (07:43):

Oh, that’s good.

Sharon (07:44):

Isn’t that good?

Nicole (07:44):

Yeah. Yeah.

Sharon (07:45):

Okay. What’s my something?

Nicole (07:46):

Right.

Sharon (07:47):

You know, and your something is worship. You sing in the worship team and you do a beautiful job with it. And I love it. And my something is Ray and I lead a home group and we do welcome center and I do the welcoming part and Ray stays centered and makes sure that, you know, the walkie-talkies are on and all that, you know? We do well together.

Nicole (08:05):

Yes, very important jobs to do.

Sharon (08:08):

So, yeah, yeah.

Nicole (08:08):

It’s neat. And when He mentioned the gift He’s given, like give the gift of speaking, speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Helping others? Do it with the strength and energy that God supplies. So He doesn’t leave us alone. It’s like, okay, you speak, you serve, you do this. Now, go ahead and do it. He still supplies the energy and the strength to do these gifts He’s given us.

Sharon (08:29):

Yeah. Right. He equips us to do what he’s called us to do.

Nicole (08:32):

Yes, don’t panic. He’s going to give us energy to do it.

Sharon (08:34):

Right. Now, He won’t give us energy to do everything because we shouldn’t be. And we talked about that last week when we talked about rest.

Nicole (08:40):

Yes.

Sharon (08:41):

We’re not to do it all.

Nicole (08:43):

It’s apportioned for our part to do.

Sharon (08:45):

Right, right. And, how sweet that usually, I mean, I think always, you, you find the joy in the gifts you like.

Nicole (08:52):

That’s true.

Sharon (08:52):

I mean, I love talking, so fun.

Nicole (08:55):

There’s so much joy in serving where you’re supposed to be serving.

Sharon (08:57):

Yes, exactly, exactly. So, well, this also tells me that we need to use our gifts to build God’s kingdom. We can’t just make speeches of our gift of speaking. We need to speak about God. And the helping can’t be just helping. It needs to point to God. So, all right, how do we make this a habit?

Nicole (09:15):

Hmm, I think this requires sitting with God and asking him how he wants us to use our gifts for him, not just for ourselves. You know, it’s easy to do, to just do what we’re good at, but to surrender that gift and to look in our local church body for a place to serve or a ministry we feel called to, this is what makes the distinction between being good at something I think, or using our gifts for God and for his glory and not our own.

Sharon (09:41):

Absolutely. Absolutely. I think we learn what our gifts are and episode 39, if anybody wants to read more or hear more ‘Living Out Our Purpose’ talks about that and all the different gifts of the Spirit. So go back listeners and hear episode 39, if you want to know what your gift is. But once you know what your gift is, all right, this is my gift, how do I use it? I can’t use it everywhere. I can’t speak everywhere. Ray and I have a very firm rule about how many nights a year I can be away.

Nicole (10:07):

Good.

Sharon (10:07):

Fourteen, that’s it. No more than fourteen. So I have to limit myself because I can … not-rest then, but where can I serve in my area of gifting? And then do it. So that’s how we make it a habit. Okay. I’m going to talk about the second area of service, which is much harder because sometimes we have to serve when it’s hard, you know, we just do. So I’m going to read from Mark 10:35-45, Jesus teaches about serving others, service when it’s hard. “Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee came over and spoke to him. Teacher, they said, we want you to do us a favor. What is your request, he asked? They replied, when you sit on your glorious throne, we want to sit in places of honor next to you. One on your right and the other on your left. But Jesus said to them, you do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink from the bitter cup of suffering I’m about to drink? Are you able to be baptized with the baptism of suffering I must be baptized with? Oh yes, they replied. We are able.” They had no clue, did they?

Nicole (11:14):

No idea.

Sharon (11:14):

“Then Jesus told them, you will indeed drink from my bitter cup and be baptized with my baptism of suffering. But I have no right to say, who will sit on my right or my left. God has prepared those places for the ones he has chosen. When the ten other disciples heard what James and John had asked, they were indignant. So Jesus called them together and said, you know that the rulers in this world lorded over their people and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. But among you, it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant. And whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of everyone else, 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.” Nicole, Jesus is so counter-cultural, isn’t he?

Nicole (12:07):

Um huh.

Sharon (12:07):

It’s pretty normal to want to rise up and be important someday. I mean, what are you going to be when you grow up? Right? I’m going to be successful. And yet a call to leadership as a Christian is basically a call to servanthood, big-time servanthood, even when it’s not fun. I’ve helped people move and helped clean houses. Not because that’s fun for me. It’s not, but because there’ve been times when God has called me to serve them. If a home group member is moving (that Ray and I lead in) we help them move.

Nicole (12:39):

Yeah.

Sharon (12:39):

We just do. That’s what we’re supposed to do. That’s not serving in my area of giftedness. That’s serving as a servant leader. That’s what I’m supposed to do.

Nicole (12:48):

That’s good, yeah.

Sharon (12:48):

So that’s important. Can you think of a time for you when it’s not been as easy to serve as others, but that you felt God called you to do it?

Nicole (12:59):

Yeah. It’s hard to serve, you know, anytime you have little kids, I’ve struggled with trying to balance that out. But I think one of the harder times was when I was asked to lead the nursery committee. I knew it’d be a challenge for me and I would really need God to really help me. And he supplied by giving me a really great team. I have already mentioned earlier that paperwork and organizing and administrative tasks are not my natural gift.

Sharon (13:22):

Yeah.

Nicole (13:23):

So having to come up with all these procedures and protocols for the nursery was very difficult for me. And I constantly worried that something was going to be forgotten because it wasn’t in my scope of thinking to include all of that, you know, safety procedures? So God really did provide an amazing group of people though, including some who are very gifted with paperwork and safety measures and things I never would have thought of on my own. So God really blessed that time of serving him. That was a little bit out of my natural gifting.

Sharon (13:51):

By giving you people to come along side where it was the gift. Isn’t that the coolest?

Nicole (13:56):

Yeah, cause my heart was children and nursery and the babies and snuggling, not organizing it.

Sharon (14:02):

Yeah.

Nicole (14:02):

But God’s like, it’s okay. There’s people, people that can help you with that.

Sharon (14:05):

There’s people that can help you with that. So for that season, it worked.

Nicole (14:06):

Yeah.

Sharon (14:07):

I’m so glad. And that’s the church at its best isn’t it?

Nicole (14:10):

I know. Yes.

Sharon (14:10):

When everybody’s doing what they’re supposed to. And this, by the way is also why I have such a large team. Whenever I get a job, I don’t want:

Nicole (14:19):

Lord send me…

Sharon (14:20):

Send me someone who thinks it would be fun.

Nicole (14:23):

Yeah, but that’s the key though. Because there’s joy in serving where God calls you.

Sharon (14:26):

Yes.

Nicole (14:26):

And you never want to serve God out of drudgery or like, well, no one else is going to do it I better do it.

Sharon (14:30):

Yeah, exactly. So I want every member of our team in Sweet Selah Ministries to be in their sweet spot because then it’s a joy and then they’re really good at what they’re doing because they love it.

Nicole (14:41):

So it’s good. So, okay, Sharon, how do we develop the habit of serving in the hard areas?

Sharon (14:46):

Yes, back to the hard areas, yes. I think it’s having what I call the unclenched fist with our time and our agendas, you know, right after the section that I just read about, you know, James and John, wanting to sit on the right left hand and Jesus saying, whoa, you got this wrong. You need to be a servant. You want to lead, you have to serve. Jesus demonstrates it because he has an unexpected interruption in his day. So let’s pick the story up again, at Mark 10:46. So he’s talked to them. He’s told them you are not going to sit at my right hand. You need to serve. And then they reached Jericho it says in verse 46 “And as Jesus and his disciples left the town, a large crowd followed him. A blind beggar named Bartimaeus (son of Timaeus), (nice to know), was sitting beside the road. When Bartimaeus heard that Jesus of Nazareth was nearby he began to shout, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me’. Be quiet, many of the people yelled at him, but he only shouted louder. Son of David have mercy on me.” Yeah. I can just see it. They’re all like, would you be quiet? But when Jesus heard him, he stopped and said, tell him to come here. So they called the blind man. Cheer up, they said, come on, he’s calling you. Isn’t that funny how they changed their terms? No, it’s okay. I guess Jesus wants to talk to you. “So Bartimaeus threw aside his coat, jumped up and came to Jesus. What do you want me to do for you, Jesus asked? My Rabbi, the blind man said, I want to see. And Jesus said to him, go, for your faith has healed you. Instantly, the man could see, and he followed Jesus down the road.”

Nicole (16:38):

I love that.

Sharon (16:39):

So here’s Jesus in a discussion with his disciples. It looks like he’s busy and everybody’s like, leave him alone, he’s busy. But Bartimaeus had a need. And it was kind of an immediate need. Jesus, wasn’t going to just happen by Bartimaeus over and over again. This was his one shot.

Nicole (16:57):

Right.

Sharon (16:57):

And he wasn’t going to let anything get in the way of it. And so he didn’t worry about being socially polite, he shouted his brains out. I love Bartimaeus. Oh my goodness. So sometimes we need to have an unclenched fist with our day. And that’s why I think, like we talked about in the prayer episode that the ‘Thy will be done in the morning’ is so important. We need to be interrupt-able. We absolutely need to be interrupt-able. This happened a lot to me when Dad was living with us, he would wake me up in the middle of the night and I had to wake up, you know, I couldn’t just leave him.

Nicole (17:34):

Right.

Sharon (17:35):

He needed me and I had to go. So, we need to be willing to do that. Every once in a while though, Nicole, I do have to say, I had times in the care for dad when I literally couldn’t help another person because I was totally tapped out. And in those cases I just prayed. And I said, give them to someone else, Lord, you know I can’t do this and trusted that someone else would be able to do it. So, but mostly I think I should start my days with those open palms, willing to accept divine appointments that look an awful lot like interruptions. How about you?

Nicole (18:15):

Oh, that last sentence you said is so convicting. Oh, Sharon, I struggle an awful lot with interruptions and having, you know, the mindset instead that there are divine appointments from God can really change my heart on unexpected opportunities to help.

Sharon (18:32):

There you go.

Nicole (18:32):

Call it that instead. But this is especially important during the harder seasons of life when we have a full day of care giving ahead, you know? Looking after your sweet Dad Gamble, or for me caring for an infant or other littles can make it very hard to accept any other calls to physically serve for a time. But I think that even if we can’t personally help out or physically go and help move, um, we can always find help, you know?

Sharon (18:58):

That’s true.

Nicole (18:58):

Like maybe in that season, God just wants us to help connect people like, oh, I’m so sorry. I can’t help you move or help you to do that but my friend can. I know that she was just saying, she’s praying for an opportunity to serve. So we can still do something and not to forget that we are serving when we’re taking care of the people God has given us, you know?

Sharon (19:15):

Well, exactly. Exactly. So we have to really walk in the Spirit on all of these when there’s an divine interruption.

Nicole (19:24):

Yeah.

Sharon (19:24):

And do what we can.

Nicole (19:25):

Yes.

Sharon (19:26):

Do what we can.

Nicole (19:26):

And then give it to God if you can do what you want to do

Sharon (19:27):

Keep the fist unclenched. And then what we can’t do, connect.

Nicole (19:31):

Yeah, that’s good.

Sharon (19:31):

I like that connect. So, all right.

Nicole (19:34):

So our last category of serving is service with our finances. Sharon, this is something we’re all required to do. And for some, it’s even an area of gifting where it’s their favorite thing to do, but whether it’s a favorite or not, God wants us to give financially to those in need, as well as with our words and our helping hands. I’m going to read a passage from 2 Corinthians 9:1-15, the collection for Christians in Jerusalem. “So I really don’t need to write to you about this ministry of giving for the believers in Jerusalem. For I know how eager you are to help. And I’ve been boasting to the churches in Macedonia that you in Greece were ready to send an offering a year ago. In fact, it was your enthusiasm that started up many of the Macedonian believers to begin giving. But I’m sending these brothers to be sure you really are ready as I had been telling them, and that your money is still collected. I don’t want to be wrong in my boasting about you. We would be embarrassed not to mention your own embarrassment if some Macedonian believers came with me and found you weren’t really ready after all I had told them. So I thought I should send these brothers ahead of me to make sure the gift you promised is ready, but I want it to be a willing gift, not one given grudgingly. Remember this, a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop, but the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. You must each decide in your heart how much to give and don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure for God loves a person who gives cheerfully and God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. As scriptures say, ‘They share freely and give generously to the poor. Their good deeds will be remembered forever. For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way he’ll provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you. Yes, you’ll be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God. So two good things will result from this ministry of giving. The needs of the believers in Jerusalem will be met and they will joyfully express their thanks to God. As a result of your ministry, they will give glory to God for your generosity to them and to all believers will prove that you are obedient to the good news of Christ, and they will pray for you with deep affection because of the overflowing grace God has given to you. Thank God for this gift too wonderful for words.”

Sharon (22:04):

I love it.

Nicole (22:04):

That’s really neat. This passage provides a really good balance for giving I think. There’s some people that have that true gift of giving, you know, and seem to always know who’s in need and provide just the right gift for them. But that doesn’t exclude someone like me, who may not be as aware of those needs from giving, if the opportunity comes up. It’s also really helpful to remember that everything I have comes from God.

Sharon (22:33):

Yes.

Nicole (22:33):

It makes it much easier to share with others and give cheerfully what he has given to me.

Sharon (22:38):

Yes, you’re right. We’ve got to remember that it’s all his to begin with anyway. Absolutely. Yeah. I really actually wrestled with which … what to call this podcast. Should I call it the holy habit of serving or the holy habit of giving?

Nicole (22:53):

Oh, right.

Sharon (22:53):

Because they both fit. We give of our time when we serve in our areas of giftedness and we give of our money. Or we serve with our money and we serve with our time. So I don’t know.

Nicole (23:06):

They’re kind of changeable there.

Sharon (23:07):

Yeah, they kind of are. But a very important part of being a Christian and a holy habit of being a Christian is giving. It is being willing to give of ourselves. You know, if someone needs our car, we have two cars we have let people use our car, for example, cause we didn’t need it all the time. You know, if somebody needs a warm winter coat and I have two, I should be giving that winter coat to them, right?

Nicole (23:33):

That reminds me that little phrase, I’m pretty sure it’s Veggie Tales, that said, ‘if you’ve two to share, you have one to spare’.

Sharon (23:37):

You have one to spare.

Nicole (23:38):

It’s such a good thing to remember.

Sharon (23:40):

Yes, it is.

Nicole (23:40):

It helps us when we’re like, well, I don’t know. It helps us not to hoard or be greedy.

Sharon (23:42):

Yes, it does. We developed over the years what we call our ‘tithe slush fund’.

Nicole (23:47):

Oh, tell me about it.

Sharon (23:49):

Isn’t that a fun name? We’ve got a slush fund. Basically all it is, is a little bit of extra money that we save every month for unexpected stuff. Not necessarily the, you know, we give to missions, we give to the church, you know, the stuff where you get the tax receipt?

Nicole (24:06):

Yes, the regulars.

Sharon (24:07):

The tithe for the slush fund there are no tax receipts for. But they’re just little fun, generous things for people that need a lift. You know, that I think just blesses God’s heart when we can just do it? And so we just have this little fund and we’re like, Ooh, we could, we could help them out. We could send them groceries for a week, wouldn’t that be fun? You know? Cause they’re going through a hard time or we could pay for somebody to clean their house because Sharon never wants to clean a house. Let’s pay someone to clean their house.

Nicole (24:40):

It’s genius.

Sharon (24:40):

Oh, then she won’t break anything in their house.

Nicole (24:45):

Oh, but that’s so… Isn’t it…like, you’re telling me about this and you are just lit up with joy. It’s so fun to bless others. It really is.

Sharon (24:51):

Yeah, yeah.

Nicole (24:51):

Especially when they’re having a hard time and if God puts it on your heart and you respond generously, like he asks us to, we get so much out of it too.

Sharon (25:00):

We do. But you hear me in this, I’ve scheduled the money in advance. I am such a scheduler. Have we noticed this about me? Let us schedule spontaneous money!

Nicole (25:08):

But it’s there then. You kind of have to.

Sharon (25:12):

It’s there, yeah. Well I feel like if I had the gift of faith, I would just give the money for my own groceries to them.

Nicole (25:19):

Oh, that’s true. You could do that too.

Sharon (25:19):

Right. But no, I don’t do that. No, I save up to be spontaneous.

Nicole (25:25):

I think God knows. And he works with each of us in our gifts and he does. It’s still a blessing whether it’s scheduled or unscheduled.

Sharon (25:33):

So, okay. So how do we make this a habit? How do we make giving money, giving time a habit, Nicole, what do you think?

Nicole (25:42):

I think it’s, you know, like any habit we need to be intentional. So, you know, planning out that spontaneous money, that’s helpful. But I think if we’re all intentional about making this a priority in our life, it’ll make us more aware and we’ll be on the lookout for people in need, you know, and God will point out the ones for us to help. We’re not supposed to save the world, but he will point out the ones to help. And I think if we all took some time to just sit with God and pray about it or sit with a friend who knows us well, that can help us understand what our gifts might be if we don’t know yet. And talk about where our desire to serve might be and then find a place to serve. I would also check in with your church or a ministry dear to your heart. Things may seem to be running well and you may feel like, oh, they don’t need me, you know? That is a lie. Don’t believe it!

Sharon (26:29):

Amen. Preach.

Nicole (26:31):

There’s always a place to serve. And you might be a huge blessing to someone who has been waiting for replacement before they stepped down for a break.

Sharon (26:39):

You know what, that often happens. Someone is serving and serving well, but they’re tired.

Nicole (26:43):

They just don’t want to leave until someone new rises up next. Like, well we’ll do one more year.

Sharon (26:48):

Yeah. And then the next someone is like, well, they look like they don’t need me.

Nicole (26:52):

They’re doing a great job, they don’t.

Sharon (26:53):

Oh my goodness.

Nicole (26:53):

You’re always needed. And Satan loves that lie.

Sharon (26:55):

Yes, if everybody does something, then no one has to do everything. We all need to do our something. We need to guard our rest so that we serve out of strength and joy, but we do need to serve. And with the giving, you know, we tithe, you don’t have to tithe nowadays, but we’re to give a set amount to our church and to different causes. And so we, we set it aside and that’s another habit. It just becomes what we do. We don’t even think about it.

Nicole (27:22):

Yeah. The first part of our paycheck goes into the bucket for God.

Sharon (27:26):

Right. Yeah, I think I might’ve talked about this in a previous podcast. I can’t remember, but, but Ray, Ray said, ‘ten percent?’ when we first got married. Cause he did not grow up in a church. And he was like, ‘we can’t give ten percent;. And I was like, but we’re supposed to give ten percent.

Nicole (27:41):

Who does that?

Sharon (27:41):

It was a little bit of a marital moment there as we discussed it. So we didn’t, because he didn’t want to. And then he heard a sermon that convicted him. But because Ray is a cautious fellow, it took us a year to work up to it. We gave one percent. Then we gave two percent. Then we gave three percent.

Nicole (27:57):

Oh my goodness. Oh, I love him.

Sharon (27:57):

Until, … Oh, he’s so cute. But we got up to our little ten percent and now it’s standard. So it doesn’t even, you know, it is what it is. It’s become that habit.

Nicole (28:10):

Oh, I love that God worked in his heart slowly.

Sharon (28:12):

Yes.

Nicole (28:12):

He doesn’t expect perfection right away. Or, this and that.

Sharon (28:15):

No, no.

Nicole (28:15):

Just give generously what God has placed on your heart.

Sharon (28:18):

And with a cheerful heart.

Nicole (28:18):

And at that point it was one percent for Ray. And then it was two percent he could give generously.

Sharon (28:22):

Right, yes. And he got up to ten percent and he was fine. And now we’ve got a slush fund. Whoa baby.

Nicole (28:28):

Now you’re good to go.

Sharon (28:30):

So start your habits slowly.

Nicole (28:31):

Yeah.

Sharon (28:32):

But then keep it a habit. This is why they’re called habits. These are the rhythms in life the Christian should have: Bible reading, prayer, rest, giving or serving. You know, we’ve got one more. So, but let us pray. Oh Lord, you have been so generous with us. You came not to be served, but to serve. You gave your life. Everything we have is yours. The time we have left on earth, this is the time you give. So forgive us. When we have clenched fists, would you show each of us Lord where you would have us serve in the areas of gifting? The times when we have to serve where it’s hard. In our finances, Father, we seek You, not a formula. We seek you to uniquely show each one of us, how to serve well, help us to make it a habit, Lord. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Nicole (29:37):

Well, I’ve certainly been given a lot to think about in the area of service. How about you? We love comments. Write us and tell us what’s hard for you about serving and what comes easily. Let’s talk about this holy habit together. You can write us at Sweetselah.org/podcasts. If you’d like to join our podcast partner group, you can start a monthly donation by going to Sweetselah.org/donations and write ‘podcast partner’ in the comments. We love sending out our monthly news by email, to all who partner with us in this adventure of exploring the Bible via our podcast. Our last holy habit will be unpacked next week. Come on back for another chat as we look at holy habit number five and episode 53 Fellowship. We’ll talk about going to church and why it’s important and also we’ll look at the wounding that happens sometimes at church. You won’t want to miss this. Until then let’s watch for opportunities to serve, friends and to glorify our Lord Jesus as we do.

Speaker 1 (30:38):

We are so glad you stopped for a while with us. This Sweet Selah Moments Podcast is a co-operative production of Word Radio and Sweet Selah Ministries. More information about this podcast can be found at Sweetselah.org. Thank you for joining us.

 

You can download and print the transcript here.

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