Sermon Series Preview: Terrific Servants, Terrible Masters

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This world is filled with so many good gifts, and many of these good gifts are even given to us by God. In November, we will be exploring how to use some of the good gifts we’ve been given in a God-honoring way. This is an extremely relevant series to help us steward some things that are prominent in our society. 

We’ll be looking at 4 topics: Sex, Entertainment, Money, and Smartphones.

These 4 gifts are incredibly good. They are also incredibly complex in how they engage us within our world. If we listen to what the world says regarding these topics, we will be led down a road of destruction. We aren’t the first to discover this. 
If anyone wrestled with how to use good gifts in a God-pleasing way it was King Solomon. King Solomon was known as the wisest man in the world, had more riches than anyone else in the world, and was deprived of nothing materially or sexually that his eyes wanted. Solomon didn’t always do things right, and his words, in Ecclesiastes 2:10-11, are very important for us to consider during the course of these series:
   I denied myself nothing my eyes desired;
    I refused my heart no pleasure.
My heart took delight in all my labor,
    and this was the reward for all my toil.
   Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done
    and what I had toiled to achieve,
everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind;
    nothing was gained under the sun.
Solomon speaks from experience. He was greatly blessed in this world, and yet, when his life was based solely on the good things of this world he found it to be meaningless. Good gifts are never meant to replace God in this world.
His conclusion in this matter is found at the end of Ecclesiastes 12:13:
Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of this matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. 
All good things pale in comparison to the best thing, God. And yet, God still blesses us with good gifts, because He is a God that lets us live an abundant, pleasure-filled life. Let’s stop listening to the ways in which the world says to steward these gifts and search God’s word to discover how to utilize these good gifts in a way that brings honor to God.

Here’s the four we will be looking at in detail:

Week 1: Sex

We are living in a hyper-sexual culture filled with many different opinions and ideas on what sex is and how it is intended to operate in this world. Sexual brokenness is rampant in this world, by both Christians and non-Christians, and collectively we have traded in God’s intention for sex for a lie, and it’s creating devastation, confusion, and shame.  How do we take this good gift from God and steward it in a way that honors God? We remember that sex is a gift given to us by God and we take steps towards honoring God’s original intention, and along the way, we find God’s grace for every misstep we’ve taken and give that grace to others.

Week 2: Entertainment

Entertainment is a beautiful gift God has given to us in this world. It’s amazing to see the result and the entertainment when you combine how God has given gifts, creativity, and talent to each one of us. But in the name of entertainment, have we have allowed our eyes, ears, and minds to go to places that we normally wouldn’t. How do we honor God while enjoying modern-day entertainment? What is appropriate for disciples when it comes to movies, music, parties, eating, events, etc.?

Week 3: Money

The world’s relationship with money is not healthy. Worry, fighting, tension, debt, monthly payments, little to no financial margin, bankruptcy, paycheck to paycheck, and loans are all common words associated with money in our country. Those words would make sense if we were collectively living in a time of great deprivation, but amazingly, we are living in a time of riches that few in the history of the world have ever achieved. God has collectively blessed us abundantly and collectively we’ve blown it. Let’s reclaim this incredible gift and learn what a healthy relationship with money looks like so we can find the joy in being the generous people God has called us to be.

Week 4: Smartphones

Our world looks so different than it did just one generation ago. The smartphones that most people have today have 7 million times more memory and is 100,000 times faster than the computer that landed a man on the moon just 50 years ago. With such a powerful machine, it’s important we understand how to use this machine for good and not for evil. Communication is of utmost importance in this world and if we can effectively steward this device, the Gospel of Jesus could spread more fruitfully than any time in the history of the world.

These are crucial weeks for you to choose church.  Remember, even Jesus chose church.  Let’s come together to hear practical, relevant, timely truths and be encouraged each week by the Good News that Jesus has for us.

— Pastor Zach

Posted by Zach Zehnder with
Tags: money, sin, sex, idols
in Church

Family Matters: July Sermon Series for theCross Family

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In the month of July, we have a unique opportunity to join our two campuses, in Mount Dora and Apopka, together as one family for Sunday morning worship. Being a church on the move, the Mount Dora family is thrilled to join our Apopka family at the Apopka High School!


Because of this unique opportunity to have everyone under one roof we believe it’s important to highlight who we are as a church and what our unique expression of being the church looks like in the world today. 

At theCross, our vision that we have stated on Day 1, from John 12:21, is we want to see Jesus and help others see Him as well. A church ultimately exists to glorify God. Our vision is to magnify Jesus by mobilizing disciples and multiplying the church. 

These words are very important to us, but we also know, that there exist a lot of different versions of disciples and churches today, some of which are a greater reflection of Jesus than others. That’s why it’s important that a church has a mission statement that declares the type of disciples and churches we are called to create.   

Our mission is to be a family of faith-filled, big-thinking followers of Jesus Christ.

For when we are living out this mission, we see our ultimate vision come into a reality.

During the month of July, we are preaching a Sunday sermon series called “Family Matters” to discuss not only the importance of being one church family, but also to discuss the matters that are important to our church family.

We will be diving into the 4 pieces of our mission statement and why they are important for us to ultimately magnify the name of Jesus greater!

July 7th: Family 

How do we live as a church family and build genuine relationships as the world pulls us deeper and deeper into isolation?  Jesus invites His church to stay united to a common purpose, and at the same time, each individual builds into that family and accomplishes that purpose by using their own unique God-given abilities, resources, talents, and gifts.  And when the church is operating in this manner we magnify the name of Jesus!

July 14th: Faith-Filled

How do we create a church family and individuals that live and walk by faith in a world that casts doubt and fear nearly everywhere?  The good news is that those who are in Christ are filled with faith, not by their own strength or power, but given to us freely by the Holy Spirit.  As His power works through us, He enables us to take risks, to be catalysts, to do what others are afraid to do.  And as we live by faith, we magnify Jesus, the faithful One.

July 21st: Big-Thinking

How do we think and live a life that is bigger than ourselves in a world that pushes us to think about me, myself, and I first?  All of this me-focus has led to identity problems, depression, and anxiety like never before.  A life that does not put God and others first will lead to meaninglessness and emptiness, but a life that lives for God and others first leads to meaning and fulfillment. 

July 28th: Follow Jesus

How do we follow Jesus?  In a world filled with more information about following Jesus than ever before, there also exists more confusion worldwide on what following Jesus practically looks like today.  We believe the opportunity to follow Jesus is the greatest opportunity we will ever have, and after all that He’s done for us, we want to be the greatest Christ followers that we can be.  And the greatest way to follow Jesus is simply to follow Jesus.

It’s going to be a foundational and amazing month for us. 

Not only are we excited to bring these topics to the whole family under one roof, but we have special services on July 21st and July 28th.

On July 21st, we will be ordaining Jacob Baumann & Mark Crossman towards the end of our service. 

On July 28th, as we talk about the opportunity to follow Jesus, we will give people the opportunity to surrender their lives that day to follow Jesus through baptism! 


We realize that this month may be more difficult for some of you to be in attendance due to the greater travel distance, but we ask that you prayerfully consider coming to every week. An extra 15-20 minutes for some of you is a small sacrifice that you can make for our church family that I believe will pay big dividends and could be one of the most exciting months we’ve ever had. And I hope to see you each Sunday, because after all, you are my family, and family matters!

— Pastor Zach
Posted by Zach Zehnder with
Tags: family

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