MESSAGE SERIES

In God We Trust

What Gives? Sermon Only Cal Jernigan February 28, 2022

What Gives? Sermon Only
Cal Jernigan February 28, 2022

What Gives? Full Service Cal Jernigan February 28, 2022

What Gives? Full Service
Cal Jernigan February 28, 2022

[00:00:00] Well, good morning, central. How are we doing today? All right. All right. Make some noise. That's awesome. Hey, I want to welcome those here. Welcome those there. Wherever you are. Welcome those who are on our online community, man. It's good to have you before I get to the message. I want to talk about a couple of cool things that happened this week. If you were around here, you might've experienced this, um, on a Gilbert campus this week, we hosted this global leadership summit and we had hundreds of people from around the nation show up and, uh, actually in this room where I am. And it was broadcast out of here, literally around the world. Thousands of people witness it and watching it. And we just had an incredible time where you were, you hear any of you here? Did you experience this? Some of you all right. I wish all of you were here because these are the incredible privileges. Sometimes we're giving us, we're given as a church and I love it when that. That was one thing that happened. Then I want to tell you, I want to give a shout out literally to all of our campuses, but specifically right now, to our Mesa campus, to Perry, who's a campus pastor and [00:01:00] his team. They did an event yesterday. And the reason I wanted to tell you about this, this stuff happens all the time and we don't know it cause we don't hear about it. They hosted a project angel tree, which is a thing from prison fellowship in which they've hosted a sports camp for 81 kids whose parents are in. And they brought some coaches and one guy Kenny Dobbs, who is like a S like a world champion slam dunker. And, uh, did you see a picture of him slamming over three kids? You see this yet? Uh, that's awesome. Until it goes bad, but it was good. And anyway, they gave these kids shirts and t-shirts and tennis shoes and all kinds of swag stuff. And it was so cool at the end, David, Willinsky one of our campus pastors. Uh, he gave a message and kind of challenged her. They all challenge. It was a Jesus center thing. And basically 20, 24 of the kids said, you know what I want to get. I want to give my life to Jesus and get more serious for him in [00:02:00] any way, way to go Mesa. That is, that is absolutely awesome. So I'm going to hustle today. We're going to finish up a series today that we started six weeks ago, and it's a series that I think is very, very important for lots and lots of reasons. It's a series entitled or titled in God. And it's just talking about our relationship to money, as it relates to our relationship with God. And these, these two subjects are intertwined in ways. Maybe we don't think about much, but you're going to have to determine, and I just want to lay it out here today. You're going to have to decide, which is more important to you. Or money because it can't both be the most important thing to you. And when you say money is the most important thing that you're going to make certain decisions that you wouldn't make, if God was the most important thing to you. And if God is the most important thing to you, you're going to make certain decisions that if money was the most important thing to you, you wouldn't make, you got to decide. I've got to decide which [00:03:00] one comes. Money in your life or God in your life. Now in this series, what we've talked about is there's only once you acquire money, however, you acquired money. Once you have money, there's only three things you can do without money. It's not rocket science. You can spend it, you can save it and you can give it outside of that. You can S nothing, you can spend it. And we do that a lot. You can save it. We don't do that so well. And. And when I say save, I'm talking about investing, I'm about, you know, hiring employees of your last week, who worked for you. That's the idea. You can spend it, you can save it and you can give it. Now. We're good at spending and it comes naturally. We're not so good at saving. And we talked about that last week. And today, what I want to talk to you about is a hard one. I want to talk to you about giving now, as soon as I say that I know immediately your defenses go up. I want to challenge you today to not let that happen. I want to challenge you right now. We're not going to take up an offering. Okay. We're not going to pass the plate. We're not going to get your face. I'm trying to make you feel guilty. I just want to explain something to [00:04:00] you today that I don't think most of us understand. Now Jesus talked about money and he talks about money a lot, and most preachers don't want to talk about money. I think it's unfaithful to Jesus to not talk about what he talked about. And so I just feel the need. We're going to talk about this now. I also want to say this, that preachers who won't talk about money, I think we're unfaithful to their. There are certainly unfaithful to their Lord. All right. Uh, but, but the reality of it is, is this awkward to talk about money? I get that you get that. We all get that. Now one preacher who had kind of said, I'm just done with being in the awkward position. He, he made a decision. He wasn't going to be a preacher anymore. He was going to go become a police officer as if that were. And so he goes through all the training to be a police officer and they put him through all these physical things exams, and he passes them all. And then they start giving him some oral exams. How would you handle, how would you handle one of the questions they asked? What was this? If, if you had to quickly disperse a crowd, how would you do it? And immediately his ministerial training [00:05:00] kicked in. He said, I'd say we're going to take up an offering because that's how you get people. Okay. We're not going to take up an offering. So I really do want to encourage you to, to relax and here's the deal. All right. And I want to just say this, my, my big ask of you today is that you would just listen. Now, if you get done with what I'm about to say, and none of this penetrates, and you don't believe any of it and you want to Chuck it, that's fine. That's that's, that's your call. That's on you to make, I can't make this decision. But what I want to do is I hopefully want to challenge you to think about something you maybe don't think about and to see something maybe that you don't attend to see. I know something, I know something. Here's what I know. If you have no intention of giving any of your money to God, I can't change your mind. I know that I don't have the power to do that. One, one creature, another story, a preacher went to the wealthiest man in. And he [00:06:00] went and he said, Hey, I want to talk to you about being faithful in your giving. And the man looked at him and he said, preacher, do you know that right now? My father's farm is being foreclosed on him. Do you know that right now? My mother is getting ready to go into surgery in the hospital. You know that, uh, my, my sister, her husband is about to be incarcerated for cheating his company. If he doesn't pay the money back, he's going to jail. Do you know that my. I just was in a horrendous car accident and has horrific bills. Do you know that? And the priest says, no, I didn't know that. And he said, well, let me tell you this. If I'm not going to give them a single dime, what makes you think I'm going to give a dime to God? Now I get that folks. I get it. I understand that. I can't make you do what you are inclined not to do, but I do think we ought to be challenged now. Here's what I, here's the covenant. Here's the. What I want, what I'm going to talk to you about today? You can look me in the eye. I'm looking you back. Okay. We're in the eye. Look me in the eye. Are we in the eye? Are we looking at the eyes? What I'm talking [00:07:00] about to you today? I believe with all my heart. That's the first thing I want to tell you. It's a covenant. The second thing looked me in my eye. I'm looking at you and you're, I want you to understand what I am going to talk to you about today. I practice Lisa and I do this. We have done this for 30 some years. I want you to understand that. I'm not trying to ask you to do something that we don't do. I need you to get that. Okay. Third thing. I want you to understand. Look me in my eyes. Okay. Are you looking all right? I want you to understand. I believe with all my heart, that this is fundamental to putting yourself in a position where God will bless you beyond your wildest dreams. Now we're not into prosperity. That's another church. When I go, Hey, just give so you can get, that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about the fact that I believe that God wants to bless your life. And there's a certain thing you need to understand. And I think most of us don't understand it and I'm going to do my best to explain it. Can I get an amen from. Okay. So if you'll just process this, you can walk out and do or don't do whatever you choose, but I'm going to be faithful and I'm going to, I'm going to lay it [00:08:00] down. All right. So I'm going to start here. One of the most famous verses in the Bible. This is the one you always see the guy holding up in the end zone. Okay. And you will, what does that mean? I'm going to read you that verse John three 16 and the following verse. And this is what it says for God. So loved the world. That he gave his one and only son that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life for God, did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Now, you probably have heard that verse all of your life. You've maybe never thought about it, but here's what I need you to understand. God's love for you. Compelled him to give to you. What did he give to you? We gave it to you. The same thing he gave to me, he sacrificed. One and only son, that's what it said. His one and only son, let me translate his first and his best. He gave to you his first son, his best, his one and only he, there was no one greater than Jesus that [00:09:00] he could give you. So he gave you his first and his best. Now I want you to understand this. Okay. I want you to understand something that when you start to understand what God's motive. It tends to soften your heart and you, you start to lose some of the hardness in the cynicism. It starts to transform the way you think. And you just, you, you start to realize, wait, are you saying that God's motive? Isn't a send me to hell. Look at me. God's motive is not to send you to hell. Are you telling me God's not trying to make my life miserable. God is not trying to make your life miserable. What God is trying to do is bless you. He wants to bless you. He wants to give you something, not take something from you, which is why we always say he has something for you. He doesn't want something from you. We get it wrong. We forget all this. And let me just say this bluntly. Okay. And I don't mean this is a put down. I don't mean this [00:10:00] negatively. You have nothing. God needs nothing. God is in hoping that you'll come around because he desperately he's on the bubble on something. If you'll just help him out a little bit, this is not about what he needs. It's about what I need. It's about what you need. Okay. Are we good? We get this. See, when you start to realize some things about God, it tends to, it tends to soften. You start to go. You know what I, I think I'm, I mean, when you get beyond all the cliches and all, all the rumors about God, you start to. This is kind of cool. When you think about that. I think I want to follow Jesus. I think I want to trust God. I think I want to, I think I want to enter into a relationship with God and that's what many of us have done? Let me take you to a verse. Actually. I figured a couple of verses that are kind of the bedrock of our church. Okay. Every church has its own personality. Every church has its own. It's kind of, it's got its own kind of DNA. It's its own fingerprints, our [00:11:00] church we're. So our crosses on the side. All right. Not just to put it on its side because it represents something to us. It represents what I'm about to read. And this is what Jesus said. Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me forever, wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world and yet forfeit? So Jesus comes along and he says, listen, I want, if you want to be in my camp. And I always used the word entourage, if you want to be one of mine and you want to follow me, I need you to understand this comes at a cost. And the cost is that you got to get over yourself. You got to deny yours, you got to humble yourself. And then he says, you got to die to yourself. And then you've got to be willing to go wherever I lead you not let me. This does not get taught in [00:12:00] American churches often. This is what Jesus said. If you want to be in mind, uh, one of mine, you got to get over yourself. It can't be about you and you got to die to yourself, which means you got to quit living to just fulfill what you want, and you gotta be willing to follow me. Now, when you start to get this, you start to realize what God is offering you is an exchange he's offering you and me an exchange. He's basically saying. You give me your life and I'm going to give you my life. You give me your kingdom and I'll give you my kingdom. You give me your will and I'll give you my, will you give me your power? And I'll give you my power. You give me your destiny and I'll give you my destiny. What do I got to do? You got to deny yourself, man. You got to take up your cross and you gotta. Now this, this is, this sounds easier than it is. It's crazy hard to [00:13:00] do this. This is the best way I know how to explain it. It's not original by any means, but here's the deal inside your heart. You have a throne now. Not literally, but the somebody is. Somebody's boss somebody, the Lord. And up until the time you come to an encounter with Jesus, where you choose to surrender control, you are the king that sits on the throne. It's your kingdom. It's your will. It's your dominion. It's all about you. When you come to Christ, you sh you voluntarily take yourself off the throne and you put Christ on the throne. And instead of expecting God to kneel down to your grave, You kneel down to his greatness. He's the king. He sits on the throne and in all honesty, in all fairness, I've done that many years ago, many times since I've, I've wanted to boot him off and put myself back on, I want to call the shots. I want to do it my way. I want to be about me. It comes very easy, very natural. [00:14:00] I would suspect it's probably something that you struggle with as well, but here's the deal. If I take control back, he's no longer. And if he's not in control, wherever this thing goes is not where he wanted it to go. It's where I wanted it to go. And I put him on the film because when I was in control, it was going nowhere. And so God, I give this to you and I promise I'll follow. Here's what I've learned about leading when you're leading. You're not following whenever you're out in front you're you're, you're, you're setting a direction. You're not following. If I'm going to leave God, I gotta be out in front of God. And if I'm out in front of God, who knows where we're going for me to follow God, I gotta put him out front. I gotta take a second. Pass your second position. And wherever he goes, I go because he's leading, not me. Now, these are crucial distinctions because Jesus said this, listen. We looked at it last [00:15:00] week. Let me remind you, Matthew 6 24 says no one can serve two masters either. You will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. Now you can get offended by that if you want. That's not me saying that that's the Jesus saying that. And he said that to get in people's faces to make them go. I wonder what he meant by that. What he's saying is this, whatever is number one in your life, listen to me, you will worship. You will worship. Why will you worship it? Because whatever is most important to you is most worthy of you. It is what you, you, you look at it, you go, that is so worth it. And when something's worth it, you worships, he worth the, and worship are from the same. You bow down to it because it's worth that it matters to you. [00:16:00] And I need you to understand when we talk about worship, nobody, nobody in this room, nobody, wherever you are. Okay. Nobody's going to go. I worship money. I don't always see. It's not that blatant. It's subtle. It's that you let the values of money dictate the values of your life. You let, what money can get. You become what you put your hope in. You see, you start to try. In your securities in your portfolio could be the comfort and the security of your life. That's the subtlety of it. I got a got this. I don't need you. I'm good. Versus when God is on the throne and God is the one you worship his values, start to dominate your life, his direction. Start to matter to you. His will not, your will not. Because I gave my life to Jesus. And again, I want to take it back all the time. I'm not any way heightened that, but what it means is he's the king, he's the boss. He's [00:17:00] the Lord, which means that when I come into his present presence, the least, and the more insignificant come into the presence of the greater and the most significant, let me, let me say that again. Cause I need to make sure you got that. When I come into the presence of God, the. And the less significant comes into the presence of the greater and the more significant, and that's because he's on the throne, I'm not on the throne. And when I give, I acknowledged God's worthiness and I realized that it is all due to him. Now here's a principle that I don't think we get, and I want to challenge you to get it all right. It goes all the way back to the old Testament. It goes back to the beginning of the book of first. And the first Samuel chapter two, there's a simple, simple phrase that I want to just have you like, let this soak in. Okay. This is what God said. Those who honor me. I will honor, but those who despise me will be disdained. We, you just say that out loud with me again. You don't have to agree with it, [00:18:00] but I just need to make sure you heard it. Okay. So let's say this together. Those who honor me. Uh, we got to do this again. Okay. We, we can just stay all day on this verse or we can move on. Okay. So let's just say it out loud. We'll move on. Amen. Amen. Okay. Those who honor me. I will honor those who despise me will be disdained. What will, okay. Whoa, whoa, whoa. What in the world are we talking about? Why would I honor you God, why would I honor you? Because I acknowledge your work. You are worthy of my worship. You mean that much to me. I understand the difference you've made in my life. And I so appreciate what you've done for me. So when I say I worship God, I worship God for two reasons because he's worthy and I'm grateful because he's worthy and I'm grateful because he's worth that. And I get it. I [00:19:00] understand who is God, and I understand who is. But I also understand, I got a choice. Just like you got a choice. You can honor God, or you can dishonor God, you can despise God. If you want, God goes, it's your call. It's your call now? I think you're hearing this, but I want you to say something else out loud. God honors those who honor him. Can you just say that with me? Let's do it. Okay. God honors. Who honor him. Let's just say it again because I'm telling you if we don't get this, we don't get it. God honors. Those who honor him. Very, very important principle. All right. And here's what it needs you to understand because God gave me nothing, but his first and his best God deserves nothing. But my first and my. Now last week I had you say something out loud. I don't know if you were here and I don't know if you [00:20:00] remember this, but you said the big idea of this week. And I just say it again. We're going to, again, just help me here the first and the best always belongs to God. That's the principle. So just join me, say it out loud. You don't even have to agree with it. Just hear yourself say it. It will do something in your mind, the first and the. Always belongs to God. If it belongs to God, it doesn't belong to me. If it belongs to God, it doesn't belong to anything else. It belongs to God. All right. Now let me show you something that again, I want to bring this into focus the first and the best, not the least and the last, because often when we talk about giving, as all we're talking. I don't, I I'm just gonna give the least in the light. If there's anything left over God, that'll be yours. After I've consumed everything I want. What's left will be yours, the least, and the last, the first and the [00:21:00] best always belongs to God. So God says these kinds of things in the Bible. So Proverbs three, nine, and 10 says, honor the Lord with your wealth. With the first fruits of your crops, then your barns will be filled to overflowing and your vats will brim. With new wine, what's he saying, honor me and I will honor you now when he says he's going to bless you immediately. We go, oh, I see. So if I, if I invest money in God, I'll get a great return on my investment know, in, in a very real sense. Yes, but not maybe not monetarily, this is what blows our minds. Maybe not monetarily, you honor God with your, your, your wealth. And God says, I'm going to honor you and you're going to be taking care of it all. And I'm going to. Your vats are going to be full you're. Like things are happening. Things are going to happen or things are not going to happen. That would have happened. If you didn't have my blessing on your life. Exodus 2319 says bring the best of the first fruits of your [00:22:00] soil to the house of the Lord, your God. What do you mean the best of the first fruits? What does that mean? It means the best of the first, because the first and the best always belong to God. Those are his, you bring them. Uh, and you get this one, right. And incredible things will happen. Now, what we're talking about is what the Bible calls a tie. Let me just explain real quickly. Okay. When I started going to church years ago, I would go and the preacher would get up or the guy would get up and he'd say, Hey, we're going to, we're going to collect the ties in the offerings. And I always heard T I E S ties and I could not for the life of me, figure out why does God want my tie? It makes no sense. It's not tight. It's tidy that T I T H E a tie is a 10th. It is a 10th. That's what it means. The 10th of what? The 10th of what I produce the 10th of my income, the 10th of what comes into me [00:23:00] and folks, this appears all throughout the Bible. Genesis 14, 20 is the very first. Then Abraham gave him a 10th of everything. All right. It was a gift to a guy named , who was a priest of God. It wasn't mandatory. It wasn't a tax. It wasn't required. It was a response out of gratitude. Got a Kemp, a leave. You've given me this victory. I am so grateful here later, as the years went by, I became part of the law Leviticus 27 30 says a tie of everything from the land weather. From the soil or fruit from the trees belongs to the Lord. It is holy and it is holy to the Lord. What is a tie? It is the first and it is the best. It's a 10th. It's the first 10th as always the first 10th, by the way, it was brought in. Okay. Hey, it was held, it was dedicated to the purposes of God. It was to be used to the ministry, to do what God wanted to have done. And it was handled by the priests, just that's history. I want to show you something that God says about this tie that he doesn't say about anything [00:24:00] else. There is nothing like this in the Bible. What I'm about to read to you unique to the book of Malakai right here. So, so let me just, again, you can take issue with this, but this is God's word speaking. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse. The storehouse was a room attached to the temple. It was where all the stuff was kept that was used for the ministry of God, through the temple, bring the whole tithe into the storehouse that there may be food in my house. Test me in this says the Lord almighty. Nowhere else has God ever give you permission to put him to the test? He goes, test me on this one, check it out. I dare you. Try. He's that serious about this. Test me on this, says the Lord almighty and see now watch if I will not throw open the flood gates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. I will prevent pests from the vowing, your crops and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit [00:25:00] before it's ripe says the Lord on my view. Let me translate. Well, so if I give you God, you'll give me back money. I'll get a great return. No, no, no. He didn't. He saying, I'm going to take care of you. You're going to be the recipient of my blessing. And by the way, my blessing is sometimes things are going to happen for you. That wouldn't have happened for you. And some things are going to not happen. That would have happened because I'm watch over you because you've honored me and you've made it very clear who I am in your life. I'm the Lord of your life. I'm not a peon. That's supposed to bow down to you as king. I get, okay. I got God gets it. All right. And I can't explain this other than I just can't explain this. I've experienced. One of the most vivid ones was the last time we bought a car, went down to a dealer. We found a car he wanted. And so we took our 10 year old car. And so we had to trade this in and you know, the guy got in the car and he drove the car around and he parked the car and he went in and said, okay, here's what we can give you for the car. And we negotiated all of that and we made a deal. He bought the car [00:26:00] and we signed on with the car we're buying in. He later came back in and he said to me, he said, Hey, is there any chance that car has a kill switch on it? I said, what? He goes, yeah, we tried to start it and won't start. Is there any kill switch? There's a key. That's all we got. And he goes, so there's no reason it won't start. Nope. Started for you last time you drove it. And he goes, yeah, this is my. And, uh, when I went to get my new car, I had to walk by like four mechanics trying to figure out what's wrong with this car. I, it has to happen. I don't know. I don't know. I don't know. But God said to the Israelites, your shoes are not going to wear it. Your clothes, you're not going to wear, I'm going to take care of you. I'm going to bless you. Who knows the difference. Being faithful to God and honoring God has made in my life and Lisa's life. As we've raised our kids and our grandkids who knows, who knows what didn't happen, that would have happened. That would have been. Had we not honored. [00:27:00] God, I don't know. I just know what God says, honor me and I will honor you now at this point you might be going okay. I'm a little bit confused, kind of like the video we talked about last week, right? Remember the video don't buy things you can't afford. Remember that video. So, uh, in the spirit of trying to make sure that we communicate as clearly as possible, I want to do my best to help you so that we can walk out of here and go. Okay. All right. At least I got it. I got it. So what I have in my hands, and I've done this before, let me just remind you and why am I reminding you? Why am I reminding you? Because I leak information. I can't retain everything and I get distracted and I don't remember what everything I know I want to be about. So by way of reminder, I have here 10 dimes. Okay. Let's just say this is my paycheck. Okay. I made a dollar. I got 10 dimes. So let me ask you a question, which one of these 10 dimes. The first. Okay. That's that one. All right. That one always belongs to [00:28:00] God. Thank you. That always belongs to God. The second one, this is the 10, 10 80, the second 10. Now there's no scripture that you have to save at 10th and there's no scripture that says you can only give a 10th. You can save more. But the second one is. That is for your future. That second dime is to be saved, which means this is what you have to live on. Now, if you want to give more, you want to save more. It's got to come from this when this becomes 100% of what you think you have, you are well on your way to getting it. You have made it because he in comparison, I got a lot more to live on than I gave, or then I saved when that becomes a hundred percent, I'm going to make certain kinds of decisions and you go, okay. Okay. I got it. Okay. Uh, that might be a little bit confusing. So let me up the ante here a little bit and see if I can make this okay. Because none of us get paid in dimes. We get paid in dollars. All right. So [00:29:00] I have here 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 8, 9, 10. Okay. I have $10. All right. So this is, we get paid. We paid in dollars. All right. So let me ask you a simple question, which one of these belongs to God, which is the first of which is. The first is the best. Why? Because it's the stuff of the stack. Are you kidding? When I see that as I see it all. So the first in the best belongs to God. So this one right here is nevermind. That is not mine. That belongs to God. The second one is. Saving. If I'm wise, I won't spend that one. This one I can't spend, it's not mine. It doesn't belong to me. This one does belong to me, but I ought to be wise like an aunt and not spend it. That leaves all of these, all of these awesome. These are for me to spend morally. I want to clarify that on whatever it is that my heart is like, this is what matters. This was important. Okay. You're going all right. Now, I'm [00:30:00] confused. Now. I want to show you something. That's interesting that. Listen to me now I have hundred dollar bills. Now I have a hundred dollar bills. Okay. So 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. So now I got paid a thousand dollars. Now let me ask you a question. You should be, this should be easy now, which is, which is the one that belongs to God, the first one. Okay. That one go a hundred dollars. And now all of a sudden something's happening in my head dime. I don't care about a dollar. I really get buy anything. You started talking to this thing pretty soon you start going, are you kidding me? I can buy stuff with this. I'll see what's happening. The second one. What's this for saving for the future, which means these are ones I can just, just decide. What's important. What I value and I can, I can spend these all right. Now, do you see what happens here? When the denomination goes up, money starts to mess with your brain. It's the exact same thing. It's a tie. It's a 10th, but what if I make 10,000? [00:31:00] What if I get paid $10,000, $10,000, a 10th is a thousand dollars is you get the math, but nothing changed. God's just putting more on your plate. He's trusting you with more. At what point do you stop trusting God for what you have and you start taking credit for what you have. Uh, this is because I'm good. This is because I'm wise, I'm generous. I am I'm I'm you see what it does? Let's say you make $100,000. What's a, what's a tie of a hundred thousand dollars. What's a, what's a tie of a million dollars. So let me ask you to just simple questions. Is it easier to be faithful with a little or much if I'm unsatisfied with a little, can I be trusted to be faithful with. Myself and another leader in our [00:32:00] church had the privilege a couple of years ago of having dinner in the home of David and Barbara Green, who are the founders of hobby lobby. I don't know if you know this. They estimate their net worth is about $7 billion. He started hobby lobby explained this to us. He took a $600 loan out on a machine to make picture frames. $7 billion is his net worth of the company's net worth is his. And when we're having dinner with him, asked him, what do you attribute all of this to? I am telling me without blinking an eye or batting an eyelash, he said tithing. He said, tithing. It has been the foremost principle. I've run my business on. God always gets the first and God always gets the best. That's the reason. Now I'm not going to argue with him. I'm not tithing. Like how is that going to get. You're going to lose if you do that, you're crazy. So let me explain something to you, right? If you come first and God [00:33:00] doesn't, if God comes first, you don't pick one. You can only pick one. You don't get to get only one. And by the way, let me just explain something else. A tight is attempt at tight. When I give a tithe to God, I'm not being generous. This has nothing to do with generosity, which we talked about three. It has everything to do with obedience, but nothing to do with generosity. What I give beyond the tie now we're talking generosity. Generosity is what offerings are all about. I care about this. I care about that. I care about this. I care about, but the tide goes to the storehouse that belongs to God to be used for his purposes. Now, if you think of the time as the floor and not the ceiling, your brain starts to expand and what could God do if God's. Would be faithful because you know what we love to do. People we love to, we love to get mad at God. And we look at the word go, God, why don't you do something? Why don't you care about that? How come this is happening? And [00:34:00] God would look at us. And he would say, I've given you everything you needed to deal with that, but you consumed it on yourself. I fully resourced you. What could the church do? Dave Ramsey says it this way of all Christians in America. There would be no more welfare in north America. In 90 days, there would be no more existing church or hospital deaths in the next 90 days. The entire world could be evangelized. There would be prayer in schools because Christians would buy all the schools. That's how much money God's given us to make a difference. It's just not being used for that. Ron sider said reasonably generous financial giving of ordinary American Christians would generate staggering amounts of money that could literally change the world. So let me close and uh, let me just, so first Samuel two, all right. Those who honor me, I will honor, but those who despise me will be distinct. Jesus said it this [00:35:00] way. Jesus, Luke 6 38 give and it will be given to you. All right. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over. We'll be poured into your lap. Now catch this line for, with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Now. I didn't say that I'm being faithful to Jesus to say what he said. He said, if you want to approach God with a teaspoon and go, God, here's the size of my shovel. Here's my teaspoon. The guy goes, okay. All right, we got it. Right. That's that'll be the measure. A teaspoon for teaspoon. If you bring a snowshoe. The guy goes, okay, we'll use snow shovels. If you bring a bucket on a tractor, because oh, now you're thinking you, whatever you think you're going to give to God, he has way more resources than you have. God's shovel is so much bigger than anything you can conceive of, but, but how do you approach it? [00:36:00] So when I was getting ready to do this message, people who have been around here, who know like what I'm doing said, Hey, are you going to bring that back? That AppleTree. Uh, every about every five years I pull out this apple tree that's behind me. You might have been wondering what this is. If you've been around here, you've seen the illustration of the apple tree. So if you'll allow me, let me just repeat for you a way that I think a lot of us have been able to get this and understand. So the AppleTree represents this there. So what I have here is I have, um, my wages for the week. Okay. So I got paid and I got paid and we're going to discover is I got paid in apples. Okay. So I have in my, my wages, I have the first apple, the first apple, the first apple is red because red means watch. When you see a red light, you mean I'm supposed to go. I'm supposed to proceed with caution. What does red mean [00:37:00] stop? It means don't even eat that don't even eat that. That's not my apple. Okay. This is red. It goes right here because it is the first and it is the best. And it's the first thing I touched that belongs to God. Now I want to guarantee that I never touched. After I get it in my hands for the first time. So what I do is I automate everything. I don't go through battles every two weeks. Well, how much am I going to give? I make all that in advance. Put it all on automatic and it's systematic. And it's all the things we talked about last week. I don't wrestle with it. It's done at the end of the year. I don't go. I thought I gave so much more. It's all going to be what I have set out because I process it. Then I get a second. I get a second apple and this one is yellow. Because what does yellow mean? If red means stop yellow means caution, which means I could eat this apple. I can't eat that apple, but I could eat this apple, but I'm risking something to eat this [00:38:00] apple. So God's word says, go to the ant, pay attention to the aunt and watch, watch how they look ahead. And they don't see what's in front of them. They see what's ahead of them. All right. Systematic savings. Same thing, automatic. All of it. It's all planned. It's not coincidence. It's not, if I have any apples left, it's the first. Okay. And then I have, I have all of these apples who green means what green means. It's not hard. Do we drive green means go. Which means these are good to go. That means I can do with these, whatever I want. Morally. I've got to keep saying. Because we could misunderstand and I can, I can take all these apples. I mean, stop for just a moment and look at this. I have a lot of apples, some would say I have a plethora of apples. I got so many apples. I've got all these apples. This is something I should learn [00:39:00] to be content with all these apples. Now, sometimes I it's a little tight. I miscalculated. So sometimes I have to touch this apple, but I never. That apple, because that apple belongs to, to, to God. That's never my apple, it's not for my consumption. All right. So what I want to do though, is I want to close this by just reading back into the book of Malakai. I'm going to read something to you that I think is really shocking. All right. I gotta be honest with you though. I've been here. This is the second service of the morning and I'm a little bit. If I can be so rude as to eat an apple while I'm closing and what are we good. All right. I don't mean to offend you. So I just got to choose one of these apples that I got so many choices of apples that I got to just pick an apple, just any apple will do. So I'll just walk[00:40:00] or relaxed. Nothing's going to happen. Tell me Rachel, your phone book, a Malakai, pardon me for stuffing my face while we do this. But ever since the time of your ancestors, you have turned away from my decrees and you have not kept them. What are we talking about? Returned to be, and I will return to you. I guess you could raise honor me and I want her you, um, but you asked how are we retro? How are we going to honor you? And, yeah, sorry. Umair a mere mortal, Rob. God, [00:41:00] Rob. God. How could I Rob God? So you ask, how are we robbing you any time and offering you listen carefully are under a Kirk. You're under a curse, the whole nation of you, because you are robbing me. The whole tide into the storehouse. So there may be food in my house. Test me in this. Fuck the Lord almighty. And see if I won't throw open or forgoes or heaven. I'm blushing.[00:42:00] sorry that right. You know, I look like a pig. .
✖ CLOSE

[00:00:00] Well, good morning, central. How are we doing today? All right. All right. Make some noise. That's awesome. Hey, I want to welcome those here. Welcome those there. Wherever you are. Welcome those who are on our online community, man. It's good to have you before I get to the message. I want to talk about a couple of cool things that happened this week. If you were around here, you might've experienced this, um, on a Gilbert campus this week, we hosted this global leadership summit and we had hundreds of people from around the nation show up and, uh, actually in this room where I am. And it was broadcast out of here, literally around the world. Thousands of people witness it and watching it. And we just had an incredible time where you were, you hear any of you here? Did you experience this? Some of you all right. I wish all of you were here because these are the incredible privileges. Sometimes we're giving us, we're given as a church and I love it when that. That was one thing that happened. Then I want to tell you, I want to give a shout out literally to all of our campuses, but specifically right now, to our Mesa campus, to Perry, who's a campus pastor and [00:01:00] his team. They did an event yesterday. And the reason I wanted to tell you about this, this stuff happens all the time and we don't know it cause we don't hear about it. They hosted a project angel tree, which is a thing from prison fellowship in which they've hosted a sports camp for 81 kids whose parents are in. And they brought some coaches and one guy Kenny Dobbs, who is like a S like a world champion slam dunker. And, uh, did you see a picture of him slamming over three kids? You see this yet? Uh, that's awesome. Until it goes bad, but it was good. And anyway, they gave these kids shirts and t-shirts and tennis shoes and all kinds of swag stuff. And it was so cool at the end, David, Willinsky one of our campus pastors. Uh, he gave a message and kind of challenged her. They all challenge. It was a Jesus center thing. And basically 20, 24 of the kids said, you know what I want to get. I want to give my life to Jesus and get more serious for him in [00:02:00] any way, way to go Mesa. That is, that is absolutely awesome. So I'm going to hustle today. We're going to finish up a series today that we started six weeks ago, and it's a series that I think is very, very important for lots and lots of reasons. It's a series entitled or titled in God. And it's just talking about our relationship to money, as it relates to our relationship with God. And these, these two subjects are intertwined in ways. Maybe we don't think about much, but you're going to have to determine, and I just want to lay it out here today. You're going to have to decide, which is more important to you. Or money because it can't both be the most important thing to you. And when you say money is the most important thing that you're going to make certain decisions that you wouldn't make, if God was the most important thing to you. And if God is the most important thing to you, you're going to make certain decisions that if money was the most important thing to you, you wouldn't make, you got to decide. I've got to decide which [00:03:00] one comes. Money in your life or God in your life. Now in this series, what we've talked about is there's only once you acquire money, however, you acquired money. Once you have money, there's only three things you can do without money. It's not rocket science. You can spend it, you can save it and you can give it outside of that. You can S nothing, you can spend it. And we do that a lot. You can save it. We don't do that so well. And. And when I say save, I'm talking about investing, I'm about, you know, hiring employees of your last week, who worked for you. That's the idea. You can spend it, you can save it and you can give it. Now. We're good at spending and it comes naturally. We're not so good at saving. And we talked about that last week. And today, what I want to talk to you about is a hard one. I want to talk to you about giving now, as soon as I say that I know immediately your defenses go up. I want to challenge you today to not let that happen. I want to challenge you right now. We're not going to take up an offering. Okay. We're not going to pass the plate. We're not going to get your face. I'm trying to make you feel guilty. I just want to explain something to [00:04:00] you today that I don't think most of us understand. Now Jesus talked about money and he talks about money a lot, and most preachers don't want to talk about money. I think it's unfaithful to Jesus to not talk about what he talked about. And so I just feel the need. We're going to talk about this now. I also want to say this, that preachers who won't talk about money, I think we're unfaithful to their. There are certainly unfaithful to their Lord. All right. Uh, but, but the reality of it is, is this awkward to talk about money? I get that you get that. We all get that. Now one preacher who had kind of said, I'm just done with being in the awkward position. He, he made a decision. He wasn't going to be a preacher anymore. He was going to go become a police officer as if that were. And so he goes through all the training to be a police officer and they put him through all these physical things exams, and he passes them all. And then they start giving him some oral exams. How would you handle, how would you handle one of the questions they asked? What was this? If, if you had to quickly disperse a crowd, how would you do it? And immediately his ministerial training [00:05:00] kicked in. He said, I'd say we're going to take up an offering because that's how you get people. Okay. We're not going to take up an offering. So I really do want to encourage you to, to relax and here's the deal. All right. And I want to just say this, my, my big ask of you today is that you would just listen. Now, if you get done with what I'm about to say, and none of this penetrates, and you don't believe any of it and you want to Chuck it, that's fine. That's that's, that's your call. That's on you to make, I can't make this decision. But what I want to do is I hopefully want to challenge you to think about something you maybe don't think about and to see something maybe that you don't attend to see. I know something, I know something. Here's what I know. If you have no intention of giving any of your money to God, I can't change your mind. I know that I don't have the power to do that. One, one creature, another story, a preacher went to the wealthiest man in. And he [00:06:00] went and he said, Hey, I want to talk to you about being faithful in your giving. And the man looked at him and he said, preacher, do you know that right now? My father's farm is being foreclosed on him. Do you know that right now? My mother is getting ready to go into surgery in the hospital. You know that, uh, my, my sister, her husband is about to be incarcerated for cheating his company. If he doesn't pay the money back, he's going to jail. Do you know that my. I just was in a horrendous car accident and has horrific bills. Do you know that? And the priest says, no, I didn't know that. And he said, well, let me tell you this. If I'm not going to give them a single dime, what makes you think I'm going to give a dime to God? Now I get that folks. I get it. I understand that. I can't make you do what you are inclined not to do, but I do think we ought to be challenged now. Here's what I, here's the covenant. Here's the. What I want, what I'm going to talk to you about today? You can look me in the eye. I'm looking you back. Okay. We're in the eye. Look me in the eye. Are we in the eye? Are we looking at the eyes? What I'm talking [00:07:00] about to you today? I believe with all my heart. That's the first thing I want to tell you. It's a covenant. The second thing looked me in my eye. I'm looking at you and you're, I want you to understand what I am going to talk to you about today. I practice Lisa and I do this. We have done this for 30 some years. I want you to understand that. I'm not trying to ask you to do something that we don't do. I need you to get that. Okay. Third thing. I want you to understand. Look me in my eyes. Okay. Are you looking all right? I want you to understand. I believe with all my heart, that this is fundamental to putting yourself in a position where God will bless you beyond your wildest dreams. Now we're not into prosperity. That's another church. When I go, Hey, just give so you can get, that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about the fact that I believe that God wants to bless your life. And there's a certain thing you need to understand. And I think most of us don't understand it and I'm going to do my best to explain it. Can I get an amen from. Okay. So if you'll just process this, you can walk out and do or don't do whatever you choose, but I'm going to be faithful and I'm going to, I'm going to lay it [00:08:00] down. All right. So I'm going to start here. One of the most famous verses in the Bible. This is the one you always see the guy holding up in the end zone. Okay. And you will, what does that mean? I'm going to read you that verse John three 16 and the following verse. And this is what it says for God. So loved the world. That he gave his one and only son that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life for God, did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Now, you probably have heard that verse all of your life. You've maybe never thought about it, but here's what I need you to understand. God's love for you. Compelled him to give to you. What did he give to you? We gave it to you. The same thing he gave to me, he sacrificed. One and only son, that's what it said. His one and only son, let me translate his first and his best. He gave to you his first son, his best, his one and only he, there was no one greater than Jesus that [00:09:00] he could give you. So he gave you his first and his best. Now I want you to understand this. Okay. I want you to understand something that when you start to understand what God's motive. It tends to soften your heart and you, you start to lose some of the hardness in the cynicism. It starts to transform the way you think. And you just, you, you start to realize, wait, are you saying that God's motive? Isn't a send me to hell. Look at me. God's motive is not to send you to hell. Are you telling me God's not trying to make my life miserable. God is not trying to make your life miserable. What God is trying to do is bless you. He wants to bless you. He wants to give you something, not take something from you, which is why we always say he has something for you. He doesn't want something from you. We get it wrong. We forget all this. And let me just say this bluntly. Okay. And I don't mean this is a put down. I don't mean this [00:10:00] negatively. You have nothing. God needs nothing. God is in hoping that you'll come around because he desperately he's on the bubble on something. If you'll just help him out a little bit, this is not about what he needs. It's about what I need. It's about what you need. Okay. Are we good? We get this. See, when you start to realize some things about God, it tends to, it tends to soften. You start to go. You know what I, I think I'm, I mean, when you get beyond all the cliches and all, all the rumors about God, you start to. This is kind of cool. When you think about that. I think I want to follow Jesus. I think I want to trust God. I think I want to, I think I want to enter into a relationship with God and that's what many of us have done? Let me take you to a verse. Actually. I figured a couple of verses that are kind of the bedrock of our church. Okay. Every church has its own personality. Every church has its own. It's kind of, it's got its own kind of DNA. It's its own fingerprints, our [00:11:00] church we're. So our crosses on the side. All right. Not just to put it on its side because it represents something to us. It represents what I'm about to read. And this is what Jesus said. Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me forever, wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world and yet forfeit? So Jesus comes along and he says, listen, I want, if you want to be in my camp. And I always used the word entourage, if you want to be one of mine and you want to follow me, I need you to understand this comes at a cost. And the cost is that you got to get over yourself. You got to deny yours, you got to humble yourself. And then he says, you got to die to yourself. And then you've got to be willing to go wherever I lead you not let me. This does not get taught in [00:12:00] American churches often. This is what Jesus said. If you want to be in mind, uh, one of mine, you got to get over yourself. It can't be about you and you got to die to yourself, which means you got to quit living to just fulfill what you want, and you gotta be willing to follow me. Now, when you start to get this, you start to realize what God is offering you is an exchange he's offering you and me an exchange. He's basically saying. You give me your life and I'm going to give you my life. You give me your kingdom and I'll give you my kingdom. You give me your will and I'll give you my, will you give me your power? And I'll give you my power. You give me your destiny and I'll give you my destiny. What do I got to do? You got to deny yourself, man. You got to take up your cross and you gotta. Now this, this is, this sounds easier than it is. It's crazy hard to [00:13:00] do this. This is the best way I know how to explain it. It's not original by any means, but here's the deal inside your heart. You have a throne now. Not literally, but the somebody is. Somebody's boss somebody, the Lord. And up until the time you come to an encounter with Jesus, where you choose to surrender control, you are the king that sits on the throne. It's your kingdom. It's your will. It's your dominion. It's all about you. When you come to Christ, you sh you voluntarily take yourself off the throne and you put Christ on the throne. And instead of expecting God to kneel down to your grave, You kneel down to his greatness. He's the king. He sits on the throne and in all honesty, in all fairness, I've done that many years ago, many times since I've, I've wanted to boot him off and put myself back on, I want to call the shots. I want to do it my way. I want to be about me. It comes very easy, very natural. [00:14:00] I would suspect it's probably something that you struggle with as well, but here's the deal. If I take control back, he's no longer. And if he's not in control, wherever this thing goes is not where he wanted it to go. It's where I wanted it to go. And I put him on the film because when I was in control, it was going nowhere. And so God, I give this to you and I promise I'll follow. Here's what I've learned about leading when you're leading. You're not following whenever you're out in front you're you're, you're, you're setting a direction. You're not following. If I'm going to leave God, I gotta be out in front of God. And if I'm out in front of God, who knows where we're going for me to follow God, I gotta put him out front. I gotta take a second. Pass your second position. And wherever he goes, I go because he's leading, not me. Now, these are crucial distinctions because Jesus said this, listen. We looked at it last [00:15:00] week. Let me remind you, Matthew 6 24 says no one can serve two masters either. You will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. Now you can get offended by that if you want. That's not me saying that that's the Jesus saying that. And he said that to get in people's faces to make them go. I wonder what he meant by that. What he's saying is this, whatever is number one in your life, listen to me, you will worship. You will worship. Why will you worship it? Because whatever is most important to you is most worthy of you. It is what you, you, you look at it, you go, that is so worth it. And when something's worth it, you worships, he worth the, and worship are from the same. You bow down to it because it's worth that it matters to you. [00:16:00] And I need you to understand when we talk about worship, nobody, nobody in this room, nobody, wherever you are. Okay. Nobody's going to go. I worship money. I don't always see. It's not that blatant. It's subtle. It's that you let the values of money dictate the values of your life. You let, what money can get. You become what you put your hope in. You see, you start to try. In your securities in your portfolio could be the comfort and the security of your life. That's the subtlety of it. I got a got this. I don't need you. I'm good. Versus when God is on the throne and God is the one you worship his values, start to dominate your life, his direction. Start to matter to you. His will not, your will not. Because I gave my life to Jesus. And again, I want to take it back all the time. I'm not any way heightened that, but what it means is he's the king, he's the boss. He's [00:17:00] the Lord, which means that when I come into his present presence, the least, and the more insignificant come into the presence of the greater and the most significant, let me, let me say that again. Cause I need to make sure you got that. When I come into the presence of God, the. And the less significant comes into the presence of the greater and the more significant, and that's because he's on the throne, I'm not on the throne. And when I give, I acknowledged God's worthiness and I realized that it is all due to him. Now here's a principle that I don't think we get, and I want to challenge you to get it all right. It goes all the way back to the old Testament. It goes back to the beginning of the book of first. And the first Samuel chapter two, there's a simple, simple phrase that I want to just have you like, let this soak in. Okay. This is what God said. Those who honor me. I will honor, but those who despise me will be disdained. We, you just say that out loud with me again. You don't have to agree with it, [00:18:00] but I just need to make sure you heard it. Okay. So let's say this together. Those who honor me. Uh, we got to do this again. Okay. We, we can just stay all day on this verse or we can move on. Okay. So let's just say it out loud. We'll move on. Amen. Amen. Okay. Those who honor me. I will honor those who despise me will be disdained. What will, okay. Whoa, whoa, whoa. What in the world are we talking about? Why would I honor you God, why would I honor you? Because I acknowledge your work. You are worthy of my worship. You mean that much to me. I understand the difference you've made in my life. And I so appreciate what you've done for me. So when I say I worship God, I worship God for two reasons because he's worthy and I'm grateful because he's worthy and I'm grateful because he's worth that. And I get it. I [00:19:00] understand who is God, and I understand who is. But I also understand, I got a choice. Just like you got a choice. You can honor God, or you can dishonor God, you can despise God. If you want, God goes, it's your call. It's your call now? I think you're hearing this, but I want you to say something else out loud. God honors those who honor him. Can you just say that with me? Let's do it. Okay. God honors. Who honor him. Let's just say it again because I'm telling you if we don't get this, we don't get it. God honors. Those who honor him. Very, very important principle. All right. And here's what it needs you to understand because God gave me nothing, but his first and his best God deserves nothing. But my first and my. Now last week I had you say something out loud. I don't know if you were here and I don't know if you [00:20:00] remember this, but you said the big idea of this week. And I just say it again. We're going to, again, just help me here the first and the best always belongs to God. That's the principle. So just join me, say it out loud. You don't even have to agree with it. Just hear yourself say it. It will do something in your mind, the first and the. Always belongs to God. If it belongs to God, it doesn't belong to me. If it belongs to God, it doesn't belong to anything else. It belongs to God. All right. Now let me show you something that again, I want to bring this into focus the first and the best, not the least and the last, because often when we talk about giving, as all we're talking. I don't, I I'm just gonna give the least in the light. If there's anything left over God, that'll be yours. After I've consumed everything I want. What's left will be yours, the least, and the last, the first and the [00:21:00] best always belongs to God. So God says these kinds of things in the Bible. So Proverbs three, nine, and 10 says, honor the Lord with your wealth. With the first fruits of your crops, then your barns will be filled to overflowing and your vats will brim. With new wine, what's he saying, honor me and I will honor you now when he says he's going to bless you immediately. We go, oh, I see. So if I, if I invest money in God, I'll get a great return on my investment know, in, in a very real sense. Yes, but not maybe not monetarily, this is what blows our minds. Maybe not monetarily, you honor God with your, your, your wealth. And God says, I'm going to honor you and you're going to be taking care of it all. And I'm going to. Your vats are going to be full you're. Like things are happening. Things are going to happen or things are not going to happen. That would have happened. If you didn't have my blessing on your life. Exodus 2319 says bring the best of the first fruits of your [00:22:00] soil to the house of the Lord, your God. What do you mean the best of the first fruits? What does that mean? It means the best of the first, because the first and the best always belong to God. Those are his, you bring them. Uh, and you get this one, right. And incredible things will happen. Now, what we're talking about is what the Bible calls a tie. Let me just explain real quickly. Okay. When I started going to church years ago, I would go and the preacher would get up or the guy would get up and he'd say, Hey, we're going to, we're going to collect the ties in the offerings. And I always heard T I E S ties and I could not for the life of me, figure out why does God want my tie? It makes no sense. It's not tight. It's tidy that T I T H E a tie is a 10th. It is a 10th. That's what it means. The 10th of what? The 10th of what I produce the 10th of my income, the 10th of what comes into me [00:23:00] and folks, this appears all throughout the Bible. Genesis 14, 20 is the very first. Then Abraham gave him a 10th of everything. All right. It was a gift to a guy named , who was a priest of God. It wasn't mandatory. It wasn't a tax. It wasn't required. It was a response out of gratitude. Got a Kemp, a leave. You've given me this victory. I am so grateful here later, as the years went by, I became part of the law Leviticus 27 30 says a tie of everything from the land weather. From the soil or fruit from the trees belongs to the Lord. It is holy and it is holy to the Lord. What is a tie? It is the first and it is the best. It's a 10th. It's the first 10th as always the first 10th, by the way, it was brought in. Okay. Hey, it was held, it was dedicated to the purposes of God. It was to be used to the ministry, to do what God wanted to have done. And it was handled by the priests, just that's history. I want to show you something that God says about this tie that he doesn't say about anything [00:24:00] else. There is nothing like this in the Bible. What I'm about to read to you unique to the book of Malakai right here. So, so let me just, again, you can take issue with this, but this is God's word speaking. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse. The storehouse was a room attached to the temple. It was where all the stuff was kept that was used for the ministry of God, through the temple, bring the whole tithe into the storehouse that there may be food in my house. Test me in this says the Lord almighty. Nowhere else has God ever give you permission to put him to the test? He goes, test me on this one, check it out. I dare you. Try. He's that serious about this. Test me on this, says the Lord almighty and see now watch if I will not throw open the flood gates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. I will prevent pests from the vowing, your crops and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit [00:25:00] before it's ripe says the Lord on my view. Let me translate. Well, so if I give you God, you'll give me back money. I'll get a great return. No, no, no. He didn't. He saying, I'm going to take care of you. You're going to be the recipient of my blessing. And by the way, my blessing is sometimes things are going to happen for you. That wouldn't have happened for you. And some things are going to not happen. That would have happened because I'm watch over you because you've honored me and you've made it very clear who I am in your life. I'm the Lord of your life. I'm not a peon. That's supposed to bow down to you as king. I get, okay. I got God gets it. All right. And I can't explain this other than I just can't explain this. I've experienced. One of the most vivid ones was the last time we bought a car, went down to a dealer. We found a car he wanted. And so we took our 10 year old car. And so we had to trade this in and you know, the guy got in the car and he drove the car around and he parked the car and he went in and said, okay, here's what we can give you for the car. And we negotiated all of that and we made a deal. He bought the car [00:26:00] and we signed on with the car we're buying in. He later came back in and he said to me, he said, Hey, is there any chance that car has a kill switch on it? I said, what? He goes, yeah, we tried to start it and won't start. Is there any kill switch? There's a key. That's all we got. And he goes, so there's no reason it won't start. Nope. Started for you last time you drove it. And he goes, yeah, this is my. And, uh, when I went to get my new car, I had to walk by like four mechanics trying to figure out what's wrong with this car. I, it has to happen. I don't know. I don't know. I don't know. But God said to the Israelites, your shoes are not going to wear it. Your clothes, you're not going to wear, I'm going to take care of you. I'm going to bless you. Who knows the difference. Being faithful to God and honoring God has made in my life and Lisa's life. As we've raised our kids and our grandkids who knows, who knows what didn't happen, that would have happened. That would have been. Had we not honored. [00:27:00] God, I don't know. I just know what God says, honor me and I will honor you now at this point you might be going okay. I'm a little bit confused, kind of like the video we talked about last week, right? Remember the video don't buy things you can't afford. Remember that video. So, uh, in the spirit of trying to make sure that we communicate as clearly as possible, I want to do my best to help you so that we can walk out of here and go. Okay. All right. At least I got it. I got it. So what I have in my hands, and I've done this before, let me just remind you and why am I reminding you? Why am I reminding you? Because I leak information. I can't retain everything and I get distracted and I don't remember what everything I know I want to be about. So by way of reminder, I have here 10 dimes. Okay. Let's just say this is my paycheck. Okay. I made a dollar. I got 10 dimes. So let me ask you a question, which one of these 10 dimes. The first. Okay. That's that one. All right. That one always belongs to [00:28:00] God. Thank you. That always belongs to God. The second one, this is the 10, 10 80, the second 10. Now there's no scripture that you have to save at 10th and there's no scripture that says you can only give a 10th. You can save more. But the second one is. That is for your future. That second dime is to be saved, which means this is what you have to live on. Now, if you want to give more, you want to save more. It's got to come from this when this becomes 100% of what you think you have, you are well on your way to getting it. You have made it because he in comparison, I got a lot more to live on than I gave, or then I saved when that becomes a hundred percent, I'm going to make certain kinds of decisions and you go, okay. Okay. I got it. Okay. Uh, that might be a little bit confusing. So let me up the ante here a little bit and see if I can make this okay. Because none of us get paid in dimes. We get paid in dollars. All right. So [00:29:00] I have here 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 8, 9, 10. Okay. I have $10. All right. So this is, we get paid. We paid in dollars. All right. So let me ask you a simple question, which one of these belongs to God, which is the first of which is. The first is the best. Why? Because it's the stuff of the stack. Are you kidding? When I see that as I see it all. So the first in the best belongs to God. So this one right here is nevermind. That is not mine. That belongs to God. The second one is. Saving. If I'm wise, I won't spend that one. This one I can't spend, it's not mine. It doesn't belong to me. This one does belong to me, but I ought to be wise like an aunt and not spend it. That leaves all of these, all of these awesome. These are for me to spend morally. I want to clarify that on whatever it is that my heart is like, this is what matters. This was important. Okay. You're going all right. Now, I'm [00:30:00] confused. Now. I want to show you something. That's interesting that. Listen to me now I have hundred dollar bills. Now I have a hundred dollar bills. Okay. So 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. So now I got paid a thousand dollars. Now let me ask you a question. You should be, this should be easy now, which is, which is the one that belongs to God, the first one. Okay. That one go a hundred dollars. And now all of a sudden something's happening in my head dime. I don't care about a dollar. I really get buy anything. You started talking to this thing pretty soon you start going, are you kidding me? I can buy stuff with this. I'll see what's happening. The second one. What's this for saving for the future, which means these are ones I can just, just decide. What's important. What I value and I can, I can spend these all right. Now, do you see what happens here? When the denomination goes up, money starts to mess with your brain. It's the exact same thing. It's a tie. It's a 10th, but what if I make 10,000? [00:31:00] What if I get paid $10,000, $10,000, a 10th is a thousand dollars is you get the math, but nothing changed. God's just putting more on your plate. He's trusting you with more. At what point do you stop trusting God for what you have and you start taking credit for what you have. Uh, this is because I'm good. This is because I'm wise, I'm generous. I am I'm I'm you see what it does? Let's say you make $100,000. What's a, what's a tie of a hundred thousand dollars. What's a, what's a tie of a million dollars. So let me ask you to just simple questions. Is it easier to be faithful with a little or much if I'm unsatisfied with a little, can I be trusted to be faithful with. Myself and another leader in our [00:32:00] church had the privilege a couple of years ago of having dinner in the home of David and Barbara Green, who are the founders of hobby lobby. I don't know if you know this. They estimate their net worth is about $7 billion. He started hobby lobby explained this to us. He took a $600 loan out on a machine to make picture frames. $7 billion is his net worth of the company's net worth is his. And when we're having dinner with him, asked him, what do you attribute all of this to? I am telling me without blinking an eye or batting an eyelash, he said tithing. He said, tithing. It has been the foremost principle. I've run my business on. God always gets the first and God always gets the best. That's the reason. Now I'm not going to argue with him. I'm not tithing. Like how is that going to get. You're going to lose if you do that, you're crazy. So let me explain something to you, right? If you come first and God [00:33:00] doesn't, if God comes first, you don't pick one. You can only pick one. You don't get to get only one. And by the way, let me just explain something else. A tight is attempt at tight. When I give a tithe to God, I'm not being generous. This has nothing to do with generosity, which we talked about three. It has everything to do with obedience, but nothing to do with generosity. What I give beyond the tie now we're talking generosity. Generosity is what offerings are all about. I care about this. I care about that. I care about this. I care about, but the tide goes to the storehouse that belongs to God to be used for his purposes. Now, if you think of the time as the floor and not the ceiling, your brain starts to expand and what could God do if God's. Would be faithful because you know what we love to do. People we love to, we love to get mad at God. And we look at the word go, God, why don't you do something? Why don't you care about that? How come this is happening? And [00:34:00] God would look at us. And he would say, I've given you everything you needed to deal with that, but you consumed it on yourself. I fully resourced you. What could the church do? Dave Ramsey says it this way of all Christians in America. There would be no more welfare in north America. In 90 days, there would be no more existing church or hospital deaths in the next 90 days. The entire world could be evangelized. There would be prayer in schools because Christians would buy all the schools. That's how much money God's given us to make a difference. It's just not being used for that. Ron sider said reasonably generous financial giving of ordinary American Christians would generate staggering amounts of money that could literally change the world. So let me close and uh, let me just, so first Samuel two, all right. Those who honor me, I will honor, but those who despise me will be distinct. Jesus said it this [00:35:00] way. Jesus, Luke 6 38 give and it will be given to you. All right. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over. We'll be poured into your lap. Now catch this line for, with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Now. I didn't say that I'm being faithful to Jesus to say what he said. He said, if you want to approach God with a teaspoon and go, God, here's the size of my shovel. Here's my teaspoon. The guy goes, okay. All right, we got it. Right. That's that'll be the measure. A teaspoon for teaspoon. If you bring a snowshoe. The guy goes, okay, we'll use snow shovels. If you bring a bucket on a tractor, because oh, now you're thinking you, whatever you think you're going to give to God, he has way more resources than you have. God's shovel is so much bigger than anything you can conceive of, but, but how do you approach it? [00:36:00] So when I was getting ready to do this message, people who have been around here, who know like what I'm doing said, Hey, are you going to bring that back? That AppleTree. Uh, every about every five years I pull out this apple tree that's behind me. You might have been wondering what this is. If you've been around here, you've seen the illustration of the apple tree. So if you'll allow me, let me just repeat for you a way that I think a lot of us have been able to get this and understand. So the AppleTree represents this there. So what I have here is I have, um, my wages for the week. Okay. So I got paid and I got paid and we're going to discover is I got paid in apples. Okay. So I have in my, my wages, I have the first apple, the first apple, the first apple is red because red means watch. When you see a red light, you mean I'm supposed to go. I'm supposed to proceed with caution. What does red mean [00:37:00] stop? It means don't even eat that don't even eat that. That's not my apple. Okay. This is red. It goes right here because it is the first and it is the best. And it's the first thing I touched that belongs to God. Now I want to guarantee that I never touched. After I get it in my hands for the first time. So what I do is I automate everything. I don't go through battles every two weeks. Well, how much am I going to give? I make all that in advance. Put it all on automatic and it's systematic. And it's all the things we talked about last week. I don't wrestle with it. It's done at the end of the year. I don't go. I thought I gave so much more. It's all going to be what I have set out because I process it. Then I get a second. I get a second apple and this one is yellow. Because what does yellow mean? If red means stop yellow means caution, which means I could eat this apple. I can't eat that apple, but I could eat this apple, but I'm risking something to eat this [00:38:00] apple. So God's word says, go to the ant, pay attention to the aunt and watch, watch how they look ahead. And they don't see what's in front of them. They see what's ahead of them. All right. Systematic savings. Same thing, automatic. All of it. It's all planned. It's not coincidence. It's not, if I have any apples left, it's the first. Okay. And then I have, I have all of these apples who green means what green means. It's not hard. Do we drive green means go. Which means these are good to go. That means I can do with these, whatever I want. Morally. I've got to keep saying. Because we could misunderstand and I can, I can take all these apples. I mean, stop for just a moment and look at this. I have a lot of apples, some would say I have a plethora of apples. I got so many apples. I've got all these apples. This is something I should learn [00:39:00] to be content with all these apples. Now, sometimes I it's a little tight. I miscalculated. So sometimes I have to touch this apple, but I never. That apple, because that apple belongs to, to, to God. That's never my apple, it's not for my consumption. All right. So what I want to do though, is I want to close this by just reading back into the book of Malakai. I'm going to read something to you that I think is really shocking. All right. I gotta be honest with you though. I've been here. This is the second service of the morning and I'm a little bit. If I can be so rude as to eat an apple while I'm closing and what are we good. All right. I don't mean to offend you. So I just got to choose one of these apples that I got so many choices of apples that I got to just pick an apple, just any apple will do. So I'll just walk[00:40:00] or relaxed. Nothing's going to happen. Tell me Rachel, your phone book, a Malakai, pardon me for stuffing my face while we do this. But ever since the time of your ancestors, you have turned away from my decrees and you have not kept them. What are we talking about? Returned to be, and I will return to you. I guess you could raise honor me and I want her you, um, but you asked how are we retro? How are we going to honor you? And, yeah, sorry. Umair a mere mortal, Rob. God, [00:41:00] Rob. God. How could I Rob God? So you ask, how are we robbing you any time and offering you listen carefully are under a Kirk. You're under a curse, the whole nation of you, because you are robbing me. The whole tide into the storehouse. So there may be food in my house. Test me in this. Fuck the Lord almighty. And see if I won't throw open or forgoes or heaven. I'm blushing.[00:42:00] sorry that right. You know, I look like a pig. .

What Gives?

by Cal Jernigan • February 28, 2022

Why is it so important for Christians to tithe? What if God doesn’t need our money? Rather, God wants to give us the opportunity to tithe so that we might experience a part of who God is. Join Pastor Cal Jernigan this weekend as he talks about the importance of the tithe in the life of the believer.