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The Spirit of Mammon

Ps. Mike Connell


Audio Transcripts of Sunday Sermons Smashwords Edition Copyright 2012 Mike Connell Ministries http://mikeconnellministries.com

The Spirit of Mammon


The number of times Jesus talked about wealth and possessions, stewardship and accountability, far exceeded any discussion on any topic. In fact there's about 10 times the number of references to finances and stewardship and resources, than there are to faith and salvation, and yet all of these o to ether. !ften the moment we start to talk about money, people free"e # and we will see why...

Spirit of Mammon (1 of 4)

The number of times Jesus talked about wealth and possessions, stewardship and accountability, far exceeded any discussion on any topic. In fact there's about 1 times the number of references to finances and stewardship and resources, than there are to faith and sal!ation, and yet all of these "o to"ether. #ften the moment we start to talk about money, people free$e % and we will see why...

Put God First (2 of 4)

I'!e seen too many rich people who had miserable li!es to belie!e that money can really make your life happy. It &ust can't. 'od can make you happy, money can't. (oney is &ust a piece of paper. It's some numbers in the bank. It cannot make your life happy. )hat it does instead is it tends to create problems.

Generosity (3 of 4)

)e ha!e seen many people that ha!e had much money and yet they didn't ha!e what money seemed to promise, health and prosperity and e!ery "ood thin". It seems like it still eludes them, so we looked at that and saw that Jesus tau"ht !ery specifically about us placin" 'od first. To be "enerous is to be liberal. It's an attitude of heart that shows up in e!ery area of your life includin" finances. 'enerosity exposes selfishness*

Generosity (4 of 4)

There's somethin" about "enerosity that creates a !ery sweet fra"rance. )hen people "i!e and there's nothin" in it for themsel!es, they'!e &ust "i!en unexpectedly to you, then there's somethin" sweet about it. 'enerosity usually exposes "reed. 'od is lo!e and you can't lo!e without "i!in". +ou can "i!e without lo!in", but you can't lo!e without "i!in", so the "reatest way we express the lo!e of 'od to people is when we can be "enerous and kind to them with no a"enda. That's when people see 'od, because that's what 'od is like.

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The number of times Jesus talked about wealth and possessions, stewardship and accountability, far exceeded any discussion on any topic. In fact there's about 10 times the number of references to finances and stewardship and resources, than there are to faith and salvation, and yet all of these o to ether. !ften the moment we start to talk about money, people free"e # and we will see why...

#kay, I want you to open your 7ible with me in (atthew, 5hapter 8. I want to speak today on the Spirit of (ammon. This will be interestin" for some of us, won't it9 )hile we're doin" that I'll &ust open my wallet and take out some money. There we "o. :ook at that, and I'!e "ot ;2 . there, so why don't I &ust take this ;2 . here, and already it'll be talkin" to you % because money talks. <:au"hter= (oney talks. It has a spirit behind it, as we'll see shortly. )here's Arnish9 I'd like to bless you. >ere you "o. )hy don't you &ust ha!e a cup of coffee with your wife9 <Applause= It's a "reat day for you to ha!e a cup of coffee isn't it aye9 There you are. 'od bless you, I lo!e you. +ou're a "reat "uy. 0raise the :ord. So I want to ha!e a look in (atthew, 5hapter 8. Jesus spoke a lot about many thin"s, but if you read throu"h the 7ible, you find it's ?uite interestin", that the number of times >e talked about wealth and possessions, stewardship and accountability, far exceeded any discussion on any other topic. In fact there's about 1 times the number of references to finances and stewardship and resources, than there are to faith and sal!ation, and yet all of these "o to"ether. I want to share &ust a % be"in a new series. I want to talk about this area. #ften the moment we start to talk about money, people free$e, and you'll see why &ust shortly. I'm not after anyone's money. I'm not tryin" to talk to anyone to "i!e any money. I want to help us "ain understandin" of the spiritual nature of money and what lies behind it, and how to be free, how to walk in freedom. So in (atthew, 5hapter 8, it says % @erse 2 , 21 % lay up for yoursel!es treasures in hea!en, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thie!es do not break in and steal, for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. So we ask the ?uestion4 why did Jesus speak so much about stewardship, resources, bein" a steward or ser!ant of 'od, mana"in" resources, finance % why did he speak so much about that9 There has to be somethin" !ery important, and this @erse tells us why it's important. It says !ery clearly4 where your treasure is, your heart is there too. 3ow there's a lot of thin"s we teach on that, but let's &ust take the most simple thin" is, that where your wealth is, where the thin"s you !alue lie, that's where your heart is. )here!er your treasure is, that's where your heart is % or puttin" it simply, where your money and wealth is, that's where your heart will beA for example, if you bou"ht ;1. worth of shares in a company and the company falls o!er, you're not e!en worried at all. 7ut if you put all your life sa!in"s in that company, now you'll be watchin" the paper e!ery day to see how it's doin". In other words where your treasure is, your heart will naturally flow there, and Jesus makes it !ery, !ery clear. 'od is concerned about our hearts, and what "rips our heart. 'od does not need our money. >e doesn't need the sil!er and "old. >ea!en's full of "old. 'old is like the pa!in" stones of hea!en, so therefore in hea!en, "old has a different perspecti!e to what it has on the earth. 'od is interested in us. 'old and sil!er pass away, but people are eternal, so 'od is interested in you, and >e's interested in your blessin", your welfare and your success in life. >e wants us, each of us to succeed in fulfillin" our destiny in life, so as we look at this area on the Spirit of (ammon, we'll see that there's competition for your heart.

So I want to % you can "et a concordance out yourself, and you'll find there are four references to (ammon in the 7ible, and all of them are spoken by Jesus. #ne of them is found in (atthew, 5hapter 8, so we'll read it upA @erse 2-. 3o one can ser!e two masters, for either you'll hate one and lo!e the otherA he will be loyal to one, and despise the other. +ou cannot ser!e 'od and (ammon. That's the first reference to it. The second references is found in :uke, 5hapter 18, so ha!e a look at :uke, 5hapter 18, and then come back. In @erse B throu"h to @erse 1/4 I say to you make friends for yoursel!es of unri"hteous (ammon, so when you fail, they may recei!e you into an e!erlastin" home. >e who is faithful in what is least, is faithful also in muchA he who is un&ust in what is least, is un&ust in much. Therefore if you ha!e not been faithful in the unri"hteous (ammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches9 And if you'!e not been faithful in that which is another man's, who will "i!e you that which is your own9 3o ser!ant can ser!e two mastersA he will hate one and lo!e the other, or he'll be loyal to one and despise the other. +ou cannot ser!e 'od and (ammon. This is the only time that Jesus e!er said, that you can't do this and that, that it's impossible, so what >e's sayin" !ery clearly, >e says it's impossible to ser!e (ammon, whate!er that means, and to ser!e 'od. There is an anta"onism, or they are opposed to one another, so we ha!e to understand or look at what it means. The first thin" is to ask the ?uestion4 what is the Spirit of (ammon9 )hat is the Spirit of (ammon9 The 7ible is !ery clear that we li!e an actual world, but there's also a spiritual world around us, and that the spiritual world influences and controls the li!es of people. The 7ible says in 1 John, it says that all of the world lies in darkness. All of the world lies under the influence of spiritual powers. In Cphesians 8 it tells us also, we wrestle not with flesh and blood, or our problems are not with the people around us. 0roblems lie with wicked spirits who contend a"ainst us. )e wrestle not with flesh and blood but with principalities and powers % so !ery clearly the 7ible o!er and o!er and o!er speaks of the in!isible spirit realm. So we're "oin" to ask the ?uestion4 what is the Spirit of (ammon9 The name or the word '(ammon' literally means this4 it means riches, or it also means "reed, has a similar kind of meanin". It means somethin" that you put your trust in, somethin" you are leanin" your life upon, and it comes and dates way back. Jesus used the word in Aramaic, >e used the word (ammon. It was translated to 'reek % they ne!er could come up with a word for it, so they &ust called it (ammon in 'reek. They called it (ammon in >ebrew, they called in (ammon in Cn"lish. In other words there's been no attempt to chan"e the name. The name is the ori"inal name "oin" ri"ht back to where it was ori"inally used, and where it ori"inates from of course, it comes from the Syrian 'od of Diches, and that ori"inated out of the Tower of 7abel. Demember in the #ld Testament, how there was a "roup of people wanted to find their own way to hea!en, wanted to build themsel!es a tower, wanted to make their own way. They were full of pride and arro"ance, and 'od came on them and confounded them, so the word '7abel' or 7abylon means confusion. So this 'od of (ammon, or this 'od of 1inances, 'od of )ealth that they worshipped called (ammon, ri"ht throu"h history, that 'od dates ri"ht back to the Tower of 7abel, it's rooted in confusion, and pride, and arro"ance, and independence. That's the roots of the thin". Interestin", it's &ust carried on. If you were to watch or play some of our modern !ideo "ames or E@E "ames, you'd be ?uite surprised how often (ammon is one of the "reat 'ods that turns up in the !ideo "ames, that you ha!e to contend a"ainst. In the "ame Eun"eons and Era"ons, (ammon is the arch de!il of hell in one of the le!els in the "ames. This (ammon, e!erywhere throu"h history, has been portrayed or is a representati!e of a 'od, and we understand that thin"s which are worshipped in the #ld Testament ha!e spirit powers behind them, so if you track throu"h the #ld Testament, you find 'od's people continually contended with Idolatry, that the idol of 7aal continually was a problem for them. 5hemosh was another, or (olech, where they worshipped and sacrificed their children. The spirit behind that still works today in the area of abortion, and so these ancient "ods that Israel fou"ht, all had behind them spiritual power, and that spiritual power is still present today. )e read the #ld Testament, we see the natural stories of worship of idols, but it was to try and teach us that behind idols is a spiritual power. In 1 5orinthians 11 0aul writes, and he says4 those that worship idols, or fellowship with idols, fellowship with demons, and he says4 you can't fellowship with demons and with 'od. So consistently throu"h history, and ri"ht throu"h to today, (ammon refers to wealth, riches, but more particularly to "reed. 'reed is an inordinate desire % I need more. I'm not satisfied with what I ha!e, I need more. +ou ask the ?uestion4 how much is enou"h9 The answer's always the same % a bit more. It wouldn't matter how wealthy you are, you ask how much is enou"h9 A bit more. A bit more.

+ou could ask a poor person how much is enou"h9 They need a bit more to "et by. Ask a rich person how much is enou"h9 They need a bit more % same thin", doesn't matter what le!el of society you work at, and so behind this operates a spirit. 3ow you notice here, in the key !erse we're lookin" at in (atthew 8, @erse 2-A 3o man can ser!e two masters. >e will hate one and lo!e the other, or he'll be loyal to one and despise the other. +ou cannot ser!e 'od and (ammon. So we need to ha!e a look at what that is about. 'od is a spirit. )e know that 'od is in!isible, but >e's a spirit bein". )e are made in >is ima"e. )e are spirit bein"s. )e're made for intimacy with 'od. )e're made for relationship with 'od. )e're made to lo!e 'od, en&oy >im, and then li!e a life that reflects >im and ser!es >im. That's what we're desi"ned for, so anythin" that competes with the place of 'od in our heart, is ob!iously "oin" to ha!e behind it some demonic spirit, some demonic power. So it says4 you can't ser!e 'od % 'od is a spirit % and (ammon. (ammon must be a spirit. >e's contrastin" one with the other, so (ammon is a spirit bein". 3ow it's a !ery, !ery real spirit. It's a demonic spirit, associated a"ain with wealth, riches and assets, or co!etin" more. In 5olossians /, @erse F, it warns us about co!etin". 5o!etin" is, I see what someone else has, that I don't ha!e, and I want it. 5o!etin" becomes idolatry when it starts to control our life. So !ery clearly when we're lookin" at this issue of (ammon, we're lookin" at a spirit which seeks to "et hold of your life. 3ow of course we &ust lo!e Jesus. )e're here to worship 'od. It would ne!er occur that perhaps we mi"ht be ser!in" this 'od. I remember bein" in a 7ible school, and teachin" on the !ideo "ames and how they open the door to the occult, some of them, in the role playin" of occultic "ames, and 2 students came up, and they were committed to ser!in" 'od, but actually in their pri!ate time they were bowin" down to a demon, and we'll see that behind this thin" always lies deception. So there it is. So here's the thin" % the first thin" to see then is that there are two spirits that lon" for our heart. 'od lon"s for your heart, so >e can bless you. (ammon lon"s for your heart, so he can control you, and so we see that there's a conflict "oes on between the two. 1irst thin" is to reco"nise that there is a conflict. (oney itself has no power. See, this is &ust a piece of paper. :o!ely piece of paper, ;2 piece of paper, but it actually has no !alue at all, unless you can trade it for somethin". See the !alue is what I put on it, and of course I could ha!e hundreds and hundreds of these, and o!erni"ht they could lose their !alue. +ou watch what's happened to money o!er the last decade or so, it's lost its !alue. They'!e &ust printed more and more of them, they'!e &ust lost !alue, meanin" by that, it takes more to buy the same thin" than what it did a while a"o. )e call it by a fancy name, 'inflation' but the reality is, it's &ust a piece of paper that lost its !alue. Took more pieces of paper to buy the same thin", so the dollar lost its !alue, and for many years now there's been the spirit of "reed operatin" throu"h financial sectors. It has created hu"e problems "lobally in the financial area, and has eroded the !alue of money % and behind it has been "reed. Anyone who looked at the recent financial issues in America and the world, you do understand, that the problem is "reed, not enou"h money. The issue's not the money. The issue is the "reed, and the spirit power that manipulates and controls people throu"h the money. That is what the problem is. This is &ust a piece of paper. This piece of paper's neither "ood nor bad. It can be used to bless someone. It can be used for e!il. )hat really determines it, is the spirit that's on it, the spirit that moti!ates how it's used, so all money has a spirit associated with it, because money is a form of tradin" in the world. See this money itself, ori"inally they used to trade "old, so real wealth was "old. If you had "old, you had real wealth, and then it was incon!enient. They made the "old into coins, and so people traded "old coins. I'!e "ot a "old coin on this rin" here, so that was a form of trade at one point. Then it become incon!enient, so then they made paper money, so they made pieces of paper, that ori"inally if you're old enou"h and my "eneration, you could redeem this for a pound of "old. Eo you remember that9 Then they took away the pound of "old and &ust made more pieces of paper, and the money lost all its !alue. So this is money % so the thin" then is, that money is &ust a way of tradin". The world system is one of tradin" % I "i!e you somethin", wantin" somethin" back. I trade. So I mi"ht trade my money in order to recei!e somethin" back, but the world system is a system of tradin", buyin" and sellin". The kin"dom of 'od is different to that. It runs on a different principle, but the problem is we're so used to buyin" and sellin" and tradin", that when we come to 'od, we start to think the same way about 'odA well if I &ust "i!e >im my offerin", >e will bless me. That's the principle of the world, tradin" and buyin" and sellin". It stops you comin" into any kind of area of blessin", because it depends on your works. )ell if I &ust tithe, 'od has to bless me. )ell people think that, but actually that's not true. 'od blesses because >e's a "i!er, >e's "enerous and >e lo!es to bless, and

when you ali"n your finances with >is plan, then of course blessin" starts to increase and flow, because you'!e actually brou"ht it out of the power of (ammon. So it helps us if we understand that money, or finances or wealth or riches, ha!e a spirit behind it, that seeks to use it. 3ow we'!e "ot to understand that I can ha!e 'od on my money, and li!e in blessin" in my money, a ri!er of blessin" in my finances, or I can ha!e the Spirit of (ammon restin" on it, and I will ha!e many, many problems. So the issue of money or wealth or riches, is really an issue of what controls your heart. A person who has "ot a "reat heart with 'od, will be entrusted with a flow of resources to work throu"h their life. Their money is "ood. It's "ot the blessin" of 'od on it. A person who's under the control of (ammon will li!e with other problems on their life. )e need to try and identify what they are. #kay then, so we see then, that there is a spirit worldA there's a spirit called the Spirit of (ammon, which competes for your heart, your attention, your relationship with 'od. 3ow you notice here it says4 no one can ser!e two masters, so how does (ammon operate9 >ow does that spirit operate9 Is there any way I would know that (ammon has "ot a hold of life9 >ow could I know whether I'm under the influence of that spirit or not9 (y assumption is I'm not, but the problem is, that's the whole point of deception. +ou think you're one thin", and then it's somethin" else, so we want to ha!e a look at that. So the first thin" to realise is (ammon's intention is to control your heart, your lo!e and your loyalty. 3otice what it says hereA no one can ser!e two masters. >e'll hate one and lo!e the other. >e'll be loyal to one and despise the other % so here's the thin". (ammon desires % it's a spirit see9 So behind this, is a spirit. >ere's the bait, and here's the spirit, and the spirit wants to use the bait to "ain control o!er your life. So how does it do it9 )ell what it's tryin" to do, its intention, is to ha!e you lo!e and ser!e and be loyal to it, and that's always the way of idolatry. They wanted people to bow to them, to lo!e them, to ser!e them % but all idolatry ended up in bonda"e, fear, terrible problems. So (ammon is opposed to 'od. It's !ery clear in that scripture, you can't ser!e two masters. So (ammon is an antichrist spirit. It is an antichrist spirit. It's opposed to what 'od wants to do in your life, and the 7ible's !ery clear that in the last days, it will so control the world's financial system, that anyone who will not participate in that will actually be marked out and won't be able to trade, so it's a spirit. Secondly, it is lookin" for sla!es or ser!ants, so (ammon is a spirit that seeks to control your life. 3ow don't think there's any neutrality in it. It's pushin" on you all the time. It's talkin" on you all the time, so (ammon's the spirit that seeks. It's lookin" for a sla!e, and here's the third thin" % (ammon is lookin" to take the place of 'od in your life. See9 So it's lookin" for sla!es. It's lookin" to take 'od's place in your life. If it can succeed in takin" 'od's place in your heart, you will find yourself ser!in" (ammon, not 'odA holdin" (ammon, not the :ordA despisin" the :ord when it comes to the area of 'od's pro!ision for your finances, or your prosperity. So how does it operate9 It operates by deception. 3ow you'!e "ot to remember this. A spirit talks to you, so money talks to you. I'm usin" this and holdin" it up, because some will be thinkin" what am I "oin" to do with it9 I'!e already "i!en one away. I wonder if he'll "i!e the other one to me9 <:au"hter= That's what "oes on % don't tell me you're not thinkin" that. See that's why I'm holdin" it up wa!erin", because it'll talk to you. )hat will I do with it9 See, and it's the thin" you see. (oney talks. +ou know what it usually says9 There's not enou"h. It says4 you can't do that, because there's won't be enou"h for you, so one of the thin"s the Spirit of (ammon does when it talks to you, it reminds you that you don't ha!e enou"h. )hy9 7ecause it wants you to know you need a bit more. 7ut how much is a bit more9 0robably all your life you'll need a bit more. Cnd of the week, e!ery week for all my life I'!e needed a bit more it would seem. So you need a bit more % so it talks4 you need a bit more. +ou can't "i!e. If you "i!e, there won't be enou"h, so it always talks, it's always sayin" to you4 there's not enou"h. >ere's the second thin" that (ammon says. It says this often when you're in a shop % you need this. +ou need this. I need this. I need that. I think I looked on a 5ommodore car owned by someone in our church, and it had 'I need this' was on the back. <:au"hter= I looked at it and I thou"ht4 I E# need this, this is a really nice car* <:au"hter= @ery soon my mind was a"reein" with what the spirit was sayin" % I need this. :o!ely @G with a hopped up motor % I did need it too, you know9 3o, not really. It's &ust a spirit that talks. It talks % talks all the time. >ere's another way it'll talk to you. This talks to 5hristiansA If I had a bit more money, I'd really be able to "i!e to poor people and help them. If I had a bit more. So when I'!e "ot a bit more, I'll really be able to do a lot to help people % when I'!e "ot a bit more. See, now remember that the whole thin" behind "reed is, you always need a bit more, so that's what the spirit % so it talks. So what it does is, it promises you somethin", so here's (ammon, here it is here. So it's talkin" to you, and it's makin" promises. If you had enou"h, you'd be really free* If only I had enou"h, I'd be free. I need a bit more. It's true isn't it9 See9

If I had enou"h, if I had more money, I'd be independent. I'd be able to really do some thin"s then. I wouldn't ha!e to "o to that workplace. If I &ust won the lottery, man there's all these thin"s I could do if I won the lottery. I don't want to read about all the stories of people who won it, and their li!es become ruined. I don't want to read that at all. I &ust want to think constantly, if I had a bit more, I'd be really ri"ht. So it always is talkin", and it makes promises. It promises you'll ha!e freedom, financial freedom. +ou'll ha!e security. C!erythin" will be ri"ht. Demember Jesus talked about a man who had e!erythin", all the money. >e said4 oh, now I'm ri"ht. The "uy said well what are you "oin" to do toni"ht, you're souls re?uired of you9 3ow what9 )ho are you "oin" to lea!e it all to9 So money talks all the time, talks thin"s are not enou"h, it speaks to you, continually tries to dominate your thinkin", and if you'll a"ree with what it's sayin", you'll end up followin" its leadin". Isn't that true9 <:au"hs= See9 >ere's the other thin" too, you'll notice, is that people are more !aluable if they'!e "ot more money, so automatically we rank people, the one's who'!e "ot the wealth, the one's who'!e "ot no wealth. The 7ible says !ery clearly, when people come into the church, treat them all the same. It doesn't matter if they're wealthy, wealthy people, ordinary people, they're all people, and they ou"ht to be treated of same !alue. 7ut e!en in our society, people automatically, the one who's "ot more is more !aluable. To me he's "ot more worries and more problems you know, but people think he's more !alue % so here's the thin" is, people think and belie!e that money has power, but money has power. Eemons ha!e power. (oney doesn't ha!e power. (oney's &ust a piece of paper. It's the demon, the spirit that controls the thin", that has the power % like 'od has power. >e says4 I "i!e you % in Eeuteronomy % power to "et wealth, so 'od has power. Eemons ha!e power. (oney doesn't ha!e power % but if you belie!e it's "ot power, then you're "oin" to seek it, and you'll find yourself in a conflict, because it will seek your heart. It'll seek your loyalty. It'll seek your ser!ice, and you'll find as you yield to it, then it starts to affect you. 0eople don't realise that as we "i!e in to the !oice of money, the !oice of the Spirit of (ammon, we can find oursel!es lo!in" (ammon and hatin" 'od. +ou say4 how could that be9 I can be holdin" onto (ammon and despisin", or in other words, thinkin" little of 'od's ways of doin" life and mana"in" money, and I can be loyal to money and disloyal to 'od. 7ut it's actually not the money. It's not this. It's the spirit, that's the thin" that "ets you. It's the spirit, so would there be any e!idences in your life if the spirit had hold of you9 There'd be heaps of them, because strai"ht away Jesus said, @erse 2F4 don't be anxious. #ne of the first thin"s that happens around money is extreme anxiety and worry. If you're ha!in" extreme anxiety and worry around finances, you are under the influence of a spirit. 'od has "ot no anxiety and worries to "i!e you. >e's "ot peace. >e tells you what to do about anxiety and worry % redirect your attention in certain ways. >ere's another one. I would think that one of the bi""est e!idences to me, that a person's under the spirit of bonda"e to (ammon, is !ery simply this % they &ust can't "i!e. It &ust is impossible. See, if I ha!e some money in my hand here, here's the bi" ?uestion to ask4 do I ha!e the money, or does the money ha!e me9 )ho's holdin" who9 3ow you see, if I'm holdin" the money, it's !ery simple. I'm able to then open it, and let "o of it, and "i!e it someone, which I did before. If the money's holdin" me, I think ooh, won't be enou"h. I need a bit more. 5an you understand9 #ne of the "reatest ways that you can tell if money's "ot a hold of you, is the ability to "i!e, and we're "oin" to see % I want to speak on another session, I want to talk about the whole issue of "enerosity, and also what you do that brin"s the blessin" of 'od around your money. So anxiety and fear, inability to "i!e, a po!erty mentality % there's not enou"h % if you continually li!e with this thinkin" dominatin" you, that I ha!en't "ot enou"h, I ha!en't "ot enou"h, I ha!en't "ot enou"h, you are under bonda"e to a spirit, absolutely. Another e!idence would be impulse buyin". If you find you &ust can't stop buyin", you are under the influence of that spirit. It's "ot control o!er you. +ou're buyin" more than you can spend, more than you'!e "ot money. If you're in bonda"e to debt, so that you're payin" so much back in interest, you'!e "ot no ability to do anythin" for 'od, this is a spirit. +ou're in bonda"e to a spirit. )e need to find a way out of that. If you continually find that you're discontented with what you ha!e, and un"rateful for what you ha!e, I'm sorry, you're under a spirit, because 0aul said4 e!ery state I find myself in, whether it's abundance or lack, I'!e learned to be content, "rateful to 'od. So there are some !ery tan"ible e!idences if this thin" is impactin" our life. 3ow I do remember a particular season when 'od showed me clearly the extent to which I was in bonda"e to this spirit, and lookin" back now I'm !ery ashamed of it, but it was a horrendous bonda"e. I was brou"ht up of course in an en!ironment where security was e!erythin", so my father come back ha!in" been throu"h the Eepression, throu"h the war and comin" back, ha!in" to rebuild, so ha!in" security % a secure &ob, secure income, it was e!erythin".

So I was workin" for the "o!ernment, had a "o!ernment superannuation, then 'od spoke to me % I want you to let it all "o, and I want you to "o into ministry, and set up a 5hristian school. 3ow I heard >is !oice, responded to >is !oice. The fear that o!ertook my life, I can hardly describe it. It was &ust horrendous fear. I remember when I made the decision, put in my resi"nation, made the decision to let "o, and do what 'od wanted me to do, I was in tears, uncontrollable tears for almost three days, with fear of what was "oin" to happen to me, and my family. The spirit had such a "rip around me. I remember &ust weepin", and "oin" throu"h this dread, that I'd done somethin" terrible to my family and to our future. I had fears about how I'd pro!ide, because the &ob that I picked up in ministry, my wa"e went down by HF percent. I &ust "ot one ?uarter of what I'd been "ettin", and we had !ery little to "o on. So what happened was, this o!erwhelmin" fear that I'd not ha!e enou"h, and that I wouldn't be able to pro!ide for my family's education, their clothin", and when it came later on to weddin"s, I wouldn't be able to pro!ide for weddin"s. It &ust come around me, and alon" with it, tremendous shame at not ha!in" much. It wasn't helped by 5hristians, you know9 They actually were incredibly unkind, and some of the worst difficulties I had were with 5hristians, because 'od was teachin" me to break free of the control of money, and learn how to lean on >im and depend on >im, but I had to make a chan"e in lifestyle, and in heart attitude. I had to learn to let "o of all of the thin"s we had, and learn to be "rateful for the little thin"s we had, so we couldn't buy meat. )e would "o and buy, with some other "uys, six sheep. )e'd kill them all, and do them all, and then we would ha!e meat, and the rest of the time we didn't ha!e meat, but I was thankful we could do that. )e would come up here, and I'd brin" a trailer up, and we'd "o round into the orchards, and we'd pick up apples off the "round and put them into boxes, take them back and store them ri"ht throu"h winter. )e had apples all winter. There are many thin"s that Joy did, o!er the years, because we &ust didn't ha!e the incomeA but what 'od was dealin" with was the fear of not ha!in" enou"h, and teachin" us >e can and does pro!ide, and >e is to be trusted. 3ow the first time I e!er had money for a weddin" was when the first weddin" came, but prior to that ne!er had I any excess in my account, always I was on the ed"e all the way. 7ut 'od made a way, and we ne!er lacked. )e had holidays. I didn't ha!e a car for a while. )e &ust dro!e around on bikes, but we learnt % the bi""est thin" I learnt, was to be content to trust 'od, and to become "enerous with what we did ha!e. So it affected the way we bou"ht a house, the way we did e!erythin". C!erythin" was affected, learnin" to break out of the Spirit of (ammon, and the dread and anxiety and fear it would brin" around e!ery aspect of life and pro!ision. If we didn't ha!e much, we didn't ha!e much, we thanked 'od, and we celebrated with what we had. So we'll share with you some of the keys around that, but the bi" thin" is the spirit that was behind it, and to break free of that spirit was the ma&or first step, for me to "et into ministry, the bi""est obstacle of all, was the Spirit of (ammon. )hat will happen9 >ow about that9 >ow about that9 <:au"hs= )e'!e had to learn to de!elop a "enerous lifestyle, so you know, the fear of pro!ision and the embarrassmentA I remember one of the first times I went to my friends in )ellin"ton. )e had a reunion after bein" in uni!ersity, and of course they're all hi"hly skilled professionals. )e all came out of the same physics class, we'd all done "raduate work % we were all "raduates with honours or masters or doctorates, come to meet them for the first time, and they'!e all "ot e!erythin" that money can buy. )e &ust had a little humble car. )e were stru""lin", and you could tell from the way they looked, &ust the despisin" of where we were at, and it took me a bit to "et o!er the shame, to actually say4 no, 'od I thank you I'!e "ot six wonderful children, I ha!e a wonderful wife, and we are ser!in" you, and I'm content with that. I had to o!ercome the feelin"s. :ater on in life we'!e realised that all that "litters isn't "old. In fact actually they're all in bonda"e, and they'!e all had problems of e!ery kind e!er since, not the least bein" marria"es breakin" up and children that went off the rails, so I'!e learnt to be content. So it's a spirit. There is a spirit behind that. Eoes that mean that money is e!il9 3ot at all. :et's ha!e a look. )e'll finish with this @erse, 1 Timothy 8. Some of you may understand that terrible dread and fear. +ou may know what that's like, you know, and when the next bill comes, how are you "oin" to pay it, and the sickenin" feelin", when they open them up and there's all these unexpected expenses come, all of the fear of li!in" like that, <lau"hs= and howe!er, here it is. :et's ha!e a lookA in 1 Timothy, 5hapter 8 and @erse G. >a!in" food and clothin", let's be content with these % so contentment is a hu"e thin". Those who desire to be rich, or who ha!e "reed, fall into temptation and a snare, many foolish and harmful lusts, which drown men in destructi!e perdition, for the lo!e of money is the root of all kinds of e!il. 3otice this % the lo!e of money, not money itself. (oney is not e!il. (oney's &ust a form of exchan"e, that can either ha!e 'od on it or somethin" else on it, but it's the lo!e of it. It's that "reed, that desire, that lon"in" for it, that in the end "ets a hold of your life, and it says4 the lo!e of money, is the lo!e of a substitute for 'od. So when you lo!e, or you ha!e a substitute for 'od, that is the root of all many problems, and we don't realise &ust how much that "ets a hold of us. The lo!e of money is a root, see9 So if there's a lo!e of money, it means you ha!e a fear of bein" without

it, and it controls all the decisions you make. In other words, a decision comes up % I can't afford to do that. )e made a decision we would ne!er tell our kids we were poor, e!en thou"h we felt it at times. )e'd ne!er say we didn't ha!e enou"h. )e'd &ust find a way to do the best with what we had, so the lo!e of money is a root that controls people, so money has no power remember. It's the spirit behind you that makes you afraid, by tellin" you that you may not ha!e enou"h. That's the spirit. It's a spirit that creates fear, anxiety, dread, lust and "reed in the heart. So money has no power. 3otice it's the lo!e of it that creates it, and it says4 some ha!e strayed from the faith in "reed, and pierced themsel!es throu"h with many sorrows. So he's sayin" that some 5hristians, ha!in" started well, when 'od comes on their life and they be"in to prosper and "et blessed, ha!e a "reed for more, and in the end lose what they ha!e % they "o off the rails. They lose it. In other words, or put it in different lan"ua"e, when they were in need, they prayed and sou"ht 'od. )hen they were prosperous, they didn't need >im, and other thin"s took o!er, so I'll &ust finish with one last @erse here in :uke, 5hapter 18 and Jesus' teachin", @erse B. I say make to yourself friends of the unri"hteous (ammon, so when you fail, they may recei!e you into an e!erlastin" home. >e who is faithful in what is least, is faithful in muchA un&ust in least, un&ust in much. If you're not faithful in unri"hteous (ammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches9 3ow notice what Jesus said4 make friends with unri"hteous (ammon. 3ow that doesn't mean to say, use your money to buy people. It's not sayin" that at all, because the key word here is when you fail, or when you die, they may welcome you. So what it's sayin" is (ammon, or money or riches, 'od says4 use your wealth to win people for 5hrist, because >e says4 when you die, when you come into hea!en, you will ha!e people come to "reet you, who will say4 thank you that you sacrificed, and I was sa!ed because the "ospel went out, and they will "reet you with "ratitude, with tears of thankfulness and appreciation, that you used money you had, to win people into the kin"dom of 'od. This is why o!er the years as a church, we ha!e had such an emphasis on missions, "lobal missions. That's why we'!e poured money into 5ambodia, I"anda and 0hilippines and more recently of course into 0akistan, into the tele!ision station, and it may seem at times like it's &ust another pro&ect we'!e "ot to "i!e money to, but understand we're takin" money to win friends for eternity. 3ow maybe we "o throu"h lack, and there's not enou"h ?uite at the moment, but what you'!e "ot to remember is, there will be a day where you'll enter hea!en, and on that day, for us as a church, there are "oin" to be heaps of people who will say4 thank you 7ay 5ity, you were so "enerous. I'm ama$ed that for this ministry that Anwar has, so few churches are in!ol!ed with it. I'm sta""ered, that we are in!ol!ed with it. I can't understand how somethin" with "lobal reachin" potential will % we're probably the only church that's stood up and said4 we're "oin" to "o with you and make this happen. )e raised the money for the satellite T@, had missionaries "o o!er, we'!e poured money in, and of all the money that's been recei!ed in 3ew Jealand, about a half of it came from 7ay5ity* It's &ust extraordinary, so I want to thank you and honour you, because this is what's called makin" friends out of unri"hteous (ammon. This is about usin" wealth to brin" in the nations of the world when you fail. I need to close in now, so how can we break free of the Spirit of (ammon9 I think the first thin" is to reco"nise the si"ns that you're in bonda"e, and there can be many reasons. There can be acute lack when you're youn"er. It can be "oin" throu"h hardship, and you make inner resol!es, I'll ne!er, ne!er lack or I'll ne!er ha!e my family % you can do all this kind of stuff out of bitterness, hurts, pains and failuresA or out of &ust strai"ht bein" under the influence of the spirit, we come into bonda"e. 1irst thin" to do is &ust reco"nise I'm in that place of bonda"e. Second thin" is come to the :ord and repent. This is a spirit. It's not about the money. It's the spirit that "ets a "rip of your heart, so you can't access 'od's blessin" and fruitfulness on your li!es, as >e wants you to. I know there'll be some people here, and around the issue of money, there's immense bitterness, immense "rief and pain, all kinds of in&ustices you'!e faced, and difficulties and hardships, but you don't ha!e to be in bonda"e to that spirit. +ou can instead let 'od heal your heart, brin" you to a place of enli"htenment. 3umber one step is to acknowled"e where I'm at. 3umber two, I need to come to the :ord with a repentant heart, say4 'od, I'm sorry I put my trust in these thin"s. And the third thin" is, I need to honour 'od. )e won't "o into that today, but I need to actually make a decision that with my finances, I will "i!e 'od a place of honour. )e'll talk about that in another session. >ow can I honour 'od with my finances9 I'!e "ot to honour 'od with them, to brin" >is blessin" o!er them, because otherwise there's another spirit that says4 not enou"h. 1inally, I need to learn how to be a "ood steward of what 'od has "i!en me, so that's another aspect a"ain. So I need to reco"nise there's a problem, I need to come to the one who can help in repentance and faith, expectin" >im to help. I need to make some chan"es, so I start to honour 'od with my "i!in", with the first of e!erythin" I ha!e, and then finally I need to become a "reat steward of what 'od has "i!en me, so I actually then use well what 'od has "i!en me, and that in!ol!es a whole ran"e of thin"s in our life.

:et's &ust close our eyes ri"ht now. 1ather, I &ust thank you for your presence here today, helpin" us to deal with that thin", to deal with this issue of money. Thank you :ord. Thank you :ord. Thank you Jesus. I sense, you know, e!en as I talk people "et a bit tense and uncomfortable, and I'm tryin" to help us to &ust % I'm tryin" to unco!er the spirit that makes your life miserable, that brin"s you into bonda"e, and sabota"es your relationship with 'od. Demember no one can ser!e two masters. )e lo!e one, and hate the other. )e ser!e one, despise the otherA loyal to one, and disloyal to the other. It really does show up in % can I honour 'od with my finances9 Am I mana"in" them well, and do I ha!e a spirit of "enerosity around me9 >oly 'host, I &ust ask if there's any person here today, that's in the "rip of this spirit, that you would deeply con!ict them and help them today, that :ord as a church, we be"in to &ourney into a place of "reat increase, and "reat blessin" financially, "reat increase in our li!es, "reat increase in our finance, "reat increase in our resourcesA 1ather, a total breakin" o!er our li!es, of meanness and ti"htness and stin"iness, and of e!ery kind of bitterness and an"er and frustration around money. :ord, I ask that you would unlock the hearts of e!ery person here, and the finances of e!ery person, may e!er family here be blessed, e!ery business be blessed, e!ery person here be blessed in abundance in finances. Just while our eyes are closed, I wonder if 'od spoke to you today, and you realised to your shame or embarrassment or fear or concern, that actually this spirit has "ot a hook into my life. I'd lo!e you &ust to acknowled"e it today, &ust put your hand up and say4 'od, I know you're speakin" to me today. )ould you do that &ust ri"ht now9 'od bless, 'od bless, 'od bless, many hands "oin" up. I'm "lad you're so honest. )e can't sol!e it all today, but we will pray for you, and belie!e 'od for a breakthrou"h in that thin". 1or some of you there'll be some issues in your past you'll ha!e to address, but always it's fear, and your belief that this thin" is what I need to make my life safe. I wonder if there's anyone else here today, and you're not yet a 5hristian, but you'd lo!e to recei!e Jesus today, in!ite Jesus to become your sa!iour, to make a public declaration that I'm "oin" to be a follower of Jesus. Jesus said4 to e!eryone who recei!ed >im, >e "a!e power to become a child of 'od, e!eryone who belie!ed on >is name, trusted in >im. So today, is there any person here, ri"ht at that place where you'd like to recei!e Jesus 5hrist as your sa!iour9 I'd lo!e you &ust to raise your hand, let me know ri"ht now, is there any person here &ust ri"ht at that place and wantin" to recei!e Jesus9 1ather, I &ust thank you for each person that's responded here today. 1ather, I pray for the power of your spirit to come o!er their li!es, to brin" release in the mi"ht name of Jesus as we mo!e forward into blessin", enlar"ement, increase and "rowth in e!ery aspect of our life in Jesus' name. C!eryone said... Amen*

Summary Notes: Formatted

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1' (ntroduction ) *esus &eac!in+s , 1-.3/ parab0es are about finances1 ste$ards!ip2 134 #erses on do00ars as on fait! and sa0#ation' ) 5!y suc! emp!asis on finances6 7ey issue is your !eart' ) Mt'-821 9For $!ere your treasure is1 t!ere $i00 your !eart be a0so:' ) Mammon is mentioned by *esus four times , one of t!ese is a repeat' Mt'-824 9No man can ser#e t$o masters , you cannot ser#e God and Mammon:' ; '1-8<=13 9Ma e to yourse0#es friends of t!e Mammon of unri+!teousness:' ) >n0y t!in+ *esus said you cannot ser#e t!is and ser#e God a0so' 2' 5!at is t!e Spirit of Mammon6 (a) >ri+in ) Mammon ?N&312-? of @!a0dee >ri+in , Aramaic 5ord for ric!es ? $ea0t!1 +reed' 5!ate#er you put your trust in' ) @ame from t!e Syrian +od of ric!es $!ic! came from %aby0on' ) %aby0on ?>&/<4? confusion , God confused t!e 0an+ua+e of t!e peop0e' ) Peop0e of %aby0on bui0t t!eir o$n system to +et to !ea#en , pride1 arro+ance1 se0f=confidence1 independence' ) %aby0on = rooted in pride1 arro+ance and independence' (b) 7ey Aerse Mt'-824 9No man can ser#e t$o masters1 for eit!er !e $i00 !ate t!e one and 0o#e t!e ot!er1 or e0se !e $i00 !o0d to one and despise t!e ot!er' Bou cannot ser#e God and mammon:' ) Mammon is a spirit t!at rests on money and contro0s peop0e t!rou+! money' ) God is a spirit bein+ , a person $e are ca00ed to 0o#e and ser#e' Mammon is a spirit bein+ , a demonic spirit' ) Many modern #ideo +ames mammon is an e#i0 spirit bein+ e'+' Cun+eonDs and Cra+ons , Arc! de#i0 of !e00' ) Mammon ? $ea0t! (assets1 possessions1 earnin+s)' ? +reed (co#etin+1 desirin+ more1 ido0atry) ) @o0' 38E 9@o#etousness $!ic! is ido0atry:' ) >& , 5arfare and conf0ict $it! fa0se +ods %aa01 Ma0ec!1 As!terot!1 Mammon' A00 demonic spirits !ad some form of representation in t!e p!ysica0 $or0d' ) Money !as no po$er , t!e Spirit of Mammon !as po$er , demonic po$er' ) A00 money !as some spirit po$er on it , Spirit of Mammon (bonda+e) or Spirit of God (b0essin+)'

3' Fo$ Coes t!e Spirit of Mammon >perate6 ) Mt'-824 9No man can ser#e t$o mastersG: (a) MammonDs intention , contro0 your !eart and 0oya0ty ) Cemonic Spirits a00 $or to turn your !eart a$ay from God' ) Mammon desires to !a#e you 0o#e1 ser#e and be 0oya0 to !im' ) Mammon is opposed to God (antic!rist) ;oo in+ for ser#ants , s0a#es See in+ to ta e t!e p0ace of God in your 0ife (b) MammonDs operation = Ceception ) Mammon is a spirit , it ta0 s to you' (f you 0isten and be0ie#e you $i00 ser#e it' ) Bou $onDt !a#e enou+!G Bou need t!isG (f ( !ad more money ( cou0d !e0p more peop0e' ) Mammon promises $!at on0y God can +i#e' = security1 freedom1 respect1 purpose1 identity1 !appiness' ) Mammon entices you to p0ace +reat #a0ue (!onour) on money' Peop0e are more #a0uab0e if t!ey !a#e more $ea0t!' ) (f you be0ie#e money !as po$er , you $i00 $ant to ser#e itG ) Money , God is a 0o#e.!ate re0ations!ip' ) Many be0ie#ers donDt rea0ise it but t!ey despise God , b0ame !im $!en 0ose money.pro#ision' ) Mammon is a demon , can ne#er de0i#er $!at it promises or brin+ b0essin+' (c) H#idences of %onda+e to Mammon (nabi0ity to Gi#e (mpu0se buyin+ An4iety , fear o#er money %onda+e to debt Po#erty menta0ity , canDt afford it Greed , $ant more Ciscontent and in+ratitude (d) Persona0 &estimony ) %i++est stru++0es o#er ca00 to ser#e God in ministry , issue of money' ) ;oss of security , +o#ernment Iob1 superannuation' ) ;oss of income , reduction of $a+es by JEK' ) Fad to dea0 $it! fear1 s!ame and 0earn trust1 contentment1 +enerosity' ) Fear for future pro#ision , c!i0dren1 education1 c0ot!in+1 sc!oo0in+1 $eddin+s' 4' (s Money H#i06 ) 1 &im'-813 ;o#e of Money is t!e root of a00 e#i0 ? from fait!1 sorro$s' ) Fa#in+ somet!in+ in p0ace of God is root of a00 e#i0' ) ;o#e of Money is a root t!at +ro$s in t!e !eart 0i e bitterness and defi0es' ) ;o#e of Money ? fear to be $it!out money1 contro0s decisions and acti#ities' ) Money !as no po$er , Mammon does' ) ; '1-8<=14 9Fait!fu0 in 0east , fait!fu0 in muc!:' A< Ma e friends of mammon of unri+!teousness ? seems to imp0y use money to ma e friends' 7ey 5ord8 5!en you 9fai0: ? $!en you die' &a e unri+!teous money1 redeem it and use it to brin+ peop0e into t!e 7in+dom of God' 5!en you die , peop0e from ot!er nations meet you1 $e0come you1 t!an you' God is ab0e to turn money into sou0s , money is neutra0' ) &rue "ic!es ? peop0e E' Fo$ to %rea Free of t!e Spirit of Mammon6 (a) "epentance (b) Fonour God $it! t!e first portion' (c) %ecome a +ood ste$ard of your money ) Fait!fu0 in 0itt0e , God sees $!at you do $it! a 0itt0e and +i#es you more' ) Fait!fu0 in anot!er , first portion be0on+s to God eit!er eep it or stea0 it' ) &rue ric!es ? peop0e' S!ou0d be usin+ resources to ste$ard peop0e'

Put God First (2 of 4) Sun 1 Aug 2012 PM 6 7ack to Top


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I've seen too many rich people who had miserable lives to believe that money can really make your life happy. It $ust can't. %od can make you happy, money can't. &oney is $ust a piece of paper. It's some numbers in the bank. It cannot make your life happy. 'hat it does instead is it tends to create problems.

0raise the :ord. )ell we're on a theme at the moment on the whole area of "i!in", so let's "o for it aye. I want you to open your 7ible in (atthew, 5hapter 8, and we're &ust talkin" on money at the moment, and that's enou"h to "et anyone to free$e up, <lau"hs= but I'm not wantin" to take any money from anyone, I'm wantin" to help you. So today I want to share a messa"e called 0ut 'od 1irst, and I encoura"e you to open your heart to let 'od speak to you today. )e don't want any person to be under law. :aw puts you under a sense of duty, I ha!e to do this, I ha!e to do that, or whate!er. I want you to catch the heart and spirit of how you walk with 'od, and en&oy a blessed life. )e certainly ha!e a blessed life. :ast week we spoke on the spirit of (ammon, so let's &ust read the !erse in (atthew, 5hapter 8, @erse 2-. 3o one can ser!e two masters, no one. It's &ust impossible. +ou'!e "ot one or the other. Cither he will hate the one and lo!e the other, or he'll be loyal to one and despise the other. +ou cannot ser!e 'od and (ammon. 3o one can ser!e two masters, it's &ust impossible. +ou're either ser!in" one or ser!in" the otherA you lo!e one and hate the otherA you're loyal to one and despise the other. Jesus is layin" this out !ery clear. This is the parable of the 7lessed life, >e's speakin" in the Sermon on the (ount, and >e's explainin" the principles that lead to a life that's blessed, so >e be"ins to address an issue of finances. I don't want to open up e!ery part of it, because I want to "o somewhere else today, but let me &ust hi"hli"ht there, the first thin" to see is that there is a battle for your heart that "oes on e!ery day. There is a battle for our heart. C!ery day I ha!e a stru""le and a battle for the loyalty of my heart, and you do too. There's no one is immune to it. )e li!e in the world, the world's a fallen world. It's under the rule of principalities and powers, so pressure from our culture comes on all of us. 3o one is exempt. )e all face pressure, and so there's a battle for loyalty on your heart, and the 7ible's !ery clear. It contrasts the word 'od and (ammon, so it's talkin" 'od is a spirit, (ammon is also a spirit. It's a spiritual power, that works and operates behind money and wealth and riches in the world. It's a spirit bein", it's a spiritual power. As we're well aware, the thin"s in the world, whoe!er has a lot of money or has the accumulation, well he seems to ha!e tremendous power, but money itself we saw last week has no power. It's the spirit behind it that has the power, power to rule you, or power to rule your life, and cause you to ha!e many difficulties. So one of the thin"s we know from simple thin"s about deli!erance, is that if you are under the influence of a spirit, it will be talkin" to you continually, so if you're under the influence of the spirit of (ammon, it will talk to you. 3ow it doesn't sort of turn up and say4 I'm an e!il demon, and I'm talkin" to you. It's &ust you ha!e your mind "ets full of thou"hts, and if you listen to those thou"hts, they can become so familiar and so natural to you, that they seem ?uite reasonable, but if a person is under the influence of the spirit of (ammon, then there'll be a number of thin"s. 1irst it will speak to you. It will speak to you4 there's not enou"h, I need a bit more. It'll always be talkin" to you, and it'll be talkin" about money, and the concern about moneyA oh, they're &ust after my money, or people want my money, or I ha!en't "ot enou"h money. It'll promise you, if you &ust "ot a little bit more, you'll be really secure. If you &ust "ot set up, you'd be ri"ht, if you had enou"h money, then people would really notice you. So it talks all the time, and it makes promises it ne!er deli!ers on. I'!e seen too many rich people, who had miserable li!es, to belie!e that money can really make your life happy. It &ust can't. 'od can make you happy, money can't.

(oney is &ust a piece of paper. It's some numbers in the bank. It cannot make your life happy. )hat it does instead is, it tends to create problems. I remember "oin" to a man in Taiwan, and he was one of the wealthiest men I'!e e!er met in my life % I ne!er asked the amount, but he owned banks, <lau"hs= and railroads, <lau"hs= and he was extremely wealthy. >e had "uards e!erywhere he went. >e couldn't e!en come to church, because it's &ust such a drama him comin" to church with armed "uards around him all the time. >e was in dan"er of kidnappin", and his family were in dan"er of kidnappin", so they used to li!e with security, so the first thin" I saw when I "o in the door is an armed "uard, who checks me out before I can "o. I passed three "uys with "uns before I "ot to the "uy, then we sat and talked and e!erythin" around him was !ery nice. This "uy has now become a 5hristian, but he's !ery, !ery youn" in his faith. So we "ot talkin" about his life, and he said to me4 well, a lot of my friends don't see the need to "o to church, because they see church is for needy people. I said to him4 well that's !ery true. I said people come, because they reco"nise their need for Jesus 5hrist, and they "ather to be built, and to be express >is life. I said4 you actually ha!e a need you're not aware of. >e said4 what's that9 >e was ?uite surprised. I said4 well I look around, and I see all the wealth you ha!e, and no one in their lifetime could spend it all, so here's the need. The number one need you ha!e is, you ha!e no purpose for your life, and so therefore money controls your life. I said4 I'm pickin" that most ni"hts you won't sleep !ery well, and you'll ha!e a lot of anxiety and fear, because you'll be fearful about losin" all you'!e "ot, and not only that, you won't trust people around you, because you'll ne!er know whether they're interested in you, or your money. >e was shocked, and he said4 exactly true, I continually ha!e trouble sleepin". Then I had a word of knowled"e for his wife, and I looked at her and the :ord dropped a !ision into me. I saw a !ision of this beautiful bird, like one of these parakeets, beautiful colours and whate!er, but inside a ca"e. I said4 you're a beautiful person, but you're trapped in a ca"e, and she be"an to break down and weep, and in front of her astonished husband, she broke down and wept. She said4 I hate all of this stuff, it controls my life. >ow about that9 >ow about that, and you thou"ht they were all happy9 <:au"hs= It was ?uite a shock. >e was shocked, so she "ot deli!ered and he "ot prayed for, he "ot deli!ered. :ast time I saw there was a complete difference in how they were handlin" themsel!es. So money definitely has a spirit, so money carries a spirit with it, and if the spirit of (ammon is pushin" a"ainst you, you'll feel fear and anxiety o!er money. 3otice strai"ht away after this, that Jesus talks about not worryin", so in the context of talkin" about money, >e then talks about worry, and anxiety, and fear. If anythin" creates anxiety and fear and dread in people, it's the issue of finances, because we don't mana"e well, we don't know how to "et them so that they're blessed finances. So we see there finally, the thin" about money or (ammon, sorry, (ammon is a spirit that desires to make you a sla!e, and to take the place of 'od in your life. +ou ha!e to understand, you're dealin" with spiritual entities, and you're dealin" with heart issues, so it's not &ust a matter about "i!in", or doin" this or doin" that. It is a battle for your heart, so you can be free % 'od wants you to be free from fear, free from dread and anxiety around the money area, and to li!e in a place of blessin", and a place of &oy. So associated spirits that "o alon" with the spirit of (ammon, is the spirit of prideA pride says4 I'!e "ot it all myself. I'!e worked hard, I deser!e it % "i!es no honour to 'od. 0ride also says4 I paid this much for it, and kind of flakes what e!erythin"'s worthA and a spirit of po!erty, spirit of po!erty, you can ha!e it whether you're rich or poor, but a spirit of po!erty will keep tellin" you4 there's not enou"h, there's not enou"h, there's not enou"h. A spirit of po!erty around your life, you can't e!en en&oy what you do ha!e, so if someone says4 well how much did you pay for that9 #h, nothin" much, I &ust "ot it down the road at this price, and you can't e!en &ust celebrate actually 'od is "enerous, and "i!es us all thin"s to richly en&oy. >ow about that9 'od "i!es us all thin"s, richly, to en&oy, so whate!er you'!e "ot, en&oy it* 7ut you can't en&oy it when you're under the power of a spirit. )e saw last week that money was not e!il, it's actually the lo!e and the spirit that "ets behind it. 3ow let's &ust flow down throu"h here. Jesus talks about not bein" worriedA I say to you4 do not worry. :ook, @erse 28A :ook at the birds of the air, they neither sow nor reap, nor "ather into barns, yet your hea!enly 1ather feeds them. Aren't you more !alue than them9 So let's pick that thou"ht up. In that we see, that 'od doesn't re?uire sowin" and reapin" to be "ood to you. (any 5hristians think, if I &ust "i!e this to 'od, then >e'll ha!e to do this to me. :isten the deal % it doesn't work like that in the kin"dom of 'od % or, if I sow then I'm certain to reap, 'od will ha!e to make sure I "et somethin" back. :isten, 'od doesn't operate that way. 'od is "enerous. >e "i!es to the birds, and they don't sow at all. 'od is &ust "enerous. This is hard for us to "et a hold of, 'od is extra!a"antly "enerous. >e is not mean. >e does not withhold. It's the de!il who withholds. The de!il is the thief. It's the de!il who's the robber. It's the de!il who's the poor one. 'od is extra!a"antly "enerous, in e!ery aspect, it's >is nature to be extra!a"ant and "enerous. So >e points it outA don't be anxious. 'od is so "enerous to the birds, and you're much more !alue than a bird, see9 Then he "oes on, and he said % we'll "o down % he said4 don't worry, @erse /1. Eon't worry, sayin" what will we eat9 )hat are we "oin" to drink9 )hat do we wear9 After these, all the 'entiles seek, and your 1ather knows you need

these thin"s, so he says4 don't "et anxious about how you're "oin" to meet daily li!in" re?uirements. 'od knows what you need. >e said the world worries like that. If you're a belie!er, 'od has a blessed life, where you don't li!e in anxiety and dread and fear about your pro!ision. 'od has become your pro!ider. +ou're released from the burden of ha!in" to make it all happen, and to work under this dreaded spirit, this hea!y task master, that dri!es and hurts people. )e're called to li!e under the influence of the spirit of 'od, under the blessin" of 'od, in our financial and material area of our life. So notice then it says4 but, it says what you should do. It says don't be anxious, so it talks about first, here's the conflict, somethin" is competin" for your heartA two, don't "et anxious, because if you're anxious, you're not in the place of freedomA and then three, it says here's what you do do % put the :ord first. 3othin" could be clearer. Seek first the kin"dom of 'od, or seek 'od's rule or order around your life and e!ery aspect of it, and seek the way to li!e, or a ri"ht way before 'od to li!e, he said4 then e!erythin" else will add to you. 3ow that's an extraordinary promise. #f course it's not one that so many people see happen, because it re?uires of us, prioritisin" 'od in our heart. It says seek first, not seek second, or third, or add on a bit of 'od. It's not add on 'od, I'll run my life, and add 'od on. That's not what brin"s addin" into your life. The addin" comes into your life % addin" means 'od's power or 'od's blessin" comes on your life, and around your life, and thin"s start to attract into you, that before you had to work and stress and sweat to "et. See, so it says4 seek first the kin"dom of 'od, so I want to look at this area of puttin" 'od first, "i!in" 'od the first place, "i!in" 'od the first place, not the second or third, or a little add on. :et's ha!e a look now, I want to &ust touch on some scriptures here, and open up some thin"s. In Cxodus 5hapter 1/, and you'll see this puttin" 'od first, or this area of firsA, first fruitA or first in your life % you'll see this "oes ri"ht throu"h the 7ible. So what do I need to do with my money9 )ell I need to do two thin"s at leastA number one, I need to "i!e 'od the firstA and two, I need to steward or mana"e the rest, and mismana"ement is no substitute. +ou can't &ust expect 'od to meet e!erythin", if you won't mana"e your part of it properly. So notice here, the :ord spoke to (oses sayin"4 consecrate to (e all the firstborn, whate!er opens the womb amon" the children of Israel, both man and beast, it is (ine. 5onsecrate or set apart the firstborn. :ook at it in @erse 12A +ou shall set apart to the :ord all that opens the womb, e!ery firstborn that comes from e!ery animal which you ha!e, males shall be the :ord's. C!ery firstborn of a donkey, you shall redeem with a lamb. If you don't redeem it, then you'll break its neck, and it'll be sacrificed. The firstborn of your men amon" your sons you shall redeem, see9 So it shall be, when you son asks you in the time to come, sayin" what is this9 #r in other words, why are you mana"in" your money like this9 )hy are you mana"in" your resources like this9 +ou'll say4 it's because by stren"th of hand, the :ord brou"ht us out of C"ypt, and out of bonda"e. So notice e!en here, at this first introduction of the law of first fruits, or the first, "i!in" the first to 'od, it says !ery clearly two thin"sA number one, that we should "i!e the first portion to 'odA and number two, it comes because we're "rateful for what >e has done. This is not a matter of law, or obli"ation, or duty. This is an issue of "ratitude, so when your children ask you4 why is it you mana"e your finances by "i!in" the first portion to the :ord, you say4 because 'od deli!ered me out of bonda"e. I used to li!e in the world in anxiety and debt and dread, I used to li!e co!etin", I used to li!e in bonda"e and fear. I had all kinds of thin"s "oin" on, my money was in a mess, and now 'od has deli!ered me out of all of that bonda"e. 3ow I'm in a place of blessin", and here's why I'm in a blessin"4 I put the :ord first. See this is a principle for how families should "o!ern their finances, so notice this. It said, you ha!e to set apart the first born of the womb. #kay, so suppose I'!e "ot two sheep, a ram and a sheep, and so here we are, I'!e "ot them, finally "ot them, and now I ha!e the first lamb. 3ow, this is the way we would think4 I will wait until I ha!e 1 lambs, and I'll "i!e one to the :ordA but what the 7ible says is4 no, the !ery first one, you "i!e that to the :ord. 3ow here's the ?uestion that immediately would come if you're under the power of (ammon. )hat if the ewe fails to brin" forth any more lambs9 )hat if it dama"es itself when it has that first born, and can't produce any more lambs9 )here will I be then9 I know what I need to do, I'll keep this one, and I'll wait until I'!e "ot 1 , and I'll "i!e the tenth one to the :ord. That is not "i!in" the first, that is not "i!in" the first to the :ord. So you notice, here an act of faith is re?uired. The act of faith is thisA I will "i!e the first and I expect all the rest to be really blessed, and you'll find consistently, whene!er it talks about "i!in" the first to the :ord, the purpose of it is to redeem all the rest, so that the rest is blessed. The hard thin" is to think that way, because we don't tend to think that way at all. )e think well I'll wait until I'!e "ot a few more, then I'll do it. 7ut this is the principle, when we offer the first to 'od, it puts all the rest under blessin". That's it in a nutshell, so when you offer the first to 'od, all the rest of what you ha!e is now blessed, and I'll show you some scriptures related to that, but if you would &ust take away this one thou"ht4 if I "i!e my first to 'od, then the rest is blessed. There's a blessin" on it. )hat does that mean9 It means I don't suffer the de!ourin", by lots of thin"s

"oin" wron", that others suffer. I ha!e opportunities come that others don't ha!e. It's somehow 'od makes the nine% tenths "o further than the ten%tenths. 3ow when you're li!in" in bonda"e, if you can barely makin" it on ten%tenths, then surely in your mind you'll think nine%tenths I'm "oin" to fall o!er. )hat >e's sayin" here is this. >e said4 you ha!e to act in faith. +our money is under the power of a spirit. 0ut it in 'od's hands % okay, here it is, I "i!e it to +ou 'od. >e says no, no, no, no, no. I only re?uire the first portion, you "i!e me the first portion. All the rest is under blessin". This principle follows e!erywhere. :et's &ust look at a few places. In Domans, 5hapter F, @erse GA )hile we're yet sinners, 5hrist died for us. 'od in >is "enerosity, "a!e >is first born. Jesus 5hrist was called the lamb of 'od, the spotless lamb of 'od. >e was called the first born, from the dead, so Jesus 5hrist % 'od actually modelled it. 'od "a!e, or >e "a!e of >is Son. >e "a!e "enerously and extra!a"antly, and the result is % now "et this, see % >e "a!e >is Son, who was holy and spotless and clean % see9 >is Son, Jesus came to the earth, born of a human body. 3ow here's the deal. )e are unclean in sin, but 'od's offerin" of >is first born, makes all of us clean, so in other words the blessin" comes on all of humanity because the first is "i!en. Jesus ne!er had >is life taken from >im, >e "a!e >is life. )hat you'll find is, there's no duty or takin" or anythin" ri"ht throu"h the 7ible when it comes around this area of this first portion to 'od. It's always an issue of faith, of trustin" that 'od's principles will work. +ou see it from one end to the other. +ou notice e!en in the 'arden of Cden, 'od "a!e them plenty, but >e said there's one belon"s to (e. +ou can't touch that one, touch that one and you die. The first is always somethin" 'od says belon"s to >im, and so I don't ha!e to "i!e >im e!erythin" to pro!e that >e's :ord of my life. )hat I need to do is to show >e's my :ord, by actually takin" the first portion and "i!in" it to >im. >e may ask me to "i!e at !arious times, and >e has done in all kinds of ways, but if the first is in >is hands, then the rest is blessed. The bi" deal is to put the first in >is hands. See, ha!e a look in :e!iticus, 5hapter 2H. +ou're all !ery happy today, e!eryone happy9 There's somethin", a pressure comes around, e!ery time we try and talk about this area. <:au"hs= >ere it is, @erse / A All the tithe of the land, all, all the tithe of the land, whether the seed of the land or the fruit of the tree, is the :ord's. It's holy to the :ord. So notice what 'od's sayin", and >e's sayin" to people that >e's pro!ided for abundantly, >e's "i!en them all this wealth, and >e's sayin" % now here it is % the first portion or the tithe belon"s to (e. It belon"s to 'od. 3ow here's an interestin" thin". If my finance resources and life is under 'od, then I show it by "i!in" the tenth. )hen I "i!e >im the tenth, the rest is under the blessin". If I withhold the tenth, I'm withholdin" what belon"s to 'od. See I used to think when I started off "i!in" a tithe, and started to "i!e and tithe, I thou"ht I was doin" a bi" deal. It was a hu"e deal, because I was under a spirit of bonda"e. After I "a!e for a while, I realised actually, this is no bi" deal at all. I can't out "i!e 'od. >ow can I actually possibly show >im that I really honour >im and lo!e >im and !alue >im9 )ell this is the way, I &ust "i!e >im a portion of what I ha!e, and we ha!e done that faithfully since we first heard about this. So notice this, that the first portion determines the rest. >a!e a look at this in Domans 11 and @erse 18. The first, the nature of the first portion, determines the rest, so here it is, Domans 11, @erse 18 it says this. If the first is holy, then the lump is holy. If the root is holy, so are all the branches. 3ow notice what it's sayin"A if the first fruit is holy, then the root is holy, or the rest of it is holy. 3ow we &ust saw that 'od has spoken to >is people. >e said out of all the tithe, of all the trees % a"ricultural land % >e said of all the tithe, the tithe belon"s to the :ord, and it's holy. I'm "oin" to show you somethin". +our money can be holy or cursed, and it all depends on the place you "i!e 'od in your money, simple. So notice >e said4 the tithe is holy to the :ord. In other words, it is sanctified. )e were sin"in" that this mornin", holy to the :ord see9 So the tithe is holy to the :ord, and the 7ible says4 if the first fruit is holy, all the rest is holy, all the rest is blessed, so the principle is always the same. )hen you "i!e your first to the :ord, the rest is always blessed. The blessin" of 'od comes upon it, so let's ha!e a look at a couple of thin"s related to it. So the first portion determines the nature of the rest, now let's "o and ha!e a look in Joshua, 5hapter 8. In Joshua 5hapter 8, they went in to take the 0romised :and, and we as belie!ers would think of the 0romised :and as bein" the promises of 'od, the blessin"s of 'od. The 0romised :and was a land of promise, it was a land that came by promise, not by workin" hard. They had their part in it. 3ow notice what 'od says when they "o in there, and the first city they come to is Jericho. )hen they come to Jericho, 'od says an interestin" thin". >e says about Jericho, >e says @erse 1G of 5hapter 8 in Joshua4 by all means abstain from the accursed thin"s, lest you become accursed when you take of the accursed thin"s, and make the camp of Israel a curse and trouble it. All the sil!er, "old and bron$e, !essels of bron$e and iron are consecrated to the :ord, or de!oted to the :ord. They will come into the treasury of the :ord. 3ow notice you see two words there4 de!oted to 'odA and cursed. +ou can't ha!e them both % one or the other, so >e's sayin"4 this city Jericho, >e said4 I want you to touch none of it. >e said4 I want you to con?uer the city, and

when you'!e con?uered the city, whate!er wealth you find there, it comes into the house of the :ord. It is the :ord's, it is the first fruit, it's the first portion. 3ow you can understand it's the same deal with the sheep. I'!e "ot all these battles I'm "oin" to ha!e to fi"ht to con?uer all these cities, and here's the first city, and now I start to see "old and sil!er. 3ow maybe we're not "oin" to win so much in the other cities. +ou know, there's a lot in this first city. (aybe we could &ust wait until we'!e con?uered three or four cities, and then we'll take our portion and "i!e it to the :ord then. )e'll wait and sort of see how this "oes. 3o, >e re?uired them by faith. >e said4 the first belon"s to (e, so >e re?uired them by faith to take what was the first and "i!e it to >im, and belie!e that if they did that, the rest would all be blessed. So that first thin", the first portion, the tithe or whate!er it is that belon"s to the :ord, it either belon"s to the :ord and it's de!oted, or it's stolen from the :ord and it's a curse, so notice what happens here in Joshua, 5hapter H. 3ow the children of Israel committed a trespass concernin" the accursed thin"s, or de!oted thin"s, for Achan took of the de!oted thin"s, or the accursed thin"s, and the an"er of the :ord burned a"ainst the children of Israel. So you notice now, before he took it, it was de!oted to the :ord. After he took it, it was a cursed ob&ect. 3ow this is extraordinary. That means, I can ha!e an ob&ect % take this bottle here. So 'od says4 you "i!e me the bottle, the first thin", and there's lots of water comin" after this. I look at it thinkin" I'm pretty thirsty, I wouldn't mind that you know9 I'!e been fi"htin" all these battles, I'!e "ot to fi"ht this war, and here's all this treasure. I wouldn't mind that, you know9 It'd be ?uite "ood for me to ha!e that. So here it isA I'!e "ot to decide what to do with it. The choice is always mine, so the choice is4 either I "i!e it to 'od, in which case it's de!otedA or I keep it, in which case it's cursed. Isn't that interestin"9 That's what >e's sayin". >e said4 you "i!e it to (e, it's de!oted and blessin"s on the restA you hold it back, it's cursed, and now e!erythin" else is cursed. So the next thin" that happened was, they had no power to stand in the battle. They were defeated by an inferior army at their next battle, and 'od's tryin" to teach us that behind the natural, there is a spiritual power. It wasn't that the army was any less, or they had no less weapons, or anythin" like that. The problem was they lacked power. )hen Achan held back the thin" that was de!oted to 'od, and kept it for himself, he and e!eryone around him no lon"er had power to o!ercome. The power to o!ercome depended on the de!oted thin" belon"in" to the :ord. 3ow the same thin" with our finances and our resources. If we keep back from 'od what is owin" to >im, it turns from bein" de!oted to >im to bein" a curse for us, or puttin" it a simple way, !ery simple like this4 when I "i!e my first portion to the :ord, it ensures blessin" on the rest. If I hold it back, I'm under the power of (ammon. 3ow why did this "uy "o for it9 >a!e a look. The 7ible e!en makes it clear why he took it. +ou "o around in Joshua 5hapter H, and "o down there to @erse % they finally found him out % in @erse 2 , he said4 I ha!e sinned a"ainst the :ord 'od of Israel, and this is what I did4 when I saw amon" the spoils a beautiful 7abylonian "arment, two hundred shekels of sil!er and a wed"e of "old wei"hin" fifty shekels % here it is % I co!eted them, and took them, and I hid them. The 7ible says in the 3ew Testament, that co!etin" is idolatry. So what happened is this. >e went in, he fou"ht the battle. )hen he fou"ht the battle and they con?uered the city, he come into a place where there's these "arments in sil!er and "old. >e looked at it % now the instructions were clear, this belon"s to the :ord. 'i!e it to the :ord. 7ut he looked at it and thou"ht ooh man, I could do with these, this is "ood. >e kept it for himself. >e co!eted what belon"ed to 'od, and so the sin of co!etin" or "reed indicates he was under the power of the spirit of (ammon. (ammon is a spirit that mo!es in "reed, you &ust can't ha!e enou"h % so a problem came. So notice this4 before he took it, it's de!otedA after he took, it's cursed. 7efore, 1 per cent of it % here's the deal. This is how it seems to me to work. I can either ha!e 1 per cent of e!erythin" I ha!e, and it's all under a cursin" and under the power of the spirit of (ammonA or I can ha!e B per cent of what I ha!e, and it's blessed. I think, and I ha!e found from years of experience, that B per cent with blessin" is better than the 1 per cent with trouble. It's true, and I know at times it has been !ery difficult to uphold that commitment, but it was always about an issue of the heart. )ill I put 'od first, and trust >im9 3ow I want to identify some core heart issues behind this. 3ow there's probably more than this, but I want to &ust pick up four !ery simple heart issues, that lie behind "i!in" the first portion to the :ord, and they're ?uite simple. Demember Jesus said4 the battle is one for your heart, there's a spirit that is seekin" to con?uer your heart, so here they are. 3umber one, the first one is the principle of honour. The word in the 7ible, the word honour means to !alue, to place a wei"ht on somethin", so will I honour 'od, and place !alue on >is willin"ness and ability to bless me9 )hat !alue will I put on that9 So will I honour 'od and put >im first in my finances9 )hat !alue do I place on 'od, in the issue of mana"in" money9 That's what it boils down to, and !ery similar in 0ro!erbs /, @erse B. It says4 honour the :ord with all your substance, and with the first fruits of all your increase. 3ow the way we ha!e done it is, whate!er we ha!e done, we'!e always considered 'od's best, and how we would best ad!ance >is kin"domA so when we come to buy

a house, it was ne!er about what would look "ood, or be nice, or in the ri"ht area. It was always what would help ad!ance the kin"dom of 'od9 )hat kind of house do we need to ha!e that would enable us to ha!e people in and out, and show hospitality9 It was always "oin" to be a factor. It was ne!er &ust about whether we could ha!e a family. It was always about what 'od had for us. )e'!e always tried to put >im first around all these different kinds of areas, and 'od's kept us from all kinds of difficulties, and brou"ht us into all kinds of blessin" around this, that we could ne!er ha!e ima"ined. I can't ima"ine how % I don't e!en understand how it happens, that we ha!e what we ha!e now. I don't understand. It can only be understood by blessin". There's no tan"ible or !isible si"n that we'!e been able to pro"ress as we ha!e. It is the blessin" of 'od that's done it, and so you know, so we're blessed. )e're blessed* I can't say I'm that smart on all this issue. There's a second area, the area of faith, will I trust 'od, that >e is a "enerous pro!ider9 )ill I trust >im, >e will "enerously pro!ide for my life9 Think about that. It's an issue of faith. )ill I trust >im, by "i!in" my first portion to >im9 3ow think about this. >ow old was Abraham, when Abraham had his first son9 About 1 wasn't he9 >is wife was probably in her B s, okay9 3ow remember he "ot impatient waitin" for that first son, and then finally he "ot the son % he "ot a mess up with Ishmael, and then he's still "ot to wait for the promise. So finally the promise comes, he's "ot the first son. 3ow you'!e "ot to understand, if you're 1 , and your wife is nearly 1 , "ettin" any son is a miracle. It is. 3ow % and this is the son of promise, this is the son he lo!ed. 3ow in 'enesis 22, 'od says4 take this son that you lo!e, and offer him up to (e. 3o* >ow could this be9 She's so old. )hat if she doesn't ha!e any more children9 5an you understand, that the same thin" we talked about with the sheep, and with Joshua % it's exactly the same deal. Is she able to ha!e any more9 It's not like hey 'od, look, I'll tell you what. 5an we put this deal off, wait until I'!e "ot a few more in the family, and then we'll brin" number 1 , and "i!e number 1 to you9 3o, it was an issue, do you trust (e, that the promise stands, re"ardless of whether Isaac is here or not9 >e had the promise before he had Isaac, and when he offered up Isaac, he knew he still had the promise. 'od cannot lie. This is why he's called a man of faith, because he trusted 'od o!er this issue. If he offered 'od his first and his best that he lo!ed, then 'od would somehow restore him, raise him up, but 'od would fulfil the promise that he'd be a father of nations. It's an issue of faith, and that's why he's called the father of faith, because he made what's almost an ultimate sacrifice, and in doin" so showed us &ust the "reat lo!e that 'od had. >ere's the third area4 "ratitude, "ratitude, "ratitude. So one is honour, placin" !alue on 'odA second is faith, trustin" that >e can actually pro!ide better than I can pro!ide for myself, and if I put >im first, I can then expect the blessin"s on e!erythin" that I do. The third thin" is "ratitude, am I "rateful to 'od for all >e's "i!en me9 >ow "rateful am I9 3ow think about this. Abraham, in 'enesis 1-, remember Abraham had been blessed and become !ery wealthy, and he came after a "reat battle, where he rescued his nephew :ot, he came and he met with (elchi$edek, the hi"h priest. The 7ible says he "a!e him a tithe of e!erythin". 3ow I don't know how many % because most of you, you'd know that !erse there % "a!e him a tithe. 3ow he wasn't re?uired to. >e "a!e it as an issue of "ratitude. 3ow "et this4 immediately the Kin" of Sodom came to him. >e said listen, you can ha!e all the "oods, but "i!e me the people, and he said this. >e said4 I will not take anythin" of yours, lest you say you "ot me rich. I want my total blessin" and source to be in the :ord. 3ow it's not coincidence, that at the point where he "a!e this offerin" to the :ord, there was a choice between ne"otiatin" with the Kin" of Sodom or the spirit of (ammon, or dealin" with (elchi$edek, which is a type or a picture of Jesus 5hrist. )ill I put 'od first, or will I put (ammon first9 >e said4 no way, I'll enter no deals with you. I want to put 'od first. >e will be the source of my supply. So a"ain, notice that the moti!ation is one of "ratitude. 3ow how much would you pay to "et your soul out of hell9 0ut it simply % what would you put on the line, if you had a !ision of hell, and you saw what it would in!ol!e for eternity9 )hat would you be willin" to "i!e up, in order to 7I+ freedom from that9 The answer is, you'd put e!erythin" on the line. +ou'd put e!erythin" on the line, howe!er you don't need to. )e only need to put one%tenth. 3ow we're not buyin" anythin". )e're actually sayin"4 'od, it was too expensi!e to sa!e me. +ou ha!e sa!ed me. +ou ha!e "i!en +our Son to sa!e me. The least I can do is acknowled"e with "ratitude your "enerosity, and honour you and trust you, and "i!e to you. It's !ery, !ery simple isn't it9 +ou find e!en in the 3ew Testament, there's the last one here, it has to be of a willin" mind, a willin" mind, so the last thin" is, will you "i!e out of a willin" heart, or will you "i!e out of duty and obli"ation, I ha!e to do this9 )e ha!e ne!er in this church, e!er said4 you ha!e to tithe. I'!e always a!oided sayin" anythin" like that. 3ow do I belie!e that we should tithe9 #f course I do. )e do, and we do it dili"ently and re"ularly, and we "i!e, and ha!e offerin"s, and are "rateful for all kinds of thin"s, oursel!es personally. 7ut the thin" is, I don't want anyone to come under the law. It has to be of a willin" heart. )hen they came to offer for the buildin" of the tabernacle, the first ?uestion 'od says4 e!ery person who's of a willin" heart. 0aul is writin" at the 5orinthian 5hurch in 2 5orinthians G, he says4 it's re?uired first of all, a willin" heart, so it's

not a compulsion, no arm%bendin", no twistin", no manipulation, no pressure, it's a willin" heart. A willin" heart comes because you ha!e re!elation that 'od is "ood, and "enerous, and I want to honour >im, I'm so "rateful to >im. )hen I do that, and "i!e >im that, it's now an issue of honour and faith, and this is what brin"s the blessin" on the rest. 3ow if I'm "oin" to "i!e 'od the first, it needs to be the first, it comes ri"ht off the top, and it's not at the end when e!erythin" else is paid, it's the first. )hen Jesus spoke to the 0harisees in (atthew 2/42/, he said to them4 +ou will tithe, and you tithe off this and this and this. >e said these thin"s you ou"ht to ha!e done, but the wei"htier or bi""er matter, and bi""er issues of &ustice and mercy and faith, you'!e for"otten about those alto"ether. +ou "ot le"alistic about tithin" e!ery carrot. #ne carrot in 1 "oes to 'od. +ou'!e "ot into all that kind of le"alism, and he said4 what you'!e missed is the bi""er issues of &ustice, treatin" people ri"htly, mercy, showin" people kindness and faith, trustin" 'od. Those are the bi""ies. Those are the bi" issues. So I need to make a decision then what I'm "oin" to do. I do not want to li!e under pressure, stress and bonda"e. I must make a decision to brin" my finances out of this place of pressure under the spirit world, and into a place of an open hea!en with blessin", and 'od says that !ery clearly in (alachi. >e says4 why don't you &ust check me out on this one9 See that I want to open up the windows of hea!en, brin" what you ha!e into the storehouse. So I want to encoura"e us in this. 'o throu"h the scriptures yourself, search the scriptures yourself, and then be"in to ask yourself, I wonder what is happenin" in my financial world. Demember I'm re?uired first to honour 'od with the first part, then I ha!e to mana"e the rest, and we're not dealin" with how to mana"e the rest at the moment. )e're &ust lookin" at brin"in" the whole financial area under 'od, and the first part of it is to take my first portion, and "i!e it to the :ord, to take my tenth, and to take it off the top, and "i!e it into the house of 'od. That's where it "oes. 3ow people ha!e "ot all kinds of ideas, and they do all sorts of thin"s, but it's not what the 7ible says. :isten, the tithe or the first fruit is the only part that's "ot the power to redeem the rest. I need to make sure I treat it as a holy thin", and I need to put it where 'od says to put it. Then I can belie!e consistently for the best. So I belie!e 'od wants to help us in this area, and I'm speakin" this in order to brin" &ust some clarity around our heart, so we actually see how to respond out of a "ood heart, now the world criticised the church all this thin" on tithin", but let me &ust finish you with this. I was watchin" a pro"ram on #prah. I don't watch #prah !ery often, and I watched this particular one, and I was absolutely astonished what I heard. They had a special woman on, she had these special "uests come on. The special "uest who come on, was a financial mana"er who helped people who were in distress and debt, to "et out of their distress and debt, so they had a few people of course who had credit cards maxed up to the maximum hei"ht and e!erythin" like this, and they were totally in bonda"e. They "ot this woman to come and she spoke with her, and they "ot people to describe their problems, and she said4 well what would you ad!ise them9 She said well it's really ?uite simple. She said they need to tithe. 3ow she was not a sa!ed person. She's not a 5hristian person. She said4 I'!e done a study of money and wealth, and people who ha!e it and people who don't, and I'!e noticed somethin" ?uite interestin", when I'!e obser!ed all these different people. She said I'!e studied the people who'!e "ot it, people who ha!en't, and I'!e noticed that for some people money is attracted into them. I'!e noticed with other people, money seems to be repelled away from them, and when it's repelled away from them, they seem to "o from difficulty to difficulty to difficulty, but the others &ust seem to from blessin" to blessin" to blessin". +ou can't fi"ure out % she said so I'!e realised that there's a power in!ol!ed, and she said4 either you ha!e power o!er money, or money has power o!er you. She said4 I'!e also learned the only way that you can know whether you ha!e power o!er money, is if you can open your hand and "i!e. I'!e known, she said, consistently I ha!e seen that some of the wealthiest people also "i!e no less than ten percent. They &ust practice it, as a part of maintainin" power o!er money. (ost people, money's "ot power of them and they're in fear of it, so the moment it comes to "i!in" anythin" to anyone, immediately there's conflict in the heart, and she's sayin" that actually, "enerosity or "i!in", is the only way you can demonstrate and maintain your power o!er money. 3ow that's a secular person, in a secular pro"ram, talkin" about the whole issue of money, and a power behind money. She couldn't "i!e the lan"ua"e we can "i!e, didn't ha!e the 7ible connections with it, but did understand this4 that there is a power behind it, and that the only way I can be free of that is if I start to learn how to open my hand, and to direct "i!in". )e see from readin" the 7ible, that if I put the first fruits to 'od, then I ha!e blessin" come around the rest. Thin"s start to come towards me, instead of "oin" away from me. I come into a place where there's a ri!er of blessin". Another time I want to talk about "enerosity, which was touched on today, the whole area of ha!in" a "enerous spirit, which is part % this is the 5hristian spirit, it's a "enerous spirit. I want to &ust ask you this, to consider where am I, in this whole area9 Am I in problems9 Am I "i!in" 'od the honour and the "lory9

:et's &ust close our eyes ri"ht now. +ou know if you're here today and you don't know Jesus, you know one of the "reatest thin"s to understand is the "enerosity of 'od. I know we'!e talked a little bit about finances, but we're talkin" about comin" into a blessed life, and the first step of comin" to a blessed life has nothin" to do with money. It has to acknowled"e Jesus 5hrist. 'od "a!e >is Son to lo!e you, and bless you, and to brin" you out of sin. Jesus died on the cross to redeem from sin. >e "a!e >is life as the offerin", so you could become clean and blessed, but what it re?uires is that you identify with that, and that Jesus becomes your offerin". Instead of tryin" hard to be a better person, you come to the cross and say4 Jesus, I accept what +ou ha!e done on my behalf. This is my offerin" on my behalf, and I thank +ou my life is sanctified and made whole, and I'm free from sin, because +ou are my first fruit. +ou are my offerin". I take what +ou ha!e done, and I say4 'od, accept this offerin" of Jesus 5hrist. )hat an ama$in" deal isn't it9 Isn't this astonishin"9 )hat a "reat thin". The first step of course is, you need to make a decision to recei!e Jesus. Is there anyone here today ri"ht at that place, I'd lo!e you to open your heart, and &ust say toni"ht that I want to recei!e Jesus 5hrist9 Is there anyone else, you know 'od lo!es you. >ow much more could >e "i!e you9 >e doesn't want you to suffer. >e wants you to be blessed, and the first step is to recei!e what Jesus did for you, and in!ite >im to come into your heart. In a moment, on the count of three, we'll all stand to"ether and we're "oin" to re&oice, because 'od in hea!en re&oices when a sinner comes to 5hrist. This is what I'd like, the two people who put your hand up, if you could make your way to the front. I'm "oin" to lead you in a simple prayer to open your heart to recei!e Jesus. )e'll all pray it, so it's "oin" to be such a simple thin", and I'll pray for 'od's blessin" to come on your life, and we're "oin" to re&oice with you today in this "reat decision. #kay, well we'll all hold hands to"ether, and church, let's reach your hands out to them, and let's all pray this simple prayer to"ether. The prayer is &ust talkin" to 'od. +ou see when we talk to >im >e'll hear you, >e'll hear us when we talk. :et's &ust follow us in this prayer, all &ust listen to the words and pray this prayer, reachin" out to "i!e your life to Jesus. 1ather in hea!en, I come to you in Jesus' name. Thank +ou for lo!in" me. Thank +ou for acceptin" me. Thank +ou for sendin" Jesus to die on the cross for my sins. Jesus, I ask +ou to for"i!e me. I turn away from all my sins today. I recei!e +ou as my Sa!iour. I "i!e +ou my life today. I recei!e +our spirit into my heart and today before hea!en and earth I declare Jesus 5hrist is my Sa!iour and :ord and my friend fore!er. I am blessed. Amen. )ith all our pain and hurtin", >e understands us and >e for"i!es us. +ou know today, the 7ible says that 'od wipes away all your sins, all your failures and sees you as >is Son, >is Eau"hter, clean, acceptable inside. +ou belon" to >im. >e lo!es you. 'od is a 'od of fresh starts, always fresh starts. :ast decision, &ust in your own heart, here's the ?uestions to ask. >ow do I honour 'od in my finances9 Eo I ha!e faith that >e will pro!ide9 >ow "rateful am I for what >e's done for me9 And do I ha!e a willin" heart9 #r do I "et ni""ly when someone asks me for anythin"9 I &ust pray blessin" upon e!ery person here. 1ather, we pray increased blessin", that not only as we are blessed, but all our finances will be blessed as well. )e pray blessin" on each household, each family, each person represented here today. 1ather, let today be a day of decision, and a day of new be"innin"s in Jesus' name, and we "i!e +ou all the honour, we can ne!er out "i!e +ou*

Summary Notes: Formatted

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1' (ntroduction ) Mt'-824 9No one can ser#e t$o masters1 for eit!er !e $i00 !ate t!e one and 0o#e t!e ot!er or e0se !e $i00 be 0oya0 to one and despise t!e ot!er:' ) &!ere is a batt0e for your !eart o#er t!e issue of money , a dai0y on=+oin+ batt0e' ) Mammon is a spirit t!at see s to capture your !eart1 0oya0ty and 0o#e' ) Mammon ? Aramaic $ord ? 9ric!es:1 $ea0t! (assets1 possessions1 earnin+s)' ) Spirit of Mammon8 Spea s to you >#er$!e0ms peop0e $it! fear and an4iety Promises you muc! Cesires to ta e p0ace of God in your 0ife See s to ens0a#e you ) Money !as a spirit po$er operatin+ be!ind it , Spirit Mammon , or Spirit of God' ) Associated Spirits Spirit of Pride , ( $or ed !ard to +et a00 t!is1 ( am entit0ed to t!ese t!in+s' Spirit of Po#erty , Not enou+!1 $!y s!ou0d you !a#e t!ose t!in+s and not me' ) A2- = God is +enerous , Fe is a +i#er , it is Fis nature , Fe is e4tra#a+ant' ) A33 , 9See first t!e 7in+dom of God and Fis ri+!teousness and a00 t!ese t!in+s s!a00 be added to you:' Put God first in your !eart and financia0 matters , fait! not fear (an4iety)' 2' &!e First Portion be0on+s to God ) 5!at s!ou0d ( do $it! money6 , Gi#e t!e first portion to God and ste$ard t!e rest'

(a) H4'1382 9@onsecrate to me a00 t!e first born: = H#ery first born anima0 $as eit!er sacrificed or redeemed $it! a 0amb = &!is $as an act of fait! , did not no$ $!et!er anima0 $ou0d produce more = CidnDt $ant to +i#e unti0 !ad 13 0ambs and +i#e one , +a#e t!e first born in fait! = &!e offerin+ of t!e first born redeemed t!e rest , a00 ot!ers are no$ b0essed' (b) "om' E8/11/ God demonstrates Fis o$n 0o#e to$ards us in t!at $!i0e $e $ere sti00 sinners , @!rist died for us = *esus $as referred to by *o!n t!e %aptist as t!e 9;amb of God: = No one too *esusD 0ife Fe offered it up , Fe is t!e first born = God +a#e t!e first born so t!e rest cou0d be b0essed (c) ;e#' 2J833 9A00 t!e tit!e of t!e 0and is t!e ;ordDs: &!e first portion be0on+s to t!e ;ord , it is t!e ;ordDs &!e first portion is de#oted , set apart for t!e ;ord 3' &!e First Portion determines t!e nature of t!e rest (a) "om' 1181- 9(f t!e first fruit is !o0y1 t!e 0ump a0so is !o0y2 $!en $e +i#e t!e first to t!e ;ord a00 t!e rest is b0essed' 5!en $e $it!!o0d t!e first from t!e ;ord t!e rest is cursed' (b) *os! -81/=1< *eric!o , a00 t!e si0#er and +o0d and #esse0s of bronLe and iron are consecrated to t!e ;ord , t!ey s!a00 come into t!e treasury of t!e ;ord' ) *eric!o , $as t!e first city' A00 its contents $ere first fruits to t!e ;ord' ) (t too fait! to +i#e t!e si0#er and +o0d to God , $!at if t!ey $in no ot!er batt0e6 ) &!ey did not $ait to conMuer ot!er cities and t!en +i#e tit!e to t!e ;ord' ) Ac!an too $!at $as de#oted to t!e ;ord Money8 Ce#oted before !e too it @!oice 133K ept a00 cursed @ursed after !e too it @!oice <3K ept a00 b0essed "esu0t $as no spiritua0 po$er to pre#ai0 in $arfare A2 7ey sin8 @o#etous , +reed and deception' 4' Gi#in+ t!e First Portion is an (ssue of t!e Feart ) Gi#in+ t!e tit!e1 t!e first portion to God is a !eart issue' ) (s God +oin+ to be first in my 0ife1 !a#e my 0o#e and 0oya0ty6 ) 7ey Feart (ssues (i) Fonour = 5i00 ( !onour God and p0ace Fim first6 (Pro#'381<) = 5!at #a0ue do ( p0ace on God and my re0ations!ip6 (ii) Fait! = 5i00 ( trust God $it! $!o Fe is , a +enerous pro#ider = 5i00 ( trust God by +i#in+ my first 13t! , tit!e6 e'+' Gen'2281 Abra!am +a#e !is first born son Gen 484 Abe0 +a#e !is first born anima0 (iii) Gratitude = Am ( +ratefu0 to God for a00 t!at Fe !as +i#en to me6 e'+' Gen'1481/ Abra!am +a#e tit!e out of +ratitude to b0essin+ (i#) 5i00in+ = 5i00 ( +i#e out of a $i00in+ !eart or out of duty1 fear e'+' H4' 3E1E (srae0 brou+!t $it! a $i00in+ !eart 1 @or'/812 First a $i00in+ mind ) 5it!out e4ception tit!ers say , ( am b0essed God !as b0essed me ) 5it!out e4ception non tit!ers say , ( cannot afford to tit!e ) &!e first portion carries t!e b0essin+ t!at redeems t!e rest ) Mt'23823 9&!ese t!in+s (tit!e) ou+!t to !a#e done and not ne+0ected t!e $ei+!tier matters of t!e 0a$ Iustice1 mercy1 fait!: ) Ma0'38/=< 9Pro#e me in t!is , brin+ t!e $!o0e tit!e into t!e store!ouse:

Generosity (3 of 4) Sun 2! Aug 2012 AM 6 7ack to Top


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'e have seen many people that have had much money and yet they didn't have what money seemed to promise, health and prosperity and every ood thin . It seems like it still eludes them, so we looked at that and saw that Jesus tau ht very specifically about us placin %od first. To be enerous is to be liberal. It's an attitude of heart that shows up in every area of your life includin finances. %enerosity exposes selfishness(

'reat stuff. >ey, we'!e been ha!in" a wonderful time the last couple of weeks. )e'!e been talkin" about money, hasn't it been "reat9 >ope you en&oy that % don't free$e up on me, come on now, don't free$e up on me. <:au"hs= I want to speak on "enerosity today, "enerosity. I'!e been learnin" as I'!e been "oin", you know, I ha!en't spoken on money for years really, and yet Jesus spoke on it so much, so many times. A lar"e percenta"e of what Jesus tau"ht and spoke about was stewardship, and mana"in" natural thin"s, but when we start to talk money, immediately people tend to free$e up, so let's "o back where we started in (atthew 842-, and it's talkin" about layin" up treasures in hea!en. Then it says in @erse 2-, 3o one can ser!e two masters. >e will hate one and lo!e the otherA or he'll be loyal to one and despise the other. +ou cannot ser!e 'od and (ammon. So we see 'od is a spirit, (ammon is a spiritual power, and we looked throu"h and talked that money itself doesn't ha!e power, but the spirit behind it does. So the 7ible's !ery clear in Jesus teachin" that it's impossible to ser!e both, so that doesn't mean you shouldn't ha!e money. In fact actually you could be a "reat blessin" if you ha!e moneyA and you can ha!e a lot of money, and be no blessin" to anyoneA you can ha!e !ery little money, and be a "reat blessin" to people. It's not the amount of money. It always has to do with the heart, and so we saw as we read on this whole thin" about the spirit of (ammon, we saw that there is a battle, a spiritual battle, for your heart. There is a conflict between money, and the !alues placed on money, and what money seems to be able to do. )e saw that that is like an illusion, because we ha!e seen many people that ha!e had much money, and yet they didn't ha!e what money seemed to promised4 health and prosperity, and e!ery "ood thin". It seems like it still eludes them, so we looked at that, and saw that Jesus tau"ht !ery specifically about us placin" 'od first. :ast week we talked about seekin" first the kin"dom of 'od, puttin" 'od first in our money, and that as we honour 'od first in our finances, then the rest is set apart. So we're "oin" to look in (atthew F, @erse 1H. Jesus said4 do not think I came to destroy the :aw, or the 0rophets. I didn't come to destroy, but fulfil. So Jesus is sayin" to people who thou"ht >e was "oin" to do away with the #ld Testament, do away with the 7ible, and >e's sayin"4 don't think that I'm "oin" to do away with it. >e said I'm not "oin" to destroy what was in the #ld Testament. There's many thin"s in the #ld Testament, but >e said4 what I'm "oin" to do, is I'm "oin" to fulfil them, or in other words >e's sayin" this4 you ha!e the #ld Testament. I'm not "oin" to take it away. I'm "oin" to teach you, and show you what it's true intent was, and I'm "oin" to show you how you work it out in your life, so you don't li!e under law, but you li!e in a new realm of the spirit, under the "race and fa!our of 'od. 3ow the dilemma for us as 5hristians of course is, we tend to pick up a bit of the law, and the bits that suit us, and we'll apply it and say that I'm "oin" to li!e under that, but we're called to li!e in a different dimension now we're in the new co!enant, for example Jesus didn't do away with law. >e said % notice >is statement there % I come not to do away with it, but to fulfil it, so >e "oes down and then >e be"ins to talk. >e says, @erse 21, you ha!e heard it said to

those of old4 you shall not murder, so don't kill, or don't murder was an #ld Testament commandment, so how many people ha!e killed someone here9 #kay, so we're doin" pretty "ood % but Jesus said4 I want you to understand that it's not a matter of the letter of this thin". Actually there's a heart moti!e behind it. >e said4 I'm raisin" the standard, I'm tellin" you what this really means. It's not about whether you'!e murdered someone, it's a matter whether you keep your heart free of an"er and hate a"ainst people. >e said I want to lift you to a different dimension. Eoes that make sense to you9 Then >e talked about the area of adultery, so >e said in @erse 2H % adultery of the heart, >e's talkin" aboutA +ou'!e heard it said to those of old4 you shall not commit adultery, so one of the 1 commandments, do not commit adultery. I won't put that ?uestion out, because there may be one or two ha!e, so we won't put that ?uestion out, but >e's talkin" about the act of adultery. >e's sayin"4 I'm tellin" you somethin" different. >e said I am raisin" it up, and showin" you how 'od intended this to be fulfilled, that you'd not ha!e lust in your heart, and lust after someone, because if you'!e "ot lust operatin" in your heart, adultery is already present. So you notice now, >e hasn't done away with the law, >e's lifted up an understandin" of what it really means. 'ettin" the idea9 3ow we ha!e to understand that when you look at the #ld Testament, some of the laws were moral laws, some of them ci!il laws and so on, and the dilemma for us is what do we do, and how do we handle it, but you see here Jesus lifted the le!el of expectation up. So for example, concernin" circumcision, in the #ld Testament all the children, descendants of Abraham were to be circumcised. 3ow in the 3ew Testament, in 'alatians it tells us, circumcision is of the heart and spirit, it's not a physical circumcision, otherwise the moment you become a 5hristian, we'!e "ot to circumcise you. So >e said4 we're not under that. There's a fulfilment that comes by the spirit, and that fulfilment is a circumcision of the heart, where you ha!e a heart chan"e, because people cannot murder someone without hate in their heartA people cannot commit adultery without lust in their heartA people can be physically circumcised, but still ha!e no faith in 5hrist. +ou "ettin" the idea of what it means, the fulfilment of the law9 So then we start to look then at the issue of tithin". In the #ld Testament % and we won't "o into all the details, I &ust want to catch the spirit of this % the #ld Testament said4 "i!e a tithe to the :ord. )hy would we come back &ust under the letter of that, when we come under the letter in no other area9 +ou see what >e's really sayin" in the 3ew Testament is, I don't want your heart to be in conflict with 'od o!er the issue of money. I want you to be free, so in the 3ew Testament >e raises it up % tithin" was the letter of the law. >e says4 I want you to ha!e a "enerous heart, and almost all 3ew Testament teachin" concernin" "i!in", has to do with the heart attitude, "enerosity, willin" heart, free will. Demember what I said when we talked on this area of (ammon, we talked on the area of "i!in"9 )e said it re?uired it came out of a heart that honoured 'od, had faith in 'od, was thankful to 'od, and was willin". )hate!er you "i!e then is acceptable to 'od, if the heart is ri"ht, because it's possible for people to tithe dili"ently like the 0harisees did, but ha!e no heart for 'od, nor trust >im in any financial area. In fact the 0harisees were ?uite co!etous, yet they tithed. So when it comes to the area of tithin", it's not &ust a matter of physically or literally tithin" e!ery carrot and e!ery turnip and e!ery apple. It's actually ha!in" a heart free from "reed, and bein" full of thanks"i!in", and "enerous, because I know many 5hristians who will dili"ently tithe, but "enerosity isn't in their life. It's like sayin" well, I ha!en't murdered anyone, but I'!e a little hate sittin" in my heart and that's okay, or I ha!en't committed adultery yet, or ha!en't been cau"ht out, but I'!e "ot all this lust "oin" on in my heart, but that's okay. 3o, no, no, no, Jesus lifts it all in the 3ew Testament to say4 we're under a new co!enant, and it has to do with the heart and the spirit, so we're not cau"ht with the letter of the law. That's why I'!e ne!er commanded, or demanded and told people, they must tithe. )e talk about honour and first%fruits, and "i!in" to 'od, and bein" "enerous is the thin" that flows. It must come from the spirit. 3ow clearly tithin" was in the #ld Testament, and e!ery other realm of #ld Testament law was lifted to a hi"her le!el, clearly our "i!in" is "oin" to come to a different le!el than it was in the #ld Testament. )e won't be stuck with the letter of the law, we ha!e a new realm that's called a realm of "enerosity and "i!in". It's a lifestyle. I'll "i!e you a chance to think about that. I can hear the whirrin" "oin" on ri"ht now. <:au"hter= 7ut it's true, it's "enerosity % so I want to talk about "enerosity, so let's ha!e a look in John, 5hapter 12, "enerosity. Six days % @erse 1 % six days before the 0asso!er, Jesus came to 7ethany, where :a$arus who had been dead, whom >e had raised from the dead. That's where :a$arus was. They made >im a supper and (artha ser!ed, but :a$arus was one of those who sat at the table with >im. (ary took a pound of costly % that word costly, you can underline that % costly oil of spikenard, she anointed the feet of Jesus, wiped >is feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fra"rance of the oil. And one of the disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, who would betray >im, said4 why isn't this fra"rant oil sold for three hundred denarii and "i!en to the poor9 >e said, not because he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and he had the money boxA and he used to steal. >ow about that9 Jesus said4 lea!e her alone, she has kept this day, for the day of (y burial. The poor you will always ha!e with you, but (e, you do not always ha!e.

Alri"ht, firstly we &ust need to ha!e an understandin" of the word "enerous, what "enerous means. 'enerous means literally to be liberal in your "i!in". It means to be unselfish. It means to be free from any kind of meanness, or smallness, that is to be "enerous. To be "enerous, is to be liberal. It's an attitude of heart that shows up in e!ery area of your life, includin" finances. The word, which is the opposite to "enerous, is the word selfish, selfish. #ther words that mean the same as selfish4 you could say mean, stin"y, withholdin", those kinds of words. +ou know some people like that9 (ean, stin"y, withholdin" % so what's in their heart flows o!er their money, and it's always mean, stin"y, reluctant to "i!e. Another word we use is ti"ht. <:au"hter= Some 5hristians are so ti"ht, and it's in e!ery area of their life, it's ne!er &ust in the money, but it shows up in the money first. It's an issue of heart. 3ow think about thisA we're born selfish, not "enerous. +ou notice with children, they're not born "enerous9 All of you parents who'!e "ot little children there % mine* It's mine* +ou don't hear them sayin" oh, I'd lo!e to "i!e it to you. <:au"hter= +ou ne!er hear a child sayin" that. (ine* (ine* (ine* <:au"hs= It's a shame if you're a 5hristian for a few years, and it's still mine* (ine* 5ome in, and someone sat in your seat % that's mine* <:au"hter= This is what "oes on. Someone parked in your car park % that's mine* (ine* So mine is what we're born with. It takes a work of the spirit to be "enerous, takes the work of the spirit to stop us bein" selfish. That's the whole deal, so we'!e "ot a battle a"ainst selfishness and meanness all the time. The first thin" you think, there's not enou"h for me, I need to hold onto it. That's what "oes on, and we know it happens, and you see it with children, and sometimes we "row up and we're still the same. It's still about me and mine. 3ow selfishness ori"inated with Satan. It's a trait in human nature that has demonic ori"in, demonic roots. +ou think about Satan or :ucifer saw what 'od had, and he wanted it to become his. >e said4 it's mine, it's "oin" to be mine* I will arise, I will... It'll be mine* Then after he fell, e!eryone that's connected with him, it's the same thin", mine* (ine* And it's all about me and mine. )e understand that. )e learn to li!e with that see9 3ow you notice here that "enerosity has exposed the heart of the mean person, so notice % I remember a funny situation happened to me years a"o. I won't identify where it happened, but I was part of a leadership team, I was pastorin", and there were three people on the team, and one of the "uys felt 'od leadin" him to "o to Australia on a speakin" en"a"ement. Anyway he said I must feel 'od doin" that, and I felt 'od say4 donate to him. So I said oh, that's wonderful that 'od's put it in your heart, you're "oin" there. I'd lo!e to "i!e you ;1 towards your fare. There was a stunned silence, and then an an"ry reaction, from someone who co!eted what was happenin", and was an"ry % why should he ha!e that9 Isn't that interestin"9 So "enerosity exposes selfishness. 3ow you notice that (ary does the totally unexpected, she comes in there, breaks that alabaster box of oil % we'll come into that, and how costly that is in a moment % breaks it, pours it o!er Jesus. 3ow she's extra!a"ant, not with &ust her money. 3otice that she's on her knees, and she's washin" with her hair, wipin" the hair and the oil and the dirt, and she's weepin". That is extra!a"ant* And the mean person, selfish person, you know what9 )e shouldn't waste so much money on this kind of thin". )e should really sell that sort of thin", and "i!e it to the poor. +ou heard people say that9 I remember I was tryin" to "et a school facility "oin", and I had one of those % this is the principal's office where e!eryone comes in, and there was one of those 5hinaman li"hts, you know, those little sort of thin"s like that, and &ust a little wee li"ht bulb thin". I thou"ht we need to "et somethin", so I went around lookin". I spent a lot of time to try and find somethin" that would be attracti!e, and represent the :ord and what we're doin" well, and yet wouldn't be excessi!ely expensi!e. I "ot somethin" that was ;/F, how about that9 The same person that erupted o!er the "i!in", erupted o!er that, and I'd actually "i!en it. 'enerosity exposes meanness, and the comment that mean people say is4 oh, it shouldn't be wasted on that. It shouldn't be wasted on somethin" that honours 'od, it shouldn't be wasted on a ... shouldn't be wasted on, shouldn't be wasted on. +ou know what9 )e should "i!e it to this person who's in need. 3ow when people start to talk like that, you know what9 +ou e!er ask the ?uestion % how much are you "i!in"9 7ecause ine!itably comin" out of a selfish heart, a heart that's mean, a heart that's not "enerous, it's a heart that's locked up. It says he said that, not because he cared for the poor, but because he was missin" out on an opportunity to put his fin"er in, and "et a little bit for himself % selfishness, "reed, co!etin". That's what was in his heart, and isn't it interestin", the extra!a"ant "enerosity of one person, exposed immediately how ti"ht the other one was. >e should ha!e &ust thou"ht wow, that's "reat. (an, I need to learn from that, and be inspired to be more "enerous. Instead of that, he had to attack the "enerosity, and say4 that is a waste, it shouldn't be done. Isn't it ama$in"9 +ou notice how the world continually will attack the church o!er the issue of tithin". )hether tithin"'s ri"ht or wron" is irrele!ant. They attack it, because they can't handle that someone would "i!e so much. )hy are you doin" it9 This is a poor person, why should they be doin" this and this and this9 )ell because it's actually an issue of the heart, and of "enerosity, and you're &ust flushin" up your own meanness.

I remember when 7rian Tamaki was inter!iewed, and they were "oin" on about his car, and about his house and whate!er. >e said4 well I'!e worked all my life, I'!e in!ested, I'!e sa!ed, I don't drink, I don't smoke, I don't "amble. )ouldn't I expect to ha!e somethin" for all of that9 I'!e been "enerous and "i!in", wouldn't I expect to ha!e somethin" to show for all of that9 It was hard for them to concede. It's &ust meanness and selfishness hates "enerosity. It reacts, and that's what this "uy did. >e &ust reacted in the presence of the "enerous "i!in". <:au"hs= Deacted in the presence of the "enerous "i!in", and the thin" is, he was a thief, and he had the money box. >ere's the most ama$in" thin"A he had the money box. Jesus "a!e him the money box. Eid Jesus know he was a thief9 +es. )hy did >e "i!e him the money box then9 'i!e him a chance to walk throu"h temptation, and come out the other side !ictorious. 'od will always place thin"s in our path, that'll "i!e us an opportunity to re!eal what's in our heart, and >e with it, will ne!er allow us to be tempted abo!e what we're able, make a way for you throu"h it. So I can tell you now, e!ery one of us faces temptations around this area. It's &ust a matter of what we're showin" up, and whether we are faithful with money, then we can be trusted with true riches. 3ow the next thin" you notice about it, is that "enerosity is extremely extra!a"ant, and I did the maths on this. I don't know whether I "ot them ri"ht. +ou notice it says she "a!e oil of spikenard worth three hundred denarii. #ne denarius is a day's wa"e, so what would today's wa"e be worth in 3ew Jealand9 (aybe ;1 , somethin" like that, so ;1 . So that means she "a!e / day's wa"es. That's almost a whole year's wa"es. 3ow what would you think if someone "a!e a whole year's wa"es to the :ord9 +ou'd <inhales sharply= % you shouldn't do that* 7ut you see, she had a heart that was &ust aboundin" in "enerosity and "ratitude to the :ord. 3o one told her to do it, she &ust did it, because she wanted to express her lo!e. She was extra!a"ant. 3ow when you look throu"h the 7ible, you'd be surprised how many extra!a"ant people there are in the 7ible, and I had a look at a couple in there, for example Ea!id. It tells us Ea!id, in 1 5hronicles 2B, it says that when Ea!id came to prepare for the house of 'od, out of his own money, his own purse, he "a!e three thousand talents of "old, and he "a!e se!en thousand talents of sil!er, so a talent of "old represents % let's see if I can work it out. I'!e "ot it here % a talent of "old is &ust o!er a thousand ounces of "old, and "old is &ust o!er ;2, an ounce. Ima"ine that % he "a!e three thousand, times one thousand, there's three million, times the price of "old % whoa* 3ow we're talkin" bi" money here. )e're talkin" billions, billions of dollars, out of his own wealth, he "a!e to the house of 'od, and he said4 of your own, we ha!e "i!en to you. 3ow here's a man who walked in "race. There's no tithin" thin" for him. >e's a man of "enerosity, a man of a bi" heart, a man who knew 'od % he had in his heart to build 'od a house. +ou know what9 'od didn't e!en tell him to build the house. 'od said4 you're not e!en "oin" to build it. >e said4 ne!ertheless, I did so "reat I'!e "ot to do somethin" % and he "a!e. >e "a!e billions to the work of 'od. )hat about Solomon, his son, at the dedication of the temple. The re?uired offerin" was one oxen. Instead he "a!e a thousand oxen. +ou can ima"ine people sayin" what* The law only re?uires one. >ow come you "a!e more than one9 #h, I am so "lad, brin" it on, brin" it on* 7rin" a thousand of these bullocks on. 7rin" it all on* I'm "oin" to "i!e 'od the "reatest offerin". >e asked for one, you watch this. I'!e "i!en >im a thousand, because I can't out%"i!e 'od. :ook at what >e's "i!en me. Isn't it interestin" that that same ni"ht 'od appeared and said4 ask what you want, and I'll "i!e it to you. >e said % now if he was like a lot of 5hristians, he'll probably say we'll4 I'!e "i!en to 'od, now I'!e "ot to "et somethin" back. #kay, now I "a!e him a thousand, okay, well let's see % a hundredfold. Alri"ht, a hundred thousand oxen back. 3o, he didn't do anythin" like that. >e said 'od % now notice this, notice this, you'll see this connection. >e said I want a hearin" heart, and an understandin" heart, and the ability with wisdom to lead people. And hea!en was silent, because his !alue is on true riches. Then 'od spoke. >e said because you'!e asked this thin", I'll "i!e you not only that, I'll add to you all the riches, all the wealth that you could e!er possibly want, so his heart was set on true riches, and it was re!ealed by his "enerosity. 'od &ust said4 oh, I &ust can't help it, I'!e "ot to add all this stuff in. Demember what it says, seek first the kin"dom of 'od, and the rest is added in9 It frees the life from anxiety, and stress, and law and how much is... )e don't want to "et into that kind of thin". #kay, now of course there's heaps of other people. There's the widow in the #ld Testament, in 1 Kin"s 1H, who "a!e the last meal. 3ow that would make a "reat story for the media wouldn't it aye9 A prophet come and asked the last meal of this poor widow. >ow horrible % but 'od had already "i!en her direction, and as a result of her respondin" prophetically to what 'od said, she came into an abundant supply for a whole year, so it "oes on. Think about Abraham, who "a!e up his only son. 5an you ima"ine what that meant9 Ima"ine "i!in" up your only son. I mean he's nearly a hundred years old, he's "i!en up his own son, but he had faith and confidence in 'od. >e "a!e, because 'od spoke to him about that "i!in", and he doesn't speak to us that way, not like that.

7ut Jesus, what about Jesus9 'od "a!e >is own Son. See, 'od so lo!ed the world. +ou can hardly lo!e the person next to you, let alone lo!e the world. Inderstand in India, and look at the millions of people, and you'll look and you'll see the crowd, and hope they'll all "o by, but 'od says e!ery one, I know them by name. I lo!e them. 'od is so "enerous % what's the best thin" I could "i!e in hea!en9 So I know what, I'll send a le"ion of an"els to sa!e the world. 3o, no, no, no, that may not be enou"h. I'll send a few more an"els. 3o, no, I know what I'll do, I send what's the most precious and dear to me. I'll "i!e the most extra!a"ant, expensi!e "ift, (y Son. See, you can ne!er out "i!e 'od. 'od is so "enerous. It's the nature of the kin"dom to be "i!in". 3ow the problem is, we "et cau"ht up with this thin" of the lawA if I &ust do this, then 'od must do that. So if I &ust do this, 'od will do that. I do this, 'od will do that. I did this, and >e didn't do it % what* >e didn't do it9 )hy did >e not come throu"h for me9 I sowed, I "a!e, I did this, I did that, 'od didn't come throu"h for me. )hy9 +ou "et an"ry at 'od, and resentful, and all that kind of stuff. I want to show you this is not the spirit of "i!in" that the 7ible talks about. :et's &ust "o throu"h and look at one more thin" in this, in John 12. 3ow notice here, firstly the moti!ation for "ratitude. Six days % John 12, @erse 1 % six days before the 0asso!er, Jesus came to 7ethany, where :a$arus was, who had been dead. >er brother was dead, not only dead, he was dead dead. >e was buried, and in the "ra!e four days, and they said4 he will be stinkin" by now, totally corrupted. All hope of anythin" is "one, and Jesus came, and raised him from the dead. 3ow she's been without her brother, in mournin" for four days, and suddenly her brother's restored. )hoa Jesus* (y whole perspecti!e has shifted. So what can I do9 Aah, that alabaster box, I'll take that, and she extra!a"antly "a!e. )hy did she "i!e9 'ratitude. 3o one told her to do that. If you were there, we'd tell her take a tenth of it and "i!e it to >im. 3ow come on now, this is about "ratitude. This about someone who has been blessed by 'od, and is respondin" to bein" blessed, by li!in" and actin" as a blessed person. That's what it's about. See, we "et the thin", if I do this, 'od will bless me. :et me ask where you "et that theolo"y from9 )here did you "et to hear that9 7ecause it's the law. The law says, if I &ust do this, then 'od will do that. In Cphesians 1 it says, 'od has already blessed us, with e!ery spiritual blessin" in hea!enly places. I'm not re?uired to perform or do anythin" to "et 'od's blessin". I am re?uired thou"h, to belie!e, and in belie!in", my faith will be expressed throu"h actions, otherwise you mo!e out of a place of faith and trust in 'od, and into a place of tryin" to manipulate >im % I'll do this, and you'!e "ot to do thatA I'll "i!e you this, and you'!e "ot to "i!e me that, blah blah. This is not "oin" to work see, so she was full of "ratitude. 3otice in 2 5orinthians B, we'll &ust ?uickly refer to that, then I'll "et to the finish of this. I want to show you one thin" about the "i!in". 3otice in 2 5orinthians B, it talks about "i!in" and it says % @erse F % >e says now brethren, I thou"ht to exhort you ahead of time, and prepare your "enerous "ift beforehand, which you had pre!iously promised that it may be ready as a matter of "enerosity, and not "rud"in" obli"ation. In other words >e's sayin"4 sort out your "i!in" before I come. I don't want there to be any pressure and "rud"in" obli"ation. >e says I tell you this4 who sows sparin"ly, will reap sparin"lyA he who sows bountifully, will reap bountifully. :et any one "i!e % listen to this % as he purposes in his heart, not "rud"in"ly or reluctantly, or with his hand bent up his back it means. 'od lo!es you to "i!e out of a cheerful, "lad and "rateful heart. >e wants us to "i!e that way. 'od is able to make all "race abound to you, because this is the nature of "race. It &ust "i!es, because that's what it is, and ha!in" all sufficiency in all thin"s, you may ha!e an abundance for e!ery "ood work. So 'od makes it !ery clear in there, that the moti!ation of all our "i!in" needs to be "enerosity and "ratitude. I lo!e 'od, I want to "i!e. )hat can I "i!e9 +ou know, not many people come to church on a Sunday, they come and think, what can we "et out of this ser!ice9 'et out of the ser!ice9 #h, you're already beaten before you start, because you're comin" to "et. I come e!ery Sunday to "i!e. I come to "i!e 'od somethin", oh, I lo!e to "i!e to >im, and worship >im, and "i!e myself to >im, and I "et blessed by this wonderful worship team we ha!e, and they way that Sue can lead and brin" us into the presence of 'od, and sometimes I think I'd &ust like to stay there, and I know people want a messa"e, mi"ht as well stay lo!in" 'od, I'm en&oyin" this. It's "i!in" to >im, to "i!e somethin" to 'od. #kay then, now I want you to ha!e a look here, and we'll finish the last part here. The last thin" is "enerosity is rewarded. 'od will always reward you if you're a "enerous person, but it's not the moti!ation for "i!in". I want you to ha!e a look with me in :uke, 5hapter 8 and @erse /1, and use this as our last scripture. It's interestin" when Judas and the others % not only Judas, but the others, all bothered (ary too. They all were critical of her, it says in (ark's !ersion of that same story, and Jesus said4 lea!e her alone, lea!e her alone. >e said you know what9 +ou're all ha!in" a whin"e about "enerosity. >e said I'm "oin" to make sure when the "ospels are written her name is recorded, what she did, and how much she "a!e, so e!eryone, e!erywhere can read it. That's not !ery many times in the 7ible that someone's name, and what they "a!e is recorded, so e!eryone readin" could read it. She's rewarded with true riches. She's "i!en honour by Jesus, which extends into e!ery nation of the earth, where!er the "ospel's

preached. C!ery nation it'll be proclaimed, this was a "reat woman with a "reat heart, and a "enerous heart, and Jesus liked what she did. 3ot only that, >e was not impressed with the miserable thief* #kay, now let's ha!e a look at this. I want you &ust to see this. This is really important, Jesus teachin" on "i!in", and if you can understand this, and then we'll finish up &ust with a simple challen"e for us all. #kay, in :uke, 5hapter 8, in Jesus' teachin", there's the parables of the kin"dom. >e's teachin" the Sermon on the (ount, it's how the kin"dom operates. 3ow look at this, &ust watch this. >e said % @erse /1 % and &ust as you want men to do to you, do also to them likewise. #kay9 Just as you want people to do to you, you do that to them. 'ot it9 )e call that the "olden rule. Alri"ht, let me ask you this4 do you want people to "i!e to you, and they'!e "ot a hidden hook in it, so that after they'!e "i!en, you're now manipulated and ha!e to "i!e somethin" back9 Is that what you want9 3obody likes that. +ou feel ripped off. +ou thou"ht it was a "ift, and then it turns out it was a trade. The world system operates on tradin"A I "i!e you somethin", you "i!e me somethin" back % and hopefully it's better than what I had, or at least it's worth the same amount. So the world system works on tradin". 3ow you notice this, that the world system is so embedded in tradin", that if you were to operate on a different system, and I say4 I want to "i!e to you, the first thin" you say is % what's in it for you9 3ow if I say to him nothin", he says4 it can't be true. There must be somethin" in it for you. 3ow why is he talkin" like that, and sayin" it like that9 7ecause he's so filled with the world system, that no one "i!es anythin" for nothin", there's always a reason and a moti!e and an a"enda. That's called tradin". Tradin", you "i!e one thin", and you recei!e somethin" back. The kin"dom principle, as Jesus demonstrates, is !ery simple. >a!e a look at it in here, >e talks about "i!in" and recei!in". 3ow look at this. >e said4 you wouldn't like people to do that for you % and do you think 'od likes it when it's done that way either, by the way9 I'm "oin" to be nice to you today and pray, because I need somethin". That's not relationship. That's mean, that's selfish, manipulati!e. I can remember I had someone I knew, and once in a while this person would come and "i!e us a "ift. In the end I cottoned on, because always two days after the "ift, was a re?uest which I couldn't turn down. I didn't twi" to it, because I ne!er "i!e with that kind of expectation. It kind of cau"ht me by surprise, and e!ery time I'd "et cau"ht. I'd think that's nice, so kind of you, thank you !ery much. 7ut what I thou"ht was &ust a "ift, and what she was thinkin" was a trade4 I'll "i!e you this, tomorrow I'll be back for somethin" you'll ha!e to do for me. )hat can you do9 +ou'!e &ust been "i!en % now you're kind of % ooh. +ou feel that manipulati!e thin" "et around your soul. It's horrible, I hate it. I'!e learnt now to say no, but howe!er % so notice what >e says here. >ere's the principle here. If you lo!e those who lo!e you, what "race is upon you9 Sinners lo!e those who lo!e them. In other words >e's sayin" this4 if the only people you extend lo!e and kindness to, are those who'!e already "i!en it to you, there's no "race. There's no kin"dom life on that. An unsa!ed person will do that. The second thin" >e tells us then, >e said4 if you do "ood to those who do "ood to you, what credit or "race is that to you9 1or e!en sinners do the same. )hat >e's sayin" is4 if you do "ood, and you only do "ood to the people who are doin" "ood to you, or you want to "et somethin" back, there's no "race in that. There's no kin"dom in that. 3ow look at this, >e said4 if you lend to those from whom you hope to "et somethin" back, what "race is on your life9 C!en sinners lend to "et somethin" back. So now >e's sayin"4 but you, if you lo!e your enemies, do "ood, and lend % now look at this % hopin" for nothin" in return. This is what defiles thin"s, when you "i!e hopin" for somethin" in return. If I &ust do this, I'll "et this in return % that sets you up for resentment, disappointment, an"erA and you'd be ama$ed how many people, 5hristians who e!entually "a!e up, stopped walkin" with 'od, because the core of their ser!in" and "i!in" was, I'm "i!in" to "et somethin" back, and in doin" that they set themsel!es up. )hen what they expected ne!er came, it hurt them. #f course it hurt them, but rather than &ust dealin" with a heart attitude, people take offence. 3ow notice what it says here, lo!e, do "ood, >e says and hopin" for nothin" in return, so >e said4 this is how you operate in the kin"dom. +ou actually become a "enerous person, "i!in" with no a"endaA you sow, you "i!e, you're kind, you do "ood and there's no a"enda whatsoe!er % includin" no a"enda that I'm "oin" to now talk you into comin" to Jesus. 3o a"enda, full stop. 3o a"enda. 3otice what >e says, >e says two thin"s. 3otice the two thin"s >e says4 number one, your reward will be "reat. 'i!in" with no a"enda ?ualifies you for 'od to reward you "reatly. 3ow if I do somethin" with an intention of "ettin" a return, then you "i!e me a return, then I'!e had my reward. 7ut if I can "i!e, and operate in the way Jesus "a!e, where >e "a!e without tryin" to "et anythin" back out of anyone, then I'm ?ualifyin" myself for 'od's reward, and it may come in eternity. It may come here and now. Some of it comes now, a lot of it comes in eternity. That's why Jesus said4 lay up treasures in hea!en. >e said, second thin" is, you will be the sons of your 1ather. 3ow in other words >e's sayin", when you can "i!e without an a"enda for yourself, you are actin" like 'od. +ou truly are one of >is Sons, because you know, notice this % >e's kind to the &ust and the un&ust. I don't know whether you read that scripture, because the 5hristian thinkin" often "oes alon" the line, 'od blesses the 5hristians, >e doesn't bless the non%5hristians. 7ut that's not what the

7ible says % it says >e blesses all people, causes the rain to come on all people, so why does 'od do that9 7ecause now you see immediately, for under the law, we think that's not fair. I'!e been comin" to church, I'!e been doin" "ood, and I'!e been ser!in", I'!e "i!en my tithe and see, I'm like the older brother % and you ne!er "a!e me an option to celebrate with my friends* So many 5hristians are cau"ht in an older brother thinkin", rather than actually extra!a"ant "race, that 'od "i!es because >e's a "i!er, and >e wants us to become like that, "i!in" because we're "i!ers. I "i!e because I'm a "i!er. I lo!e to "i!e. I &ust so lo!e to "i!e. I lo!e to "i!e, I want to "i!e, I'm feelin" ri"ht now like "i!in" % feelin" !ery "enerous ri"ht now. I actually am committed to "enerosity. 3ow it wasn't how I "rew up, and it wasn't how I saw it modelled, but it's somethin" that Joy and I ha!e come to embrace, when we learned how to trust 'od, and lay e!erythin" down, and &ust lean upon >im. Then we learned how to be content, how to celebrate what we had, e!en thou"h if it was little, then as we "ot thin"s, how to be "enerous. )e &ust lo!e to be "enerous, so listen, I &ust belie!e 'od's wantin" to set people free today. )hy don't we &ust ha!e a "reat time now, where the >oly 'host comes, and starts to touch us. +ou see, I can feel the tension around talkin" in this area. That's because there's de!ils of po!erty, and hurt and pain and "rief o!er finance. )ouldn't it be "reat if we could &ust "et free of all of that, &ust let 'od touch us and help us today9 )hat I'd like to do is, I wonder if there are any sin"le parents in the church today, I'd like to pray for you first. Sin"le parents in the church today, if you are stru""lin" financially ri"ht now, if you're a sin"le parent, and you're stru""lin" ri"ht now, would you like to &ust come ri"ht up to the front now9 )e &ust want to bless you in a moment. )on't you come, sin"le parents, and you're stru""lin" financially, there's &ust a pressure on you. It worries you, it's stressin" you out and whate!er, and you know, we want you to be free of some of that. 5ome on, let's come on up. Alri"ht, now we want blessin" to come. Amen. >ow many want blessin" to come9 )e know it's a !ery hard time, <applause= and so you notice in my lan"ua"e, I said that we wanted you to come up, and that's not easy for you to do that, &ust honour you for respondin" today. )e said we wanted to pray for you and bless you. 3ow prayin" for you and blessin" you can be two different thin"s, so the first thin" I want to do is bless you, then we'll all pray for you. Amen, so Joy, won't you come up with me, and while I do this I felt the the >oly 'host, whene!er I talk about "enerosity, I can't not be "enerous. +ou'!e "ot to be "enerous, so what you didn't know when I asked you to come up was that I was "oin" to be "enerous to you, and so we want to &ust bless you, so I'll &ust "et my wallet out if I can "et it out of here. There we "o, we were down and we &ust raided the sa!in"s today. I &ust want to bless you. I think this couple here, I want to bless you, there you "o, ha!e ;F . 7less you. Eo somethin" for your family aye. <Applause= There we "o. )e'!e "ot another couple here, 'od bless you. 'od lo!es you. 'od's a "enerous 'od, >e wants to bless you, in not only financial ways. >e wants to really help you and touch you and bless your life, and you're a "reat person, I know you "o throu"h so much that we'!e "ot one for you too, there you "o. :ook at that. 7less you. There you "o, there you "o. It must be difficult bein" a sin"le dad aye9 5hallen"es. 'od wants to bless you and help you with that aye, won't sol!e all your problems, but it'll be a "reat start &ust to bless you, and I want you to know that 'od is "enerous, 'od lo!es you, and here we "o, there you "o, you're facin" all these battles and challen"es but you know 'od lo!es you. >ere it is, ;F for you, bless you. 'od bless you, hey, and all those boys to look after. I hope you make them all work and do somethin". <:au"hter= 7ut I know it's been a "reat challen"e for you. 'od lo!es you, >e wants to bless you too. There you "o, there you "o, there's ;F for you. 7less you, bless you <Applause= there we "o. 0raise the :ord. >ello. Amen. 'od lo!es you. >e understands the pressure you'!e been under. >e &ust wants you to know today >e lo!es you. >e's a "enerous 'od. >ere you "o, here's somethin", ;F for you. That'll help you out &ust a little bit aye9 There you "o.<Applause= 0raise the :ord. >ey, you're a "reat person. I see you at church, and you're &ust so full of &oy, and so full of ser!in" 'od, and I lo!e you, and we &ust appreciate what you do. Anyway here's a blessin", ;F for you too aye, how about that9 'od lo!es you, wants to bless you, teena"e "irl. There we "o. It hasn't been an easy road for you either has it aye9 7ut 'od lo!es you, and >e's pro!idin". +ou'!e "ot "reat "irls you know, you'!e done a "reat &ob. >asn't been easy, had challen"es, there you "o. >ere's ;F from the :ord with lo!e, from Jesus with lo!e, there we "o. <:au"hs= +ou're probably feelin" at the end of the line, has he "ot enou"h to do it9 +eah, I'!e "ot enou"h to do it. <:au"hs= 'od bless you, there you "o, here we are, ;F . Jesus lo!es you. 'i!e her a bi" hu". <Applause= 'ood on you mate. It'll be "reat. There you "o. +ou feel the presence of 'od here when we "i!e, so I don't want to "et anythin" back. )e're &ust "i!in", "i!in", we lo!e to "i!e. <Ian 5layton= I really % in this spirit world % I can feel the an"elic !ery much in what's "oin" on here. I really feel like there's a platform openin" up, for our creation and our people to sow into these people here. I really feel like the "enerosity that (ike and Joy ha!e shown has opened up a door that needs to be followed by people, and what I want to do is I &ust want to in!ite you, if you ha!e some cash on you, I want to in!ite you to come up and &ust put it on the

floor o!er here. )hat we will do is as a leadership, is we will distribute it to these people. I real feel like we need to do somethin" here, in the >oly Spirit. This is somethin" 'od's sittin" on, and we need to be doin" this, so I &ust want to open it up for you % there's a platform, &ust come and put it before (ike and Joy. If you can &ust, yeah, &ust want to stand o!er there, &ust come and put it before (ike and Joy. :et's &ust lay this before the :ord. I really feel like the platform that 'od wants to brin" from the body of 5hrist to these people is to brin" blessin" to them, and to release the "lory of 'od in the middle of this thin". 1ather, we want to recei!e this today. If you want to write out somethin", an I#I and you don't ha!e cash on you, then please do that. If you don't honour it I will. >alleluiah. >alleluiah Jesus. >alleluiah. See, this is what, in the spirit world, in the kin"dom world, this is called tradin", where you take somethin" of your life, and you "i!e it to 'od as an honorarium, and as an offerin" to >im, to sow into the li!es of people who ha!e been stru""lin". The 7ible says you know, we're less than an imbecile, if we don't take care of those e!en in our body that are sufferin" like this, and I really feel in times like this, that it's important to do what's needful from the house to en"a"e the kin"dom, and if you'!e "i!en, what I would really lo!e you to do is &ust to come and stand behind and beside one of these people, we &ust need to "et around them, because this is body ministry. Just come and "et around them, I &ust want some of you folks who ha!e "i!en &ust to come and "et around some of these people. <(ike 5onnell= Thank you :ord, praise the :ord. )e should ha!e a fund in the church which :yn administers, which is specifically for this purpose, &ust for helpin" people when there's stress and pressure, and helpin" them in time of need, so I wonder, we'!e &ust "ot these ones here that ha!e come up and they'll be o!erwhelmed with the lo!e of 'od. All you feel like you want to do is &ust cry, because you feel the heart of 'od when we "i!e to those around us, and those that particularly are amon" us who desperately ha!e need, so let's &ust reach our hands out to them all, ri"ht now. :et's bless them. Thank you :ord. 1ather, we &ust thank +ou for the "enerosity of people in the house, thank +ou :ord for the "enerosity that's in this church. :ord, we &ust ask +ou that +ou would pour +our blessin" on each couple, each person that's come out, that :ord today there'll be some bills paid, power bills paid, food supplied, that each one will ha!e an abundance. :ord, we &ust thank +ou that +ou'!e enabled us to "i!e like this, &ust thank +ou :ord for +our "oodness to us. )e can ne!er out "i!e +our "enerosity. )e can ne!er out "i!e +our "enerosity, and so :ord today we thank +ou, and 1ather, we &ust pray release of financial blessin" to each one of these ones here. 3ow Sar"in, what I'll need to do is to "et you to "et a pad and pen, and if each of the people that came up and responded to the altar call today, please come o!er and "i!e him your name and a contact, so after we add it up and work out what we'!e "ot here, we can make sure that it's di!ided e?ually and "oes to you. Amen. )hat I'd like you to do is to indicate if you'!e "ot a child, or how many children you'!e "ot, and we'll take that into account I think as we do it as well. Amen. It is somethin" else isn't it9 5ome to church and they're "i!in" money away* That's unusual isn't it aye9 )ho e!er heard of such a thin"9 7ut we ha!e to break this thin" that "ets around our mind, that all 'od wants to do is take. 'od wants to "i!e. 'od is an abundant "i!er, 'od is a "enerous 'od. An"els re&oice when we show kindness on those who are in need. Amen, so please "i!e your name to Sar"in. Eon't "o back without "i!in" your name. 'i!e him your name, "i!e him your contact details. (ake sure you "et all the names, e!ery person % don't sit down until you'!e "i!en him your name. Sue, we'd lo!e if you &ust led us to worship 'od. )hy don't we &ust "i!e a "enerous worship to 'od, as we finish with this last son". )e lo!e the :ord, and we want to honour >im today, and &ust express our "ratitude. <(usic and son" to end= 5ome on, let's &ust stand shall we9 :et's &ust stand, take someone's hand next to you if you feel comfortable to do that. :et's finish and &ust worship the :ord, honour >im today. 1ather, we thank +ou for 7ay 5ity, thank +ou for this church. )e speak now and decree an open hea!en, we decree a release o!er our families, a release o!er our li!es, a release financially. )e speak a release of "race, release of hearts, in Jesus' (i"hty name.

Summary Notes: Formatted

%ac to &op

1' (ntroduction ) Mt' -824 9No one can ser#e t$o masters1 for eit!er !e $i00 !ate t!e one and 0o#e t!e ot!er1 or e0se !e $i00 be 0oya0 to one and despise t!e ot!er' Bou cannot ser#e God and Mammon:' ) &!ere is a batt0e for your !eart o#er t!e issue of money' (t is a dai0y on=+oin+ batt0e' ) 5e need to brin+ our finances into position of di#ine b0essin+ by !onourin+ t!e ;ord first' ) Mt'E81J 9Co not t!in t!at ( came to destroy t!e ;a$ of t!e Prop!ets' ( did not come to destroy but to fu0fi0 (re#ea0 t!eir true intent and app0ication)'

) *esus raised t!e standard , Fe re#ea0ed t!e true intent and app0ication' ) A21 e'+' >& ? Bou s!a00 not murder , but ( say t!at $!ose#er is an+ry N e'+' >& ? Bou s!a00 not commit adu0tery , %ut ( say to you $!ose#er 0oo s at $omen to 0ust N e'+' >& ? circumcise c!i0dren , N& circumcision is of t!e !eart ("om'282<) e'+' >& ? tit!in+ , +i#e 1.13t! , N& Generosity 2 @or' <8E=11 Bou can tit!e and not be +enerous , +enerosity is an issue of t!e !eart' 2' Generosity is a Feart (ssue ) *n'1281=/ 9&!e !ouse $as fi00ed $it! t!e fra+rance of t!e oi0:' ) Cefinition ? Generous ? 0ibera0 in +i#in+ or s!arin+1 unse0fis!1 free from meanness or sma00ness' ? $i00in+ to +i#e of money1 time1 resources' ) >pposite ? Se0fis! ? mean1 miserab0e1 stin+y1 re0uctant to +i#e1 ti+!t1 $it!!o0din+' ) Generosity and se0fis!ness are a dai0y batt0e' ) 5e are not born +enerous , $e are born se0fis! e'+' c!i0dren , 9mine1 mine: ) Se0fis!ness ori+inated $it! Satan and $as imparted into t!e !uman race' ) Generosity e4poses and re#ea0s se0fis!ness' ) AsE=- 5!y $as t!is fra+rant oi0 not so0d for 333 denarii and +i#en to t!e poor6 ) *udas became a+itated1 critica01 Iud+ementa0 , 9ou+!t to +i#e to t!e poor:' ) Fe manifested !eart attitude of +reed1 se0fis!ness1 en#y1 Iea0ousy' Fe did not care for t!e poor , !e cared for !imse0f' ) Se0fis!ness a0$ays criticiLes t!e +enerosity or b0essin+s of ot!ers to concea0 9itse0f:' Se0fis!ness , cares for se0f1 protects se0f1 and pro#ides e4cuses not to be +enerous' ) A- Fe $as a t!ief , and !ad t!e money bo4 (entrusted $it! *esus finances)' Fe $as unfait!fu0 in unri+!teous mammon , 0ac ed +enerosity' (Hp!'482/ 9;et !im t!at sto0e stea0 no more , rat!er $or $it! !is !ands $!at is +ood t!at !e may !a#e somet!in+ to +i#e to !im t!at is in need:') 3' Generosity is H4tra#a+ant ) *n'1283=E #ery cost0y oi0 , 333 denarii cf M ' 1484 ) H4tra#a+ant ? e4ceeds t!e bounds of reason1 +oes beyond $!at is deser#ed' ) Generosity is ne#er a $asteG (t is an issue of !eart , e4pressin+ t!e nature of God' ) (t is not t!e amount +i#en t!at counts but $!at is in your !eart as you +i#e8 e'+' Mary8 1 denarii ? 14 days $a+e , +a#e 14 years $a+es Ca#id8 3333 ta0ents of +o0d J333 ta0ents of si0#er , -O bi00ion do00ars (1 ta0ent ? 13E3 per oL) (1 @!ron'2<82=E) ) So0omon (1 7' 483=13) 1333 burnt offerin+s (GodDs response = 66 ) 5ido$Ds mea0 (1 7' J813) 5ido$ +a#e !er 0ast mea0' ) 5ido$Ds mite (Mt' 1284J) Ga#e more t!an a00' ) Abra!am (Gen'2282) Ga#e !is on0y son' ) *esus (*n'381-) Ga#e Fis 0ife for t!e $or0d' 4' Generosity f0o$s from Gratitude ) *n'1281 9;aLarus $!o !ad been dead1 $!om Fe raised from t!e dead:' ) MaryDs perspecti#e tota00y a0tered by t!e resurrection from t!e dead of !er brot!er' ) Feart $as fi00ed $it! +ratitude and appreciation and !onour for *esus' ) (#J) 5!en you +i#e to God you do not no$ t!e impact it $i00 !a#e1 !o$ God uses' ) God a0$ays !as a purpose for t!e +ift t!at you +i#e' ) Generosity to t!e ;ord and peop0e is t!e o#erf0o$ of a +ratefu0 !eart' 2 @or' <8J=/ ) Ca#id $as +ratefu0 , +a#e ) So0omon $as +ratefu0 = +a#e E' Generosity is "e$arded ) M '48- 9;ea#e !er a0one , $!at s!e !as done $i00 be to0d as a memoria0 to !er:' S!e did not +i#e to be re$arded , but s!e $as re$arded' ) ; '-831=3E 9Bour re$ard $i00 be +reat1 and you $i00 be sons of t!e Most Fi+!:' = *esus teac!es on +i#in+ $it! no !idden a+enda of persona0 +ain' = 5or0d8 operates on tradin+ , buy and se00 , ( +i#e you and ( e4pect from you' = 7in+dom8 operates on +i#in+ and recei#in+ , ( +i#e to you $it!out any e4pectations from you' ) &!is is $!at astonis!es peop0e , $!en $e +i#e $it!out e4pectin+ return' ) (t is contrary to t!e tradin+ t!ey e4perience in t!e $or0d , 9+i#in+ $it! !oo s:' ) 5i00 $e be re$arded6 @ertain0y , God sees to t!at in Fis time and $ay' ) (s'328/ 9&!e +enerous man de#ises +enerous t!in+s and by !is +enerosity !e $i00 stand: N7* ) Good men $i00 be +enerous to ot!ers and $i00 be b0essed of God for a00 t!ey do: ;(A(NG %(%;H' ) Fo$ intentiona0 are you in p0annin+ to be +enerous6 ) Fo$ cou0d you +ro$ in +enerosity $it! money6 &ime6 "esources6 ) Fo$ readi0y a#ai0ab0e are you and your resources for t!e 7in+dom of God6

Generosity (4 of 4) Sun Sep 2012 AM 6 7ack to Top


Audio Notes Paperbac S!are Support "e#ie$
There's somethin about enerosity that creates a very sweet fra rance. 'hen people ive and there's nothin in it for themselves, they've $ust iven unexpectedly to you, then there's somethin sweet about it. %enerosity usually exposes reed. %od is love and you can't love without ivin . )ou can ive without lovin , but you can't love without ivin , so the reatest way we express the love of %od to people is when we can be enerous and kind to them with no a enda. That's when people see %od, because that's what %od is like.

So John, 5hapter 12. Six days before the 1east of 0asso!er, Jesus came to 7ethany where :a$arus had been dead, whom >e raised from the dead. There they made >im a supper and (artha ser!ed, but :a$arus was one who sat at the table with >im. Then (ary took a pound of costly ointment of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, wiped >is feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fra"rance of the oil, and one of >is disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, who would betray >im, said4 why didn't they sell this fra"rant oil for three hundred denarii % a denarii is a day's wa"e % and "i!en it to the poor9 And he said this, not because he cared for the poor. >e implied he cared for the poor, but he didn't. Dather he was a thief, but he "a!e out that he cared for the poor, but he was really a thief, and he had the money box. >e used to steal what was put in it. The offerin"s that were put in, he was stealin" them. And Jesus said4 lea!e her alone, she has kept this day for the day of (y burial. Jesus commended her, so we saw that "enerosity is unlimited. +ou can be as "enerous, or as mean, as you choose. It's a choice, and (ary, because she was "rateful, she was deeply "ratefulA her brother had died, they'd "one to the burial ser!ice, they'd buried him, they'd mourned, they'd had the wake. >e was dead and buried. 1our days had "one by % there's no show of him e!er comin" back a"ain, and she was still in a sta"e of "rie!in". Jesus came and brou"ht life into a desperate and hopeless situation. :a$arus rose from the dead, much to e!eryone's ama$ement. There's no one can do that except 'od, and so her heart was deeply touched. 3ow the "ratitude, &ust what can I "i!e for all >e's "i!en to me9 So she took out somethin" worth thousands and thousands of dollars % you ima"ine three hundred day's wa"es. I don't know what you "et a day, but you &ust multiply that by a ;1 a day, three hundred times a hundred, you're talkin" ;/ , . )e're talkin" !ery expensi!e offerin" here. She &ust extra!a"antly put it out all o!er Jesus. +ou notice that when people "i!e extra!a"antly a number of thin"s happen. The first thin" that happened was the house was filled with the atmosphere. There's somethin" about "enerosity that creates a !ery sweet fra"rance. There's somethin" about "enerosity, with no a"endas, that is !ery sweet. )hen people "i!e, and there's nothin" in it for themsel!es, they'!e &ust "i!en unexpectedly to you, then there's somethin" sweet about it. 'i!in", "enerous "i!in". +ou know, we come into church, and if we come and &ust dra" oursel!es in, and then it takes us half an hour to "et warmed up, that's not !ery nice atmosphere. 7ut when we come in and oh 'od, you're so "ood to me* I &ust want to "i!e somethin", and we be"in to "i!e them somethin" % oh, there's a lo!ely atmosphere. It's a "reat atmosphere when people "i!e 'od the best, and so that's what she did. So "enerosity usually flows out of a heart of "ratitude. The next thin" about "enerosity, "enerosity usually exposes "reed. 5o!etin" is when I don't ha!e somethin", and I want somethin" I ha!en't "ot. 'reed is when I'!e "ot somethin", and I want more of it. Judas was "reedy, and he wanted more money, and so "enerosity often exposes "reed. I can remember <lau"hs= I can remember we were in a situation where one of our friends had made the decision to "o on a missions trip, and I &ust decided strai"ht away we would "i!e him some money. )e didn't ha!e

much money at that sta"e but I felt 'od "i!in" me a fi"ure to "i!e to him. I "a!e it to him. I said look, I'd lo!e to sow this into you. )ell there was this deathly silence in the room and then suddenly someone else erupted. I thou"ht whoa* )hat is that9 Actually what was happenin" was he didn't % this is the thin" % he did not think it was fair that he should be "i!en the money. It was my money to "i!e. I &ust "a!e because I felt 'od tell me to, but this "uy thou"ht it's not fair or ri"ht for him to "et it. >e doesn't deser!e it. See, what kind of thin" is that9 Actually what he's thinkin" is4 I deser!e thatA so "enerosity flushes out heart attitudes. I'm sure before the end of it today that someone's heart attitude will be flushed. <:au"hter= I'm sure it will. I'm sure it will % so "enerosity, notice this, is a reward in unexpected ways, so when (ary came out and she brou"ht out this thin", I bet she wasn't thinkin" this4 I want to become famous in history. I want to become the woman that e!eryone in e!ery nation of the earth for all time remembers, and knows I'm "enerous. I don't think there was any of that in her heart at all. It wasn't there at all was it9 She &ust "a!e because she lo!ed, she was "rateful. +ou know what happened9 The unexpected reward is e!erywhere you preach the "ospel, her name is mentioned, and what she did is mentioned. )hat's mentioned is not her prayers. )hat's mentioned is her "enerosity, and >e said her "enerosity be remembered. )hy is this9 )hy am I on about this "enerosity thin"9 :et me put it !ery simply. The 7ible tells us 'od is lo!e. It doesn't say >e's power. 'od is lo!e, and you can't lo!e without "i!in". +ou can "i!e without lo!in", but you can't lo!e without "i!in"A so the "reatest way we express the lo!e of 'od to people, is when we can be "enerous and kind to them with no a"enda. That's when people see 'od, because that's what 'od is like. +ou see the power9 +es, that's "reat too, but the lo!e of 'od "i!es somethin" to people that's &ust touched by 'od. I want to &ust talk some more on "enerosity today, and so firstly I want to share this. 'enerosity is the practical outworkin" of bein" ri"ht with 'od. >ow many people here know, that you are made ri"hteous by the blood of Jesus 5hrist9 >ow many know that9 )hoa* 'lory to 'od, we all know that. )e're well established. )e're 0entecostals, and established in the truth that we are ri"ht with 'od. 3ow here's the thin". 1or most of us our thinkin" is, this is about a le"al stand with 'od. )ould that be ri"ht9 )e think well when we say the word ri"hteous, we think what that means is, I'm in ri"ht standin" with 'od by the work that Jesus did for me. If you think that you're correct. >owe!er, if you only think that, then that's !ery limitin" on what biblical ri"hteousness means. So yes, it's true that we are in ri"ht standin" with 'od by what Jesus did, >is "ift to us that brin"s us to ri"ht standin". 7ut for the >ebrews, and the whole nature of co!enantal relationship with 'od, to be ri"ht with 'od not meant that you &ust didn't ha!e any sins currently "oin" with >im. It meant you were li!in" out your co!enantal relationship with 'od. In other words it always had an o!erflow in your life some way. In other words, for a >ebrew, and the >ebrew thinkin" about bein" ri"hteous, was not that I ha!e a le"al position with 'od, now I can li!e my life the way I like. It means I ha!e a standin" with 'od that now o!erflows in a way of li!in" that was different to before. )e tend to &ust focus that I'!e made ri"ht with 'od, and now I'!e "ot no responsibilities in this co!enant, and that's not really true. I am made ri"ht with 'od by faith, and by faith alone, but bein" ri"ht with 'od, there now needs to be an o!erflow that demonstrates the ri"htness with 'od is real, and the way that shows is "enerosity. #h, oh, ?uiet, !ery ?uiet. :et's ha!e a look at a couple of scriptures on that. )e'll start with a couple of #ld Testament ones, then we'll look at a couple of 3ew Testament ones % 0salm 112, @erse B. :ook at this, so &ust to show you firstly the #ld Testament, but I'll show it's established in the 3ew as well % 0salm 112, @erse B, here it is. I want you to see the connection between bein" ri"ht with 'od, and bein" "enerous. >ere it is4 >e has dispersed to the poor abroad. >e has "i!en to the poor. >is ri"hteousness endures fore!er. 3otice the connection between "i!in" to the poor, and bein" a ri"hteous person. :et's ha!e a look at another scripture, 0salm /H and @erse 21. >ere it is a"ain, stron" connection. It says4 the wicked borrows and doesn't pay back, but the ri"hteous % look what the ri"hteous do. The ri"hteous show mercy and "i!e. So a ri"hteous person is % actually you can tell a ri"hteous person, not because they "o to church and carry a 7ible and pray lon" prayers, or speak in ton"ues. A ri"hteous person actually does somethin" else % shows mercy, and "i!es. (aybe you can't discount what is written in the #ld Testament. In the 3ew Testament, in (atthew 5hapter 2F, ha!e a look at this when Jesus separates the nation out in a day to come, in (atthew, 5hapter 2F. The kin" shall say to those on his ri"ht hand, >e's "athered the nations to"ether, sifted them out. 5ome you blessed of (y 1ather, inherit the kin"dom prepared for you, from the foundation of the world4 for I was hun"ry and you fed me. +ou "a!e me food, I was thirsty, you "a!e (e to drink. I was a stran"er, you took (e in. I was naked and you clothed (e, I was sick, you !isited (e. I was in prison and you came to (eA and the ri"hteous, the ri"hteous will say oh, when did we see +ou hun"ry, feed +ou and thirsty and "i!e +ou drink9 )hen did we see +ou stran"er and take +ou in and naked and clothe +ou9 )hen did we see +ou sick in prison and come to +ou9 And >e said assuredly I say to you, as much as

you did it to one of the least of (y brethren, you did it to (e. 3otice the connection between bein" ri"hteous, and bein" kind to the poor. They "o hand in hand. )ould you consider the people of our city are blessed, or are they really stru""lin", not in the blessin" of 'od, but really are actually from a spiritual perspecti!e, extremely poor9 They are. The whole re"ion is extremely poor. It shows up in a whole number of ways, but one of the thin"s that 'od puts in us !ery clearly to see, is that if we are in ri"ht standin" with >im, the way we express it % now I am ri"ht with 'od, what does a ri"ht man li!e like9 Eo you understand that9 It's how does a ri"hteous man li!e9 In other words, now I'm made ri"ht by what Jesus did for me, and I'm trustin" it, now how will I li!e out that bein" ri"ht with 'od9 )hat would it look like9 I'll "o to prayer meetin"s. +eah, yeah, yeah, that's "reat. I'll "o to 7ible Study. +eah, that's "reat % keep "oin". I'll speak in ton"ues. #h, that's "reat too % and there's heaps of thin"s are "reat. 7ut the thin" the 7ible consistently says, is that you show mercy, and become "enerous to those who are in need. It's somethin" the church has for"otten, and yet needs to awaken to it, because this is somethin" as we'll see, that's part of e!ery one of us. So when we look at the word ri"hteous, we tend to think of &ust our standin" with 'od, but the >ebrew thinkin" is ri"hteous means a lifestyle outworked because of my standin" with 'od. I looked it up in )ikipedia. )ikipedia's a "reat place and the word for ri"hteous in the #ld Testament is tsidak, meanin" ri"hteous, and the word "enerosity or charity or "i!in" to the poor is the word T$edakah, and it's "ot it in )ikipedia ,http4LLen.wikipedia.or"LwikiLT$edakah.. It's there for e!eryone to know, so the >ebrew word to be ri"ht or ri"hteous or ri"ht with 'od in the #ld Testament, T$edak, and that means to be ri"ht with 'od. The word "enerous, "i!in" to the poor, bein" charitable, bein" concerned or ha!in" compassion, and demonstratin" it to people in need is the word T$edakah, which means % and this is the thin" that Shane brou"ht out !ery clearly % it means ri"hteousness re!ealed is "enerosity. So you can't separate the two from one another, so >ebrews considered that all our resources belon" to 'od, and 'od has therefore the ri"ht to direct our resources. So when I think about the tithe, or the first portion of my finances, I always think it doesn't really belon" to me anyway. It's somethin" that is 'od's, and then there's another part of our finances which doesn't belon" to us either. It's the part that needs to be "i!en to people in need, and so we allocate and worked our finances % I'll share a bit more about it another day % so that we ha!e a first portion always set aside for the :ord, and we also ha!e a portion for oursel!es, and we also ha!e a portion for people in need. That means we can be "enerous at any time, because we pre%plan "enerosity, accordin" to this is how a ri"hteous man li!es. Think about that. It's ?uite "ood to think about these thin"s isn't it9 So basically then, we ha!e a portion of our resources, which I consider is not mine. I call that the tithe, that doesn't belon" to me. I can't spend it on me or mine. I belie!e that it belon"s to 'od and therefore I should put it for whate!er the :ord directs me to, into the house of 'od, into the work of 'od, into ad!ancin" the kin"dom of 'od. )e'!e "ot another part that doesn't belon" to us either, and that's the part set aside for people who are poor. It's 'od's pro!ision for them, that's why it's not mine. I'm free to be a steward of it, and I can &ust "i!e it to myself, or I can "i!e it to people who are poor. It's &ust a choice, and so all of us ha!e a choice with the resources we ha!e, how we mana"e them, and it's all to do with what you belie!e about it, and how you handle it. 3ow I'm not "ettin" into le"alism of how much and any of these thin"s, but this is always an issue of the heart, and Joy and I find it a hu"e &oy to be able to be "enerous % be "enerous, because a ri"hteous person is a "enerous person. #oh, we're "ettin" real ?uiet now. <:au"hter= 5ome on, tell someone next to you4 I know he's talkin" to you, come on, listen up, he's talkin" to you. 1ree up inside there. #kay then, I want you to look another new % remember, now what we're doin" we're lookin" at that because a lot of people look and think oh, this is #ld Testament. >a!e a look at this scripture in the 3ew Testament. See what it says in John, 1 John, 5hapter / and @erse 18A whoe!er % now this is lo!e, we know lo!e, >e lay down >is life for us and we ou"ht to lay our li!es down for our brethren. 7ecause of the example of Jesus and our "ratitude, the outworkin" of that is we "i!e ourself to people. 3ow whoe!er has this world's "oods % it's not talkin" to the poor, it's someone who's "ot somethin" % and sees his brother in need % so it's talkin" about you ha!in" some pro!ision, and you see someone in need. )ell of course what you could do is say well4 the church ou"ht to do somethin" about that* <:au"hter= The 'o!ernment ou"ht to do somethin" about that. 3o, actually you're the one who ou"ht to do somethin", because you'!e "ot the "oods, and you saw the need, simple. And so he said who sees his brother in need, and he shuts up his heart from him % now look at this % how can you say the lo!e of 'od is in that person9 >e said howe!er, let us not lo!e in word nor in ton"ue, but in deed and in truth. That's how you know you're of the truth, and that's how your heart becomes assured. )hy9 7ecause when you see people in need, there's a sense of feelin" mo!ed to want to help, and then "ettin" en"a"ed in helpin", and that's how you can assure your heart that you are in the lo!e of 'od and walkin" with 'od, because you're a person of "enerosity and compassion and kindness, and you "i!e where there's needs. It's your lifestyle, and if I want to abide

in the lo!e of 'od, I'!e "ot to abide in lo!in" people. +ou see if we separate, that I &ust ha!e a stand with 'od, but no responsibilities to li!e my life, I become &ust reli"iously disconnected from e!erythin" that is really important to 'od. If I think that I can lo!e 'od, but ha!e no expression to people I can see, I'm actually foolin" myself. The outworkin" of my lo!e of 'od is an o!erflow towards people. The people next to you you can see. 'od you can't see, so the o!erflow of lo!in" 'od, is that when I meet people in need, my heart is mo!ed with compassion to reach them. In reachin" them, I am demonstratin" the lo!e of 'od, and stayin" in the flow of the lo!e of 'od. So number one, "enerosity is a practical way you express you're ri"ht with 'od. +ou want to know how to express you're ri"ht with 'od, make a decision and be"in to put into practice "enerosity to people in need, in e!ery kind of way, and you'll find yourself walkin" with 'od. +ou can't help but find yourself walkin" with 'od. 'od always seems to be on it somehow. >e's on "enerosity somehow. >ere's the second thin" then. 'enerosity is a lifestyle. I want you to ha!e a look in Eeuteronomy 2-. 'enerosity is not &ust well it was "reat, we had an offerin" and then we took up some money and there it is, I'!e done my bit. 3o, actually the church has done ama$in"ly. A couple of Sundays a"o, 'od put it in our heart when I preached "enerosity, to demonstrate "enerosity, and it wasn't church money, it was our personal money which we had put aside. Some of it we put aside for this purpose, some of it we hadn't put aside, it was &ust our money, full stop, but 'od "a!e the amount, and so I wanted to demonstrate that we listen to 'od in the handlin" of resources, and you can't &ust talk about it without li!in" it out. +ou &ust ha!e to li!e it out, and so I felt the :ord "i!e me a specific sum, specific thin" to talk to people about. I made an undertakin" that we would pray for and bless people. 3ow it took humility for people to come forward. It's not easy to do that, and there are others in need who didn't come forward. I know that because they had money left o!er. It's &ust because we couldn't admit that we really did ha!e a need. It's real hard to do that, that takes humility, and so what happened was Ian stood up and encoura"ed the church, because we could sense that &ust 'od was suddenly comin" in. >is presence &ust filled the place when we did that, in an extraordinary way. I always notice what brin"s 'od's presence, and I'm still thinkin" about that one, that suddenly in a moment of time, all the worship, e!erythin" else, the intensity when we started to "i!e to people in need, was far "reater than anythin" we had ri"ht throu"h the ser!ice. 3otice that. I noticed that. I thou"ht ooh, 'od liked our worship but boy, >e lo!ed the "i!in" e!en more. >e came e!en stron"er. >ow about that9 +ou'!e "ot to notice thin"s, "ot to notice thin"s. The church &ust suddenly responded, and I am !ery, !ery, !ery deli"hted to be able to say that o!er ;8, came up <Applause= to bless those people. 5ome on, "i!e yourself a clap, that was ama$in". <Applause= That was &ust ama$in". That was ama$in". 3one of the people ha!e that kind of money. I had to "o specially to "et some, so I'd ha!e some. Isually if I ha!e some it's "one, you know9 1ind someone in need, and bless them with it, but this was &ust brilliant. Anyway, so our "i!in" needs to be a test, so that was a one off kind of thin", but actually "enerosity is a lifestyle, and 'od has always intended it be a lifestyle. I want to &ust show you in the #ld Testament how 'od makes it !ery clear, "enerosity is actually part of your life, and >e builds it in in more than one place, so I'll "i!e you one place, Eeuteronomy 2- @erse 1G. +ou remember that you were once a sla!e in C"ypt. +ou were in bonda"e to sin, and 'od redeemed you. Eo you remember what it was like, when your life was miserable in sin, and you were tormented and troubled, down and wretched, and then 'od redeemed. 'od "enerously paid the price to "et you free. It cost you nothin", because it cost >im e!erythin". Then he said therefore I command you to do this, so he said remember what it was like to be unsa!ed, when your life was in turmoil9 Demember how 'od paid the price to "et you free. >e says4 now I command you to do this. )hy9 #ut of "ratitude, and whene!er 'od "i!es a command in the #ld Testament, it's because >e knows we tend to for"et it, but it's a principle that'll brin" success in life. 3ow here it is. )hen you reap the har!est of your field % so they were an a"ricultural community, so to reap the har!est of your field, meant they went out into the fields, they took in, and they were "ettin" their income for the year out of their har!est, so they'd ha!e a har!est in certain seasons. They'd "et an income at that time. 1or us today, we're not out there har!estin" the fields, we "o to work and we recei!e a wa"e, so when it says when you har!est your field, it's talkin" today's e?ui!alent would be when you "et a wa"e, when you "et an income, when you "et somethin" comin" in, >e says this. >e says4 when you reap your har!est in your field, and for"et a sheaf in the field, don't "o back for the sheaf to "et it. It's for the stran"er, the fatherless, the widow, that the :ord your 'od may bless you, in all the work of your hands. )hen you beat your oli!e trees, don't "o o!er it a"ain. Just do it once, because the others that are left on the tree are for the stran"er, the fatherless, the widow. )hen you "ather the "rapes from your !ineyard, don't "lean it afterwards. It'll be for the stran"er, the fatherless, and the widow. Three times >e said, that 'od is concerned about firstly the stran"er. The stran"er is an unsa!ed person, so >e's sayin" to >is people, make sure you put aside resources from your life, to reach the needs of people who don't know 5hrist.

3ow we'll &ust look at what that could mean, but it's not &ust money. It's more than money. Actually, as you'll see here, >e's talkin" about your field, in other words >e's sayin" don't take e!erythin" in your field. :ea!e the corners, lea!e a part of your har!est deliberately and intentionally a!ailable for these peopleA number one, the unsa!ed. That's the stran"erA number two, the fatherless. That's the people, solo families, people who are orphaned in !arious places in our nation, or in the worldA and for the widows, so the widow's the person who has no husband, there's no pro!ider, the person who's in dire strai"hts or under immense pressure. 'od's sayin" care for the widows, the fatherless and the stran"er, and 'od has ne!er chan"ed. >e's still concerned about the unsa!ed. >e's concerned about those who ha!e no father, and we li!e in a fatherless "eneration, "ot a whole "eneration like that, and >e's sayin" to >is church, >e's sayin" to >is people, be intentional about this. This is a lifestyle. See they &ust had two har!ests a year maybe. )e "et a har!est e!ery week % or once a fortni"ht or a month, so this is for us, it's all about a lifestyle of considerin" unsa!ed people, and bein" willin" to take what you ha!e in some way, show kindness to people who are unsa!ed. The stran"er was someone from another nation, and the reason we're to show kindness is !ery simple, because you yourself were a stran"er once, because we're so "rateful to 'od, and we say we need to "o witnessin" to someone, need to share the "ospel and whate!er. )ell the church has a responsibility to do that, but firstly it's "et the moti!ation. The moti!ation of sharin" the "oodness of 'od, is that we ha!e been blessed by 'od, so when you continue to stay in a place of "ratitude and thankfulness, you can intentionally set aside some of your resources for this work of the poor and the unsa!ed. )hat that means effecti!ely is sowin" into the work of e!an"elism, and sowin" into areas of needs. 3ow this could be or"anised by someone else and you sow into that. It could be part of the church's work, and we sow into that. It could be somethin" we're doin" o!erseas, or it could be there are people around you that you can work and sow into. That's where 'od brin"s stran"ers to you. +ou are surrounded by stran"ers. )hat portion of your life is a!ailable to them9 So puttin" it another way, don't spend up to the max, so you'!e "ot no money left to "i!e out and be "enerous to people at appropriate times. Eon't fill up your diary and your schedule so much, that you'!e "ot no time to build connections with people, and relate to them. Eon't fill up your own household with so much busyness, you'!e "ot no room to show hospitality to people and brin" them into your home % so e!ery part of our life, we can lea!e a portion of it, so unsa!ed people or those in need can share it. )e'!e always bou"ht houses, the first ?uestion we asked was how will this help us in the work of the :ord9 )ill it meet all the needs of our kids9 )e'!e been ama$ed how 'od led us to places, e!ery one had this in common. They were bi" and had plenty of room, and we could ha!e lots of people in. I lo!e it. I'm so "lad we did it. I'!e ne!er re"retted that. At times it's difficult and challen"in", but that doesn't matter, because it's part of a lifestyle. 7i"ness is to do with your heart and your lifestyle. +ou may ha!e a !ery little house, but you can ha!e a bi" heart, and ha!e someone in there. +ou may ha!e !ery little money comin" in, but you can ha!e a bi" heart and include someone in what you'!e "ot. +ou may not ha!e anythin" !ery much nice in your home, but you can open your home and ha!e someone come in, and you know what I found the most poor people with so little are so "enerous. In fact some of the most "enerous people I'!e found are in third worlds, who'!e "ot !ery little, but they'!e "ot a bi" heart, and what they ha!e "ot they share with you. >a!e you noticed that9 The more materialistic we "et, the less "enerous we often "et. Somethin"'s wron" % that's because the spirit of (ammon can "et a hold of your heart, and it becomes more about me and what I'!e "ot, than about actually 'od's desire and heart to reach the world. +ou'!e "ot a house, brin" someone unsa!ed into it. 'et them o!er for a meal, ha!e a barbe?ue, brin" some 5hristian friends. 1ind some ways that you can make portions in your life a!ailable to those who don't know Jesus, or those who are in need. 7rin" them in, you'!e "ot a meal, brin" someone home, a solo parent, brin" them home. So you know what it said9 Eon't consume e!erythin". >e's sayin"4 don't consume e!erythin". 3ow there's two thin"s about it hereA number one is the moti!e, here it is, @erse 22, the moti!e. +ou remember you were once a sla!e, and I redeemed you % or puttin" it another way, remember you were totally in bonda"e, you were on your way to hell, and I paid a full price, the most expensi!e price, to pull you out of that state and "et you where you are. That's why you do it % "ratitude. 'ratitude. 'ratitude. 'ratitude* 'ratitude* 7ein" thankful* Thank +ou Jesus, thank +ou :ord, thank +ou :ord. I can't understand anyone comin" to church that won't say4 thank +ou Jesus, oh, I am so blessed* I am so blessed, thank +ou Jesus. And here's the other reason you could do it too, and that is because 'od promises >e will bless you, because most of us think the same way, if I "i!e somethin" away, I won't enou"h left, and that's fear, there won't be enou"h for me. So >e says4 I command you to do this thin", because % @erse 1B % that the :ord may bless you in all of the work of your hands. So 'od says4 if you'll make this a lifestyle, e!erythin" you do will be touched by 'od. >ow about that % make it a lifestyle, e!erythin" you do will be blessed by 'od. Isn't that somethin" else9 #kay, so there's one example there, it's a lifestyle.

>ere's another one, look in Eeuteronomy, 5hapter 1-. I won't "o into these too much, &ust touch on them, so you see them there % @erses 2G and 2B and there it isA at the end of e!ery third year, you'll brin" out the tithe of your produce for that year, store it up within your "ates. And the :e!ite, because he has no portion nor inheritance, and the stran"er, the fatherless and the widow who are within your "ates, may come and eat and be satisfied, so the :ord your 'od may bless you in all the work of your hand. 3otice a"ain, they were commanded that on e!ery third year, one of the tithes % they had more than one tithe. They had a tithe for the house of 'od, they had a tithe for themsel!es, and that tithe for themsel!es e!ery third year was "i!en to the poor, or in other words, what that amounts to, it amounts to one%third of one%tenth, so one%thirtieth. So if you "ot a wa"e this week, ;1 , one%thirtieth of it you "i!e, and put aside specially for the blessin" of those who are poor. Isn't that wonderful9 That's how we'!e done it. )e'!e &ust opened up an account, a thirtieth of e!erythin" we "et "oes in there, and sometimes more. Muite simple then, it be"ins to accumulate and "row up, and there are some other thin"s we'!e recei!ed, and it all "oes there, &ust all "oes there so we can do this. See, so you notice here, this was actually scheduled into the lifestyle of the people of 'od, in the #ld Testament. )hy would it not be in the 3ew Testament9 It would be e!en more in the 3ew Testament wouldn't you think9 It would be e!en lar"er in the 3ew Testament, so in 2 5orinthians B, we read it this mornin", here it is. >a!e a look in 2 5orinthians B, and it's the same sort of principle there, same sort of principle. Intentional, intentional. >ere it is, 2 5orinthians, 5hapter B, @erse FA I thou"ht it necessary to exhort you, to "o ahead of time, to prepare your "enerous "ift beforehand, which you had pre!iously undertaken to "i!e, that it may be ready as a matter of "enerosity, not some kind of duty or obli"ation. So what >e's sayin" is, I don't want to come up and take up an offerin" and ha!e you under emotional pressure. I want you &ust to ha!e a think about how 'od is speakin" to you, and how "enerous you want to be. It's an interestin" thin" with "enerosity, there's no limit to "enerosity. +ou can choose how "enerous you are. It's somethin" you choose to become. 3ow of course, you can also hear the !oice of 'od, and you can also be mo!ed by compassion, so I'!e found that for us, the mo!ers, the mo!ers that we ha!e, when it comes to "enerosity, are !ery simpleA one, we hear the !oice of 'od. So when we ha!e anythin" bi" we always hear the !oice of 'od and here's the one thin" I know % I don't hear the :ord clearly on a lot of matters, but when it comes to "i!in" we &ust click like that. Joy and I both "et the same amount e!ery time, e!ery time. <:au"hter= I &ust kind of hide it, so like &ust thinkin" 'od's put an amount into me, what do you think it is9 She'll tell me oh* That's exactly what it is, you know, and that's how we work, so number one, we hear the !oice of 'odA two, compassion. Sometimes I &ust see someone, and I feel my heart mo!e. If I feel my heart mo!e, I don't need any more. Just if the heart mo!es, I sense my heart stirred. 3ow I'm not foolish in that, because I remember the :ord speakin" to me one time when I was o!erseas about professional be""ars, and the manipulation of emotions, and >e said4 in those situations, you need to hear from (e, so I learnt how to say no as well as say yes. So one is hearin" the !oice of 'od, and then the other is &ust the decision to practice "enerosity, and to practice enlar"in" % you ha!e a meal, put an extra bit out and ha!e someone else in, really ?uite simple. +ou'!e "ot a celebration, brin" a few extra people in. >a!e a barbe?ue, put a few more in and brin" some more people in, and you "o and do somethin", take someone with you. 'o to the beach, "et someone in your car with you. That's why we always ha!e bi" cars % bi" family, but then we could always brin" someone with us as well. Jam them in % those days you didn't need all those car seats, but howe!er can't do that today. It's a bit more difficult. )e used to &ust &am them, &am them in. It was loaded with people <lau"hs= so there it is. So number one, we saw there, it's a practical expression of bein" ri"ht with 'od. 3umber two, it's a lifestyleA number three, it has no selfish a"enda. :et me finish with this one here, which we started with a couple of weeks a"o, :uke, 5hapter 8. :et me &ust finish with this one here. This is such an important one. :uke, 5hapter 8. +ou know this !erse, because you'!e probably heard it hundreds of times from someone standin" up on the platform. >ere it is here, @erse /GA 'i!e, and it shall be "i!en to you* #h* That's a "ood !erse isn't it aye9 0ressed down, shaken to"ether and runnin" o!er will be put in your bosom. Same as you use, it'll be measured back to you. 3ow the first thin" you'!e "ot to realise, is that althou"h often this is preached in the area of money, actually it's not &ust referrin" to moneyA and secondly, it's not referrin" to doin" somethin" so you can "et somethin". 'od wants us to understand that "enerosity is to be a part of our life. 'enerosity is the e!idence of 'od's "race on your life. 'race is "oodness, >is lo!e, >is empowerment, >is blessin", see9 3ow notice thisA if you "o back there, >e's talkin" there % >e says in @erse /1, as you want men to do to you, do likewise to them. In other words treat people as you'd like to be treated. If you lo!e those who lo!e you, what credit % now that word credit's a poor translation. The word is "race, "race. If you lo!e those who lo!e you, what "race is on your life9 If you're "ood to those who do "ood to you, what "race is on your life9 In other words, many people "i!e because they feel they ha!e an obli"ation to, someone's done somethin" for them, they'!e "ot to do somethin" back, so they "i!e out of obli"ation. There's no "race when there's obli"ation.

The second thin" you notice >e said, but if you lend to those whom you recei!e nothin" back, and you hope to recei!e somethin" back, what "race is on your life9 C!en sinners do that. Sinners lend to sinners. Sinners do "ood to sinners. Sinners lo!e those who lo!e them. >e says look, there's no "race. 3ow the thin" about us is, we're not under law, we're under "raceA the "oodness, the kindness, the "enerosity, the abundant extra!a"ance of 'od. #h, how we need "race. +ou need so much "race, because without that we come under, you li!e under laws you know9 'od wants you to understand the fullness of >is "race. >e's sayin" here, if I &ust "i!e, and I'm wantin" somethin" back out of that, I'm "i!in", expectin" in return. >e said there's no "enerosity or "race on your life for that. Sinners will do that. If I lend, and I want to "et somethin" back, >e said there's somethin" in this for me, a self%centred a"enda, there's no "race when there's a selfish a"enda. There's no "race, when there's duty or obli"ation. If you do it because you ha!e to, which the law re?uires, you ha!e no "race on your life % so you'!e "ot to make a decision, whate!er "i!in" I "i!e, whate!er "ood I'm doin", and whate!er else I'm doin", I'!e "ot to make a decision inside about my heart in doin" this thin". Cither do it, and do it "ladly, and do it one hundred and ten percent, or don't do it at all. 1unny thin" when I tell people that, they say well I won't do it at all then <:au"hter= which shows % you'd be surprised. +ou'd be surprised, because their heart wasn't ri"ht in the first place. I think it's still better to do "ood, and then let 'od help you on your moti!ation, than to not do "ood, and ha!e a bad moti!ation % but it's better if we ha!e a "reat moti!ation. So I'!e &ust learned, if you're "oin" to "i!e, "i!e and put your heart into it, put a hundred and ten percent into it, and then the ten percent extra you put in is what brin"s "race into it. That's why >e said, if they tell you to "o a mile, "o two miles. )hy9 The one mile was re?uired by the law. The second mile, the Doman soldiers were not to make you "o a second mile, so if you went a second mile, you are now puttin" them in debt to you. 'race was in it, so if someone makes you do somethin" for this much, do a little extra, and the "race has "one into it now, and you're totally empowered, because you ha!e put somethin" in that wasn't re?uired. Eid you e!er notice you ask someone to do somethin", and they do it reluctantly, they only do about ei"hty percent of it9 The way to chan"e ei"hty percent is to make it a hundred and ten percent, put a little bit extra you weren't re?uired to do, and now you are fully empowered, and you'!e become a "enerous "i!er. It's a matter of decision, see and so Jesus, !ery clearly, >e reinforced this much into "i!in". 3ow it's not only about money. 3otice here >e extends it. >e says your father is % be merciful, "i!e mercy to people. 'i!e mercy to people* Eidn't 'od "i!e you some mercy9 'i!e mercy to people. Eon't &ud"e them. It says % if they said4 don't &ud"e, >e said don't condemn people. 3ow it's clear. +ou can't "et it clearer than that. Show mercy to people, don't &ud"e them, don't condemn them, don't put them down, don't write them off, don't speak about them, don't criticise them, don't do those thin"s >e's sayin", see9 1or"i!e people. So notice what >e's sayin"A sow out mercy and for"i!eness, "et o!er all the stuff of lookin" what's wron" in people's li!es. In other words, be a "enerous person. See, a "enerous person "i!es when people don't deser!e it. That's what makes it "enerous. If you deser!ed it, then you'!e worked for it, you're entitled to it. 7ut if you don't deser!e it and you "et it, that's what "race is. That's what "race is, and so 'od wants us to ha!e "race on our heart, so we can "i!e to people whether they deser!e it or not. 3otice it says because here's the conse?uence of it, two thin"s >e says. 3umber one, there is a reward. +ou don't ha!e to be afraid that if you're "enerous to people, you're too "enerous. I think you were too "enerous. >ow can you be too "enerous9 Too mean maybe, but too "enerous* >ow can you be too "enerous9 See, what happens % too fearful maybe. >e said4 don't be fearful if you're "enerous, because you can be sure of this, that 'od will abundantly reward you, so when >e says4 "i!e and it'll be "i!en to you, it's to take away the fear of "i!in", not to create a moti!e of "i!in" so you can "et somethin". See, 'od wants us &ust to learn how to be "enerous "i!ers, and "i!e not wantin" anythin", because >e said4 well if I'm "i!in" without "ettin" anythin" back % I remember doin" that. I remember "i!in" for a while there and waitin". I'd seen that scripture, "i!e and it'll be "i!en to you % okay, I'll "i!e it. 3ow let's see it* And it didn't happen. It didn't happen. I "ot ticked off % well that's it* +ou know, it doesn't work % and I realised and 'od spokeA >e said your moti!e is completely wron". +ou're &ust "i!in" tryin" to "et somethin". +ou were like that before you were sa!ed. 3ow you're sa!ed, >e said I want you to learn how to "i!e, and "i!e "enerously, and "i!e lo!in"ly, "i!e out of a "lad heart, "i!e out of a thankful heart. )hat if they don't deser!e it9 Eoes it matter9 7ecause >e's kind to the &ust and the un&ust. +ou see we'!e "ot this measurin" system, whereby if someone deser!es it we'll bless them and help them. If they don't deser!e it, we won't. That's the world system by the way. 'od's kind to e!eryone. )hen you were a sinner, >e was kind to you and sent Jesus to die on the cross. It was >im who "ot this thin" that we're the blessed people, and no one else "ets blessed by 'od. +ou want to ha!e a look at a few people that are under blessin". There are lots of thin"s "oin" "ood in their life. 3ow think about it. Just think about it. 'od's "race is abundant "race. It's a "enerous "race. )e need to "et out of meanness and smallness, and start to learn how to "i!e. 'i!e kindness, "i!e compliments, "i!e praise, "i!e your time, "i!e your talent. :earn how to become "enerous with people, "enerous with

people. )hen you're "enerous with people your reward will be "reatA and here's the second thin". +ou will be the sons of the most hi"h 'od, sons of your 1ather. 3ow most people look at they see 5hristians are hypocrites. >ow many ha!e heard that one9 There's hypocrites outside the church as well as ones in it. There's nothin" new about bein" a hypocrite. 7ut here's one thin" you can't mistake. >e said4 when you "i!e, and there's no a"enda in it, you're not a hypocrite. +ou're so sincere, people can't work you out. There's "ot to be a hitch. There's "ot to be a strin", "ot to be some test. 3o, no, no, no. Actually that's what the kin"dom is like, 'od's "ood to e!eryone, whether they're "ood or not. See, so if we're "oin" to mo!e towards en"a"in" our community, the first thin" we ha!e to do is enlar"e our hearts and become "enerous, and to be able to "i!e % and what if they don't come to 5hrist9 #h, well that was wasted time. 3o, it wasn't. 3o, it wasn't. +ou "a!e, and sowed the time, and 'od knows how to restore it and redeem it to you. The issue's not what happened in them. The issue is you doin" somethin" 'od wants you to do, bein" kind to people, and sowin" time into people, connectin" with people, in!estin" in people, encoura"in" people, showin" hospitality to people. It's about us doin" that. 3ow if we ha!en't "ot enou"h for oursel!es, there's little o!erflow, and if we think people need to deser!e it before we'll "i!e it, then there's no o!erflow either. )e need to come into a place of "race, 'od is "ood to us. )e say amen to that9 'od is "ood to us.

Summary Notes: Formatted

%ac to &op

1' (ntroduction ("e#ie$) *n'1281=J 9Mary too a pound of #ery cost0y oi0 of Spi enard1 anointed t!e feet of *esus1 and $iped Fis feet $it! !er !air' And t!e !ouse $as fi00ed $it! t!e fra+rance of t!e oi0:' ) Generosity is un0imited , you c!oose !o$ +enerous you are' ) Generosity t!at is e4tra#a+ant is 0i e a s$eet fra+rance , #ery noticeab0e' ) Generosity f0o$s out of a !eart of +ratitude , Mary +ratefu0 ;aLarus is a0i#e' ) Generosity e4poses +reed (#sE=-) ) Generosity is re$arded in une4pected $ays (Mt'2-813 , a memoria0 to !er)' 2' Generosity is t!e Practica0 H4pression of bein+ "i+!t $it! God ) Ps'1128< 9''Fe !as +i#en to t!e poor1 !is ri+!teousness endures fore#er: ) Ps'3J821 9N&!e ri+!teous s!o$s mercy and +i#es (A0so #s 2E=2-) ) Mt'2E831=43 9@ome you b0essed of t!y Fat!er N for ( $as !un+ry and you +a#e me food:' ) 5i ipedia Cefinition ) &Lede ? ri+!teous ) &Leda a! ? c!arity1 +enerosity to t!e poor ) S!ane 5i00ard (Febre$ meanin+s) &sida+ ? ri+!teous &sida+a! ? +enerous P! ? to re#ea0 "i+!teousness re#ea0ed ? +enerosity ) Febre$s considered t!at your resources.finances a00 be0on+ed to God $!o entrusts you $it! it , your responsibi0ity is to ste$ard and be +enerous' ) 1 *n'481J 95!oe#er !as t!is $or0dDs +oods and sees !is brot!er in need and s!uts up !is !eart from !im1 !o$ does t!e 0o#e of God abide in !im6: ) &!e practica0 out$or in+ of bein+ in ri+!t re0ations!ip $it! God is +enerosity , especia00y to t!e poor' (*m'182J , Pure "e0i+ion) 3' Generosity is a ;ifesty0e ) God intends t!at +enerosity o#erf0o$ from our 0ife continua00y' ) Generosity is bot! intentiona0 (you p0an it) and spontaneous' >& H4amp0es (a) Ct' 2481<=22 , ;a$ of Far#estin+ = &!e peop0e $ere a+ricu0tura0 based2 t!e fie0ds $ere t!eir source of income' = @onsumerism , pressures peop0e to spend more on t!emse0#es' = God is a+ainst consumerism , se0fis!ness and +reed ) ConDt consume e#eryt!in+ , create mar+ins in 0ife for compassion to t!e poor' ) Set aside 8 Money , time , ta0ents for t!e benefit of ot!ers' ) No Muantity specified , it is t!e princip0e of intentiona0 +enerosity' ) Gi#e to t!e stran+er (unsa#ed.+ospe0)1 fat!er0ess and t!e $ido$' ) Note8 Moti#e # 22 , Gratitude "e3$ard # 1< , God $i00 b0ess you in e#ery $or of your !and' (b) Ct'1482/=2< , At end of e#ery t!ird year , a tit!e for stran+er1 fat!er0ess and $ido$s $it!in your +ates ) Princip0e of intentiona0 +enerosity settin+ aside 1.3 Q1.13 ? 1.33t! (c) 2 @or'<8E , Prepare your +enerous +ift before!and = +enerosity ) Princip0e of intentiona0 +enerosity , not +rud+in+ ob0i+ation' ) P0an to set aside a portion intentiona00y so !a#e pro#ision to +i#e' 4' Generosity !as no Se0fis! A+enda ) ; '-83/ 9Gi#e and it s!a00 be +i#en to you:' ) Most peop0e focus on +ettin+ , t!e moti#e is to +et somet!in+ for se0f' ) GodDs desire is for us to 0o#e bein+ a +i#er1 bein+ +enerous $it!out an a+enda' ) ; '-833=3/ @onte4t of +i#in+ , Grace = Peop0e assume *esus on spea in+ about money = *esus a0so spea in+ about mercy1 Iud+ement1 condemnation1 for+i#eness'

= Fe is ta0 in+ about t!e princip0e of +i#in+ and its moti#ation' = God $ei+!s t!e !eart moti#es Pro#'1-82 = Princip0e8 $!ate#er you +i#e $i00 come bac to you increased' = 5or0d system ? tradin+ , ( +i#e you somet!in+ and ( e4pect in return' e'+' (#32=33) (i) repay someone ) 5!at +race is on your 0ife6 (#34) (ii) !opin+ for persona0 +ain ) &!is is Iust tradin+ ) &!ere is no e#idence of +race (true +enerosity) $!en +i#e $it! a+endas E' Generosity is re$arded ) *esus Cirecti#e8 ;o#e1 do +ood1 0end $it! no persona0 a+enda of +ain' ) >utcome8 (i) Bou estab0is! your identity , son of God' (ri+!teous re#ea0ed) ; '-83E13/ (ii) Bou recei#e +reat re$ard from God' (&!is promise remo#es fear or re+ret in +i#in+)' ) God is +enerous and $i00 ensure a return t!at is +enerous' May come in une4pected form1 may be de0ayed1 and may be in eternity' ) H4amp0e Acts1382 @orne0ius , +a#e a0ms +enerous0y and re$arded by God' ) H4amp0e Acts 483- %arnabus , +a#e +enerous0y ? apost0e'

Shane Willard: Finan e (2 sermons)


*hane 'illard offers a uni+ue Jewish,-ebraic perspective for .hristians on /inance and %ivin in this 0#part series. *hane is mentored by a pastor with rabbinical trainin , and teaches the context of the *criptures from a -ebraic perspective. This perspective helps people to see %od's 'ord in a completely new way and leads them into a more intimate relationship with the &essiah, Jesus .hrist.

S!ane 5i00ard8 Finance (1 of 2) N1 workA N2 wisdomA N/ stay out of debt, donOt put money in thin"s "oin" down in
!alueA sa!e 1 P of your incomeA donOt trust the "o!ernment to do it for you, they will "o broke ,see America, 1- trillion in debt, hard to "et your head around.A honor whatOs on your life, and the life of othersA N- seek the face of "od, desperately desirin" to know him. I bless you to be a people who know "od, know "od, not in some definition we made up, but in the way he defines it4 to take care of the poor and the afflicted. (ay we be people who look around us, and seek to show the ri"hteousness and "enerosity and the lo!e of "od to the world.

S!ane 5i00ard8 Finance (2 of 2) )e're called to li!e on a circle in a s?uare. A circle inside of a s?uare is HBP. The
math from the commands matches the illustration from a"riculture. 2.FP is put in the hands of the 0riestA then a tenth is "i!en to the churchA and a tenth for yourself, in the form of sa!in"s, but one third of that is "i!en to the poor. >e doesn't want you &ust to "o to hea!en one day, he wants you to brin" hea!en to earth now. If your first fruits are in the ri"ht hands, your finances can't die. +ou sanctify e!erythin" else in your life by honourin" the lord with your first fruits. James 1.28 If anyone considers himself reli"ious and does yet not keep a ti"ht rei"n on his ton"ue, he decei!es himself and his reli"ion is worthless. Deli"ion that our 'od our father accepts as pure and faultless is thisA to look after orphans and widows in their distress. The reli"ion our father sees as pure is "enerosity.

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1inance ,1 of 2..mp/ 1inance ,2 of 2..mp/

Shane Willard: Finan e (1 of 2) Sun 12 "un 2011 AM 6 7ack to Top


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11 work2 10 wisdom2 13 stay out of debt, don4t put money in thin s oin down in value2 save 105 of your income2 don4t trust the overnment to do it for you, they will o broke 6see 7merica, 18 trillion in debt, hard to et your head around92 honor what4s on your life, and the life of others2 18 seek the face of od, desperately desirin to know him. I bless you to be a people who know od, know od, not in some definition we made up, but in the way he defines it: to take care of the poor and the afflicted. &ay we be people who look around us, and seek to show the ri hteousness and enerosity and the love of od to the world.

So weOre "oin" to ha!e two sessions, and about financial freedom ob!iously we canOt co!er e!erythin" in two sessions, so IO!e had to pick and choose what weOre "oin" to co!er, and you will ha!e the main sort of "ist of it. >ereOs my hope, my hope is at the end of this, that you talk about it, you discuss it, you "et with the closest people in your life and say, what does this mean for us9 >ow can we apply this9 :et me co!er one thin" !ery ?uickly ok. Anytime that you brin" up the topic of money, you open up all kinds of thin"s, people "et really irritated, and they instantly "o4 is this law, or "race9 The short answer to that is its all 'race. If I can make a point, other than food and money, people donOt ha!e a problem with the #ld Testament at all. If I were to say, the topic for the seminar today is QdonOt be sexually intimate with your motherR, thatOs in :e!iticus 12 itOs a command, donOt be sexually intimate with your mother. 7ut that !erse is nowhere in the 3ew Testament, and I "uarantee you no one would say S wait a minute, youOre puttin" us under law* C!en thou"h its nowhere in the 3ew Testament, if I were to say the topic of todayOs lesson is QEonOt burn your children in 1ireR, I "uarantee you no one would say S wait a minute, youOre puttin" us under law* 3o, no, no, let me &ust handle the law and "race thin". C!en in the oldest of the oldest of the #ld Testament, your for"i!eness was ne!er found in keepin" the commandsA your for"i!eness was found in puttin" your faith in 'odOs faithfulness. They put their faith in a lamb, and they were for"i!en. >ow are we for"i!en S we put our faith in a lamb* Same, old T new S no difference, for"i!eness came by faith throu"h "race. The commands were ne!er intended to for"i!e sins, the commands were intended to show for"i!en people how to li!e. So without "oin" into all that, because I will "o into some of that tomorrow, let me &ust say this4 if at the end of these two hours, I am ne!er "oin" to implement one thin" of what he said, "reat S thatOs ok. Seriously, I donOt ha!e to li!e your life, it will not affect your for"i!eness, I will see you in hea!en, and that will be "reat. +ou can choose to li!e howe!er you like, and 'od will still lo!e you &ust the same. This is not about law at all, this is about how 'od intended for us to li!e the best sort of life. )e ha!e to ask oursel!es some core belief ?uestions, and that is this4 if IOm willin" to trust 'od with my eternal soul, what is it about money that I donOt trust him with9 )e trust him with somethin" as bi" as eternity, but when it comes to money thereOs somethin" in us that wants to hoard. So what I want to show you today is that 'od actually instituted a di!ine order, of handlin" money. +ou mi"ht want to write down di!ine order of "i!in", or di!ine order of li!in". >e actually instituted a di!ine order of handlin" money, and he intended it to create the most blessed "roup of people in the history of the world. Eid it work, yes9 +ou ha!e a "roup of people that make up less than 1P of the worldOs population, yet they ha!e / P of the worlds wealth. TheyOre on to somethin"*

If youOre takin" notes, which is somethin" that I really, really recommend, then weOre "oin" to ha!e fi!e main points today, fi!e main points. :et me &ust "i!e them to you all at once4 N1 )orkA N2 )isdomA N/ >onorA N- Knowin" 'odA NF Tsida?ah. So when financially, first of all we ha!e to institute a couple of thin"s, number one )ork. 'od ne!er desi"nated himself as the cure for la$iness. As a matter of fact in the Torah, there is a certain disdain that "od has for la$iness. >e actually deplores it. So 'od ne!er set himself up as the cure for la$iness. ThereOs a "reat cure for po!erty, itOs called "et a &ob, work hard. There is no supernatural, super%spiritual thin" that o!er comes a lack of hard work or la$iness. )eO!e all been tau"ht to tithe correct9 )eO!e been tau"ht that if you tithe, it opens the windows of hea!en S is that true9 Sure, but it tithin" the cure for la$iness S no* So people say, well IO!e tithed, and 'od isnOt blessin" me9 +es, but youOre sleepin" until ele!en* +ouOre not doin" anythin" to "ain a skill thatOs marketable. There are thin"s that you ha!e to do in the natural that you canOt o!erlook, you ha!e to work hard* In the a"e of the Jewish world, they worked six 12%hour days, and they still sort of carry that today. They worked six twel!eOs, we work fi!e ei"hts and weOre worn out. They worked six twel!eOs, and we work fi!e ei"hts, so take "od out of it, and you already ha!e /2 man%hours a week of production more than what we do. ThereOs a side to fa!or thatOs spiritual, but thereOs a side of fa!or thatOs !ery natural. >a!e you e!er noticed that !ery prepared people are luckier than unprepared people9 So is it really luck9 3o, its preparation. So number one, work hard* )ork >ard. 3umber two, li!e in )isdom. :i!e in wisdom. :et me say this S 'od is not the cure%all for la$iness, nor is he the cure% all for stupidity. 'od is not the cure for stupid. A stupid and selfish act on your part does not constitute an emer"ency on 'odOs part. If you do somethin" stupid, or if you do somethin" selfish, it does not constitute an emer"ency on 'ods part. :et me "i!e you an example of what I mean outside of finance. At this church, we belie!e in the power of "od, correct9 )e belie!e in 'odOs power to deli!er, sa!e, heal, restore, redeem all thin"s, correct9 )ould you rather pray for someone for a miracle, or would you rather see them pre!ent the need for the miracle9 3ow IOm all for miracles, sometimes people face thin"s that they did not deser!e, they did not set up, they did not make decisions to sow into, and those are the people that we want to belie!e 'od to touch. And we really want to belie!e for 'od to touch all people, re"ardless of if it was their fault or not, but to smoke / packs of ci"arettes for / years, and then make prayer for lun" cancer, thatOs a little bit more pre!entable S are you with me9 Eo we want to see 'od heal lun" cancer, yes* 7ut we would rather actually see you "i!e up smokin" at 22, so at F2 youOre not in that situation. So in other words, do all you could doU wisdom* :et me &ust "i!e you a couple of points that they ha!e4 they work hardA they stay out of debt. They donOt borrow money. They particularly donOt borrow money on thin"s "oin" down in !alue. They donOt borrow money, if youOre payin" GP interest on somethin" losin" 2 P of its !alue a year, that a real problem. A car is a "ood example of that. There are some case where "ettin" a new car is ok, but in B P of cases, a new car is "oin" to lose F P of its !alue in the first / years. So what that means is that if you buy somethin" for ;- , , and in /years you know itOs "oin" to be worth ;2 , , you ha!e to know that thatOs the best choice. If I said look, I ha!e a business proposition for you, I want you to "i!e me ;- , , and in / years I promise I will "i!e you twenty back, are you "oin" to do that9 #f course not ri"ht9 Anyone want to play9 #f course you would ne!er do that, but what if I said you "i!e me forty, and in / years I will "i!e you twenty, but in the meantime, IOll let you dri!e a really nice car. Im, ok. Eo you see where we are there9 3ow IOm all for nice cars, I ha!e a nice car, but what IOm not all for, is borrowin" money "oin" on somethin" "oin" down in !alue, or puttin" too much assets in the thin"s "oin" down in !alue. The combined total of your toys, what I mean by toys is anythin" with wheels ,hehe., or has to "et where itOs "oin" with wheels. 5ars, boats, see%dos and their sisters. If the combined total !alue of all of those thin"s is more than half of your income, e!en if you own it, you canOt really afford it. C!en if you donOt owe money on it, thereOs too much of your li?uid ability in somethin" "oin" down in !alue. So we ha!e to ha!e wisdom S donOt borrow money, if you canOt afford it, sa!e, and hereOs what you will find. If you can afford it, make a commitment that IOm "oin" to sa!e until I can afford it, and in the time that it takes you to sa!e, youOll reali$e you donOt need it, and it will sa!e you a lot of heart%ache* All it ends up is another place to store somethin". If you canOt afford it, make a commitment to sa!e for it, and in the process of sa!in" for it, youOll reali$e you didnOt need it anyway. So number one, "et out of debt, this number one for wisdom, "et out of debt. 3umber two, sa!e* )eOre "oin" to talk about this in a second session, but it was biblically mandated, it was a biblical command, to sa!e 1 P of your income. They sa!ed 1 P of their income their whole life. 3ow IOm "oin" to talk about this in the second session at len"th, but let me show you how smart 'od is. If youOre here today, and youOre o!er FF, let me &ust ask you a ,rhetorical. ?uestion4 if you had sa!ed 1 P of your income your whole life, how much money would you ha!e now9 >ow much9 Just by compoundin" interest, this is what financial people tell me4 if someone sa!es from 1G%/ and then stops, theyOll ha!e more money than someone that starts at / and sa!es until 8 ,

because of compoundin" interest and the rule of H2, your money will double rou"hly e!ery 8 years. So those first 12 years "ets you two extra doubles at the end, which makes up from anythin" earned% itOs not a matter of amount, itOs a matter of time, a lon" period of it. It was a biblical mandate to sa!e money, 1 P of your income. I thank my 'od in hea!en on a re"ular basis for my mother. (y mother made me sa!e 1 P of my income from the time I was -. )hen I was - years old, she went and opened a bank account for me, and when I was - years old, mom would dri!e me to the circle%K, we would "o in, my mum would ask for 1 dimes. #ut of those 1 dimes I had to put 1 c in the offerin" plate, and I had to take 1 c to the bank. She would actually dri!e me to the bank, and teach me how to fill out a deposit slip. :et me actually hand it to the teller with 1 cents in it S she tau"ht me how to do this. 1rom the time I was four I ha!e always sa!ed 1 P of my income. I donOt want to "et too "od%area, but I &ust want to tell you the power of that. That e!en from four to 2F, when I was 2F years old I crossed the ;1 , mark. 3ow itOs in somethin" I canOt touch until IOm 8 , alri"htU +ouOd ha!e to put up with me until IOm 8 to "et it* To ha!e ;1 , at 2F is a fair whack of a "ood start isnOt it9 So to ha!e wisdom, donOt borrow money, sa!e. )eOre "oin" to talk about that a"ain in the next session. #h, hereOs another one under wisdom S donOt trust the "o!ernment to do it for you. EonOt trust the "o!ernment to do it for you* :et me share this scripture with you, from someone we would consider a hero, but he made a mistake, and heOs still considered a hero because all people do make mistakes. ItOs Joseph S itOs in 'enesis -14//%/8. Joseph is in prison, and he is able to interpret the dreams of 0haraoh. 0haraoh has this dream, and what it tells him is that thereOs "oin" to be H years plenty, and then itOs "oin" to be followed by H years of famine. >e asks Joseph, what do we do about this9 This is JosephOs answer4 and now let 0haraoh look for discernin" and wise man, and put them in char"e of the land of C"ypt. I lo!e it* >a!e you e!er said somethin" that has an underhand meanin", like Joseph said in front of the 0haraoh, heOs still an inmate, and 0haraoh says what do I do about this Joseph9 And JosephOs like, if only there was a wise man you could trust to take care of thisU I lo!e it* :et 0haraoh appoint commissioners o!er the land and take, e!erybody say take* Take a fifth of the har!est of C"ypt durin" the H years of abundance. So what did Joseph do9 >e instituted a 2 P tax. So instead of makin" a rule, letOs make a law that e!eryone has to sa!e 2 P and store it up in their own barn, he says no, let the "o!ernment take it. And presumably the issue is, if we take 2 P o!er H years, we will ha!e enou"h to pro!ide for our people at the end. And that sounds "ood at first, but it ne!er works. C!erythin" the "o!ernment e!er tries, fails, at least in America. (aybe in 3J "o!ernment is better, but in America e!erythin" they ha!e done fails. Amtrax broke, the post office broke, now they want to run healthcare S are you kiddin" me9 So it says they should collect all the food from these "ood years, and store the "rain under the authority of 0haraoh, in other words the "o!ernment will take care of it, to be kept in the cities for food. This food should be held in reser!e for the country in order to be used to be used durin" the H years of famine, ,now this all sounds like a "ood idea. that will come upon C"ypt, so that the country may not be ruined by the famine. So Joseph says hereOs what weOre "oin" to do S the "o!ernmentOs "oin" to take 2 P, sa!e it for the people, so when the famine hitOs we will be able to take care of them. 3ow, then this whole story ensues about his brothers and thin"s, and finally the H years of famine comes around, 'enisis -1!F8%FH. 3ow when the famine had spread o!er the whole country, Joseph opened the storehouses, and sold "rain to the C"yptians. Sold9 So he took it from them, and then he sold it back to them, what a "reat business plan* >e took it from them, and then he sold it back to them. Im, IOm sure he had "ood intentions at first, but what e!entually what happened is really, really not "ood. It says the he collected so much "rain, that they ?uit measurin" it, because it was pointless. 2 P of e!erybodyOs har!est, for se!en years* They ?uit measurin" it because it was pointlessU and he sold "rain to the C"yptians, for the famine was se!ere throu"hout C"ypt, and all the countries came to C"ypt to buy "rain from Joseph, because the famine was se!ere in the world. So not only did he sell them at a profit to other countries, he sold it back at a profit to the people he took it from to be"in with. 'enesis -H!1/%21 tells you the end of the story. It says there was no food howe!er in the whole re"ion, because the famine was se!ere. 7oth C"ypt and 5anaan wasted away because of the famine, and Joseph collected all the money that was too be found in all of C"ypt and 5anaan in payment for the "rain they were buyin". In other words, he took it from them, then sold it back to them until they ran out of money S all the money was "one, in payment for the "rain they were buyin". And he brou"ht it to 0haraohs palace. )hen the money from the people of 5anaan and C"ypt was "one, all C"ypt came to Joseph and said S "i!e us food. In other words, "i!e it to us for free now, cOmon seriously, weOre star!in"* )hy should we die before your eyes, our money is now used up. Then brin" your li!estock, Joseph said. I will sell you food, in exchan"e for li!estock, since youOre moneyOs "one. So they brou"ht their li!estock to Joseph, and he "a!e them food in exchan"e for the horses, sheep, "oats, cattle,

donkeys, and he brou"ht them throu"h that year with food, in exchan"e for their li!estock. So first he took all their money for the food, that he took to be"in with, and then he took all their li!estock, and e!erythin" they had. 3ow watch what happens S when that year was o!er, they came to him the followin" year and said S we cannot hide from our lord the fact that since our money is "one, and our li!estock belon"s to you, there is nothin" left for our lord accept our bodies, and our land. )hy should we perish before your eyes, we and our land our land. 7uy us and our land, in exchan"e for food, and we with our land, will be in bonda"e to 0haraoh. 'i!e us seed, so that we may li!e and not die, and that the land not becomes desolate. So Joseph bou"ht all the land in C"ypt for 0haraoh. The C"yptians one and all sold their fields, for the famine was too se!ere for them, and the land became 0haraohs, and Joseph reduced the people to sla!ery* Joseph reduced the people to sla!ery. So, in other words, you canOt trust the "o!ernment to do for you what 'od has called you to stand up and do for yourself. +ou canOt trust the "o!ernment to do for you what 'od has called you to stand up and take responsibility to do for yourself. :et me make one more wise obser!ation. Jesus mi"ht not come back in your lifetime. It is better to be prepared, than to hope for that. +ou want to play Dussian roulette with your whole financial future, o!er a theolo"ical concept that you ha!e no idea when it mi"ht come to pass. )e ha!e "ot to be wise. 3umber 1, weO!e "ot to work hard. 3umber 2, weO!e "ot to be wise, which means stayin" out of debt. It means not puttin" money in thin"s "oin" down in !alue. It means not trustin" the "o!ernment to do it for us. It means all kinds of other thin"s, it means li!e on a bud"et. Take char"e of your finances, show self%control. If you want a "ood book on that, the best book IO!e read is called QThe total money makerR, by Ea!e Damsey. It will really help you a lot with those practical thin"s, it has bud"et worksheets and all kinds of thin"s in the back of it. So number one, work, number 2, wisdom. Stay out of debt, donOt put your money in thin"s that lose !alue. Sa!e 1 P of your income. EonOt trust the "o!ernment to do it for you. 3umber three, honor, honor. +ou want to stay within your callin", and your stren"ths, and you want to honor stren"ths and callin"s of other people. )ithout "oin" throu"h the whole scripture, I want to tell you that one of the thin"s that stands out for me from the story of Ea!id and 'oliath, which we are all pretty familiar with, Ea!id is a shepherd, and the issue with Ea!id is the plan%o%"raph. +ou "uys remember the plan%o%"raph9 >ow bi" is Ea!id on the plan%o% "raph, and how bi" is 'oliath9 'oliath was like B foot 8, but the idea that Ea!id was some kind of small, puny "uy S not true. Ea!id was a shepherd, he was a tou"h man, he was a manOs man. >e killed a lion and a bear with his bare hands* This "uy is not someone you would &ust "o mess with. 'oliath is challen"in" the armies of Israel, and heOs blasphemin" 'od. Ea!id "oes to Saul and says4 are &ust "oin" to let him do this9 IOll "o handle thisU I would say that Ea!id was probably a little bit hot%headed, Ea!id said IOll "o handle this, no problem, let me at him. Saul says, weOll if youOre "oin" to "o at him, at least wear my armor, ri"ht9 )hen Ea!id put the armor on, did it say that Ea!id couldnOt use it because it didnOt fit9 3o, it says Ea!id couldnOt use it because he wasnOt used to it S it wasnOt his tools. It says Saul was a head T shoulders taller than anyone else in the land, Ea!id mustO!e been a pretty bi" dude for them to think that they could e!en possibly fit him into the armor. This issue wasnOt that it didnOt fit, the issue was that it wasnOt his tools. Ea!id was anointed to be kin", but it wasnOt his time, his callin" was still a shepherd. So he "oes down and "ets fi!e smooth stones, and this is what it says4 and he put it in his shepherdOs ba". So when he "oes to face 'oliath, what does he look like9 A shepherd S heOs "ot a staff, heOs "ot his shepherds ba", which had the slin", and the fi!e rocks. If you "o back to read the story, this is what it says4 and 'oliath was enra"ed, and he said am4 I a do", that you are comin" at me with a stick ,which is a staff.9 'oliath chose to dishonor what Ea!idOs callin" was. 'oliath chose to dishonor and disrespect what Ea!idOs callin" was, and ultimately it was his downfall. Ea!id chose to stay within his callin", and it ultimately ended up resultin" in !ictory for Ea!id, and the entire situation, and ultimately the nation of Israel. :isten, one of the most destructi!e thin"s you can do financially, is li!e in such a way where you always wish you were somebody else. If only I had this "ift, if only I had opportunity, if only I had this education, if onlyU hold on, weO!e "ot to come back to a point of belief here. Eo you really belie!e that 'od has already put in you e!erythin" you need for life and success and winnin" in abundance9 And I would say to you that he has, and if thereOs any ?uestion in you that he hasnOt, you ha!e to deal with that, because it will cause you to li!e constantly. #ne of the Ten 5ommandments says4 donOt co!et anythin" that is your nei"hbors, anythin" that is your nei"hbors* I look around this room and this is what I see S a bunch of "ifts, but while some of your "ifts would be like mine, most of them would not be. There are people in this room that would ne!er "et up in front of people and talk, because theyOd be too scared, but those same people are the ones who can run business like I ha!e in the back"round, and without them I canOt e!en operate. So hereOs what I see is a bunch of people with callin"s and "ifts and talents and personalities that I need to choose to honor, and it would be futile for me to li!e my life wantin" to be like you, and itOs futile for you to li!e your life wantin" to be me. #ne of the keys to financial success is honorin" what 'od called you to be, by seekin" it out, disco!erin" it, bein" introspecti!e, "oin" thru a process where you "uess &ust what your talents and personalities are, and then in findin" somethin" in the centre of that to make your li!in".

Alri"ht, so number one, work hard* 3umber two, be wise, "et out of debt, sa!e money, donOt put money in thin"s that are "oin" down in !alue, donOt trust the "o!ernment to do it for you. 3umber three, honor, number four, knowin" 'od. Knowin" 'od, (atthew chapter 22!/H%- 4 Jesus said lo!e the lord your "odU whatOs happened here is someone has asked him what we need to do to inherit eternal life9 ThereOs this discussion about how to read it, and then finally thereOs this ?uestion, whatOs the "reatest command9 5an you summari$e your holy yoke in one sentence9 Jesus says, lo!e the lord your "od with all your soul mind and stren"th S this is the first and "reatest commandment, and the second is like it, lo!e your nei"hbor as yourself. All the Torah and the prophets han" on these commands. In other words, memori$e the entire old testament, or &ust do those two thin"s. IOll &ust make it as simple as I can, now hereOs the issue4 for us, we tend to think of lo!in" 'od and lo!in" people as two thin"s. )hatOs your "oal in life9 I want to lo!e 'od, and lo!e people. Actually, in the literary formation of the senate, as well as &ust in their thou"ht, lo!in" "od and lo!in" people is exactly the same thin". That to them, lo!in" people is lo!in" 'od, and lo!in" 'od is lo!in" people. That it is impossible to say you lo!e 'od, if you donOt lo!e other people. It is also impossible to hate other people, or ha!e animosity between yourself and other people, and then say you lo!e 'od. It is also impossible to be a "enerous, lo!in" person towards other people, and not somehow learn the lo!e of 'od in the process. That lo!in" 'od IS lo!in" people, and lo!in" IS lo!in" 'od, that to them you canOt separate the two. I was sittin" with a rabbi once ,not my rabbi, I &ust "ot on a plane., and he said Shane, donOt you understand that in Jewish culture itOs impossible to be ri"hteous and "reedy, you &ust canOt do it. +ou canOt say you lo!e 'od, and then turn your back on a hopeless person. The way you lo!e 'od is the way you lo!e other people, and the way you lo!e other people is lo!in" 'od, the two thin"s are intertwined. 3ow in the bible, youOre "oin" to see a lot of phrases like, the kin"dom of 'od, the kin"dom of >ea!en, e!en as sometimes you see inherit the land, all these phrases are the same as that phrase. The word >ea!en sometimes refers to a place, like a place we "o, the abode of >ea!en. 7ut other times >ea!en is a euphemism for 'od, because they didnOt like to say the name 'od. C!en today you mi"ht "et an email from a messianic Jew, and they spell 'od, ' ,hyphen. E. They donOt want to completely articulate the idea of 'od, so what they did is they called it >ea!en. So sometimes the bible mi"ht say, you ha!e sinned a"ainst >ea!en, that was &ust a euphemism that you sinned a"ainst "od. So the kin"dom of hea!en, the kin"dom of 'od, it was a euphemism not for where you "o someday, it was a euphemism for what would your life be like if 'od was in char"e of it now, here, now, today9 )hat would it be like if 'od was the ruler and the rei"ner of e!erythin" in your life. In other words, if e!erythin" in your life was brou"ht into the li"ht, and darkness was dispelled, what would your life look like then9 That was the kin"dom of 'od. So for the rest of this session, I want to ask you a ?uestion thatOs "oin" to seem confrontational, because itOs a ?uestion we ha!e to deal with, and that is this ?uestion4 Eo you know 'od9 Eo you know him9 If I was to hand out a piece of paper, and I want you to write down a one%sentence definition of what it means to know 'od, we would "et all kinds of different answers. Some would be ri"ht, some would wron", all would be sincere, all would be heartfelt, and all would ha!e an element of your personal thin" with 'od in it. The ?uestion is how important is it to know 'od, and the answer is !ery. The second ?uestion is, how does 'od define what it means to know him9 So let me read you a few scriptures that illustrate this. :uke chapter 1/ !erse 22%/ 4 It says then Jesus went throu"h the towns and !illa"es, teachin" as he made his way to Jerusalem. And someone asked him :ord, are only a few people "oin" to be sa!ed9 I lo!e that, lord are only a few people "oin" to be sa!ed9 +ou ha!e to understand, the re"ion heOs in is in a hi"hly orthodox re"ion of Israel, it was filled with people who had made the Torah e!en harder than it was. 81/ commands in the Torah, they were actually keepin" / commands, so they had made the Torah e!en harder than it was. >ere was their thou"ht, since we are keepin" the Torah better than anyone else, 'od lo!es us more than other people. So they started ha!in" the thou"ht that weOre in, and e!eryone else is out. )eOre ri"ht, and e!eryone else is wron". )e would ne!er do that would we9 So this "roup of people had names for themsel!es, hereOs what they called themsel!es, the elect, the remnant, 'odOs special people. So when they ask him Dabbi, are only a few "oin" to be sa!ed, hereOs what theyOre sayin", Dabbi, are only a few "oin" to be sa!edU and itOs us ri"ht9 Tell us weOre ri"ht, were in, and e!eryone else is out. )eOre ri"ht, and e!eryone else is wron". So when someone asks you a ?uestion like that, there are two ways to handle it. #ne is Taekwondo. The other is Judo. Judo, Taekwondo, you confront it. Judo, you sort of side yourself with them, then &ust at the ri"ht moment you throw them. Jesus choose Judo, I lo!e it. :ord are only a few "oin" to be sa!ed, and he said to them, make e!ery effort to enter throu"h the narrow door, because many I tell you will try to enter and not be able to. Jesus is sayin", you "uys think that only a few people will "et in throu"h the narrow door, but be sure to enter throu"h the narrow door, thereOs a lot of people youOre ri"ht, thereOs a lot of people who think theyOre in and theyOre actually out. So the "uy askin" the ?uestion is "oin" yeah, tell them, watch them make fun of our belo!ed. #nce the owner of the house "ets up and closes the door, you will be the one standin" outside and knockin" like they do. In other words oh, youOre ri"ht, thereOs a lot of people who think theyOre in and

theyOre actually out, and thatOs actually you. Sir, open the door for us but he will answer, I donOt know you* I donOt know you, or where you come from. 7ut he will say, but we ate and drank with you, and you tau"ht in our streets, but he will reply, I do not know you, or where you came from. Away from me you e!il%doers, and there will be weepin" there and "nashin" of teeth. )hen you see Abraham and all the prophets in the kin"dom, but you yoursel!es are turned out, people will come from the north, the east and the south and the west, and will take their place at the feast of the kin"dom of "od. Indeed, there will be those who are first, and those who are last, and those who are first will be last. >e says to this "roup of people, he says thereOs a lot of people who think theyOre in and e!eryone else is out. Actually, itOs you who are out, you who thou"ht you were in, you are the ones that will be shut out, because at my weddin" table, many will come from the north and south and west, and thereOs no room for people who think theyOre better than e!erybody else. So Jesus tells the story, and at the center of the story, twice what does he say9 I donOt know you. The issue was not knowin" 'od. The other application is, how you treat others matters. >e ends that whole thin" by sayin", the people you think are out are actually the ones in. All those people who you think are out because youOre in, and theyOre out, they actually the ones in, and youOre the one shut out. Jesus is slammin" them, how you treat others matters, and the issue is, I donOt know you. The other one is John 1H !erse /, now this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true 'od. So for Jesus, what was eternal life defined by in the simplest sentence9 To know 'od. >ow do you know you ha!e eternal life9 +ou know him. +ou know him S this is eternal life, that they may know you. >ere is another one, (atthew 2F !erse 1%12. This is the introduction to Jesus sermon on sheep and "oats. This is what he says to introduce this4 at that time, the kin"dom of hea!en will be like ten !ir"ins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bride"room, fi!e of them were foolish, and fi!e of them were wise. The foolish ones took their lamp but did not take any oil with them, the wise howe!er took oil alon" with them in &ars alon" with their lamps. I was listenin" to one Dabbi teach on this, and he said that in the >ebrew !ersion of (atthew, when it says they took the oil with them, it says they took no Tsida?ah, which is the >ebrew word for "enerous, "enerosity, or charity. They took no Tsida?ah. That Tsada?, is the word ri"hteous. Tsida?ah, is the word "enerous, "enerosity, charity. Try sayin" it, Tsada?, Tsida?ah. So ri"hteousness and "enerosity are the same word. +ou cannot separate ri"hteousness and "enerosity. +ou cannot say you are ri"hteous and be "reedy. 21 8 !erses of scripture connect ri"hteousness with "enerosity. 'reed and wickedness are also interconnectedA Jesus said the lo!e of money is the root of all e!il % "reed is the root of all e!il. 'enerosity was the key to ri"hteousness. Actually the only difference between ri"hteousness and "enerosity was this a"e. The a"e was the only difference between ri"hteousness and "enerosity, the a"e means to re!eal. So ri"hteousness re!ealed was "enerosity. The fi!e foolish !ir"ins, they donOt brin" any "enerosity with them. This is "oin" to play a hu"e point. The wise howe!er, took oil alon" with their lamps, !erse fi!e. The bride"room is a lon" time in comin", and they all felt drowsy and fell asleep. At midni"ht the cry ran" out, here is the bride"room, come out and meet him* The all the !ir"ins woke up and trimmed their lamps, the foolish ones said to the wise, "i!e us your oil, for our lamps are "oin" out. 3o they replied, there may not be enou"h or both of us. Instead, "o to those who sell oil, and buy some for yourself. 7ut while they were on their way to buy oil, the bride"room arri!ed. The !ir"ins were ready, went in with him to the weddin" ban?uet, and the door was shut. :ater the others also came, Sir Sir, open the door for us, but he replied, I tell you the truth, I do not know you. The issue was, he didnOt know them, I donOt know who you are. So in :uke chapter 1/, the issue is I donOt know who you are. The issue in the parable of the ten !ir"ins is, I donOt know who you are. The parallel thatOs in !ir"ins is the introduction to Jesus sermon on sheep and "oatsA which is all about "enerosity, the sheep were on the ri"ht, the "oats on the left. The sheep he said come into the kin"dom and prepare the foundation for the world, for when I was hun"ry you "a!e me food, when I was thirsty you "a!e me drink, when I was a stran"er you took me in, when I was naked you clothed me, when I was in prison you came to me. And the ri"hteous, Tsada?, will say to him, when did we see you naked or thirsty or hun"ry or in prison or chains S when did we see all that and do all that for you9 >e said when you did it to the least of these, you did it for me. 3ow come on in, and to those on my left, I will say away from me, for you did not do those thin"s. So in (atthew 2F, when Jesus talks about how heOs "oin" to &ud"e the world, the key to how he &ud"es the world is "enerosity. It was knowin" 'od, Tsida?ah, Tsida?ah* In the sheep and "oats, he doesnOt say to those on my ri"ht, come in to the kin"dom, prepared for you for the foundation of the world, for you said the sinners prayer* 3o, so come in, for when I was hun"ry you "a!e me food, when I was thirsty you "a!e me drink, when I was a stran"er you took me in, when I was naked you clothed me. It was Tsida?ah, it was de!elopin" a Tsida?ah spirit.

>ereOs another one, (atthew H, 21%2/4 3ot e!eryone who says to me, :ord, :ord, will enter the kin"dom of hea!en, but only he who does the will of my father, who is in hea!en. (any will say to me in that day, :ord, :ord did we not prophesy in your name, and dri!e out demons, and perform many miracles9 7ut I will tell them plainly, I ne!er knew you. I ne!er knew you* >ow important is it to know 'od9 0retty important* So Jesus says, there are a lot of people at the end of the day who think theyOre in, but theyOre actually out. )hich is incredibly scary* 5an I "et an amen9 )hy is that scary9 7ecause I think IOm in, and so do you. )hat separates me from them9 3othin" yet, they think theyOre in, I think IOm in. TheyO!e cried out :ord, :ord, youO!e cried out :ord, :ord, so ha!e I. Jesus seems to say that at the end of the day, thereOs a lot of people who think theyOre in, but theyOre actually out. And then he "oes into this hu"e description, and he describes 0entecostal leaders. )ho else is prophesyin" and castin" out demons and performin" miracles9 )ho else is doin" that S nobody, 0entecostal leaders* I mean seriously, 7aptist in Auckland S theyOre safe. Di"ht, theyOre not doin" that9 Jesus says many will say to me that day, :ord, :ord, and I will say wait a minute S I donOt know you. )ait a minute, but we cast out de!ils, and we performed many miracles, and we prophesied. 7ut I didnOt know you, which is scary, because that sounds like me. IO!e cried out :ord, :ord, I ha!e. IO!e made Jesus the lord of my life, I did it a lot of times, because in the 0entecostal church youO!e lost your sal!ation e!ery time you sinned, so I "ot sa!ed e!ery week. IOm more sa!ed than all of you, probably. <:au"hter=. I mi"ht be in* IO!e cried out :ord, :ord, IO!e prophesied, I ha!e S I mo!e in the spirit ?uite a lot. I donOt really do it when IOm here, because it happens here all the time, but I do mo!e it the spirit ?uite a lot, I prophesy, IO!e cast out de!ils. So, IO!e been a part of miracles, some thin"s I would say are miraculous. So what separates me from them S nothin". The issue isnOt what they didA the issue is they didnOt know him. )hich be"s the ?uestion, what does it mean to know 'od9 +ou know thereOs only one scripture in the bible that defines what it means to know him S only one* Jeremiah 22 !erse 8%G4 >e took care of the poor and the afflicted, so it will "o well for him. Is this not what it means to know me, declares the lord your 'od. So to 'od, to know him, is to take care of the poor and the afflicted. EoesnOt that make sense* To do somethin" for someone who canOt possibly do somethin" in return for you, that in doin" that you would know the heart of 'od, because isnOt that what 'od did for you. That we are called not to "o to hea!en one day, weOre actually called to brin" hea!en to e!ery place thereOs hell now. This is central to their financial freedom. )e could talk about the whole system they ha!e for dealin" with money ,weOre "oin" to., but if I "i!e you the whole system, and you miss the heart of it, it doesnOt make any difference. If I "i!e you the whole system, and youOre "oin" to be la$y S whate!er. If I "i!e you the whole system, and youOre "oin" to make stupid decisions, selfish decisions S whate!er. If I "i!e you the whole system, and youOre "oin" honor each other, and honor whatOs in your own life S whate!er. If I "i!e you the whole system, and youOre "oin" to miss the bi""er aspect, which is do you know him... This thin" of knowin" 'od followed Jesus throu"h is whole ministry. This is eternal life, that they may know me. Eepart from me, I ne!er knew you. Jesus was nice to e!erybody, whoOs the only person that Jesus said went to hell S only one. Jesus whole life, he only said one person went to hell. ThereOs a rich man, who o!erlooked a poor man at his "ate S thatOs the man that went to hell. 7efore we excuse oursel!es from that con!ersation, we are the rich man. If you dro!e here in an automobile, it doesnOt matter what kind of car you ha!e, youOre in the richest GP of the whole world. If you left your spare car at home, youOre in the richest 1P of the whole world. If the home you ha!e has a concrete foundation, and lumber is the primary buildin" material, in other words, you donOt li!e in a trailer, if your home is not mobile, youOre in the richest .1P of the whole world. )e are the rich man, the ?uestion is, what are we "oin" to do about it9 If you look at the rich man in :a$arus, the rich man "oes to hell because he o!erlooked that poor man at his "ate, and then e!en in hell what does he do9 Abraham, send that be""ar o!er here to "i!e me some water. The man is in hell, and he still thinks heOs better than the poor man* So that the !ery thin" that put him in hell, he still kept makin" the same decision to stay there. +ou know anybody like that9 +ou know anybody that made decisions that put their life in hell, then theyOre in hell, and they kept makin" the same decisions9 Sounds like us. So this thin" follows Jesus throu"h his whole ministry, the rich man and :a$arus, and the sheep and the "oats S what was the key9 In (atthew 2F, what did the sheep and "oats "et separated by, Tsida?ah, "enerosity. Is this not what it means to know me9 5ornelius in Acts chapter 1 , 0eter shows up, he says 5ornelius S "od has already counted you ri"hteous, because he knows at some point youOre "oin" to pray a prayer. 'od has already counted you ri"hteous, because your "enerosity to the poor went up as a remembrance to him. Is this now what it means to know me, says the :ord your 'od9 Is this not what it means to know me declares the lord your 'od9 :et me close this session out with a scripture from first John chapter three, John has picked up on this principle, and this is what he says4 This is how we know what lo!e is, ,1 John /418U., Jesus 5hrist laid down is life for us, and we ou"ht ,hereOs the application. to lay down our life for our brothers. This is how he interprets that. If anyone has material "ood, and sees his brother with material need, how can the lo!e of 'od be in him9 Tsida?ah. Eear children, let us not lo!e in word only, but in action and in truth. This then, is how we know we belon" to the truth, and how we can set our hearts at rest in his presence, whene!er our heart condemns us, for 'od is "reater than our hearts, and he knows e!erythin" ,!2 .. In other words John says, you know those moments with 'od, that youOre not sure if youOre ok with him9 The way to o!ercome that, is to look around you, and make peopleOs li!es better, because itOs in that "enerosity that you can know you belon" to 'od, and you heart is set at rest

in his presence. Ten !erses later, this is how he says it ,1 John -4H.4 7elo!ed, let us lo!e one another, for lo!e is of 'od, and e!eryone that lo!es is born of 'od, and knows 'od. (y ?uestion is, before we "et into the lo"istics of e!erythin", is do you know him9 Eo you know him9 If youOre not sure, are you willin" to ad&ust your life to de!elop a Tsida?ah spirit. Are you willin" to "enuinely ask of 'od, 'od instill a Tsida?ah spirit in me. A ri"ht spirit, Tsada?LTsida?ah, install a Tsida?ah spirit in me. (ay I be a person who isnOt waitin" to "o to hea!en, but is actually lookin" around for opportunities to brin" hea!en to e!ery place thereOs hell that I see. (ay I be someone who had de!eloped a Tsida?ah spirit, for I want to know you. N1 workA N2 wisdomA N/ stay out of debt, donOt put money in thin"s "oin" down in !alueA sa!e 1 P of your incomeA donOt trust the "o!ernment to do it for you, they will "o broke ,see America, 1- trillion in debt, hard to "et your head around.A honor whatOs on your life, and the life of othersA N- seek the face of "od, desperately desirin" to know him. I bless you to be a people who know "od, know "od, not in some definition we made up, but in the way he defines it4 to take care of the poor and the afflicted. (ay we be people who look around us, and seek to show the ri"hteousness and "enerosity and the lo!e of "od to the world. :etOs take a break, then we will come back, and I will show you the whole Jewish system.

Shane Willard: Finan e (2 of 2) Sun 12 "un 2011 PM 6 7ack to Top


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'e're called to live on a circle in a s+uare. 7 circle inside of a s+uare is ;<5. The math from the commands matches the illustration from a riculture. 0.=5 is put in the hands of the >riest2 then a tenth is iven to the church2 and a tenth for yourself, in the form of savin s, but one third of that is iven to the poor. -e doesn't want you $ust to o to heaven one day, he wants you to brin heaven to earth now. If your first fruits are in the ri ht hands, your finances can't die. )ou sanctify everythin else in your life by honourin the lord with your first fruits. James 1.0? If anyone considers himself reli ious and does yet not keep a ti ht rei n on his ton ue, he deceives himself and his reli ion is worthless. @eli ion that our %od our father accepts as pure and faultless is this2 to look after orphans and widows in their distress. The reli ion our father sees as pure is enerosity.

:ets all come back to"ether please, I want to try honor my commitment to "et you out of here by Fpm, because by F.1F youOll "et hun"ry then turn on me, like a bunch of rabid do"s* #k a couple of thin"s before we start, ob!iously there is only so much we can co!er. 7ack there on the table thereOs a series called the blessed life. ItOs a H 5E serious that summari$es all this, and "oes into it in more detail. Also thereOs a E@E series called The 'reat 7i" 'od. The middle 2 E@EOs is a 2 E@E summary of what we will talk about. ItOs also "ot other thin"s like the >ebrew weddin", and when Jesus is comin" back, and how they know the actual day. #k so you can pick those up, as well as a whole bunch of other stuff that will enhance your life. Also let me remind you that the profit from that is what enables us to do T$edakah. So by sowin" into your own life, you're actually enablin" us to enter into T$edakah relationships with places, particularly South Africa and other places. So I would commend you, before you "o toni"ht to stop by there, by tomorrow history tells me it sells out. EonOt put if off until tomorrow, what you could do today. 3ow :e!iticus, 1B. B%1 . If the issue is T$edakah, de!elopin" a T$edakah spirit. The ?uestion then is, how do you define T$edakah9 ThereOs "ot to be a workin" definition of it. There is 2 answers to it4 one there's this sort ethereal sort of, are you a "enerous person9 7ut they also ha!e a workin" definitionA a system for doin" their money, and the name of their system is called T$edakah. In other words, if you do your money this way, this is called T$edakah. So here is the entire system. IOm "oin" tell you the end from the be"innin", and then "o back and show it to you in Scripture. The first thin" they do with their money, the first offerin" to be "i!en % itOs called the hi"hest offerin", the holiest offerin". In some places itOs called the hi"h holy offerin" ,superlati!e hi"hest and holy offerin"., Is called Terumah. It was the smallest offerin" as well. The smallest offerin" was actually the holiest offerin", because it was the first offerin", the primary offerin" and it sanctified all other offerin"s. In their world, to tithe without offerin" Teruemh was &ust lunacy. That the !ery thin" that sanctified the tithe was the Teruemh. And the Teruemh was !ery small, it was 1L- th. I was teachin" this once in the South, and said it was 1L- th and one "uy shouted from the back Q)ell who could afford to "i!e - P to somethin"9R Im to which my thou"ht was where did you "o to school9 1L- th is not - P its 2.FP, or ;2F on a ;1 , set apart for the :ord as a Teruemh offerin". +ou mi"ht here this called the offerin" of first fruits. In their culture first fruits had to become Teruemh in order to be sanctified. The first fruits had to become teruemh in order to be sanctified. The only way for it to become teruemh, two thin"s had to happen. It had to be lifted hi"h, and then it had to be placed into the hands of their pastor. The 1L- th offerin" went strai"ht to the man of 'od in your life, went strai"ht to your pastor. A pastor was ne!er intended to li!e on a salary from the tithe. The pastor was intended to li!e on the Teruemh of the people. )e're "oin" to talk about that % relax* The Teruemh offerin" is mentioned / times more than the Tithe in the bible, and I'll show it to you ok. ItOs

mentioned GH times. The problem is, the Cn"lish translators translate the same word 1/ different ways* )ell if you translate somethin" 1/ different ways, it dilutes its importance by a factor of 1/, correct9 I'm "oin" to show you some of those ways. Terumah was 1L- th strai"ht to the pastor. 3ext thin" they would do, they would take a tenth of what was left, and they would "i!e it to their church. IOm puttin" it into todayOs terms. They would "i!e it to their church. >ereOs how detailed they paid their tithes. They would har!est their crop. They would place their crop on top of the animals. Then they would &ust "o 1, 2, /, -, F, 8, H, G, B, 1 % mo!e the animal out of line random as a tithe, they would put him in a title pile and then they would brin" the whole tithe to the store house. So the next thin" they would do is pay a tenth to the church. IOm not "oin" to spend a whole lot of time on that, because weO!e been tau"ht that our whole life, and I donOt think I need to teach that. The next thin" they would do is they would pay the next tenth to themsel!es. They were commanded to "i!e the next tenth to themsel!es. #k now, the reason for this, for the confusion here is, if you take Stron"Os concordance and do a word study on the word tithe. If you look up e!ery instance of the word tithe in the old and new testament, hereOs what you would findA In some places it says, e!ery year brin" a tithe of that years increase into my house so thereOs be food in my house and the :e!ites take care of it... In other places it says e!ery year you should brin" a tenth and sa!e it, store it up for your feast and your festi!als and an inheritance to your childrenOs children. So they were commanded not only to "i!e a tenth, but they were commanded to sa!e a tenth for a couple of reasons. #ne4 to sa!e up for their feasts and festi!als. 7ut what was left o!er from their feast and festi!als they would trade it in for sil!er and "old and sa!e it up as an inheritance for their childrenOs children. )hich once a"ain leads me to a ?uestion, if youOre o!er FF and had sa!ed 1 P your whole life, how much money would you ha!e9 And then of course when you die, and lea!e that to your children, where are they startin"9 And then if they sa!e 1 P how much money do they ha!e9 Eo you see now why these people are so blessed9 In some sense itOs the hand of 'od, in another sense its obedience to natural common sense. +ou sa!e 1 P your whole life, and this set me free in terms of the tithin" realm. )hen I saw that 'od was &ust as interested in me sa!in" money, as he is in me "i!in" money. It is &ust a much a command to sa!e it, as it is to "i!e it. 3ow last thin" they would do is called the (aaser, the word (aaser is Tithe, it &ust means tenth. C!ery one of these, althou"h theyOre different, "ets translated &ust one way in Cn"lishA tithe. So Tithe "ets three times more emphasis than it should, and Terumah "ets 1/ times less emphasis than it should. ItOs a problem. The (aaser was this, e!ery /rd self%tithe, instead of "i!in" it to myselfA I "i!e it to the poor. +ou can read about that in Eeuteronomy 1-. It says e!ery /rd year, which is the year of the special tithe, take a tithe of that years increase and set aside for stran"ers, widows, orphans and aliens...)oooo* So this was the system. 3ow IOm "oin" to "o back, show you each one in scripture, then talk about each one. :e!iticus 1B.B%1 A when you reap the har!est of your land, do not reap to the !ery ed"es of your field, or "ather the "leanin"s of your har!est. Eo not "o o!er your !ineyard a second time, or pick up the "rapes that ha!e fallen. :ea!e them for the poor and aliens, for I am the :ord your 'od. So what he says is this, when you conceptuali$e your financial life, which is !ery important. )hen 'od "ot this "roup of people out of sla!ery in C"ypt and into freedom in the promise land, he was tryin" to create a culture of people who would show the whole world what does 'od look like if he was leadin" the way. So to create a whole new culture, you ha!e to deal with a lot of ?uestions donOt you. )hatOs acceptable, and whatOs not acceptable in our culture. So he "i!es thin"s like4 were not "oin" to kill each other. )ere "oin" to take a day off a week. )eOre "oin" to do these thin"s. #ne of the commands is4 thou shall not steal. )ell han" on, to build an entire culture, one of the thin"s you ha!e to deal with is this4 is how do we think about our stuff9 >ow do you think about whatOs yours9 There is only two ways to accumulate thin"s le"itimately. #ne way is to work for it and earn it. +ou work for it, you paid for it, you earned it, its yours. The other way to le"itimately ac?uire thin"s is "ifts. So a year and a half a"o someone "a!e me a car. It was a nice one. The car is le"itimately mine, not because I worked and earned it, but because someone "a!e it to me. 7ut its still nonetheless le"itimately mine. C!ery other way of accumulatin" thin"s are ille"itimate. ItOs called stealin". So essentially 'od sets out this command, sayin" we're "oin" to think about our stuff in a new way. >ereOs the centre of the command4 how do you think about your stuff9 Eo you think about your stuff in a way that you worked for it and earned it, or do you think about your stuff as its all a "ift from 'od9 Cither way. >e says it different ways. >ey remember when you ha!e abundance in the promise land that it is I the :ord your 'od who "a!e you ability to obtain wealth. In other words, the best way to li!e, is not to think that anythin" you ha!e is your own, but that all belon"s to 'od, and that you are a steward of somethin" bi""er.

So 'od says since I am in char"e, and you are the steward of my money, let me tell you how the best way to handle your money is. >ere how the best way to handle (+ money actually. >e says, I want you to !isuali$e your life as a s?uare. )hen you reap the har!est of your land donOt reap to the ed"es of the field, or "ather the "leanin"s of the har!est or "o o!er a second time. :ea!e that for "i!in". So essentially the ima"ery is thisA if your field is a s?uare, he wants you to li!e on a circle. >e wants you to li!e on a circle inside a s?uare. In other words the corners are for "i!in", theyOre not for you, this is not for you* )e are to li!e from whatOs on the circle. So I asked a mathematician, what percenta"e of a s?uare is a circle9 If you put a circle inside a s?uare, what percenta"e is that9 If you want to "et technical...pi this and that... itOs HBP* If you drop a circle into a s?uare, you ha!e HBP of the s?uare. So 'ods way of doin" life, is to li!e with 21P mar"ins. That we are to li!e on HBP of what we make, and we are to "i!e away the other 21P. 3ow thereOs a problem with that. In 3J, do people li!e with 21P mar"in9 3o. In America, the a!era"e person spends ;1. 1 for e!ery ;1. they make. )hich means theyOre li!in" on their entire s?uare, and 1P of some other person's s?uare ,ford motor credit, home e?uity lines, master card, !isa.. So 'odOs way is li!e on a circle inside a s?uare. )e say, I donOt think thatOs the best way to li!e. )hat we belie!e is our !ersion of the story, which is to li!e on the whole s?uare. #f course, when you li!e on your whole s?uare, who mo!es into your house9 (urphy, ri"ht9 )hen you li!e on your whole s?uare with no mar"in, who mo!es in9 (urphy. 3ot only does he mo!e in, but his / cousinsA broke, desperate and stupid mo!e in. 0eople do stupid thin"s when theyOre desperate, don't they. )hen you li!e with no mar"ins, all it takes is one disaster to throw e!erythin". :isten, if you canOt afford to li!e when your tire "oes flat, what is wron" with you9 )e ha!e to li!e with enou"h mar"ins, where if the tyre "oes flat, we can &ust "o replace the tire and not ha!e to borrow money. )hen you use credits cards, when we use that 1P of someone else s?uare, hereOs the problem4 in the next year we ha!e to pay the 1P back donOt we, with interest. So we borrow 1P but it takes up a bi""er percenta"e of our s?uare, until before we know it our whole s?uare is "one. :et me tell you what that looks like. )hen you "et paid, e!ery cent of it "oes to pay bills. >ow does that feel9 If feels like you ha!e no s?uare. So what actually appears like freedom is actually bonda"e. So they write thin"s like the borrower is the sla!e to the lender. In another words, if you make ;1 and ;BGF is actually someone elseOs because you owe it to them. ThatOs not freedom, thatOs lunacy, thatOs sla!ery* So we li!e on our whole s?uare, plus a certain percenta"e of someone elseOs s?uare and then we blame Satan for our financial problems. Its not Satan, poor Satan* ,lau"hter. )hen it comes to most of us and how we make our money, Satan can take a !acation. )e make enou"h stupid decisions to ruin it oursel!es. 'od says this is how I want to you to or"ani$e your financial life, in a circle on a s?uare. That youOre not entitled to thin"s. :isten if your buyin" cars, you canOt afford, with money you don't ha!e, to impress people you donOt like, it is not SatanOs fault where that ends up. )e ha!e to take responsibility for it. )e ha!e to own it. )e need to at least, enter into a process, a 2%year plan to "et your life to look like that. At least make a plan to try. +ou say I canOt afford to Tithe % "reat, do 1P. I canOt afford, yes you can. C!erybody can afford to honor Terumah. ItOs so small. ItOs ;2F on a ;1 . Are you kiddin" me9 ThatOs coke* ,Erinkin" coke, not sniffin" coke, thatOs much more expensi!e.. +ou could "i!e up coke, you could "i!e up coffee, to brin" this thin" around for your life. 5heck out the next scriptureA there is a connection between "enerosity ,T$edakah. and ri"hteousness. 0salms /H!2F T 28 I ha!e been youn" and now IOm old yet IO!e ne!er seen the ri"hteous forsaken or his seed be""in" bread, for all the day lon" he deals "enerously. In Cn"lish you say thereOs a disconnect4 a ri"hteous man deals "enerously. In >ebrew it's ob!ious, this is what it would say4 a T$edak man does T$edakah. A T$edak man operates in T$edakah, which would lend itself to well duh, ri"ht* 0salm 1.12!F a ri"hteous man always shows "enerosity. Eeuteronomy 2- !erse 1H Eo not depri!e the alien or the fatherless of &ustice, or take the cloak of a widow as a pled"e. Demember that you were once sla!es in C"ypt and the :ord your 'od redeemed you. This is why I command you to do this. In other words, why should you treat others with di"nity that maybe they donOt deser!e because at some point in your life, 'od treated you with di"nity that you didnOt deser!e. And we ha!e to remember that. Isaiah 1 !erse 1F4 )hen you spread out your hands in prayer I will hide my eyes from you. C!en if you offer many prayers I wonOt listen. +our hands are full of blood. )ash and make yourself clean. Take your e!il deeds out of my site. Stop doin" wron" and learn to do ri"ht. Seek &ustice, encoura"e the oppressed, defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow. 5ome let us reason to"ether, thou"h your sins are like scarlet, they will be white as snow. In other words, the whole rant, what was the problem9 'enerosity. )hat was the solution to their problem9 7e "enerous. I lo!e this, thereOs this one scripture in :uke /, itOs about a "uy named John the 7aptist and he "oes on this rant. These "roup of people come out to be bapti$ed by him, they're not comin" to challen"e him or anythin", and

hereOs his response4 you brood of !ipers* )ho has warned you to flee the comin" wrath9 0roduce fruit and keep the with repentance, and do not be"in to say to yourself you ha!e Abraham as a father, for I tell you out of these stones 'od can raise up children for Abraham. 3ot the "reatest church "rowth techni?ue is it* 0eople comin" out to be bapti$ed by him, and his answer is you basket of snakes, you fatherless people, thereOs a word for that it starts with a 7, don't want to call people that ri"ht9 +ou basket of snakes, you fatherless people, it "ets worse4 the axe has already fallen to the roof of your trees, and e!eryone of you will be cut down and thrown into the fire. I would su""est to you that John is not a 7aptist at all. >eOs more a 0entecostal pastor on speed* So he "i!es this whole rant, what sin do you think he was addressin"9 Idolatry, homosexuality, e!eryone knows thereOs / thin"s the :ord hates ri"ht. )hat is he dealin" with9 The crowd is taken aback, and asks what would you want us to do9 >e says let the person with two tunics share with the person who has none and let one with food do the same. The whole rant was about "enerosity and "reed. :uke 1B thereOs this encounter with Jesus and Jacchaeus, where Jacchaeus "i!es half of what he has to the poor, and Jesus says thatOs it, sal!ation has now come to you. 'enerosity. Acts chapter 2 and chapter -, it says that they sold e!erythin" they hadm and "a!e it to those who were in need, and thatOs the period of time where 'od mo!ed the most mi"htily throu"h the church. James 1.28 I lo!e this, if anyone considers himself reli"ious and does yet not keep a ti"ht rei"n on his ton"ue, he decei!es himself and his reli"ion is worthless. Deli"ion that our 'od our father accepts as pure and faultless is thisA to look after orphans and widows in their distress. The reli"ion our father sees as pure is "enerosity. 3ow let me "o back to this, the first and holiest offerin" in the T$edakah system was called Terumah. :et me "i!e you the "ist of it. Some farmer in the 'old 5oast explained this to me from a science perspecti!e, IOm sorry I cannot re% explain it. Cssentially what he told me was, when you plant a field, a certain percenta"e of the field comes up first ,has somethin" to do with the half%life of a seed.. )hen that comes up its called the first fruit. 3ow hereOs what they belie!e. )hate!er is true of the first fruit, is true of the whole crop. That went throu"h their whole culture, first born S whole family, first words S whole book, first letter S whole word. )hatOs true of the first mention, is true of e!ery other mention. )hatOs true of the first fruit, is true of the whole crop. So think about it, if what's true of the first fruit, is true of the whole crop, then itOs !ery important that the first fruit is holy. The only way the first fruit to become >oly, is that the first fruit % the word is 7ikkurim % the only way for the first fruit to become holy is that it becomes Terumah. 1or the first fruit to become Terumah, two thin"s had to happen. #ne, it had to be lifted hi"h. The word Terumah, the root word is room, which means to lift hi"h. In Cn"lish its translated wa!e offerin", hea!e offerin", hi"h offerin", hi"h holy offerin", in one place itOs called the Tribute ,I will co!er that in a second.. So they lifted it hi"h, essentially sayin" I "ift this to 'od. (y first fruits belon"s to 'od. They had to lift it hi"h, and the second thin" they had to place it into the hands of their pastor. So they had to lift it hi"hA place it into their hands. EonOt for"et this, say it with me. :ift it hi"h, place into the hands. The ima"ery is thisA when I lift it hi"h I "i!e it to 'od, and 'od commands me to "i!e it to my pastorL priest. The scriptures are comin"... they had to lift it hi"h, place it into the hands. )hen the first fruits was lifted hi"h and placed in their hands it was called Terumah, and that made the first fruits >oly, which sanctified the rest of the crop. Then what they would do, har!est their first fruits, bind it, lift it hi"h, place it into the hands, then they would "o back, and when the rest of the har!est came up, they would har!est that. 1rom that they would pay a first tithe to the :ord, then they would "o back and count out another Tithe for themsel!es, and then e!ery /rd%self tithe instead of "i!in" it to themsel!es, they would "i!e it to the poor. :ets "o back to Terumah. 1Kin"s 1H. Demember if the first fruits is holy the whole lump is holy. ThatOs Domans 11.18 by the way. If the first fruit is holy, the whole lump is holy. )hate!er is true of the first fruit is true of all the crop that comes after it. 1 Kin"s 1H !erse G, a story about Cli&ah and a widow. Then the word of the :ord came to him, sayin", BQ'o now to Jarephath, which belon"s to Sidon, and li!e thereA for I ha!e commanded a widow there to feed you.R 1 So he set out and went to Jarephath. )hen he came to the "ate of the town, a widow was there "atherin" sticksA he called to her and said, Q7rin" me a little water in a !essel, so that I may drink.R 11As she was "oin" to brin" it, he called to her and said, Q7rin" me please a morsel of bread in your hand.R 127ut she said, QAs the :ord your 'od li!es, I ha!e nothin" baked, only a handful of flour in a &ar, and a little oil in a &u"A I am now "atherin" a couple of sticks, so that I may "o home and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die.R So letOs re!iew, you ha!e a widow, how many mouths does she ha!e to feed9 Two, her and her son. >ow many meals does she ha!e9 #ne* #ne meal, two mouths. This "uy shows up, he says I need some bread and water. She says listen, let me tell you my circumstance. I ha!e one meal and two mouthsA IO!e "ot a problem. IOm actually "oin" to cook this mealA me and my son are "oin" to split it, and then were "oin" to die. >ow much hope is in that9 3ot much* 3ot much at all. )atch what Cli&ah tells here. Cli&ah says to her, QEo not be afraidA "o home and do as you

ha!e said ,what did she say % I'm "oin" to make one meal for two, eat it and die.A but first make me a small cake of bread for me from what you ha!e and brin" it to me, and afterwards make somethin" for yourself and your son. 0ut it this way, If 533 and the Internet were around back then what is the 5hristian world sayin" about Cli&ah9 Cither Cli&ah is the most insensiti!e &erk in the history of mankind, or heOs on to somethin". >e says #h, you'!e "ot one meal and two mouths9 ThatOs a problem. +ou can "o home and eat it and die % you could do that, or % you can "i!e the first portion to me and watch what happens. 1or this is what the :ord, the 'od of Israel, says4 VThe &ar of flour will not be used up and the &u" of oil will not run dry until the day the :ord sends rain on the land.OR She went away and did as Cli&ah had told her. So there was food e!ery day for Cli&ah and for the woman and her whole family. The principle is thisA when the first portion of somethin" is in the ri"ht hands the rest of it canOt die. ItOs so hu"e when it comes to your money and your spirit ,we will talk about the spirit part in a second.. )hen the first portion is in the ri"ht hands the rest of it canOt run out or die. That the whole lump has to follow the sanctify of the first portion. It is !ery important that the first fruits of your entire increase is sanctified, and the only way to sanctify it is to "i!e it as a Terumah. It has to be lifted hi"h, placed in the hands. Try it with more "usto4 It has to be lifted hi"h, placed in the hands ,repeats.. 3ow (alachi / !erse 8. )ill a man rob 'od9 +et you ha!e robbed me in Tithes and #fferin"s. >old on, in that scripture, you ha!e robbed me in Tithes, which is plural, which means what % there is more than one. >ow many, you don't know at this point, which means there could be B. >ow many of you are excited about that9 ,lau"hs. Actually there is only three. +ou ha!e robbed me in Tithes, then the world offerin" there is Terumah. +ou ha!e robbed me in Tithes and Terumah. In other words donOt withhold your Terumah and your Tithes. To 'od ,this is so important., to not sa!e 1 P of your income is stealin". )ow. )e always hear4 if you donOt "i!e your 1 P, its stealin"A but to not sa!e is also stealin". They are both commands, and they are both commanded tithes. )hy9 7ecause 'od wants you under a law9 3o, because 'od knows if you sa!e 1 P of your income your whole life you will be wealthy beyond measure. Just by compoundin" interest. The rule of H2 says if the stock market does 12P on a!era"e your money is "oin" to double e!ery 8 years. The stock market in America has a!era"ed 11.H percent since 1B2 . So on a!era"e your money will double e!ery 8 years. 'od is smart. (y mum trained me to sa!e 1 P of my income my whole life, since I was -. Di"ht now, IOm on pace to ha!e about 8 million dollars when IOm 8 . #nce a"ain, I canOt touch it until IOm 8 so ease up, but the truth is that 'od is smart. 'od wants our best life. 7ack to Terumah, I was tau"ht my whole life, until I learned this that tithes and first fruits were the same thin". In point of fact they are not. In the book of :e!iticus is says your not e!en allowed to eat, until the first fruits and tithes are separated. >ere are a couple of other scriptures. 3ehemiah 12.-- At that time men were appointed to be in char"e of the storerooms for the contributions, for both first fruits and tithes. 1irst fruits and tithes % two separate thin"s. 3ehemiah 1 ./F WAnd brin" the first fruits of our "round, and the first fruits of all of our trees, year by year into the house of the :ord. 7rin", from the storerooms to the house of our 'od, also the first born of our sons, and of our cattle. And as it is written in the law, and the first of our herds and the first of our flocks, to brin" into the house of our 'od, to the priest ,that's the minister. in the house of our 'od. So the first fruit was meant to "o into whoOs hands9 The priest. And that we should also brin" the first fruits of our dou"h, and our hea!e offerin"s, Terumah. And the fruit of all manner of wines and oils, unto the priests, the the chambers of the house of our 'od. Then it "oes on, and the the tithe of our "round was meant to be "i!en into the :e!ites. So first fruits and tithes were not the same thin"4 first fruits went to the priestA and the Tithe went to the house of 'od. So first fruits and tithes were not the same thin", they were separated, one went to the priest, one to the house of the :ord. :et me &ust "i!e you a few scriptures were the word Terumah is used, and its translated all these different kinds of ways. Cxodus 2F.2 QSpeak to the children of Israel, that they take for me an offerin" ,that word is Terumah. of e!ery man whoOs heart makes him willin" you shall raise my Terumah ,to raise an offerin", to lift it up.. Demember it had to be lifted hi"h and placed in the hands of the priest.

3umbers /1.-1 (oses "a!e the tribute ,the word here in >ebrew is Terumah.. (oses "a!e the Terumah, which was Jeho!ah's Terumah unto Clea$ar the priest as the :ordOs part, as the :ord commanded (oses. )hat had happened was the Israelites had confiscated an entire cityOs worth of loot, and they had counted all the head of cattle and all the "rain and stuff, then (oses said hey4 before we di!ide it up a"ainst oursel!es we ha!e to honor the man of 'od here, so they "a!e a Terumah portion of the entire thin" to the priest because 'od had commanded to. That's a principle of 'od, you ha!e to honour the priest, with the portion of first fruits. C$ekiel --./ . They are in capti!ity in 7abylon, and 'od sends these prophets to them to remind them to keep their prosperity mindsets. It says, and the best of all the first fruits of e!erythin", and this says #blation % what is an #blation9 Sounds like a sur"ical techni?ue* Its Terumah4 and the first of all fruits of e!erythin", and e!ery Terumah of e!erythin", of all your Terumahs. The word #blation there is the word Terumah, a >ebrew offerin" that's supposed to be lifted hi"h and placed in the hands of the 0riest. +ou shall also "i!e unto the priest the first of you dou"h, in order to cause a blessin" on the rest of your house. In other words, if you take care of your priest, the rest of the house takes care of itself. Interestin". Also C$ekiel -G.1 , they had been "i!en a certain portion of land, and e!en the land had a Terumah portion. 'od was sayin"4 make sure the priest "et a Terumah portion to li!e in. This is what is says4 and for these, e!en for the priest, shall be the holy Terumah ,once a"ain % oblation, odd translation. and e!en for the priest shall be the holy Terumah. Say with me % >oly Terumah* #nce a"ain Terumah represented the offerin" of the first fruits, and it was meant to be in the hands of the priest, in order to cause a blessin" to be on the house. 0ro!erbs /.B >onor the lord with your possessions, and with the first fruits of your increase. 1irst fruits X Terumah X lifted hi"h and placed into their hands. >onour the :ord with the firstfruits of your increase, then your barns will be fill to o!erflowin", and your !ats will brim o!er with new wine. Eeuteronomy 1G./ QAnd this shall be the priestOs due from the people ,in other words this is what you owe your priest. from them who offer a sacrifice, whether it be ox or sheepA and they shall "i!e unto the priest the shoulder and the two cheeks and the maw. (mmm* +ou donOt wanna know. The 3I@ says it this way4 the shoulders, the &owls, and the inner parts. +um, yum* So the priest does somethin" for you, you owe him a portion of it. 3ext !erse... The first fruit also of thy corn, of thy wine, and of your oil, and the first of the fleece from the shearin" of your sheep, you shall "i!e it to him ,the priest % first portion of e!erythin" belon"s in the hands of the priest.. 1or the :ord thy 'od has chosen him, out of all the tribes, to stand to minister in his name always. Skip to !erse H... Then he shall minister in the name of the :ord his 'od, as all his brothers the :e!ites do, who stand there before the :ord. They shall ha!e like portions to eat, besides that which comes from the sale of his patrimony. )hat is up with that translation9 In other words itOs sayin", that a priest that has money from other places, is still do the Terumah portion, e!en if he has money from other places itOs still his. )hy9 7ecause terumah was not about youOre priest needin" money. ItOs about you needin" to unlock the blessin"s of 'od o!er your life. There's a scripture, 3umbers 1G. It talks about this is the share due to the priestA the first fruits of all of their offerin"s. 1or this will be an e!erlastin" co!enant of salt. This will be an e!erlastin" co!enant of salt* +ou "uys know what a co!enant of salt was9 A co!enant of salt happened at a weddin", basically the "room would stand on one side, and the bride would stand on the other, and each of them had a ba""ie of salt, and then the priest had an empty ba""ie. So you would take the 'room's ba" of salt and dump in the the empty ba", take the 7ride's ba" of salt and dump in the ba", then he would hold it like this and then shake it, and the would say4 what 'od has &oined to"ether, let no man tear asunder ,separate.. And the teachin" was that sometimes di!orce happens, and you ou"ht to be !ery "racious with it, sometimes di!orce happens, but whether di!orce is ri"ht, or whether di!orce is not ri"ht, you can ne!er totally separate the salt % too hard to do* ...and then they would take the mixed salt and sprinkle it on their hands, so the Terumah offerin" acted as a 5o!enant of Salt between you and your priest. In other words, whate!er is on your priest's life, you can ha!e ri"hts to, when you're in a Terumah relationship. In other words you ha!e a choice4 you can stand in an impartation line for the next 2 yearsA or you can start honourin" Terumah, and the !ery thin"s that are on their li!es, will start to come on yours, without you e!en tryin" % its Terumah. 3ow, this is so important to your finances, so important. +ou sanctify e!erythin" else in your life by honourin" the lord with your first fruits. :ets re!iew, how does first fruits become Terumah9 It had to be lifted upA placed in the hands. :ifted hi"h, placed in the hands. This has hu"e implications. )hat's true of the first fruits is true of the crop. )e ha!e

to understand this has spiritual implications too. Jesus was actually two offerin"s on the cross. #ne, he was a sin offerin" % behold, the :amb of 'od, who takes away the sins of the world* 7ut he was also a first fruits offerin". 1 5orinthians 1F says it this way4 that Jesus rose from the dead, bein" the first fruits of all who died. >an" on, let's think of the principle % if what's true of the first fruits is true of the crop, if the first fruits of all who die, is li!in", what's true of all who die9 +ou're followin" me ri"ht9 They li!e* If what's true of the first fruits is true of the whole crop, if the first fruits of all who die, is li!in", then all who died are li!in" % "uaranteed the resurrection. So if Jesus is a first fruits offerin", what did he ha!e to become, to be sanctified % Terumah. >ow did first fruits become Terumah % it had to be lifted hi"h. 7ehold if I be lifted hi"h, I will draw on into myself. It had to be lifted hi"hA and it had to be placed in the hands of the spiritual authority. )ho was Jesus spiritual authority9 The father* So when he dies, what does he say9 1ather, into your hands... )hich is what "uaranteed the resurrection* Three days later the 1ather says4 "i!e me my son back* If you humour me for a second, Satan may ha!e said4 based on what9 7ased on the fact that the first fruits is in my hands, now the whole lump has to follow, now "i!e him back. Jesus is brilliant, he could'!e done all this miraculously, but all he did was instituted a uni!ersal principle and he followed it. )hat's true of the first fruits is true of the crop, so he placed the first fruits of himself into the hands of the father, which "uaranteed his resurrection. Its the !ery thin" that "uarantees yours. )hen you come to 5hrist, what do you do9 +ou "i!e your heart to Jesus. The bible says it this way4 that 'od "i!es you a deposit of the holy spiritA and you "i!e him your heart. +ou "i!e him the first fruit of you bein", which is why, to be absent from the body is to be present with 'od. )hy % because the first fruits of your bein" is already in his hands. So when you die, the whole lump simply follows to where the first fruits are. The parable of the first fruits "oes into resurrection. So what does this mean for us financially9 )ell it means that if your first fruits are in the ri"ht hands, your finances can't die. They mi"ht look dead, but a resurrection is "uaranteed. The first fruits of your finances needs to be in the ri"ht handsA the first fruits of your spirit needs to be in the ri"ht hands. @ery important. There's all kinds of extra% biblical sources on this too. The (ishna % the (ishna is hu"e, but I'!e actually seen this !olume four, is like that thick, and this is how commonplace this was. @olume four was that thick, and its all about how to "i!e Tarumah, that's how commonplace it was % do you see how much we'!e lost9 It was !ery common, it didn't "o away until about /F AE, when 5onstantine... This is how it went away, if you're wonderin" % 5onstantine had a meetin" with the leaders of the tribe of Judah, and he says4 we ha!e all the education, we ha!e all the resources, we ha!e all the roads, we ha!e all the ports, but you still ha!e all the money % why9 And the leaders of the Tribe of Judah said, well they &ust pointed this out to him4 this is how we do our money. +ou can read about this btw, in the history book WThe 0ost%3icean 1athers, @olume HW, if you interested. 5onstantine said4 is that it9 They said yes* >e said fine, this is what I'm "oin" to do4 I'm "oin" to institute a tax* 3ow listen to the tax4 1LG of a day's wa"eA 1L- of a weeks wa"eA and 1L8 of a seasons wa"eA all on top of one another. 1LG of a day's wa"eA 1L- of a weeks wa"eA where did that normally "o9 To the priest % the Doman "o!ernment reached out and confiscated it* To which they asked4 what about our pastors and our priests % what are we supposed to do when them9 5onstantine said4 the "o!ernment will take care of them, don't worry about it. )hich was the start of socialism. It ne!er worked, why9 7ecause the power was supposed to be in 'ods people doin" those thin"s, and 'od's principles ne!er chan"e. That's why America will ne!er "et out of debt, because it has abandoned 'od's ways. 3ot Satan's fault, our fault. The Eidache was a book that was written in the late first century. It's known by its lon"er name WThe Teachin" of the Twel!e Apostles to the 1irst 5entury 5hurchW. The Eidache did not make it into the 7ible, and I'm not sayin" it should, I'm &ust simply sayin" that 0eter, James and John wrote it, so we probably ou"ht to listen. In the Eidache chapter 1/ this is what it says4 If you ha!e a 0astor willin" to li!e amon" you and teach the word, he is worthy of your Tarumah. If you do 3#T ha!e a 0astor willin" to li!e amon" you and teach the word, then "i!e your Tarumah to the poor. )hate!er you do, don't eat it. The only person allowed to eat the Tarumah portion, is the priest. So, let me make a couple of obser!ations. 3umber one, I ha!e nothin" to "ain by tellin" you this, there's no selfish moti!e in my heart at all. I'm not your 0astor, but I will tell you this4 do you ha!e a pastor willin" to li!e amon" you and teach you the word9 >e's worthy of your Tarumah, absolutely. ,applause.. I will also tell you this, I will challen"e you to wei"h this out. I will challen"e you to ask, is this really what 'od is sayin"9 And if the spirit of "od did not bear witness to you, then I will ask you not to do it. 7ut as you're listenin" to this and you know somethin", that what you're hearin" is ri"ht, this is what I want you to do. 1or the next 8 months, I want you to dedicate yourself to "ettin" your life or"anised like this. If you care for anythin", start with the Taruma % it was the first offerin" anyway, and its the smallest, the easiest to do.

I could sit here until tomorrow mornin" and tell you stories about miracles associated with Tarumah. 1irst, when I was a pastor the first Tarumah I e!er recei!ed was before I e!en understood it. Someone else understood it. This "uy walked up, and in his hand was wa!in" three dollars. The poor "uy wanted both of his eyes to work. They would work, but only one at a time, and so he would look at you like this, and the other eye would float around, it was weird. And so, I used to mess with him, because one time in front of this whole "roup of people, he told the whole "roup of people he could beat me up in a fi"ht, which was ridiculous, but I didn't want to fi"ht him, so he &ust kept "oin" and "oin" so I said4 hey, look, do me a fa!our, watch my hand. And so his eyes started doin" this, and he was like4 stop* So he comes down the hallway wa!in" three dollars, and he was broke as % you can't belie!e how broke he was. 3ow I thou"ht, I don't need his three dollars. So he hands me this three dollars, and e!ery impulse in me wanted to "i!e it back, so I went to "i!e it back and as soon as I did the :ord stopped me, and he said4 you do not "i!e that back* It's not for you, its for him. )ell he "ot home that ni"ht, and not one person, but two people, had "i!en him an auto% mobile* (y mum "a!e her first Tarumah, I explained this to her, because she said her company said she's capped, because of her education, they wouldn't promote her any more. And I said (um, try this4 she "a!e her first TarumahA and three days later the didn't promote her once, they promoted her twiceA and they decided to put her throu"h colle"e at their expense. (y first Tarumah, when I first saw this, I asked the :ord, please for"i!e me for not honourin" Tarumah, I did not know. I &ust did not, I wasn't bein" rebellious, I &ust didn't know. So I said :ord, please for"i!e me for dishonorin" Tarumah, I did not know, and I said :ord % I want to start today, how far back do you want me to "o9 :ord "i!e me my first Tarumah amount, and then "oin" forward I will honour Tarumah. Then for some reason the :ord told me one hundred and ele!en dollars, which was weird. 7ut I wrote it down, I lifted it hi"h, and I placed it into my pastors hands, and I asked him to bless it, with all the blessin"s of Tarumah, which he didn't understand, so I wrote out a blessin" for him to say. ,lau"hter. I said, &ust say this... fine. I "a!e him ;111, as a Tarumah. The next week, someone "a!e me a house. >e said I'd like to "i!e you my house, I said how much9 >e said I'!e "ot to do some repairs, &ust pay % it ended up costin" me ;F k, for a / bedroom brick home. So he "i!es me this house, a week after that, and it took me a while to mo!e in, and it wasn't until I mo!ed that I realised the first time that I checked my mail, that my address was 111 7irch lane* 5oincidence, maybe, likely not. 1or me, it meant a lot to me. 3ow listen, this is so important. All preachers, when they preach % they're still workin" it out in their own li!es, ok, because none of us are perfect. 7ut on this topic, as far as I know, if I stood before 'od % I li!e that way. I li!e that way, I honour my Taruma, I "i!e my first tenth to the church, I "i!e my next tenth to myselfA then e!ery third tenth instead of "i!in" it to myself, I "i!e it to the poor. As far as I know I li!e that way, and let you tell you, it has done nothin" but bless my entire life. I "ot problems &ust like e!erybody else, but money isn't one of them. 'od, let 'od be true in e!ery area of your life. 3ow let me &ust close this out by "i!in" you a practical example, because I know the bi""est ?uestion is ok, how does this work in my life9 )hat do I do9 )hat che?ues do I write9 #k, let me "i!e you this4 on a thousand dollars, I picked a thousand dollars because its easy to do maths on. #n a thousand dollars, first thin" you would do is "i!e a Tarumah. 3ow remember we're called to li!e on a circle in a s?uare. A circle inside of a s?uare is HBP. #n a thousand, the first 1L- , ;2F, "oes to your pastor. >ere is (ike, ok that's pastor (ike % it "oes ri"ht to him, the first fortieth "oes to him. ,;1 %;2FX;BHF. Then the next tenth "oes to the church, which is ;BG, we're not "oin" to do ;BH.F because we ha!e T$edakah spirits, and it's easier to do math this way. ,;BHF%;BGX;GHH.. After that, you pay a second tithe to yourself, which is ;GG, which lea!es you with ;HGB. ;HGB is exactly HBP of 1 , its exactly the circle in the s?uare. So the math from the commands perfectly matches the illustration from a"riculture % its almost like the writer had some help* I bless you "uys to know that 'od wants you to win, he wants you to de!elop a T$edakah spirit. >e doesn't want you &ust to "o to hea!en one day, he wants you to brin" hea!en to earth now. I bless you today to know that you can win financially, you can. 3ow, this next part I do with "reat trepidation. Im, are there any ?uestions9 3on%combati!e ?uestions. ,lau"hter. +ou'!e "ot to be loud thou"h, loud. ,before or after tax9. It's up to you. 'ood ?uestion thou"h, there is no condemnation for those in Jesus ok. 0eople who say, do we do this before tax or after tax9 I say, listen to your heart. I do it before tax, but I would ne!er put that on someone as a stake in the "round. I'm in, you out. If it e!er turns into I'm ri"ht, you're wron", we're missin" the whole spirit of the thin". So "ood ?uestion, but let your heart be the "uide here.

Any other ?uestions9 ,1re?uency of payments9. 'reat ?uestion, you do it howe!er you want. They "ot paid once a year. )e "et paid once a week, or fortni"ht, or month. I "et paid once a month, and for me it's easier to do it when I "et paid. So I "et paid once a month, so e!ery month I "i!e a Tarumah to my pastor, a tithe to my church, and then I pay a second tithe to myself. 3ow here's how I do it, because I "et paid by month, in the first months January and 1ebruary, I "i!e a tithe to myself. In march, because its the third month, I "i!e the second tithe to the poor. So in the /rdA 8thA BthA and 12th month, (archA JuneA SeptemberA Eecember, my second tithe "oes to the poor. 'ood ?uestion, I promise you a lot of people wanted to ask that. ,>ow to in!est the second tithe to yourself9. 'ood ?uestion, here's what I tell people % here's what you want to do with your second tithe, is to "et ;2 in the bank. So pay the second tithe to yourself to "et ;2 in the bank, that way if a tyre "oes flat, you'll ha!e money to fix it. Second thin" you do with your second tithe, pay of all your consumer debt. 5redit cards, >ome e?uity lines, car loans, thin"s like that. It does no "ood to in!est, when you're payin" a hi"her 1GP interest on your mastercard. So use your second tithe first to "et ;2 in the bank ,about a month's wa"es., then use your second tithe to pay off all consumer debt except your house, because your house is "oin" up in !alue, or at least it should* Then "o back to the ;2 , and "et 8months of expenses in the bank, then "o back to stocks, bonds, mutual funds, whate!er you call it here. And then after that, pay your house off. ,#ther "i!in"9. )ell, you want to honour 'od, so first ?uestion is4 do you ha!e a T$edakah spirit9 Two, it depends if you did it on your "ross or your net to be"in with. I would say that your heart be your "uide. +ou'll know. ,ha!e you lost money durin" the '159. 0ossibly, some of it, but not all of it, because some of its in "old. ,pay once a year9. +ou can be, for them it was, because their har!est was once a year. It can be once a year. If you decided to "i!e one Tarumah offerin" a year, fine, of course. ,suspend payments durin" hard times9. 'ood ?uestion, thank you for bein" bra!e enou"h to ask that. )hat he's sayin" is, if you're in a hard way, can you "et a reprie!e until thin"s "et back on your feet. +eah, sure. :isten, 'od is not petty, nor is he insecure, and 'od always sees your heart. >ere's the truth of it % you want to unlock e!erythin" in the uni!erse in your benefit. 5an I talk to you business owners for a second9 I don't &ust run my personal finances this way, I run my business this way. +ou'll ne!er do somethin" better in your whole life. )hen that thin" comes o!er your business, you won't be able to stop it. Assumin"4 workin" hardA not bein" stupid. This is not a cure for stupid. This is not the cure for selfishness. This is not a cure for la$iness. 'od is not duty%bound to finish anythin" that he didn't start, ok. ,makin" a loss9. +ou don't "i!e anythin" until there's increase. ,'i!in" a bit less9. )ell !ery much so. The Tarumah offerin" is so small, to be faithful with little, and Jesus addresses it a couple of times in a way that you don't really understand unless you're !ery familiar with ancient Dabbinical teachin". There was the main Dabbi in Jesus day was a "uy named >alal, the other "uy was named Shamai, and >alal had a famous teachin" on Tarumah that said this. Cssentially, you could "i!e anythin" between 1L- and 1L8 as an acceptable Tarumah, and I didn't "o into all that because 1L- th is &ust easier to remember, and its your first hour of the week... Anyway, but >alal said4 if anyone "i!es Tarumah at the 1L8 th le!el, the ha!e an e!il eye. If anyone "i!es at the 1LF th le!el, they ha!e a middlin" eye. If someone "i!es Tarumah at a 1L- th le!el, they ha!e an eye full of li"ht. And if someone doesn't "i!e Tarumah at all, they're infidel. And so this was a famous teachin" of >alal's. And so when Jesus says4 if your eye is full of li"ht, your whole body will be full of li"ht. If your eye is full of darkness, then your whole body will be fill with darkness. And if the li"ht that is in you is actually darkness, how "reat is the darkness. In the ancient near%east, to ha!e an eyeful of li"ht meant to be "enerous. To ha!e an eye full of darkness meant to be "reedy. So essentially Jesus says, if you're "enerous its "oin" to apply fa!our to your whole lifeA if you're "reedy its "oin" to shut down your whole life. And if your "enerosity is actually "reed masked, that's really bad* Isn't it funny that Jesus always comes back to our heart, about small thin"s. To be faithful in small thin"s starts to unlock bi""er thin"s. 'reat point* ,)hat if I am away o!erseas. #h yes, you ha!e to find him ,lau"hter.. >ebrew people always think functionA 'reek people always think form. Its always form and function alri"ht, let me "i!e you an example. 'od hid (oses in the cre!asse of the rock with his hand. )hite people always picture a bi" hand, because we think form, we're from Curope % we think form. And of course, if 'od hid (oses with his hand, how bi" is 'od's hand9 >u"e, 'od's hand is hu"e ri"ht9 The problem is, the next !erse says4 and 'od showed (oses his backside* ,lau"hter. )ell, if 'ods hand is bi"... ,lau"hter. ... 'od's butt would be enormous* 7ut the truth is, does 'od ha!e a hand9 3o, in fact it commands

us not to put any human form around him. The >ebrew writers, when they write the >and of 'od, they're not thinkin" of a hand, they're thinkin" what does a hand do9 1unction % it holds, it hides, it protects... its function ri"ht9 So, when you lift somethin" hi"h, and you place it in the hand, its function % they heart attitude is I "i!e it to 'od, and then 'od "i!es it to my priest. I pay my Tarumah by wire transfer, because I'm all o!er the world, and so I "i!e my Tarumah by wire. 'ood ?uestion % e!eryone always asks that ?uestion btw, and I always ha!e a bit of fun with it. ,re"ardin" those li!in" in po!erty. 'ood ?uestion, and !ery pastoral ,lau"hter.. 1irst of all, wisdom has to rei"n. 'od doesn't want you to star!e. Always take care of food, shelter, clothin", and electricity first. 3e!er "i!e your food thou"h % I don't want to say ne!er, if 'od tells you to then do it, because 'od told the widow at the well, so if 'od says to do it, do it. 7ut this is so important, ne!er walk in condemnation if you can. )hat I would say to do is, sit down with a bud"et, look at what you'!e "ot comin" in, and look at what you'!e "ot "oin" out, and see if you can by faith, do one part of it. (aybe its half a Tarumah. (aybe it's a tenth of a Tarumah. (aybe on a thousand dollars, you'll "i!e two bucks. 7ut its a two bucks filled with faith. Its :ord, I'm belie!in" the blessin"s of this to come o!er me, and when it does, I'm "oin" to take the next step, and the next step. )hen the blessin" comes, don't spend it* Ise the blessin" to institute the next thin", until the whole thin" is implemented. ,Should we ha!e Insurance or trust 'od9. 3o, ha!e insurance for "oodness sake* Some 5hristians won't eat with people not like them, but the truth is that you need a couple of bits of insurance. 3ow I don't li!e in 3J, so you'!e "ot to apply it to 3J, but in America you'!e "ot to ha!e pri!ate health co!er. So that mi"ht be true for you, or mi"ht not be true for you, but if you ha!e a family, and you don't ha!e life insurance, you're &ust plain irresponsible. +ou need "ood, term, life insurance ok. Also, you need to ha!e lon"%term income disability protection, why9 7ecause you mi"ht "et hurt* (y throat is insured for ;1 , a month, until I'm 8F. If I lose my ability to talk, they will pay me ;1 , Lmonth until I'm 8F. 3ow is that not trustin" 'od9 3o, that's &ust wisdom. I make my whole li!in" with this tool. So its !ery important to ha!e wisdom, you need to ha!e proper insurance. Some insurance is a rip* Some insurances are !ery necessary, and you ou"ht to ha!e your proper insurances % 'od called us to be wise. ,inaudible. @ery "ood. Its about the principle, that's the whole thin" with the Tarumah offerin", its so small that it's inconse?uential. So its about the heart. )ell "uys, I hope you're !ery blessed by that today, I told you it would be a "ood afternoon. I hope I didn't disappoint, and I hope that you're e?uipped with somethin". I ur"e you to be obedient. :et's ha!e a second before we "o, and let's sit before the :ord, and if you're like me, I will &ust tell you my own experience, the first time I learned this, I sat before the :ord, and I prayed a prayer somethin" like this. :ord Jesus, first I ask you for for"i!eness, for not honourin" Tarumah, I didn't know. I ask your for"i!eness, for where I'm lackin" a T$edakah spirit. 0lease de!elop that in me. :ord, for"i!e us for the lack of wisdom, for not knowin" about sa!in", may we ne!er be people who o!erlook the be""ar in our own pursuit of 'od. 0rayers like this... So I want to "i!e you a moment, to ha!e a serious moment of introspection between you and 'od, where you "et this thin" strai"ht between you and him. I want you to know that before you prayed this prayer, that 'od already sees your heart, and he understands. This is not for 'od's sake, this is for yours. Say whate!er you feel you need to before 'od, &ust ?uietly. ,pause. 3ow ri"ht where you're sittin", with your heads down and your eyes closed, I want you to make a ?uiet commitment to 'od. Say :ord with your help, I will li!e my finances your way. Say :ord with your help, ri"ht now I commit to this. (aybe you want to do it 'un"%ho, all at once, or maybe you want to start at the top and work your way down. :ord by faith, by faith, I'm "oin" to "i!e this part a "o, and I commit to it for the next 8mths, in Jesus name, Amen.

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