Am I Generous? | The Blessed Life: Week 5

Generosity is a word that often gets misused. What does it really mean to live a generous life?

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Hey, my name is Justin, and for the last several weeks

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we've been in a series called The Blessed Life.

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And for me, it's been all about gratitude.

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It's been a process of gratitude and reminded me

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of all the good things God has given me

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and that everything I have is His

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and every thing I do flows from a heart of gratitude.

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So that's where we're gonna start with a
simple chorus to sing together of gratitude.

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So I invite you to stand.

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And if you're joining us online, sing with us.

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And here's the deal. I'll sing as loud as I possibly can

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so you can too. Deal?

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All right.

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So it goes like this:

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One more time.

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God, we thank you for sending Jesus.

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our living hope.

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He's snatched away the keys of death and hell and the grave

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and gave us a reason to hope and live.

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And for that I am forever thankful.

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We have an opportunity to worship, you God, for who You are,

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and that is good and we thank You and we praise You.

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In Your name we pray, Amen.

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Well, Crossroads, thank you.

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Thanks for singing with us.

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Hey, if you're watching at home, we appreciate you.

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Let's make this place a little bit smaller.

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Introduce yourself someone that you don't know

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and then you have a seat. We're so very glad you're here.

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- Well, happy Thanksgiving, almost.

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Thanksgiving is quickly approaching.

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And there are two family traditions that I had in the Tome family growing up

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and now being a Schuller, my family,

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my husband, my son, my future kids and I will have together.

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And I want you to get to experience some of the things

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that have made Thanksgiving really special for me over the years

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and have shaped who I am and how I interact with God

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in the midst of this holiday season.

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So the first one is the Thanksgiving Food Drive.

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And this is a way for us to say thank you to God

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by blessing other people in our city who might not have another experience

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for a Thanksgiving meal or an intimate conversation

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and good food around the table at Thanksgiving.

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There's over a 100,000 people who are going to get to experience

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a better Thanksgiving because of the Thanksgiving Food Drive.

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And so if you want to participate in that,

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you can do that from anywhere you might be.

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If you live near a Crossroads location,

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you can head to that location to get a box

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and fill it up and return the box.

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If you don't live near Crossroads location,

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then it is really simple to do this and we want to help you do it.

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So chat with us on the Crossroads Web site.

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We'd love to get you started and get you the things you need

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to be able to participate from whatever city that you're in right now.

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The second family tradition that we have is that

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we get together with the church on Thanksgiving eve.

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You know, we have a traditional Christmas Eve service.

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We also have a Thanksgiving Eve service, a Thanksgiving Eve experience,

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because this holiday is one that is core to our belief

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as followers of Jesus that we are to be expressing thankfulness

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and expressing gratitude to God on a regular basis.

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And so in this holiday weekend of Thanksgiving,

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we're reminded and we actually our permissioned by American culture

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to pause and be thankful.

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And we want to express that thankfulness to God together.

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And so if you want to experience Thanksgiving Eve,

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you can check out if that might be happening at a site near you.

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Or you could join us right here online

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for a special Crossroads Anywhere Thanksgiving experience.

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It's going to air at 7:00 p.m.

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So hopefully you'll join us for that.

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And one of the ways that I like
to express thankfulness to God is through giving.

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If you want to do that, you can do that by heading to Crossroads.net/give.

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And we're going to continue on today with our series The Blessed Life.

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- Hey, welcome to week five of The Blessed Life.

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I'm pretty excited about next week, kind of do a traditional speaking role,

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but this week I got more good stuff because

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you got me and you've got Kyle coming up

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and you've got Robert Morris right here in the studio with me.

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I'm doing a podcast with him right now and we're going to clip some stuff out

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and he's gonna be talking to all of us as a church, as Crossroads

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about what it means to go to a new gear in giving.

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It's a huge, huge step when we give God the first 10% of everything He gives us.

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It's a whole new other frontier and a lot of fun

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to go beyond that with what's known as offerings

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or even being extravagant.

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So Robert's got some stuff to talk to us today about that.

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- All right. You said a lot of people shut you when you talk about generosity.

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I think what they shut down is when they hear a preacher

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talking about giving money because they think he has an ulterior motive.

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And many of them do. Many of them do.

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But when they talk about generosity,

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I think every person has something in his heart or her heart

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that would love to be generous.

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When we see these refugees, when we see people in trouble,

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when we see the homeless, when we see poverty,

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we want to do some to help.

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So I actually think we all would love to be generous.

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- Yes.

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- If we just knew how to be generous.

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- It's the step, though, isn't it?

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That's what makes it so difficult.

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That is true.

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I think that's why we all believe that we're generous

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is because we all know in our minds and hearts

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we want to do something, but we're stuck.

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- Yeah.

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- So you say if we want to go beyond where we are,

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do your math. What else would you say?

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- The second thing is to obey the little prompting

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that you get on the inside of you.

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And you know, if you're a Christian, you can talk about it's the voice of God,

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if you're not a Christian we all have these little promptings

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to do something like to pay for the meal for a family

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that we see that they can't afford it and you know they can't afford it.

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Or if it's to just help pay for gas.

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- Did you always plan on being a pastor?

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Have you always been a pastor?

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- Yeah. No, I wasn't.

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And as I said, my dad owned a company,

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so I thought I would one day, you know, take over his company and do that.

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And after I gave my life to the Lord, I started speaking at youth events.

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And young, you know, all these things where churches would gather young people.

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And I just started sharing with them about how I gave my life the Lord.

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Pretty soon I start traveling around and speaking.

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And that's what I'm doing full-Time for a job all of a sudden.

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I'm traveling around doing youth revivals we used to call them.

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And but the Lord spoke to me very, very clearly and said,

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"I don't want you to -- you say from now on, when they say,

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'What are your financial requirements for coming?'

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you say, 'I have no financial requirements for coming.

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You don't even have to pay my expenses.'"

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And I remember this guy said when I said that to him,

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the pastor of a small church said, "Well, that's good,

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because I'm not even sure we could pay your gas."

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On the way up there, I stop and get gas.

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I walk in to pay for it and the lady said it's taken care of.

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And I said, 'What do you mean, it's taken care of?"

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She said, "Well, I own the gas station

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and God told me to fill your car up with gas."

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And the guy said like we can't even afford the gas, you know?

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So anyway, I go to this small church to preach.

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And I tell him, you don't have to give me anything.

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But he gets up and says, "He told me this.

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Nobody's ever told me that.

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Let's give him an offering."

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And that was the only meeting I had for the whole month

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and we had no other income.

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If a church gave an offering or an honorarium, that's how we lived.

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And so I go, but I don't require anything.

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And so they bring him the amount.

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They give an offering.

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They bring him the check at the end of the service to give to me.

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And he says, "Look at this.

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Look at this.

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This is -- this is the most we've ever given."

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And I looked down and it's enough for our whole month.

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And it's the only meaning I have that month.

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So God is teaching me if you do it My way, I'll take care of it.

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So I look at it and I think, Lord, that's great.

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And while this pastor is talking to me, I look over his shoulder

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like I'm kind of looking over your shoulder now.

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And at the back of the church was this missionary

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that gave a report right before I spoke.

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And this voice said to me, give him the check.

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And I remember exactly what I thought, "Get me behind me, Satan.

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You know, that's the devil. That's not God.

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That's not you. God," you know.

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But I couldn't get away from it.

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So I endorsed the check, waited till everyone was gone.

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Went up, gave the missionary the check.

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Said, "Don't look at it until after you leave,"

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because a very large amount.

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And said, "But God told me to do this."

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We walk outside and there's this guy standing there

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and he said, "Hey, we're going to go get some pizza.

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Do ya'll want to come."

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And we said, yeah, because, you know, we were broke.

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So if someone's buying pizza, we're in.

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And so we go and we're sitting at the table and there's six guys, six ladies.

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All of a sudden, these four guys decide to start talking.

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The guy right across the table from me about this far

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says to me, "How much was the offering?"

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Just like that.

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And so I told him the amount.

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And then he said, "Where's the check?"

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And I know you're not supposed to lie,

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but I didn't want to say we gave it away, you know, and brag.

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So I said, "Debbie has it."

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And he said, "Go get it. I want to see it."

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So I went down to Debbie and I just bent down.

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I said, "How's your pizza? Is it good?"

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You know, because there's no check.

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So I go back to him and again, I lied again.

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I said, it's in the car.

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And the guy said, "It's not in the car."

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And so I said, "Well, where is it?

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Since you're so smart, you know."

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And he said, "You gave it away, didn't you?"

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And I said, "Did you see me give it away?"

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He said, "No." I said, "How do you know I gave it away?"

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He said, "God told me."

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And in the Bible there is a gift, seven spiritual gifts in Romans 12,

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seven what we call motivational gifts, they motivate us.

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One of them's giving.

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So probably one out of seven people listening right now

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have a gift of giving. They'd love to give.

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If someone would just teach them how to give.

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This was the first guy I ever met with the gift of giving.

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And so he reached in his pocket and pulled out a check

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made out to our ministry.

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He held it out.

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It was exactly ten times the amount of the check we just given away.

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And the check we had given away had dollars and cents.

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It was not around amount.

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And the check he had had dollars and cents, exactly 10 times the amount.

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- He had previously written it out?

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- He wrote it out before he came to church because God told him to.

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- My word, dude.

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- So God, at that moment I remember God saying,

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"Son, you can never out give Me and you just obey Me,

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when I tell you to give you give.

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I'll take care of the rest."

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- Yeah, yeah, that's great.

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- The Blessed Life, by the way, is the zone where you and I

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can see and sense God's presence and power in our lives.

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And I want to be very clear from the beginning,

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The Blessed Life is not the problem-free life.

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It's not.

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Jesus actually said: in this world you will have trouble.

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But the question is, would you rather

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go through that trouble with the blessings of God

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or without the blessings of God?

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We're talking about The Blessed Life.

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Now, how do you get The Blessed Life?

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Well said very simply, God, when you give God your heart,

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He gives you The Blessed Life.

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It's kind of how it works.

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And if you want to know who has your heart,

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you look at who has your money.

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Jesus said this in Matthew 6:21, He said:

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It will be, not might be, but will be.

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That's why we're talking about money.

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And I'll just say up front, I know it's weird when a church talks about money.

246
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I know it's -- I know it's strange.

247
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I totally, totally get that.

248
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And if you feel that way, that is OK.

249
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I'm glad you're with us.

250
00:21:24.210 --> 00:21:25.440
Just hang just hang with me.

251
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But we know this.

252
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We're so convinced that this is true.

253
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This is the way that it works,

254
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that God will give you The Blessed Life

255
00:21:31.380 --> 00:21:34.170
that we've actually invented a money back guarantee of sorts.

256
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In week two of the series,

257
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we launched something called the 90 day tithe test.

258
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And we just said, "Hey, if you'll try tithing, the baseline of giving,

259
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if you'll do it will just try giving 10%
of your gross income to your local church.

260
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If after 90 days you have not experienced the blessing of God,

261
00:21:53.100 --> 00:21:54.690
just tell us and we'll give all your money back.

262
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We'll give it back. It's amazing.

263
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By the way, if you want to sign up for that,

264
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if you feel small prompting like Robert Morris and Brian talked about,

265
00:22:02.220 --> 00:22:04.140
if you feel that today you can still do it.

266
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You can go to Crossroads.net/tithetest.

267
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So, you know, you'll be joining hundreds and hundreds

268
00:22:08.940 --> 00:22:11.370
and hundreds of other people who've already signed up

269
00:22:11.370 --> 00:22:13.870
and are experiencing amazing things.

270
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More things than I could ever share with you up here.

271
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But I do want to read just one story.

272
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I found this just incredible.

273
00:22:20.460 --> 00:22:21.730
This is from a guy who started the tithe test.

274
00:22:21.820 --> 00:22:25.920
He said, "My fiancee and I had been thinking about doing a tithe test.

275
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We did the math and figured it would cost us

276
00:22:28.470 --> 00:22:32.880
about $12,000 between now and when our wedding is next October,

277
00:22:32.880 --> 00:22:36.080
which will end up being close to that amount, $12000.

278
00:22:36.360 --> 00:22:40.110
I decided I would talk to Matt Castleman, West Side community pastor.

279
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Our meeting went really well and I came to the conclusion

280
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that God laid this on our heart for a reason

281
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and we should follow through.

282
00:22:47.730 --> 00:22:52.380
Literally, no sooner had I got up from the chair in Matt's office

283
00:22:52.380 --> 00:22:54.480
then my fiancee texted me and said,

284
00:22:54.480 --> 00:22:57.120
'Hey, I just want to let you know my work has decided

285
00:22:57.120 --> 00:22:59.640
to give me a $12000 bonus.'".

286
00:23:00.980 --> 00:23:02.460
He says, "Are you freaking kidding me?"

287
00:23:02.550 --> 00:23:03.300
That's his quote, not mine.

288
00:23:04.140 --> 00:23:07.680
"I was blown away. I know God was confirming our decision.

289
00:23:07.680 --> 00:23:10.110
To be clear, we weren't giving to receive,

290
00:23:10.110 --> 00:23:13.620
but God sure does seem to show up in ways we never expect when we do."

291
00:23:13.630 --> 00:23:15.960
It's an amazing, it's incredible

292
00:23:15.960 --> 00:23:18.030
Listen, I want you to know if you sign up,

293
00:23:18.030 --> 00:23:19.290
it doesn't always work that way.

294
00:23:19.320 --> 00:23:21.090
It's not always that fast.

295
00:23:21.150 --> 00:23:21.610
It's not.

296
00:23:21.630 --> 00:23:24.360
Sometimes it actually gets harder, I want to warn you.

297
00:23:24.400 --> 00:23:25.200
Sometimes it gets harder.

298
00:23:25.380 --> 00:23:28.260
But it is always, always worth it in the end.

299
00:23:28.740 --> 00:23:30.120
I promise it's worth it in the end.

300
00:23:30.360 --> 00:23:33.480
See, for me, this topic, this series, this message

301
00:23:33.480 --> 00:23:37.290
I'm about to share with you is deeply, deeply personal,

302
00:23:37.290 --> 00:23:39.960
because if you were to find me on the street and to say,

303
00:23:39.960 --> 00:23:42.660
"Hey, Kyle, why do you believe God is real?

304
00:23:42.660 --> 00:23:44.870
What's the foundational evidence of your life

305
00:23:44.870 --> 00:23:47.130
that leads you to believe He's actually real?"

306
00:23:48.060 --> 00:23:48.870
You know what I'd talk about?

307
00:23:49.980 --> 00:23:53.220
I'd talk about what I've experienced of Him,

308
00:23:53.220 --> 00:23:57.210
the ways He's blessed me when I've been generous.

309
00:23:57.870 --> 00:23:58.740
It's just my story.

310
00:23:59.790 --> 00:24:02.550
Today, we're gonna spend our time asking one question.

311
00:24:02.590 --> 00:24:04.590
I'm gonna make this assumption about you, by the way,

312
00:24:04.590 --> 00:24:07.380
that if you're listening, you'd like more of God.

313
00:24:07.890 --> 00:24:11.370
That if there's a thing called The Blessed Life, you would like it.

314
00:24:12.300 --> 00:24:13.260
You want more of Him.

315
00:24:13.260 --> 00:24:15.960
And if that's true, then there's one critical,

316
00:24:15.960 --> 00:24:19.410
simple but critical question you and I must ask ourselves.

317
00:24:19.780 --> 00:24:24.780
And the question is this: Am I generous?

318
00:24:25.850 --> 00:24:28.520
To start to answer that question, I just want to pray

319
00:24:28.520 --> 00:24:30.000
and invite God in the conversation.

320
00:24:30.050 --> 00:24:30.830
So would you pray with me?

321
00:24:32.570 --> 00:24:36.850
God, that's a big question and it's one we need Your help answering.

322
00:24:36.850 --> 00:24:39.710
I ask that you would open up all of our hearts,

323
00:24:39.710 --> 00:24:41.930
that we'd be open minded and open hearted today.

324
00:24:42.310 --> 00:24:45.050
That if there's more of You, we would get it,

325
00:24:45.050 --> 00:24:46.460
that you'd give us each The Blessed Life.

326
00:24:46.770 --> 00:24:47.060
Amen.

327
00:24:48.800 --> 00:24:50.450
Am I generous?

328
00:24:51.530 --> 00:24:54.110
Now, that is intentionally in the first person.

329
00:24:54.230 --> 00:24:55.510
It's not are you generous?

330
00:24:55.550 --> 00:24:56.720
It's am I generous?

331
00:24:56.870 --> 00:24:59.900
So that when I say it, I am asking myself.

332
00:25:00.490 --> 00:25:02.390
And when you say it, you are asking yourself.

333
00:25:02.390 --> 00:25:06.770
And I mean that I'm still asking myself this question: am I generous?

334
00:25:06.770 --> 00:25:10.550
Because the truth is, sometimes I am and sometimes I'm not.

335
00:25:10.910 --> 00:25:13.310
Just two days ago, I was out with some buddies.

336
00:25:13.310 --> 00:25:17.060
We were drinking beers and God gives me this small prompting.

337
00:25:17.070 --> 00:25:19.640
I go to get my second beer and my buddy's in line behind me.

338
00:25:19.640 --> 00:25:22.850
And I feel like this small little prompting in my head says buy his beer.

339
00:25:24.210 --> 00:25:28.830
Now, I know I'm about to talk to all of you people in two days about generosity.

340
00:25:29.590 --> 00:25:31.660
And, you know, I think in my head,

341
00:25:31.660 --> 00:25:32.110
"Like I don't want to buy his beer.

342
00:25:32.110 --> 00:25:34.760
That guy makes way more money than me.

343
00:25:34.760 --> 00:25:38.270
And God, he wants a $9 beer.

344
00:25:38.270 --> 00:25:40.260
That is sinful. It's ridiculous."

345
00:25:41.600 --> 00:25:43.050
I still battle this.

346
00:25:43.320 --> 00:25:45.590
A cool story by the way, the keg blew

347
00:25:45.590 --> 00:25:47.610
and so he got a $5 beer, which helped a lot.

348
00:25:47.880 --> 00:25:50.670
And, you know, helped in the decision making a little bit there if I'm honest.

349
00:25:51.300 --> 00:25:51.900
There's no question.

350
00:25:52.200 --> 00:25:54.630
Am I generous?

351
00:25:54.660 --> 00:25:57.990
Now to help us answer this we're going to spend a lot of time

352
00:25:57.990 --> 00:26:01.050
examining one particular powerful story in the Bible.

353
00:26:01.260 --> 00:26:04.500
I spent a lot of time on this in preparation for this message,

354
00:26:04.500 --> 00:26:07.260
maybe more than any other story in the whole Bible.

355
00:26:07.260 --> 00:26:12.420
It's an amazing story because I think I'm in the story.

356
00:26:13.630 --> 00:26:16.870
And I want to suggest something to you, I think you're in this story, too.

357
00:26:17.940 --> 00:26:21.320
Now, on the surface, there's only five characters in the story.

358
00:26:21.320 --> 00:26:23.000
It's a simple scene with five characters.

359
00:26:23.010 --> 00:26:26.040
There's Jesus, there's Judas.

360
00:26:26.040 --> 00:26:28.620
Yes, that Judas, the one who would betray Jesus.

361
00:26:28.890 --> 00:26:30.330
And then these three siblings.

362
00:26:30.330 --> 00:26:33.930
There's Lazarus and his sisters, Mary and Martha.

363
00:26:34.230 --> 00:26:35.330
That's what's in this story.

364
00:26:35.340 --> 00:26:39.630
And you got to know, this happens exactly six days before Jesus is killed.

365
00:26:40.240 --> 00:26:41.790
It comes from John 12, it says this:

366
00:27:02.560 --> 00:27:03.580
It's like a perfume.

367
00:27:24.810 --> 00:27:25.680
That's a year's wages.

368
00:27:26.860 --> 00:27:29.520
You know, just why wasn't this sold and given to the poor?

369
00:27:41.050 --> 00:27:42.190
You knew Judas was bad.

370
00:27:42.300 --> 00:27:44.500
Did you know, he stole from the money box?

371
00:27:45.370 --> 00:27:46.330
He stole from the offering.

372
00:27:47.020 --> 00:27:49.270
Now there's two important questions to ask about the story.

373
00:27:49.600 --> 00:27:54.700
One, why would Mary give such an extravagant gift?

374
00:27:55.870 --> 00:27:59.350
And two, why did it make Judas so upset?

375
00:28:00.390 --> 00:28:02.010
We need the answers to those questions

376
00:28:02.010 --> 00:28:05.100
to answer our question: Am I generous?

377
00:28:05.130 --> 00:28:08.400
Now, I want you to notice there are two hearts on display here.

378
00:28:08.610 --> 00:28:11.010
There's the heart of generosity in Mary.

379
00:28:11.010 --> 00:28:13.230
And there's the heart of selfishness in Judas.

380
00:28:13.260 --> 00:28:16.080
And these hearts are opposed to each other.

381
00:28:16.530 --> 00:28:19.200
This is because generosity has an enemy.

382
00:28:19.590 --> 00:28:22.680
The enemy of generosity is selfishness.

383
00:28:22.900 --> 00:28:25.530
They're in conflict with each other.

384
00:28:25.560 --> 00:28:29.190
Now this question: Am I generous?

385
00:28:29.520 --> 00:28:32.250
I think everybody in here wants to be generous.

386
00:28:32.310 --> 00:28:33.530
Right?

387
00:28:33.530 --> 00:28:34.860
I want to be generous.

388
00:28:34.950 --> 00:28:36.420
I do. I want to be generous.

389
00:28:36.420 --> 00:28:38.970
Sometimes the moment comes and I, ugh, get a little bit.

390
00:28:39.270 --> 00:28:41.220
But overall, I want to be generous.

391
00:28:41.250 --> 00:28:42.630
I don't want to be a selfish person.

392
00:28:42.660 --> 00:28:43.560
I think you're the same.

393
00:28:44.600 --> 00:28:47.810
But the problem is we are each born selfish.

394
00:28:48.620 --> 00:28:50.570
We're not born generous, we're born selfish.

395
00:28:50.600 --> 00:28:52.390
Brian talked about this in week one.

396
00:28:52.460 --> 00:28:56.450
You know, a child's first word is mine, isn't it?

397
00:28:57.290 --> 00:28:57.760
Mine.

398
00:28:57.880 --> 00:29:00.130
You don't have to teach them how to be selfish, they just say mine, mine.

399
00:29:00.140 --> 00:29:02.390
And Brian said that like 100 times about that level.

400
00:29:02.660 --> 00:29:03.830
It was just it was awful.

401
00:29:04.040 --> 00:29:08.570
When he said it, I immediately flashed the scene in my house

402
00:29:08.570 --> 00:29:10.850
because I have small kids and I just went to this scene

403
00:29:10.850 --> 00:29:11.640
that happens all the time.

404
00:29:11.660 --> 00:29:14.450
I'll be sitting on my couch watching college football or whatever,

405
00:29:14.450 --> 00:29:16.380
and I'll hear that sound, "Mine."

406
00:29:16.380 --> 00:29:20.000
When it happens, it's like someone poured ice water straight down my spine.

407
00:29:20.030 --> 00:29:22.790
I'm just like (sound effect).

408
00:29:22.790 --> 00:29:26.300
And it gets me up and I have to go find that sound.

409
00:29:27.170 --> 00:29:29.240
And when I do, usually what I find is this.

410
00:29:29.240 --> 00:29:31.730
I find my five year old daughter, Gracie,

411
00:29:31.730 --> 00:29:35.900
and she's holding a Lego that belongs to her older brother, Ben, who's 9.

412
00:29:35.930 --> 00:29:37.310
And she's saying, "It's mine."

413
00:29:37.340 --> 00:29:39.830
And he's saying, "No, it's mine."

414
00:29:39.830 --> 00:29:44.150
And when I walk in the room, Ben's excited because he wants justice.

415
00:29:45.140 --> 00:29:45.920
And here I come.

416
00:29:46.820 --> 00:29:49.460
Unfortunately for him, I want quiet.

417
00:29:50.510 --> 00:29:51.140
That's what I want.

418
00:29:51.680 --> 00:29:54.400
So what I do is I just say, "I don't care who it was

419
00:29:54.400 --> 00:29:56.580
because you know whose it is now? It's mine.

420
00:29:56.580 --> 00:29:57.680
Bye bye. Have a good time.

421
00:29:57.950 --> 00:29:59.660
Figure it out. See ya."

422
00:29:59.660 --> 00:30:01.700
I don't know if that's good parenting advice, bad parenting advice.

423
00:30:02.480 --> 00:30:04.910
I'm just telling you what I do there, just end it.

424
00:30:05.690 --> 00:30:06.140
It's mine.

425
00:30:07.520 --> 00:30:13.550
Now God says mine when he talks about the tithe.

426
00:30:13.550 --> 00:30:18.020
He says, "It's mine," the first 10% of your income, He says, "It's mine."

427
00:30:18.740 --> 00:30:20.480
Now, let me ask you a question.

428
00:30:20.660 --> 00:30:23.630
This is never -- this is totally hypothetical, never happened before.

429
00:30:23.810 --> 00:30:26.630
But imagine with me the glorious moment that would happen

430
00:30:26.630 --> 00:30:29.800
if I went to my children and in this moment,

431
00:30:29.800 --> 00:30:31.850
Gracie says, "It's mine." And Ben says, "No, it's mine."

432
00:30:31.880 --> 00:30:36.750
And she goes, "(gafaws) Amazing, but dearest brother, I did not know.

433
00:30:36.870 --> 00:30:38.670
Here have you Lego back."

434
00:30:39.210 --> 00:30:41.640
Just imagine with me that happy moment, let's pretend that happened.

435
00:30:41.700 --> 00:30:41.860
OK?

436
00:30:42.990 --> 00:30:44.400
My question for you is this, go with me here for a second.

437
00:30:46.070 --> 00:30:49.250
If she were to do that, would Gracie be generous?

438
00:30:51.240 --> 00:30:52.980
No, she wouldn't be.

439
00:30:53.930 --> 00:30:58.680
For very simple reasons, see, you can't give what's not yours to begin with.

440
00:30:59.960 --> 00:31:00.980
You can return it.

441
00:31:01.700 --> 00:31:03.230
You know, she should give it back to Ben.

442
00:31:03.260 --> 00:31:04.330
She could return it to him.

443
00:31:04.330 --> 00:31:05.600
"Here's what's yours."

444
00:31:05.600 --> 00:31:08.930
And Ben may even, go with me, bless her with a thank you.

445
00:31:09.940 --> 00:31:12.880
But that's different than generosity.

446
00:31:13.000 --> 00:31:15.660
Am I generous?

447
00:31:16.400 --> 00:31:21.790
See, generosity is what I choose to do with what is truly mine.

448
00:31:23.050 --> 00:31:25.380
Now in the story, Judas is holding the money box.

449
00:31:25.740 --> 00:31:26.840
You know, he's holding the money box.

450
00:31:26.990 --> 00:31:32.330
And what's amazing is that he actually attempts to appear generous.

451
00:31:33.200 --> 00:31:36.300
Did you see it in the story? She pours out the oil.

452
00:31:36.320 --> 00:31:38.120
She does this amazing thing of extravagance.

453
00:31:38.360 --> 00:31:42.080
And Judas is standing there and he goes, "That's a waste.

454
00:31:42.080 --> 00:31:43.880
What a waste, that should've been given to the poor.

455
00:31:44.630 --> 00:31:45.530
It should've been given to the poor."

456
00:31:45.900 --> 00:31:47.000
You've never said that?

457
00:31:49.010 --> 00:31:51.200
You ever heard somebody say, you ever said it yourself?

458
00:31:51.200 --> 00:31:56.060
I have. I actually said it the very first time I ever walked into Crossroads.

459
00:31:57.410 --> 00:31:58.430
It was 2002.

460
00:31:59.400 --> 00:32:00.500
My parents brought me.

461
00:32:00.500 --> 00:32:01.370
And you've got to understand,

462
00:32:01.370 --> 00:32:05.080
back then TVs were basically perfect cubes stuffed full of anvils.

463
00:32:05.210 --> 00:32:06.710
They weighed like a thousand pounds.

464
00:32:07.040 --> 00:32:08.330
They were awful to move.

465
00:32:08.780 --> 00:32:11.360
But I walk in the Crossroads and I see something

466
00:32:11.360 --> 00:32:14.210
I've only seen pictures of and never seen in real life,

467
00:32:14.210 --> 00:32:17.300
flat screen TVs. There were six, I counted.

468
00:32:17.300 --> 00:32:18.760
They are expensive.

469
00:32:19.270 --> 00:32:22.390
And I said to my parents, "What a waste.

470
00:32:23.170 --> 00:32:26.070
That money should've been given to the poor."

471
00:32:26.070 --> 00:32:27.720
I did not know I was quoting Judas.

472
00:32:28.890 --> 00:32:29.970
I didn't. But I was.

473
00:32:30.810 --> 00:32:34.950
Now at that point in my life, do you know how much money I was giving?

474
00:32:37.580 --> 00:32:39.440
None. Nothing.

475
00:32:39.860 --> 00:32:43.010
But see, if you had to ask me this question, are you generous?

476
00:32:43.850 --> 00:32:44.910
I would've said, "Yeah.

477
00:32:45.740 --> 00:32:46.460
Yeah, I'm generous.

478
00:32:46.490 --> 00:32:47.960
I think about generous things.

479
00:32:48.410 --> 00:32:48.680
I do.

480
00:32:49.070 --> 00:32:51.020
I think I'm a generous minded person."

481
00:32:52.130 --> 00:32:55.280
The problem is when it comes this question, Am I generous?

482
00:32:55.310 --> 00:32:59.480
We can't answer it for ourselves because our heart is deceitful.

483
00:33:00.050 --> 00:33:00.960
Our heart is deceitful.

484
00:33:00.990 --> 00:33:02.360
Jeremiah 17:9, says:.

485
00:33:07.540 --> 00:33:09.140
See our heart plays tricks on us.

486
00:33:09.650 --> 00:33:14.150
It uses -- objections like that should have be sold and given to the poor

487
00:33:14.150 --> 00:33:16.490
as smokescreens so we don't point the finger at ourselves.

488
00:33:16.490 --> 00:33:19.250
You point the finger at other people and their extravagance.

489
00:33:19.250 --> 00:33:19.690
Right?

490
00:33:20.270 --> 00:33:23.540
And extravagance, by the way, is just the person who has more than me.

491
00:33:23.760 --> 00:33:26.900
That's who's extravagant, because see I only have what I need.

492
00:33:26.930 --> 00:33:28.250
That's all I keep, just what I need.

493
00:33:28.480 --> 00:33:29.640
Them, they have more than me.

494
00:33:29.660 --> 00:33:31.100
That's more than is necessary.

495
00:33:31.280 --> 00:33:33.050
That's extravagant. Shame on them.

496
00:33:33.830 --> 00:33:35.300
That's the way that this works.

497
00:33:35.450 --> 00:33:39.550
Our hearts deceive us so we don't see our own selfishness.

498
00:33:40.330 --> 00:33:44.830
Now I told you this, Judas is holding the moneybox, which is the offering box.

499
00:33:44.840 --> 00:33:48.410
It's very clear from scripture that Jesus received offerings from people.

500
00:33:48.740 --> 00:33:50.480
So people gave money to Jesus.

501
00:33:50.720 --> 00:33:52.130
Jesus put it in a box.

502
00:33:52.300 --> 00:33:54.620
And He handed the box to Judas.

503
00:33:55.070 --> 00:33:58.000
You go, "Are you sure it was Jesus who handed the box to Judas?".

504
00:33:58.000 --> 00:34:00.320
Well, yeah, he's in charge.

505
00:34:01.460 --> 00:34:04.160
People gave him the money, so yeah, He handed it to Judas.

506
00:34:05.100 --> 00:34:09.920
OK, but do you think Jesus knew that Judas was a thief?

507
00:34:12.820 --> 00:34:15.070
Yeah, of course He did. It's actually recorded in the Bible.

508
00:34:15.070 --> 00:34:20.410
Two years earlier Jesus says, "Did I not choose you twelve.

509
00:34:20.410 --> 00:34:21.430
And one of you is a devil."

510
00:34:22.480 --> 00:34:24.730
He knew. He knew.

511
00:34:25.600 --> 00:34:29.920
So the question is: why would Jesus put his money

512
00:34:29.920 --> 00:34:33.160
in the arms of a thief, who he knew to be a thief?

513
00:34:34.910 --> 00:34:40.360
Well, listen, He was not trying to tempt him in hopes he would fail.

514
00:34:42.130 --> 00:34:46.300
He was giving him a test in hopes he would pass.

515
00:34:47.140 --> 00:34:49.180
See the Bible says God tempts no one.

516
00:34:49.210 --> 00:34:51.790
James says that very clearly. God tempts no one.

517
00:34:51.790 --> 00:34:55.660
But do you know He will test you and Jeremiah

518
00:34:55.660 --> 00:34:58.750
right after he says your heart is deceitful, it can't give you the answer.

519
00:34:59.110 --> 00:35:03.220
The very next verse, he says, I test the heart.

520
00:35:05.030 --> 00:35:06.150
I test the heart.

521
00:35:06.590 --> 00:35:08.200
See, God says He wants to test us.

522
00:35:08.240 --> 00:35:11.390
He'll test us and our finances to get an answer to this question.

523
00:35:11.480 --> 00:35:14.420
Now, I want you to think about this for a minute.

524
00:35:15.800 --> 00:35:17.150
You and I are in this story.

525
00:35:18.620 --> 00:35:19.220
Think about this.

526
00:35:19.700 --> 00:35:26.690
Do you know Jesus, according to the Bible, has also given us His money box.

527
00:35:28.460 --> 00:35:30.110
He's put it in our hands.

528
00:35:31.010 --> 00:35:34.250
And similarly, I don't think it's because he's trying to tempt us

529
00:35:34.250 --> 00:35:35.810
in hopes it will fail. I don't think so.

530
00:35:36.740 --> 00:35:41.510
I think He's giving us a test and hopes we will pass.

531
00:35:41.510 --> 00:35:43.070
That's His greatest, greatest hope.

532
00:35:43.730 --> 00:35:46.900
He's put what's His in our hands and hopes that we will pass.

533
00:35:46.920 --> 00:35:48.530
I'm going to read a scripture from Malachi.

534
00:35:49.010 --> 00:35:51.140
And I want to warn you, this is gonna sting in the beginning.

535
00:35:51.140 --> 00:35:53.920
It starts out very stingy, very stingy.

536
00:35:54.380 --> 00:35:56.960
But hang with it. Don't give up on it because

537
00:35:56.960 --> 00:35:59.960
you get the blessing, you get the heart of God at the end.

538
00:35:59.960 --> 00:36:02.380
I want us to see this. This is Malachi 3, it says:.

539
00:36:21.060 --> 00:36:23.450
Test me in this.

540
00:36:35.980 --> 00:36:37.000
Hear me clearly in this message.

541
00:36:37.030 --> 00:36:38.410
I'm not trying to condemn you.

542
00:36:38.500 --> 00:36:39.730
I'm where you are.

543
00:36:39.760 --> 00:36:41.890
I've been where you are and I am where you are.

544
00:36:41.920 --> 00:36:43.450
I'm not trying to condemn you.

545
00:36:43.960 --> 00:36:46.490
There's a difference between conviction and condemnation.

546
00:36:46.650 --> 00:36:48.430
God will convict, but He doesn't condemn.

547
00:36:48.460 --> 00:36:52.000
Even in this situation, see, He doesn't say,

548
00:36:52.000 --> 00:36:53.950
"You are robbing me. Therefore, I condemn you.

549
00:36:53.980 --> 00:36:55.130
You're done. Wham, gone."

550
00:36:55.570 --> 00:36:56.180
He doesn't say that.

551
00:36:57.180 --> 00:37:00.630
He says, "You're stealing from me, therefore I'm going to entice you."

552
00:37:01.320 --> 00:37:03.390
He says, "You know what? I'm giving you a test,

553
00:37:03.390 --> 00:37:04.260
but I'm going to flip it around.

554
00:37:04.470 --> 00:37:09.780
You test me and see if I don't throw open the floodgates of heaven,

555
00:37:09.780 --> 00:37:14.750
throw down so much blessing. See if I don't give you The Blessed Life."

556
00:37:14.750 --> 00:37:18.070
There was a moment in my life, see, I had to come to,

557
00:37:18.070 --> 00:37:21.170
say I'm in this story and I'm Judas right now.

558
00:37:22.040 --> 00:37:23.060
I'm holding the money box.

559
00:37:23.170 --> 00:37:24.260
I'm refusing to let it go.

560
00:37:25.040 --> 00:37:26.540
I'm taking what's not mined from it.

561
00:37:27.330 --> 00:37:31.200
And I had to humbly say that's not who I want to be, and change.

562
00:37:31.970 --> 00:37:35.030
And so I did. I started to give, started to tithe

563
00:37:35.030 --> 00:37:37.760
for the very first time, 10% gross income to my local church.

564
00:37:38.180 --> 00:37:40.220
And can I tell you, it was hard.

565
00:37:41.120 --> 00:37:42.530
I didn't have the story

566
00:37:42.530 --> 00:37:45.150
where I just started farting gold dust everywhere immediately.

567
00:37:45.390 --> 00:37:46.670
Whoo, money.

568
00:37:46.760 --> 00:37:47.630
That didn't happen to me.

569
00:37:49.010 --> 00:37:50.710
I didn't get $12,000 out of the sky.

570
00:37:50.710 --> 00:37:51.280
It was hard.

571
00:37:52.330 --> 00:37:54.670
I had to live with my parents to do it, I was 24 years old.

572
00:37:55.770 --> 00:37:59.280
But I did it anyway, and I've never, ever regretted it, ever.

573
00:38:00.040 --> 00:38:03.160
This message is personal because the foundation of my faith

574
00:38:03.160 --> 00:38:05.830
is what's happened to me since I've stepped out and tested God.

575
00:38:06.400 --> 00:38:09.940
He's shown himself to be real, like, really real,

576
00:38:09.940 --> 00:38:11.290
like practically real and helpful.

577
00:38:11.890 --> 00:38:15.130
It's amazing. It's utterly amazing.

578
00:38:16.720 --> 00:38:20.370
The decision wasn't -- It wasn't easy.

579
00:38:20.790 --> 00:38:21.300
It was hard.

580
00:38:21.430 --> 00:38:23.760
But listen, it was very, very simple.

581
00:38:24.810 --> 00:38:29.140
See, I just decided I would rather pass the test

582
00:38:29.140 --> 00:38:30.270
than I wanted anything else.

583
00:38:30.900 --> 00:38:33.420
That's just the thing that I wanted the absolute most.

584
00:38:33.420 --> 00:38:36.200
I didn't want to be Judas. I wanted to be Mary.

585
00:38:36.230 --> 00:38:39.030
See, we're all born in the same condition, selfish heart of Judas.

586
00:38:39.060 --> 00:38:40.620
But we have a choice to make. We don't have to stay there.

587
00:38:41.900 --> 00:38:45.230
We can grow into a generous heart, the heart of Mary.

588
00:38:45.260 --> 00:38:48.470
Because in this story there is the deceptive,

589
00:38:48.470 --> 00:38:50.630
deceitful heart of selfishness in Judas.

590
00:38:50.660 --> 00:38:54.980
And there's also the extravagant heart of generosity in Mary.

591
00:38:54.980 --> 00:38:59.360
The extravagant heart, because a generous heart is an extravagant heart.

592
00:39:00.020 --> 00:39:03.830
Always. A generous heart is always an extravagant heart,

593
00:39:03.830 --> 00:39:07.850
because God is generous, extravagantly generous.

594
00:39:08.540 --> 00:39:10.160
It says He gave extravagantly.

595
00:39:10.190 --> 00:39:12.440
He gave His only Son.

596
00:39:13.160 --> 00:39:13.880
That's extravagant.

597
00:39:14.680 --> 00:39:17.740
The Bible is full of people who've responded to that in extravagance.

598
00:39:17.870 --> 00:39:19.040
Old Testament, New Testament.

599
00:39:19.250 --> 00:39:23.660
In the Old Testament, King David gives in today's terms

600
00:39:23.660 --> 00:39:27.230
21 billion dollars, billion with a B,

601
00:39:27.230 --> 00:39:29.630
to build the first temple, an extravagant gift.

602
00:39:30.850 --> 00:39:33.730
Do you know there's an even more extravagant gift in the Bible?

603
00:39:34.570 --> 00:39:36.250
There's a moment where Jesus sees a widow.

604
00:39:37.460 --> 00:39:39.170
She gives two mites.

605
00:39:40.150 --> 00:39:41.880
Her very last two pennies.

606
00:39:41.880 --> 00:39:44.920
And He goes, "Whoa, everybody stop and look at that.

607
00:39:44.920 --> 00:39:46.030
That is amazing."

608
00:39:47.180 --> 00:39:49.610
Extravagance is not about the amount, see,

609
00:39:49.610 --> 00:39:51.920
it's about the heart behind the amount.

610
00:39:51.950 --> 00:39:53.810
That's what makes it extravagant.

611
00:39:54.710 --> 00:39:56.930
That said, it's not about the money.

612
00:39:57.020 --> 00:40:00.350
But that said, can we all look at Mary's generous gift,

613
00:40:00.350 --> 00:40:02.510
a year's wages and say, that's extravagant.

614
00:40:02.870 --> 00:40:05.360
If you gave a year's wages in a lump sum

615
00:40:05.360 --> 00:40:06.930
would that feel extravagant to you?

616
00:40:06.930 --> 00:40:08.290
Yeah, right.

617
00:40:08.870 --> 00:40:11.660
That's what she gives. She gives an extravagant gift.

618
00:40:12.380 --> 00:40:15.820
Now it's Christmas time, I don't know if you noticed that yet.

619
00:40:15.890 --> 00:40:17.870
It is Christmas time. I know it's not Thanksgiving yet.

620
00:40:18.200 --> 00:40:21.050
But listen, Target already mailed their stupid Christmas catalogue

621
00:40:21.050 --> 00:40:22.400
to my house and my kids found it.

622
00:40:23.020 --> 00:40:24.420
It is Christmas time. OK?

623
00:40:24.890 --> 00:40:27.710
And my kids, prior to this year,

624
00:40:27.710 --> 00:40:29.570
they didn't know about extravagant gifts.

625
00:40:29.600 --> 00:40:30.740
And it was awesome.

626
00:40:31.700 --> 00:40:32.090
Awesome.

627
00:40:32.120 --> 00:40:35.780
If you have small kids, don't buy them anything more than $10.

628
00:40:35.780 --> 00:40:37.430
You are wasting your money.

629
00:40:37.460 --> 00:40:39.890
Like you could literally just give them an empty cardboard box.

630
00:40:40.070 --> 00:40:41.810
Wrap it in wrapping paper, they'll open it.

631
00:40:41.840 --> 00:40:42.590
They'll be thrilled.

632
00:40:42.880 --> 00:40:44.510
They'l color on it. They'll sit in.

633
00:40:44.510 --> 00:40:45.520
Pretend it's a race car.

634
00:40:45.560 --> 00:40:46.930
You know, stand on top of it.

635
00:40:46.940 --> 00:40:48.230
Hit the brother with it, whatever.

636
00:40:48.590 --> 00:40:49.310
It will be great.

637
00:40:50.090 --> 00:40:52.050
It doesn't last forever thought.

638
00:40:52.050 --> 00:40:53.540
No one told me.

639
00:40:53.540 --> 00:40:58.730
Because this year the dark cloud of the knowledge

640
00:40:58.730 --> 00:41:02.450
of extravagant gifts has descended on my house.

641
00:41:03.160 --> 00:41:06.610
And my kids want expensive crap and it sucks.

642
00:41:07.730 --> 00:41:09.680
They want this thing, it's called a Nintendo Switch.

643
00:41:10.020 --> 00:41:11.290
Anybody every heard of this thing?

644
00:41:11.290 --> 00:41:12.230
Ever heard of it?

645
00:41:12.720 --> 00:41:14.420
It does apparently all kinds of cool stuff.

646
00:41:14.840 --> 00:41:15.950
I don't know all of what it does,

647
00:41:15.950 --> 00:41:17.780
but I know it does this one amazing thing:

648
00:41:17.780 --> 00:41:19.760
It is a vacuum cleaner for money.

649
00:41:20.080 --> 00:41:22.640
Like just (sound effect)

650
00:41:22.640 --> 00:41:24.380
If you have money, it will find it and suck it straight up.

651
00:41:25.250 --> 00:41:26.120
It's three hundred bucks.

652
00:41:26.660 --> 00:41:28.700
It doesn't come with enough controllers, so you've got to buy more.

653
00:41:28.890 --> 00:41:29.690
That's another hundred bucks.

654
00:41:29.930 --> 00:41:32.140
It's got a million games that are sixty dollars a piece.

655
00:41:32.510 --> 00:41:34.220
It's awful. It's terrible.

656
00:41:34.820 --> 00:41:38.810
When my kids open on Christmas morning and
they go, "Look what Santa brought us."

657
00:41:39.030 --> 00:41:39.200
You know what I'm going to do?

658
00:41:39.200 --> 00:41:41.740
I'm going to be like, "Santa didn't buy you that.

659
00:41:41.850 --> 00:41:42.770
That old geezer's cheap.

660
00:41:43.220 --> 00:41:44.420
Dear old dad bought you that.

661
00:41:44.970 --> 00:41:47.190
You better thank me, put me in a good home when I'm old, you know?"

662
00:41:49.660 --> 00:41:51.710
But here's the thing, I'm going to buy that for them.

663
00:41:52.730 --> 00:41:54.680
I will. Please don't tell them.

664
00:41:55.130 --> 00:41:56.510
Do you know why, by the way?

665
00:41:57.850 --> 00:42:01.180
Because it's fun to give gifts that impress our kids, isn't it?

666
00:42:01.810 --> 00:42:04.420
It's just fun to give gifts that are impressive.

667
00:42:05.470 --> 00:42:07.120
So what about God?

668
00:42:08.050 --> 00:42:12.580
Could you ever give God a gift that would impress Him?

669
00:42:14.580 --> 00:42:16.680
I'm talking about God, by the way, the God who says,

670
00:42:16.680 --> 00:42:19.800
"The earth and all of its fullness, that's mine.".

671
00:42:20.730 --> 00:42:23.490
The God who said, "The cattle on a thousand hills, I own them.

672
00:42:23.490 --> 00:42:25.080
I'm the world's best rancher."

673
00:42:25.080 --> 00:42:27.480
The God who says, "In my city where I live, heaven,

674
00:42:27.480 --> 00:42:28.770
I paved the streets with gold.

675
00:42:29.460 --> 00:42:30.390
I just have so much of it.

676
00:42:30.390 --> 00:42:32.250
I know what to do with it. Just pave the streets, I guess."

677
00:42:33.270 --> 00:42:36.060
The Bible actually says underneath those streets, by the way,

678
00:42:36.060 --> 00:42:41.310
the gravel that the street sits on, it's 12 layers of precious gems.

679
00:42:42.180 --> 00:42:46.950
It also says it's 1280 miles deep of precious gems.

680
00:42:47.680 --> 00:42:52.190
So what about Him? Could you give God a gift that would impress Him?

681
00:42:54.120 --> 00:42:56.600
The answer is yes, absolutely you can.

682
00:42:57.330 --> 00:42:58.350
You can give them yourself.2

683
00:42:59.750 --> 00:43:00.710
2 Corinthians says:

684
00:43:04.330 --> 00:43:08.290
Scripture says: God jumps up and twirls around when you give yourself to Him.

685
00:43:08.620 --> 00:43:10.510
He's so excited when he has your heart.

686
00:43:10.570 --> 00:43:11.890
He's so excited.

687
00:43:12.100 --> 00:43:15.390
But listen. Listen, I just want to tell you.

688
00:43:16.110 --> 00:43:20.610
Don't try to tell Him He has your heart if He doesn't have your treasure.

689
00:43:22.290 --> 00:43:23.500
Don't try and tell Him that, because He said

690
00:43:23.500 --> 00:43:27.180
where your treasurer is, that's where your heart is.

691
00:43:27.290 --> 00:43:29.350
See, God doesn't need your treasurer.

692
00:43:29.410 --> 00:43:31.470
He's doing fine. He's good.

693
00:43:32.080 --> 00:43:33.240
He can pay the light bill in heaven.

694
00:43:33.480 --> 00:43:34.690
It's amazing. He's fine.

695
00:43:34.960 --> 00:43:36.160
He doesn't need your treasurer.

696
00:43:36.190 --> 00:43:37.090
He wants your heart.

697
00:43:37.270 --> 00:43:40.960
And He knows when you give Him your treasure, He gets your heart.

698
00:43:42.070 --> 00:43:46.030
He gets your heart. It's the thing He wants the absolute most.

699
00:43:46.030 --> 00:43:48.490
It's the power of giving.

700
00:43:48.520 --> 00:43:52.420
Now, there are three levels of giving in scripture.

701
00:43:52.880 --> 00:43:55.390
I want you to see this, Malakai hints at this,

702
00:43:55.390 --> 00:43:58.630
talks about tithes, plural, and offerings, plural.

703
00:43:58.810 --> 00:44:00.840
The first level of giving is tithing.

704
00:44:00.850 --> 00:44:03.880
It's the place to start and it's plural, tithes,

705
00:44:03.880 --> 00:44:05.860
because it's something you do again and again.

706
00:44:05.860 --> 00:44:09.070
Every time you get paid, you give God the first 10% of it.

707
00:44:09.070 --> 00:44:10.960
That's what He says is mine.

708
00:44:11.320 --> 00:44:12.400
And then there's offerings.

709
00:44:12.430 --> 00:44:13.850
Offerings are also plural.

710
00:44:13.870 --> 00:44:15.610
The easiest way to think about this is

711
00:44:15.610 --> 00:44:17.170
that there's kind of two levels of offerings.

712
00:44:17.350 --> 00:44:20.860
There's normal offerings and there's extravagant offerings.

713
00:44:21.190 --> 00:44:23.830
Normal offerings are things you might do on a continual basis.

714
00:44:24.180 --> 00:44:26.290
An extravagant offering is something that

715
00:44:26.290 --> 00:44:28.330
God might call you to do a few times in your life.

716
00:44:29.110 --> 00:44:31.660
I actually believe it's something He calls

717
00:44:31.660 --> 00:44:35.020
everybody whose heart He has to a few times in their life.

718
00:44:35.030 --> 00:44:39.100
See, when God gets your heart, when you get to that first level of giving,

719
00:44:39.100 --> 00:44:40.480
you get to the second and the third

720
00:44:40.480 --> 00:44:43.060
because He breaks the curse over your finances.

721
00:44:43.060 --> 00:44:43.930
He blesses you.

722
00:44:44.510 --> 00:44:46.660
What happens when that happens is that you want to be so grateful

723
00:44:46.660 --> 00:44:50.110
that you'll actually return to Him and go above and beyond.

724
00:44:50.150 --> 00:44:53.560
See, for my wife and I offerings that look like many different things.

725
00:44:53.800 --> 00:44:56.590
One of the things it's looked like is not stopping at 10%.

726
00:44:57.280 --> 00:44:59.710
We've gone above and beyond 10% for years now.

727
00:45:00.040 --> 00:45:03.580
We regularly increase the total percent of our income that we give away.

728
00:45:04.000 --> 00:45:05.620
And here's the thing I want you to know.

729
00:45:06.820 --> 00:45:08.680
We don't do that because God asked us.

730
00:45:09.780 --> 00:45:12.120
We never heard a small prompt to say do that.

731
00:45:13.140 --> 00:45:16.200
In the story there's no record that Jesus ever said,

732
00:45:16.200 --> 00:45:19.410
"Hey, Mary. I'd like that perfume."

733
00:45:20.630 --> 00:45:23.750
She just gave it out of a heart of gratitude.

734
00:45:23.780 --> 00:45:24.950
She just gave it.

735
00:45:25.680 --> 00:45:26.270
We've done that.

736
00:45:26.760 --> 00:45:29.960
Now God has asked us, prompted us a few times in our lives

737
00:45:29.960 --> 00:45:31.070
for extravagant offerings.

738
00:45:31.070 --> 00:45:34.220
Again, it's not about the amount, it's about does it feel extravagant?

739
00:45:34.690 --> 00:45:37.810
Which is another way to say, "Does it feel painful?"

740
00:45:37.810 --> 00:45:39.970
When God asks you for it does it feel like,

741
00:45:39.970 --> 00:45:41.520
oh, jeez, I don't want to do that?

742
00:45:42.300 --> 00:45:43.650
That's an extravagant offering.

743
00:45:44.010 --> 00:45:46.650
The first one was years and years ago.

744
00:45:47.280 --> 00:45:50.130
We felt like God prompted us to give $500

745
00:45:50.130 --> 00:45:51.780
to friends of ours who were getting married.

746
00:45:51.840 --> 00:45:54.270
They we're paying for their entire wedding themselves

747
00:45:54.270 --> 00:45:55.350
and couldn't afford invitations.

748
00:45:55.360 --> 00:45:57.640
So we thought God said, "Hey, I want you to give them $500.

749
00:45:57.750 --> 00:45:59.340
That'll cover their invitations."

750
00:45:59.340 --> 00:46:01.170
Now, these were friends we met at Crossroads.

751
00:46:01.290 --> 00:46:02.310
They weren't great friends.

752
00:46:02.490 --> 00:46:04.050
We didn't even go to the wedding, by the way.

753
00:46:05.230 --> 00:46:06.690
But could I tell you something amazing?

754
00:46:07.830 --> 00:46:10.440
Those friends almost 15 years later

755
00:46:10.440 --> 00:46:13.470
are some of our very best friends in the entire world.

756
00:46:13.710 --> 00:46:17.190
We are so close with them our kids call them aunt and uncle.

757
00:46:18.300 --> 00:46:25.950
Amazing. See God got rewarded $500 with 15 years of friendship.

758
00:46:26.820 --> 00:46:27.540
That's incredible.

759
00:46:28.230 --> 00:46:31.680
Another time God asks for an extravagant offering was 2015.

760
00:46:32.340 --> 00:46:34.620
And He upped the stakes on us a little bit,

761
00:46:34.620 --> 00:46:36.750
extravagant was a different thing for us at this point.

762
00:46:37.560 --> 00:46:39.450
And we felt like he said,

763
00:46:39.450 --> 00:46:41.970
"I would like you to give Me the majority of a year's salary."

764
00:46:43.060 --> 00:46:44.830
We're a single income family, by the way.

765
00:46:46.260 --> 00:46:49.240
And I'd love to tell you that we felt that from God

766
00:46:49.240 --> 00:46:51.110
and Sarah and I went, "Yes, God.

767
00:46:51.160 --> 00:46:52.750
Cool, we're in.

768
00:46:52.750 --> 00:46:53.500
All right. Where do we cut the check?"

769
00:46:53.560 --> 00:46:56.060
You know? That's not what happened.

770
00:46:56.060 --> 00:47:02.110
Instead it was like, "Oh, jeez, man, we probably heard that wrong."

771
00:47:03.560 --> 00:47:07.640
So we sat on it for days, days and days.

772
00:47:08.660 --> 00:47:10.430
We finally came to this conclusion, we just said,

773
00:47:10.430 --> 00:47:13.260
"You know, God has been so good to us.

774
00:47:13.730 --> 00:47:16.160
Every time we've stepped out, He has met us.

775
00:47:16.190 --> 00:47:16.820
He's blessed us.

776
00:47:16.850 --> 00:47:20.780
He's given us far more than we've given away, far more."

777
00:47:20.780 --> 00:47:23.990
So we said, "Of course, God, yes.

778
00:47:23.990 --> 00:47:27.050
If that's what You want from us, our answer is yes."

779
00:47:28.100 --> 00:47:30.610
So we did it, it took us a few years to pay off, by the way.

780
00:47:31.600 --> 00:47:33.830
In those few years some incredible things happened.

781
00:47:33.890 --> 00:47:37.460
See, when we gave that money away, we thought we were giving up on some things.

782
00:47:37.480 --> 00:47:40.060
One of the things we thought were giving up was a vacation to Hawaii.

783
00:47:40.120 --> 00:47:41.320
We had always wanted to go.

784
00:47:41.560 --> 00:47:43.240
We hoped to go for our honeymoon, we couldn't afford.

785
00:47:43.240 --> 00:47:45.610
Went somewhere else, and we thought this is the time we're going to go.

786
00:47:45.810 --> 00:47:47.250
Then we give this money away, gone.

787
00:47:48.280 --> 00:47:50.350
Do you know in the time we were paying that off,

788
00:47:50.350 --> 00:47:52.710
somebody offered us a free trip to Hawaii?

789
00:47:54.140 --> 00:47:56.150
They didn't -- we hadn't told anybody this was a dream of ours.

790
00:47:56.190 --> 00:47:57.440
They just came up out of the blue and said,

791
00:47:57.440 --> 00:47:59.240
"Would you like to go to Hawaii? I'll pay for it."

792
00:47:59.240 --> 00:48:02.290
We're like, "Yes, yes, we would.

793
00:48:02.290 --> 00:48:03.620
Whenever, we're in."

794
00:48:04.670 --> 00:48:06.800
It's amazing the blessing of God.

795
00:48:07.560 --> 00:48:09.260
Could I tell you one of the reasons it was so painful

796
00:48:09.260 --> 00:48:11.750
is because we have three kids

797
00:48:11.750 --> 00:48:13.880
and we hoped to be able to help them with college.

798
00:48:13.910 --> 00:48:15.880
We may never be able to pay for all their tuition.

799
00:48:15.890 --> 00:48:16.850
We just hope to be able to help.

800
00:48:17.370 --> 00:48:19.280
And we -- when this started,

801
00:48:19.280 --> 00:48:21.980
we had zero dollars in college savings for our kids.

802
00:48:22.340 --> 00:48:22.570
Right?

803
00:48:23.330 --> 00:48:25.520
And so giving this money away was like, "Oh, God.

804
00:48:25.610 --> 00:48:26.780
OK.

805
00:48:26.780 --> 00:48:29.510
Are you sure? OK, we're gonna trust you."

806
00:48:29.510 --> 00:48:32.580
Can I tell you, by the end of the time we were done paying that off,

807
00:48:32.870 --> 00:48:36.470
by that time, we paid it off we had a year's tuition in the bank.

808
00:48:38.390 --> 00:48:44.240
I can't explain how that happened other than God blessed us, He blessed us.

809
00:48:44.570 --> 00:48:50.120
See if God's prompting you to give extravagantly just to say yes.

810
00:48:50.600 --> 00:48:52.150
You'll be so grateful you did.

811
00:48:52.370 --> 00:48:53.300
You'll be so grateful.

812
00:48:53.300 --> 00:48:54.680
You will never regret it.

813
00:48:54.710 --> 00:48:57.380
You'll look back on that for the rest of your life

814
00:48:57.380 --> 00:49:01.280
in thankfulness and gratitude that God gave you that opportunity

815
00:49:01.280 --> 00:49:03.810
because you know Him better. You know Him better.

816
00:49:03.810 --> 00:49:05.690
Your faith will be stronger.

817
00:49:05.720 --> 00:49:09.800
He will absolutely show up, bless you and reward you.

818
00:49:09.830 --> 00:49:10.670
That's what He does.

819
00:49:11.750 --> 00:49:13.430
Now let's talk about Mary.

820
00:49:14.210 --> 00:49:17.540
Why would Mary give her extravagant gift?

821
00:49:18.350 --> 00:49:19.160
Why would she do that?

822
00:49:20.120 --> 00:49:21.280
Well, the answer is pretty simple.

823
00:49:23.040 --> 00:49:26.790
See two months before this scene,

824
00:49:26.790 --> 00:49:30.330
Jesus raise her brother Lazarus from the dead.

825
00:49:32.180 --> 00:49:33.110
Raised him from the dead.

826
00:49:34.080 --> 00:49:38.290
And so she is grateful to Him, she is grateful to Him.

827
00:49:38.560 --> 00:49:43.310
The story actually says that, this is John 11, one chapter before.

828
00:49:43.320 --> 00:49:46.420
It says, Jesus, He was out of town when Lazarus died, by the way.

829
00:49:46.560 --> 00:49:49.320
And so Lazarus was dead for four days when Jesus showed up.

830
00:49:49.330 --> 00:49:51.070
He was dead for four days, dead, dead.

831
00:49:51.640 --> 00:49:53.830
And Jesus starts walking up and Mary goes out

832
00:49:53.830 --> 00:49:55.090
and she meets Him on the road.

833
00:49:55.360 --> 00:49:59.680
And it says that she fell at His feet and just started weeping.

834
00:50:00.580 --> 00:50:04.360
She just covers His feet and tears, just everywhere.

835
00:50:05.330 --> 00:50:09.700
It says Jesus had compassion on her,

836
00:50:09.700 --> 00:50:11.290
went and raised her brother from the dead.

837
00:50:12.340 --> 00:50:18.580
So it's logical, two months later, the next time she sees Jesus,

838
00:50:18.580 --> 00:50:20.200
she does the same thing. She gets down.

839
00:50:20.800 --> 00:50:24.250
And rather than covering his feet in tears of grief,

840
00:50:24.250 --> 00:50:28.210
she covers them in an amazing act of generosity,

841
00:50:28.710 --> 00:50:30.610
out of a heart of gratitude.

842
00:50:30.650 --> 00:50:33.760
See, a generous heart is always a grateful heart.

843
00:50:34.540 --> 00:50:36.330
It always is. Always.

844
00:50:37.060 --> 00:50:43.180
I want to ask you if one of your family members was raised from the dead,

845
00:50:43.180 --> 00:50:45.880
would that change how you thought about giving the God?

846
00:50:46.970 --> 00:50:47.680
Would it change it?

847
00:50:49.080 --> 00:50:53.220
I just want to remind you, for all of you who believe in Jesus,

848
00:50:53.220 --> 00:50:54.390
He's raised you from the dead.

849
00:50:55.530 --> 00:50:57.750
Ephisians 2:1 says it this way, it says:

850
00:51:04.770 --> 00:51:06.600
You were dead, He raised you to life.

851
00:51:06.700 --> 00:51:08.880
Now I have this theory I can't prove.

852
00:51:10.370 --> 00:51:11.770
I've just been thinking about

853
00:51:11.770 --> 00:51:15.970
why did Mary have such an expensive jar of perfume?

854
00:51:16.360 --> 00:51:18.010
Why did she have this in the first place?

855
00:51:18.220 --> 00:51:19.040
Why would she have bought it?

856
00:51:19.640 --> 00:51:22.060
What we know about this is that it was used for burial.

857
00:51:22.600 --> 00:51:23.550
It's very clear in scripture.

858
00:51:23.620 --> 00:51:25.830
This was something you would put onto a dead body

859
00:51:25.830 --> 00:51:26.950
so it didn't stink so much.

860
00:51:27.660 --> 00:51:30.790
We also know about Mary is that two months earlier,

861
00:51:30.790 --> 00:51:32.170
her brother Lazarus had died.

862
00:51:34.390 --> 00:51:37.780
And see I think in those four days, she and her grief,

863
00:51:37.780 --> 00:51:40.690
she was so sad in her grief, she went out

864
00:51:40.690 --> 00:51:45.490
and spent a year's salary on perfume to pour on her dead brother.

865
00:51:46.510 --> 00:51:47.230
Think about this now.

866
00:51:48.270 --> 00:51:51.660
Literally, she was going to pour it on a body

867
00:51:51.660 --> 00:51:54.270
that was going to decay and turn into dust.

868
00:51:55.490 --> 00:52:00.530
And instead, two months later, she takes that same year's salary

869
00:52:00.530 --> 00:52:04.010
and she pours it on the feet of Jesus.

870
00:52:04.700 --> 00:52:10.820
The only thing on earth that was full of life.

871
00:52:11.940 --> 00:52:15.900
The only thing, the only thing that would ever beat death,

872
00:52:15.900 --> 00:52:16.680
the feet of Jesus.

873
00:52:16.710 --> 00:52:21.360
Now I've poured plenty of things, within a year's salary,\

874
00:52:21.360 --> 00:52:23.040
on plenty of things that are gonna turn into dust.

875
00:52:23.700 --> 00:52:25.430
I have. You have. There's nothing wrong with that.

876
00:52:25.440 --> 00:52:27.110
Sometimes you have to, you've got to buy a house, right?

877
00:52:28.080 --> 00:52:28.740
Things like that.

878
00:52:29.490 --> 00:52:33.390
What about pouring a year's salary on something

879
00:52:33.390 --> 00:52:37.000
that will last forever, not perish, like your house,

880
00:52:37.000 --> 00:52:39.690
turn and dust rots someday, last forever.

881
00:52:39.720 --> 00:52:40.770
It's extravagant.

882
00:52:40.790 --> 00:52:42.030
And again, it's not about the amount.

883
00:52:42.630 --> 00:52:44.610
It's about the heart behind it.

884
00:52:45.120 --> 00:52:47.910
See, when when Jesus -- Mary does this for Jesus.

885
00:52:47.940 --> 00:52:52.400
He's so excited because He knows He has her heart.

886
00:52:53.810 --> 00:52:57.740
And then guess what he does? He rewards her.

887
00:52:57.740 --> 00:53:00.770
See God always rewards generosity.

888
00:53:00.890 --> 00:53:01.340
Did you know that?

889
00:53:01.730 --> 00:53:03.560
Selfishness is when you give to get.

890
00:53:03.650 --> 00:53:04.430
I'm not talking about that.

891
00:53:04.430 --> 00:53:05.390
I'm talking about generosity.

892
00:53:05.390 --> 00:53:07.250
When you give out of a heart of gratitude

893
00:53:07.250 --> 00:53:10.160
to get nothing in return, God always rewards that.

894
00:53:11.000 --> 00:53:14.360
It's amazing. This story also appears in Matthew and Mark.

895
00:53:14.360 --> 00:53:18.150
And Mark adds this one detail, after she pours the oil on Jesus's feet,

896
00:53:18.620 --> 00:53:20.360
Jesus says:

897
00:53:26.450 --> 00:53:28.340
Like right here, right now.

898
00:53:35.180 --> 00:53:36.230
He rewards her.

899
00:53:37.330 --> 00:53:38.140
He rewards her.

900
00:53:38.140 --> 00:53:40.390
She didn't come to get rewarded, but he rewards her.

901
00:53:41.140 --> 00:53:44.680
Think about this, in this one scene are

902
00:53:44.680 --> 00:53:47.320
the most infamously selfish person in human history, Judas,

903
00:53:47.320 --> 00:53:50.380
who sells his friend Jesus for 30 pieces of silver

904
00:53:50.380 --> 00:53:54.730
and Mary, the only person God's ever said,

905
00:53:54.730 --> 00:53:58.630
"You, I'm going to make you world famous for generosity."

906
00:53:59.110 --> 00:54:00.400
Judas and Mary.

907
00:54:00.760 --> 00:54:03.610
Am I generous?

908
00:54:04.330 --> 00:54:05.020
Am I generous?

909
00:54:05.950 --> 00:54:06.760
She was rewarded.

910
00:54:08.110 --> 00:54:09.670
That might seem like a strange thing to you.

911
00:54:09.700 --> 00:54:11.770
But here's the deal, God is a rewarder.

912
00:54:12.040 --> 00:54:14.860
Hebrews 11:6 says it this way:

913
00:54:15.010 --> 00:54:18.300
"But without faith" -- that stepping into the test --

914
00:54:28.540 --> 00:54:32.620
He is a rewarder, see being a rewarder,

915
00:54:32.620 --> 00:54:35.650
it's not an option for God because it's something He is.

916
00:54:36.120 --> 00:54:39.550
It's just like God can't lie because He is truth.

917
00:54:40.150 --> 00:54:45.730
God can't ignore generosity because He is a rewarder, He always rewards it.

918
00:54:46.540 --> 00:54:47.170
But here's the deal.

919
00:54:47.800 --> 00:54:50.920
The best rewards that God gives aren't financial.

920
00:54:51.790 --> 00:54:53.230
They are true riches.

921
00:54:54.350 --> 00:54:57.410
I told you a couple of the things that God rewarded us with

922
00:54:57.410 --> 00:55:01.370
when we gave the last time extravagantly, a trip to Hawaii, money.

923
00:55:01.370 --> 00:55:02.720
It was amazing.

924
00:55:02.910 --> 00:55:04.520
Can I tell you, those weren't the reward for me.

925
00:55:06.010 --> 00:55:08.440
See, true riches are is a true reward because

926
00:55:08.440 --> 00:55:10.960
true riches are things you could never buy

927
00:55:10.960 --> 00:55:14.260
no matter how much money you have, it's things that only God can do.

928
00:55:15.310 --> 00:55:18.280
Like heal and save your friends and family who are lost.

929
00:55:19.240 --> 00:55:20.290
Only God can do that.

930
00:55:20.890 --> 00:55:24.490
When we were paying off that extravagant gift,

931
00:55:24.490 --> 00:55:28.510
both my boys came to me separately on their own and said,

932
00:55:28.510 --> 00:55:30.220
"Daddy, we want to get baptized."

933
00:55:31.460 --> 00:55:34.850
Now, I know I'm a pastor, but you gotta believe me,

934
00:55:34.910 --> 00:55:36.110
I did not make that happen.

935
00:55:36.740 --> 00:55:37.710
That was not my doing.

936
00:55:37.730 --> 00:55:39.620
I wasn't some amazing father who led to that.

937
00:55:39.650 --> 00:55:41.900
No. God did that.

938
00:55:42.530 --> 00:55:44.510
And when they came to me, I didn't lower the bar.

939
00:55:45.350 --> 00:55:46.340
I actually raised the bar.

940
00:55:46.880 --> 00:55:50.390
When my son Ben came, he said that, "Daddy, I want to get baptized."

941
00:55:50.390 --> 00:55:52.610
And I said, "OK, son. That's great.

942
00:55:52.610 --> 00:55:56.900
Do you know that means that you will give God your whole heart?"

943
00:55:56.900 --> 00:55:57.920
"Yes, Daddy, I do."

944
00:55:58.490 --> 00:56:00.720
"Do you know that that means you'll do whatever He says?"

945
00:56:00.860 --> 00:56:02.530
"Yes, Daddy."

946
00:56:02.530 --> 00:56:05.900
"OK. Let me just make this a little more tactile for you, Ben.

947
00:56:05.900 --> 00:56:09.740
If God says He wants you to give away all your toys, would you do it?"

948
00:56:10.550 --> 00:56:11.610
"Yes, Daddy, I would.

949
00:56:12.200 --> 00:56:13.490
I want to follow him forever.

950
00:56:13.490 --> 00:56:14.480
I want him to have my whole heart."

951
00:56:16.230 --> 00:56:22.710
And on November 19th, 2017, I got to baptize both my boys.

952
00:56:22.740 --> 00:56:24.870
They gave their whole hearts to God.

953
00:56:25.620 --> 00:56:27.780
Amazing?

954
00:56:27.780 --> 00:56:31.530
That's the reward. [applause] That's a reward.

955
00:56:32.970 --> 00:56:34.400
I was preparing for this message

956
00:56:34.400 --> 00:56:39.500
and I knew I wanted a box to hold and something to pour in.

957
00:56:40.790 --> 00:56:43.130
I remembered, see I had made boxes for my kids.

958
00:56:43.130 --> 00:56:44.210
This one belongs to Ben.

959
00:56:44.450 --> 00:56:47.480
And I said a couple of years ago, "Here's a box.

960
00:56:47.480 --> 00:56:49.010
You can put your special things in here.

961
00:56:49.040 --> 00:56:51.770
Put the most special things in this box."

962
00:56:51.770 --> 00:56:53.270
And so I just needed a box to hold as a prop.

963
00:56:54.020 --> 00:56:56.330
And so I went to Ben's closet, I found this on the shelf.

964
00:56:56.360 --> 00:56:57.170
I opened it up.

965
00:56:58.010 --> 00:56:59.570
And this was the only thing inside.

966
00:57:01.320 --> 00:57:04.150
Do you know what this is? This is baptism water.

967
00:57:05.330 --> 00:57:07.860
And he walked in the room and there I am holding his box

968
00:57:07.860 --> 00:57:11.280
and I said, "Buddy, this is the only thing in here.

969
00:57:11.280 --> 00:57:13.530
What is this?"

970
00:57:13.530 --> 00:57:17.420
He said, "That's special.

971
00:57:17.420 --> 00:57:21.970
That's from my baptism when I gave God my whole life."

972
00:57:21.970 --> 00:57:24.650
That's a reward. That's a reward.

973
00:57:24.650 --> 00:57:27.420
God can't wait to reward you.

974
00:57:28.670 --> 00:57:29.330
He can't wait.

975
00:57:31.430 --> 00:57:35.210
I want you to take a moment with me here as we wrap up

976
00:57:35.210 --> 00:57:36.500
before you get up, before you run out.

977
00:57:36.530 --> 00:57:37.520
Just take a moment.

978
00:57:37.520 --> 00:57:38.900
Just still with me. I want you to sit.

979
00:57:41.050 --> 00:57:42.350
We're gonna do a little exercise.

980
00:57:42.370 --> 00:57:46.030
I want you to listen for a small prompt from God.

981
00:57:47.840 --> 00:57:49.660
Just see if there's anything He wants you to do.

982
00:57:51.810 --> 00:57:53.790
See if there's anything He might ask of you.

983
00:57:55.140 --> 00:57:58.110
If there is, I want to encourage you to say yes.

984
00:57:58.140 --> 00:57:59.910
Maybe it's start the tithe test.

985
00:58:02.310 --> 00:58:05.520
Maybe it's an idea of an extravagant offering.

986
00:58:06.810 --> 00:58:09.090
I know it's going to feel scary, I know it.

987
00:58:10.680 --> 00:58:12.960
I'm telling you, you will never regret it.

988
00:58:13.110 --> 00:58:13.830
Say yes.

989
00:58:14.660 --> 00:58:15.770
Just take a moment.

990
00:58:16.010 --> 00:58:17.600
Let's see if God says something to us.

991
00:58:31.720 --> 00:58:34.260
Now, you don't have to stop asking that question right now.

992
00:58:35.830 --> 00:58:38.350
I want to encourage you, if God said something, say yes.

993
00:58:39.260 --> 00:58:44.640
And if He didn't, I want to offer an idea to you.

994
00:58:44.640 --> 00:58:47.950
Maybe God didn't prompt you, if He didn't,

995
00:58:47.950 --> 00:58:51.660
because He wants to give you an opportunity to just be generous like Mary.

996
00:58:52.230 --> 00:58:54.510
He never asked for it. She just gave.

997
00:58:55.970 --> 00:59:01.010
Maybe God's giving you an opportunity to step in the generosity that way

998
00:59:01.010 --> 00:59:03.080
I do want to pray for you before you go, so let me do that.

999
00:59:03.410 --> 00:59:05.300
Father, I thank You for everyone here.

1000
00:59:06.170 --> 00:59:07.970
Thank You for their willingness to listen.

1001
00:59:08.990 --> 00:59:10.690
Thank You for their willingness to engage.

1002
00:59:10.700 --> 00:59:16.270
I ask that You give us all the courage to do what You've asked us to do

1003
00:59:16.270 --> 00:59:18.260
and to step into generosity with You.

1004
00:59:19.340 --> 00:59:27.360
That You'd have our whole heart, God, and You reward us, You bless us, Amen.

1005
00:59:28.660 --> 00:59:31.760
Well, hey, listen, next week this series wraps up.

1006
00:59:31.820 --> 00:59:33.500
Brian will be back.

1007
00:59:33.530 --> 00:59:36.080
I happen to know what he's going to talk about

1008
00:59:36.080 --> 00:59:37.730
and you're not gonna want to miss it.

1009
00:59:38.270 --> 00:59:39.300
We'll see you then. Have a great weekend.
Process, journal or discuss the themes of this article - here's a few questions to get the ball rolling...

Welcome to the Post-Weekend Push with Brian Tome.

  1. Let’s get right to it. Are you generous? Before you answer, remember—there’s a big difference between being generous-minded (I think generous thoughts) and being actively generous (I do generous things).

  2. When was the last time you were generous? When was the last time someone was generous to you? Share how either one impacted you.

  3. Think about your life over the past week. One a scale from Judas (selfish) to Mary (extravagantly generous), where did you spend most of your time? Why do you think that is?

  4. God is a rewarder. It is part of who He is. He always rewards generosity… and His best rewards aren’t the financial ones. Take stock of your life. Where has God been generous to you?

  5. Imagine Jesus putting his moneybox into your arms. If you truly thought of your finances as being His, what would you do with them in the next seven days? Be specific.

  6. If you’re feeling like a loser when it comes to generosity, stop it. God doesn’t condemn us, but instead prompts us to change. Make a plan right now to practice generosity this week. What will you do?

  7. Pray: Everyone say a pray for each person in the specific areas they shared this week.

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Nov 16, 2019

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