God’s Money Test | The Blessed Life: Week 2

We’ve all been there. Sitting in class when the teacher says, “Okay, get ready for the test.” Test? What test? Truth is God is testing us every time we get paid. How we respond to that test really shows us how much we trust God and just how much he can trust us.

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Last week on The Blessed Life.

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- So I just want to be real clear on this: This is not a campaign.

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No campaign.

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Not release your sphincter, relax your sphincter.

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Rain forests are what it is like to live the blessed life.

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The blessed life is understanding where it is
that the most moisture from God is.

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The blessed life is about understanding, understanding is
where do I go to sense God more?

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It's more blessed to give than receive.

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So when I am a giver, there is moisture, there is a presence of God.

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He is a giver and so I have to be a giver.

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And we know what has our heart based on what we're giving ourselves to,

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based on what's on our calendar

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and based on our credit card statement or our bank statement.

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Take an inventory of what God has blessed you with.

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What is God done in you?

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Because I promise you, you might not have all that you want to have.

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But I promise you, you have more than you could have on your own.

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He's been forming you.

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I believe you have been in a construction
process where God has been working on you

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and doing something for you for a long, long time

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and in you for a long, long time.

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He wants to mold your heart.

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He wants to develop your heart for the purposes that He has for you.

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- Well, hey, I'm Lena Schuler, I'm the Crossroads Anywhere Community Pastor,

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and we're so glad to have you joining us
for church today from anywhere you might be.

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We're in a series right now called The
Blessed Life that we kicked off last week.

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And I just felt so refreshed and invigorated

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to be more generous after experiencing last week's service.

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I don't know about you, but man, it just felt good

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to think about the ways that God has been faithful

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and the blessings that He's given me.

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And it made me want to be a giver like Him.

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And so I know that there's so much more He has for us in this series.

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I'm excited to experience it alongside of you.

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And before we go any further, we're
going to spend some time worshipping together.

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And this is a way for us to declare to God that we're thankful

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for the ways that He's blessed us and to prepare us to receive something good

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that He wants to give us in the rest of this hour.

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So why don't you sing with us?

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Well, we're going to sing a new song together.

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We introduced it last week, but it does this.

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It tells a story about a God who comes down to us

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and a God who has power like no one else does.

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Thank you, Lord.

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Yes, he does.

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Thank you, God.

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When we stand here,

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some of us wrecked by shame and worry and doubt.

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And for those of us who know You, we know that You're a God with kindness,

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deep, deep kindness and power that comes down to us to lift our heads up,

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to break out of the mess and step into life.

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Thank You for giving life so freely like You do.

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I pray all this because of You, Jesus. Amen.

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It's a sweet, sweet time.

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Thank you for singing with us, bringing your heart into the place.

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Hey, let's make this big place feel a little smaller right now.

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Turn to somebody you've been singing with and give them your name and smile.

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- Well, my hope for you is that this week

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you actually get to experience the God who overcomes

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maybe in a fresh new way that you have your head lifted up

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and God meets you in a powerful, refreshing, joyful way this week.

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You know, maybe in the midst of that time you were multi-tasking just now.

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I see you doing the dishes at home.

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I see you because I am you.

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I have totally been there.

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And, you know, there are ways for us to worship all week long,

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not just in this one hour experience.

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And so if you want to worship through Crossroads music,

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there's a playlist on Spotify and all kinds of Crossroads original songs

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like the one that we just sang on Spotify and Apple Music

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and YouTube and wherever you normally listen to music.

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So head there and maybe practice worshipping this week in a new way.

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You know, one of the reasons that we worship
is because it helps us get closer to God.

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I don't know about you, but I felt closer to God

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after hearing Michael Junior a few weeks ago.

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There were tons of people all across our church

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and all of our locations and all of our communities

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who either raised our hands or who silently said to God,

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"I want more of you and I want to give you full access to my life."

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If that was the first time you've done that

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or you did that and you've never been baptized,

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you've never publicly declared your faith in Jesus,

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now is the time for you to do that.

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We have baptisms coming up in a few weeks at Crossroads.

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And we want to give you the opportunity to declare your faith in Jesus,

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to declare that you want to follow Him all the days of your life,

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the way that followers of Jesus have been declaring that

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since He was walking around the earth with them.

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And so whether you live near Crossroads location

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or you're in a city in California or in Boston or Philadelphia,

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we want you to get to experience baptism as a next step in your faith

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if you've decided to follow Jesus and haven't done that yet.

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So you can chat with us on the Crossroads Web site

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and we'd love to help you get started, get you signed up

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and help you figure out how to make that happen anywhere you might be.

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You know, on Sunday nights I often go to dinner at my family's house.

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I don't know what your Sunday nights look like,

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but we're often sitting around the kitchen island at my parents house

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and there's laughter and sometimes there's challenge.

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Lots of times because that laughter

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or that challenge comes directly from the junior high humor of my father

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or the encouraging question that he asks us

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that probes something good from what we experienced at church that week.

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My dad happens to be Brian Tome

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and I want you to get to experience what I experience

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around his kitchen island on Sunday nights.

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I want you to get a weekly push from Brian Tome in the Crossroads app

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in the midst of your group chat

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to help you process the weekend a little bit further,

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to maybe laugh around some junior high humor

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and to be challenged to do something during the week

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with what we experience in the midst of this church service.

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And so you can subscribe to the Weekly Push from BT to get those questions

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and that conversation starter in the midst of your group chat.

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It will help your group go further

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and will help you personally experienced more of God

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and more of the church throughout the week.

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And I want that for you.

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Right now if you are part of the Crossroads team and you want to be generous,

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we can do that by heading to Crossroads.net/give

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and becoming a giver today.

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And right now, we are in a series called The Blessed Life.

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And I'm excited for you to get to experience the blessed life.

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- So this is the day.

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Just so you know, I'm just going to tell you what you can expect,

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I'm going to put out front for you.

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This is the day that you accused me of ulterior motives.

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Seriously, this is that day.

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This is that day where I say things

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that I know is going to get under your skin

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and I'm going to get more than my normal fair share of emails.

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This is that day.

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This is that day where it looks like I am being condemning and I'm not.

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There may be some things that happen today where you might feel conviction,

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but there is zero interest.

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Zero interest to me to make you feel unworthy.

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Zero.

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But this is the day where you may think that that's my point.

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This is the day that I play into some of your fears

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for what a megachurch pastor does, thinks and believes.

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This is that day.

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So I just want to state that upfront.

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I know exactly what I'm walking into.

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I know it and I welcome it.

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Because to the core of my being and the core of my relationship with God

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I've seen what I'm talking about over and over and over,

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and I want you to have it.

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I've seen what I'm going to talk about today happened

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in hundreds of people's lives who I've personally counseled,

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not just people I've kind of talking to,

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but hundreds of people who I personally counseled

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and followed up with and discipled.

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And I'm excited to bring this in today.

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Do you know that for everyone in here, there is a test that you regularly take?

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Now, you might be going like this.

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"What test?"

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Yeah. That's exactly what I did all of my educational year: "What test?".

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I hated that. I would go in.

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I would go in and I would sit down at my desk

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and the teacher would start passing out tests.

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And I'd go like, "What test?

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Is this a pop quiz?

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What test? What test?"

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And so many times it was, no, in the syllabus at the beginning of the class,

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I just didn't pay attention.

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There's a reason why in college I took accounting I three times, OK?

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I didn't start get my stuff together educationally until I got to seminary.

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But there is a test and I'm telling you right now,

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not I'm telling you.

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God is telling you.

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He's going to tell you that today.

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If you have any value or belief in the Bible,

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there is a test that He gives again and again and again and again.

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That test that He gives us it's called the tithed test.

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It's the test of whether or not we will return to Him 10 percent of what is His.

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Last week we looked at the fact that what
all we have is all things God's given us.

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We're born in a free country.

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That's something God gave us.

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We didn't choose it.

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If we've been involuntarily inhaling and exhaling on our own,

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we didn't choose that. He blessed us with that.

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There's things that you and I have

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that we only have because of the blessing of God.

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And it's hard to say which ones come because we've worked for them

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and which ones come because God just gave it to 'em.

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But even then, when I worked for it,

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God gives me the opportunity to work for it.

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But there is a test where we are able and asked

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and expected by our Heavenly Father, if He is your Heavenly Father,

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to return to Him only 10 percent of what is His.

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Let's read the book of Malachi 3:7.

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I'm going to give you a lot of scripture verses.

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Are you okay with that? I'm going to give you a lot.

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I just want to make sure you understand this isn't my idea.

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I want to make sure that you understand this isn't my idea.

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This is a very, very heavy thread.

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And here's the thing: Lives in here are going to be changed today.

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There are people in here, you've been stuck.

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I'm going to tell you why.

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There's been some of us in here who just like keep hitting the wall.

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And I believe God's going to reveal to you what that wall is

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and you're going to have a breakthrough, you are.

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Book of Malachi 3:10, God says this:

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Pour down blessings until there is no need.

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And He said bring the full tithe into the storehouse.

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What is He talking about here?

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He's talking about bring a tenth of your gross income,

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or everything you get, a tenth to your local church.

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That's what he said, a tenth of your gross income to your local church.

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In the New Testament they come

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and they bring it to the apostles at the apostles' feet.

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It's a place where you surrender a tenth of what is actually God's.

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Now, I know there's a lot of questions on this, there's a lot of stuff going on.

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Let me make sure I understand here.

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Today we're not looking at what The Wall Street Journal says about money.

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This whole series, because The Wall Street Journal

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is never gonna get you to get a sense of blessing, it never will.

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We're not looking what Suze Orman says.

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I don't care what Dave Ramsey says.

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We're looking today what the Bible says.

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And this is critical: tithing is a test.

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You know the number 10 in the Bible comes up again and again and again.

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God regularly tests in the Bible

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or there's tests in the Bible surrounding the number 10.

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When the nation of Israel was in bondage to Egypt, there were 10 plagues.

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Ten plagues to test Pharaoh's heart.

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The Commandments, there are 10 of them.

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The Commandments not only are rules for lives,

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they're test about whether or not we will obey who God is.

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Israel in the wilderness, as they're wandering in the wilderness,

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there are 10 tests, 10 times God tests them in the wilderness.

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Jacob, one of the heroes of the faith.

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Jacob.

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Jacob is working for Laban in order to get one of his daughters.

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His wants Rachel and Laban, his future father-in-law,

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changes his wages 10 times.

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He has a test 10 times whether or not he actually wants

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to wait for the daughter that he actually is going to get.

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Daniel in the book of Daniel,

240
00:23:56.010 --> 00:24:00.950
he gives pharaoh a test and says, how about you test me and I fast.

241
00:24:00.990 --> 00:24:03.060
I eat the way I want to eat for 10 days

242
00:24:03.060 --> 00:24:05.130
and see whether or not this is healthy or not.

243
00:24:05.220 --> 00:24:07.170
This is a test that Daniel goes through.

244
00:24:07.380 --> 00:24:11.310
In the New Testament we have ten virgins who are tested.

245
00:24:11.520 --> 00:24:15.540
They're tested whether or not they have oil inside of their lamps.

246
00:24:15.960 --> 00:24:18.120
There's also in the Book of Revelation,

247
00:24:18.120 --> 00:24:20.700
ten days of testing in the Book of Revelation.

248
00:24:21.090 --> 00:24:23.310
Now, this is just a lot about stuff, just so you know.

249
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If you know all these stories,

250
00:24:24.560 --> 00:24:26.160
I'm sorry, if I'm just breezing over the top of them,

251
00:24:26.160 --> 00:24:27.390
because all these stories are awesome.

252
00:24:27.630 --> 00:24:29.640
I wish I could give a whole series on all of them right now.

253
00:24:29.910 --> 00:24:32.150
I'm just letting you know this a regular or a constant.

254
00:24:32.160 --> 00:24:34.080
And another one. How many apostles were there?

255
00:24:34.700 --> 00:24:35.730
Ten --

256
00:24:35.730 --> 00:24:36.740
Twelve. I'm sorry. Twelve.

257
00:24:38.490 --> 00:24:39.350
Got that one wrong, shoot.

258
00:24:39.970 --> 00:24:42.570
Well it was twelve, but one was a dud

259
00:24:42.570 --> 00:24:44.670
so we'll call it eleven and round it down to ten.

260
00:24:44.670 --> 00:24:46.400
So there was ten apostles.

261
00:24:46.410 --> 00:24:48.780
There's always --

262
00:24:48.780 --> 00:24:52.140
When when God tests us what He's doing is He's looking to see,

263
00:24:52.770 --> 00:24:54.450
"Do you really want me?

264
00:24:55.680 --> 00:24:57.120
It's a test.

265
00:24:57.120 --> 00:25:01.350
Do you really believe that I have blessed you with all that you have?

266
00:25:01.620 --> 00:25:05.610
Because if you do, then 10 percent going back to Me

267
00:25:05.610 --> 00:25:07.740
and My work should be easy."

268
00:25:08.550 --> 00:25:12.940
It's a test of do we really love God and own our faith?

269
00:25:13.070 --> 00:25:13.700
Do we own it?

270
00:25:14.820 --> 00:25:17.670
As a dad, I'm a dad of three adult children.

271
00:25:18.060 --> 00:25:19.760
I'm very thankful for all my children.

272
00:25:19.860 --> 00:25:22.620
I'll tell you, I'll start crying if I think about it too much.

273
00:25:24.660 --> 00:25:27.300
Every one of my kids' lives,

274
00:25:27.300 --> 00:25:32.670
one of the most proud and moving moments of my relationship with them

275
00:25:32.670 --> 00:25:35.400
or in my life really is when I found out,

276
00:25:35.400 --> 00:25:37.860
when I find out that one of my kids tithed.

277
00:25:39.220 --> 00:25:42.310
Last time I found this out at Thanksgiving couple years ago,

278
00:25:42.310 --> 00:25:45.850
my son was just talking about one things he was thankful at Thanksgiving.

279
00:25:45.850 --> 00:25:46.960
And I won't tell you all that he said.

280
00:25:47.320 --> 00:25:50.230
But I looked at him and said, "You're tithing right now?".

281
00:25:50.500 --> 00:25:53.200
Like not dad is giving you an allowance and making you do it.

282
00:25:53.230 --> 00:25:57.330
You mean you are getting your own adult big boy paycheck and you are tithing?

283
00:25:59.760 --> 00:26:00.210
Yes.

284
00:26:03.090 --> 00:26:05.600
What it does -- what it does is it's like, man.

285
00:26:05.810 --> 00:26:06.690
OK.

286
00:26:06.690 --> 00:26:11.550
I know God has your heart now because you can get baptized

287
00:26:11.550 --> 00:26:14.730
and it not be as much of a test as giving,

288
00:26:14.730 --> 00:26:17.400
returning back to God 10 percent of what He's already given.

289
00:26:17.700 --> 00:26:19.170
It gets personal.

290
00:26:20.370 --> 00:26:23.560
Tithing is a test and tithing is biblical.

291
00:26:23.580 --> 00:26:28.110
I want us to see how strong and consistent

292
00:26:28.110 --> 00:26:30.900
this strain is throughout the entire Bible.

293
00:26:30.900 --> 00:26:33.180
We know that God is love.

294
00:26:33.210 --> 00:26:34.380
How do we know God is love?

295
00:26:35.250 --> 00:26:37.560
The Bible. The Bible tells us.

296
00:26:37.560 --> 00:26:38.310
No one else would tell.

297
00:26:38.310 --> 00:26:39.930
The Bible is what tells us God is love.

298
00:26:40.290 --> 00:26:43.190
We know that we should not steal and not murder, all that kind of stuff

299
00:26:43.200 --> 00:26:44.790
Because the Bible says that.

300
00:26:44.850 --> 00:26:45.780
We have the Ten Commandments.

301
00:26:46.080 --> 00:26:48.940
We know that we should love our neighbor as our self.

302
00:26:49.170 --> 00:26:51.270
Love. Go out of our way

303
00:26:51.270 --> 00:26:52.590
Do unto others as you would have them do to you.

304
00:26:52.590 --> 00:26:54.660
We know this by the Bible.

305
00:26:55.170 --> 00:26:59.460
We know that we should pray for our enemies as the way to release bitterness.

306
00:26:59.640 --> 00:27:01.440
We know this through the scriptures.

307
00:27:01.520 --> 00:27:01.710
Right?

308
00:27:02.800 --> 00:27:05.750
And the same scripture tells all those things that are helpful

309
00:27:05.750 --> 00:27:10.320
and is only contained in the scriptures, is the same place,

310
00:27:10.320 --> 00:27:14.850
the same source that consistently, again and again

311
00:27:14.850 --> 00:27:18.000
tells us as God's children if we want to be a child

312
00:27:18.000 --> 00:27:21.600
that's under the blessing of God,

313
00:27:21.600 --> 00:27:24.450
that is in the zone of blessing for God,

314
00:27:24.450 --> 00:27:25.680
this is something we will do.

315
00:27:27.130 --> 00:27:29.650
I know when I give this people say,

316
00:27:29.650 --> 00:27:30.750
"Well, isn't this an Old Testament thing?

317
00:27:30.750 --> 00:27:31.630
Isn't this a law thing?"

318
00:27:31.630 --> 00:27:36.460
A law thing meaning when nation of Israel got established as a country,

319
00:27:36.460 --> 00:27:39.430
then God put them in their law system.

320
00:27:39.430 --> 00:27:40.930
And so this law should be for them back then.

321
00:27:40.930 --> 00:27:42.550
Well, no, no.

322
00:27:42.550 --> 00:27:47.020
I'll show you this because the tithe existed long before the law existed.

323
00:27:48.720 --> 00:27:51.270
The tithe existed during the law.

324
00:27:51.270 --> 00:27:53.940
The tithe existed long after the law with Jesus.

325
00:27:53.970 --> 00:27:55.770
I'm going to show you this partially right now.

326
00:27:55.770 --> 00:27:59.310
The Book of Genesis 14:18, we have Abraham,

327
00:27:59.310 --> 00:28:01.680
key figure in the nation of Israel that's about to happen.

328
00:28:02.010 --> 00:28:06.820
And we see that he bumps into this guy whose name is Melchizedek.

329
00:28:06.870 --> 00:28:08.460
He's not a Jewish priest.

330
00:28:08.480 --> 00:28:09.450
There are no such things.

331
00:28:09.630 --> 00:28:12.710
But this -- it's some guy who's got his spiritual A-game going.

332
00:28:12.710 --> 00:28:13.560
Let's read it. It says this:.

333
00:28:36.030 --> 00:28:39.450
So here we have Abraham before the law even comes along.

334
00:28:39.480 --> 00:28:42.810
Abraham in his relation with God realizes, "I've got to give a tenth.

335
00:28:43.350 --> 00:28:45.420
I've got to give a tenth to this guy right here."

336
00:28:45.660 --> 00:28:47.790
That's 500 years before the law.

337
00:28:48.210 --> 00:28:52.020
400 years before the law we have Jacob who comes along.

338
00:28:52.200 --> 00:28:54.780
I mentioned a bit of his story just earlier and it says this:.

339
00:28:58.200 --> 00:29:00.900
He says that to Laban. I'll give you a tenth.

340
00:29:01.530 --> 00:29:03.780
Then we have in the law Leviticus 27:30-32:

341
00:29:21.450 --> 00:29:26.660
So God saying, "Hey, if you're in agriculture and I'm giving you a crop,

342
00:29:26.660 --> 00:29:29.400
a 10th needs to be returned to the storehouse.

343
00:29:29.400 --> 00:29:32.190
If you're a sheepherder, a tenth needs to be returned.

344
00:29:32.190 --> 00:29:35.940
If you're in banking, a tenth of your paycheck needs to be returned

345
00:29:35.940 --> 00:29:37.260
or your bonus, whatever it is.

346
00:29:37.710 --> 00:29:41.490
Then after the law, because Jesus says, "I haven't come."

347
00:29:41.550 --> 00:29:43.720
Jesus says, "I've come to fulfill the law."

348
00:29:44.190 --> 00:29:46.830
The reign of Jesus and Jesus, death and resurrection

349
00:29:46.830 --> 00:29:48.840
when He moves it completely

350
00:29:48.840 --> 00:29:53.820
says all these things that are cultural to the nation of Israel,

351
00:29:53.820 --> 00:29:56.520
these things aren't relevant to other followers of Jesus.

352
00:29:56.790 --> 00:30:00.570
But Jesus says this to these people who are incredibly religious.

353
00:30:00.840 --> 00:30:01.020
He says:

354
00:30:19.260 --> 00:30:24.690
Jesus goes, "You religious people, you Old
Testament law people, like you really anal.

355
00:30:25.200 --> 00:30:27.810
Like you're tithing your parsley.

356
00:30:27.810 --> 00:30:30.330
You're tithing your Frank's Red Hot Sauce.

357
00:30:30.360 --> 00:30:32.760
You're tithing your cilantro.

358
00:30:32.760 --> 00:30:36.960
But you're neglecting that there's people here who need justice, who need help."

359
00:30:36.960 --> 00:30:39.780
And he says this, "You should have done the former,"

360
00:30:39.780 --> 00:30:40.740
meaning you should have tithed.

361
00:30:40.870 --> 00:30:41.530
That's exactly what he said,

362
00:30:41.820 --> 00:30:45.000
"You should have tithed, but you shouldn't have neglected

363
00:30:45.000 --> 00:30:46.950
more weightier things that you need to get on to."

364
00:30:47.580 --> 00:30:51.930
And giving God back a tenth, as I'll explain in a minute,

365
00:30:51.930 --> 00:30:53.720
isn't all that weighty.

366
00:30:54.120 --> 00:30:54.600
It's just not.

367
00:30:54.610 --> 00:31:01.950
And then in the book of Hebrews 7, it says that Jesus receives our tithe.

368
00:31:01.950 --> 00:31:05.520
This is long after Jesus has left planet Earth.

369
00:31:05.550 --> 00:31:08.640
Jesus actually receives our tithe.

370
00:31:09.720 --> 00:31:13.470
So God receives the tithe, that we return the tithe back to Him.

371
00:31:14.430 --> 00:31:19.350
And the storehouse is the place where it is the local church

372
00:31:19.350 --> 00:31:24.690
that then spends the tithe on pushing forward the agenda of God.

373
00:31:24.720 --> 00:31:29.580
We return it because we don't all own any of it,

374
00:31:29.580 --> 00:31:32.040
and especially that 10 percent, we don't own that.

375
00:31:32.040 --> 00:31:33.160
We return that.

376
00:31:33.450 --> 00:31:36.670
So one of the reasons why, and I'm just going public on some things

377
00:31:36.670 --> 00:31:39.150
I've always believed, but I haven't been this clear with.

378
00:31:39.540 --> 00:31:43.470
That's why I never counsel people personally on their tithe

379
00:31:43.470 --> 00:31:46.530
to be giving things outside their church.

380
00:31:46.530 --> 00:31:47.700
Give to things outside their church.

381
00:31:47.760 --> 00:31:51.420
I give things that I'm way, way, way beyond the tithe for decades.

382
00:31:52.110 --> 00:31:57.090
It's great to give to other things, but you can't play God with the tithe.

383
00:31:57.120 --> 00:32:00.770
When we decide that I'm going to help this missionary here.

384
00:32:00.810 --> 00:32:02.190
I'm going to help.

385
00:32:02.190 --> 00:32:03.810
OH, I have this buddy at work that had a hard time here and I'm --

386
00:32:03.810 --> 00:32:04.770
We're not returning it.

387
00:32:06.070 --> 00:32:07.600
We're still playing God with it.

388
00:32:08.500 --> 00:32:09.820
We're not surrendering it.

389
00:32:10.120 --> 00:32:13.480
The test is bringing it and surrendering it.

390
00:32:14.260 --> 00:32:19.960
And every person who I've ever known who has an X factor with God,

391
00:32:19.960 --> 00:32:20.800
they settled this.

392
00:32:21.190 --> 00:32:22.900
What do I mean by an X factor of God?

393
00:32:23.140 --> 00:32:23.950
You've been around these people?

394
00:32:23.950 --> 00:32:25.630
It's like you're around them

395
00:32:25.630 --> 00:32:28.030
and you just sense the moisture of the blessing of God around them.

396
00:32:28.300 --> 00:32:31.060
It's just a weird thing, like they just seem to have

397
00:32:31.060 --> 00:32:33.610
more yeses than the average person to their prayers.

398
00:32:33.610 --> 00:32:36.130
They seem to have a sense of vitality about them.

399
00:32:36.340 --> 00:32:38.350
There's just a -- there's a spiritual maturity.

400
00:32:38.350 --> 00:32:39.940
There's a depth about it.

401
00:32:39.950 --> 00:32:44.830
It's because they've been taking and passing the test

402
00:32:44.830 --> 00:32:49.270
and the blessing of God is residing on their life and on the relationships.

403
00:32:49.300 --> 00:32:56.500
Tithing is the established, ordinary, expected practical thing

404
00:32:56.500 --> 00:32:58.870
that every follower of Christ does.

405
00:32:59.470 --> 00:33:04.830
It's the normal, ordinary, expected practiced, reenforced thing

406
00:33:04.830 --> 00:33:06.310
that every follower of Christ.

407
00:33:06.370 --> 00:33:11.350
I mean follower of Christ, not people who just go to church.

408
00:33:11.560 --> 00:33:13.600
Literal followers of Christ do.

409
00:33:14.540 --> 00:33:15.870
And it makes -- why is it a test?

410
00:33:15.900 --> 00:33:18.210
Because it's hard, that's why.

411
00:33:19.410 --> 00:33:21.530
If it wasn't difficult, it wouldn't be a test, would it?

412
00:33:22.500 --> 00:33:23.930
You know, playing jump rope is not a test.

413
00:33:23.930 --> 00:33:25.280
Well, for some of us it is.

414
00:33:26.410 --> 00:33:27.420
The test is difficult.

415
00:33:27.480 --> 00:33:29.880
I talked about in college being hungry.

416
00:33:30.180 --> 00:33:32.990
Part of why I was hungry was because I was tithing.

417
00:33:33.000 --> 00:33:34.110
That's when I started tithing.

418
00:33:34.470 --> 00:33:35.970
God was building me spiritually.

419
00:33:35.970 --> 00:33:37.500
He laid out much of what I'm giving you.

420
00:33:37.500 --> 00:33:39.810
And I was like, oh, wow, I just have to do that.

421
00:33:39.810 --> 00:33:40.450
Part of it was that.

422
00:33:40.450 --> 00:33:44.130
And part of it was I was going out to eat a lot

423
00:33:44.130 --> 00:33:45.600
and I wasn't buying groceries.

424
00:33:46.380 --> 00:33:46.680
Right?

425
00:33:46.950 --> 00:33:50.240
To do this it's going to take a measure of faith

426
00:33:50.240 --> 00:33:51.630
and it's going to take a measure of math.

427
00:33:51.990 --> 00:33:54.270
You're going to have to figure out which of that is for you today.

428
00:33:54.960 --> 00:33:56.050
How much is faith?

429
00:33:56.310 --> 00:33:57.390
How much is math?

430
00:33:58.050 --> 00:34:00.410
Faith to go to 10 percent now?

431
00:34:00.420 --> 00:34:03.540
Faith to go to 3 percent and up it 2 percent every year?

432
00:34:04.080 --> 00:34:07.860
Math of I know I have all these different premium services I can.

433
00:34:07.920 --> 00:34:10.620
Math of I'm saving x amount.

434
00:34:10.620 --> 00:34:11.810
I'm not gonna save that much more.

435
00:34:11.820 --> 00:34:13.340
I'm going to return what is God's to Him.

436
00:34:13.740 --> 00:34:16.800
It's whatever your decision is,

437
00:34:16.800 --> 00:34:21.150
your decision on what is the combination of what is faith and what is math.

438
00:34:21.180 --> 00:34:24.530
But all of us who pass this test,

439
00:34:24.530 --> 00:34:26.860
and I'm continuing to take this test and pass this test.

440
00:34:26.950 --> 00:34:30.460
All of us who pass this test, we have to have a measure of faith

441
00:34:30.460 --> 00:34:33.010
and a level of math every time.

442
00:34:33.260 --> 00:34:40.630
Malakai 3:6-9, back to Malakai, not Malachi, the Italian prophet, but Malakai.

443
00:34:42.190 --> 00:34:43.270
He says this:

444
00:35:13.930 --> 00:35:16.720
So it says here God doesn't change.

445
00:35:17.160 --> 00:35:21.160
He doesn't change His belief on thou shall not steal.

446
00:35:21.460 --> 00:35:23.740
And something He's very, very clear on,

447
00:35:23.740 --> 00:35:25.540
He doesn't change His belief on either.

448
00:35:25.540 --> 00:35:27.790
And He's talking with some people here who,

449
00:35:27.790 --> 00:35:30.970
to use the nomenclature of our series, who are not blessed.

450
00:35:31.720 --> 00:35:34.630
They're not blessed. They know something isn't going on right.

451
00:35:34.930 --> 00:35:38.190
And he goes, "You've robbed me.".

452
00:35:38.400 --> 00:35:40.310
And they're going, "Whao, whoa, whoa, whoa.

453
00:35:40.310 --> 00:35:41.610
How have we robbed you?".

454
00:35:42.420 --> 00:35:45.420
Because you've kept what is mine.

455
00:35:45.990 --> 00:35:48.260
The 10 percent that is mine.

456
00:35:48.260 --> 00:35:52.050
It's a key terms here is "does not change."

457
00:35:52.710 --> 00:35:56.320
Key term is tithe, tenth.

458
00:35:57.120 --> 00:35:59.400
Now let's think about how crazy God is.

459
00:35:59.400 --> 00:36:00.300
I mean this is crazy.

460
00:36:00.300 --> 00:36:04.860
I know that you think, we all think it's crazy that God would expect us

461
00:36:04.860 --> 00:36:07.000
to live on 90 percent of what we live on right now.

462
00:36:07.020 --> 00:36:07.920
I know we think that.

463
00:36:07.920 --> 00:36:10.560
But I'll tell you what's really crazy is when I talk to people

464
00:36:10.560 --> 00:36:13.530
who are in business or people who are heading organizations,

465
00:36:13.530 --> 00:36:17.640
one common challenge everybody has is capital.

466
00:36:17.730 --> 00:36:18.870
"I've got to get capital."

467
00:36:19.050 --> 00:36:20.670
"I've got to get to be able grow my business."

468
00:36:20.700 --> 00:36:21.510
I've got to get capital."

469
00:36:21.510 --> 00:36:22.770
"I've got to get investors."

470
00:36:22.770 --> 00:36:27.280
And if you spend time in the non-profit
world or anybody who has expanding business,

471
00:36:27.280 --> 00:36:28.370
this a constant challenge.

472
00:36:28.370 --> 00:36:30.240
It comes up again and again and again and again and again.

473
00:36:31.410 --> 00:36:33.840
Can you imagine a banker?

474
00:36:33.840 --> 00:36:35.070
Bankers are good people, by the way.

475
00:36:35.470 --> 00:36:36.580
Let's clap for the bankers in here.

476
00:36:36.580 --> 00:36:38.020
Bankers never get clapped for.

477
00:36:38.310 --> 00:36:38.730
I'm giving the bankers a clap.

478
00:36:40.110 --> 00:36:44.220
Jesus actually tells stories about bankers in a positive way.

479
00:36:45.630 --> 00:36:48.900
Bankers, investment, people who make investments,

480
00:36:48.930 --> 00:36:53.460
could you imagine if somebody was to make an investment in your business

481
00:36:53.460 --> 00:36:54.690
and they say, "Okay, how much do you need?

482
00:36:54.690 --> 00:36:55.830
You need $10,000?

483
00:36:55.870 --> 00:36:57.270
Okay. Here's what I'm going to do.

484
00:36:57.270 --> 00:36:58.530
I'm going to give you $10,000.

485
00:36:58.770 --> 00:36:59.670
And here's the terms.

486
00:36:59.670 --> 00:37:03.210
The terms of this deal is I expect $1000."

487
00:37:06.000 --> 00:37:07.350
You're like, "$1000 a month?

488
00:37:08.280 --> 00:37:08.940
$1000 year?

489
00:37:08.940 --> 00:37:11.070
$1000 on annual profits?

490
00:37:11.070 --> 00:37:12.390
$1000 on growth of the business?

491
00:37:12.400 --> 00:37:14.430
$1000 as a percentage of sales?

492
00:37:14.630 --> 00:37:15.060
What? What?"

493
00:37:15.550 --> 00:37:17.610
"No, no, no. It's $10,000

494
00:37:17.610 --> 00:37:20.940
and then I just need a one time fee of $1,000."

495
00:37:21.270 --> 00:37:25.950
You go, "Whoa, you're going to give me $10,000

496
00:37:25.950 --> 00:37:29.190
and you're going to only require $1,000 back?"

497
00:37:29.190 --> 00:37:29.370
"That's right, that's what I'm going to do."

498
00:37:30.430 --> 00:37:31.710
"Well, sign me up for that."

499
00:37:33.670 --> 00:37:35.310
Friends, that's exactly what God does.

500
00:37:35.880 --> 00:37:39.960
If we believe that God actually is the one who gives all things.

501
00:37:40.140 --> 00:37:43.850
If we actually believe that God is aware of our situation

502
00:37:43.850 --> 00:37:46.560
and He has given us opportunities, that's exactly what He does.

503
00:37:46.770 --> 00:37:47.940
He gives us.

504
00:37:48.150 --> 00:37:49.070
He gives us things.

505
00:37:49.080 --> 00:37:53.040
He said, "Now the test is I just want to see if you still know

506
00:37:53.040 --> 00:37:56.070
this all comes from Me and your most important thing in your life is Me.

507
00:37:56.070 --> 00:38:00.510
And the way I'll know that is I expect a 10 percent immediate return

508
00:38:00.510 --> 00:38:03.610
that you're not controlling that goes right back to My to --

509
00:38:03.610 --> 00:38:06.540
the local church, the place where I'm doing my business

510
00:38:06.540 --> 00:38:08.700
and trying to expand things and all that stuff."

511
00:38:09.120 --> 00:38:10.860
This is crazy.

512
00:38:11.190 --> 00:38:11.790
That's crazy.

513
00:38:11.820 --> 00:38:15.690
Because what happens is when we do that with God,

514
00:38:15.690 --> 00:38:18.240
we send Him a signal that says, "God, over here.

515
00:38:18.240 --> 00:38:21.150
Over here, God. Here's a person who wants more of You.

516
00:38:21.560 --> 00:38:22.810
God, over here, over here.

517
00:38:23.040 --> 00:38:25.920
Here's a person who wants more of what You want to bring.

518
00:38:25.920 --> 00:38:26.970
God, over here.

519
00:38:26.970 --> 00:38:31.320
Over here is a person that when You send things my way, You can trust me.

520
00:38:31.770 --> 00:38:33.090
It's a test. You can trust me.

521
00:38:33.300 --> 00:38:37.350
And I'm going to honor the things that You have given me

522
00:38:37.350 --> 00:38:38.940
and the things that You've done to me."

523
00:38:38.970 --> 00:38:42.740
This is why, second point, tithing is powerful.

524
00:38:43.940 --> 00:38:46.360
It is powerful.

525
00:38:47.080 --> 00:38:49.130
One of the other stories in the Old Testament.

526
00:38:49.130 --> 00:38:54.200
We have this king and this king is just utterly blown away

527
00:38:54.200 --> 00:38:59.240
by what's happening as he sees the people of Israel bring forth their tithe.

528
00:38:59.320 --> 00:39:00.050
Here's what it says:.

529
00:39:13.370 --> 00:39:18.910
It's amazing that I still have 90 percent left, 90 percent left.

530
00:39:19.570 --> 00:39:22.720
It is better to be blessed on 90 percent

531
00:39:22.720 --> 00:39:24.730
than to live on a 100 percent that isn't blessed.

532
00:39:25.830 --> 00:39:26.340
I'll say that again.

533
00:39:26.700 --> 00:39:31.010
It is better to be blessed on 90 percent

534
00:39:31.010 --> 00:39:33.900
than be living on a 100 percent that isn't blessed.

535
00:39:34.320 --> 00:39:37.830
Because this is a powerful, powerful thing.

536
00:39:38.610 --> 00:39:40.560
I just ran across a story some --

537
00:39:40.560 --> 00:39:43.630
I hear these stories regularly and I know some of us in here

538
00:39:43.630 --> 00:39:45.520
are just like, some of us are, "OH, man, this is..."

539
00:39:45.520 --> 00:39:45.990
Others of us in here,

540
00:39:45.990 --> 00:39:50.130
I know your heart is erupting inside of you positively.

541
00:39:50.130 --> 00:39:51.450
You're like, "Oh, my gosh.

542
00:39:51.630 --> 00:39:54.540
Finally, finally, other people around here

543
00:39:54.540 --> 00:39:57.870
are going to help with this because this has been amazing for me."

544
00:39:57.870 --> 00:40:01.050
Those of us who passed this test, we can't hear this enough

545
00:40:01.050 --> 00:40:06.000
because we know it's been a source of experiencing God,

546
00:40:06.000 --> 00:40:07.080
understanding God.

547
00:40:07.080 --> 00:40:09.360
And I just heard this woman's story

548
00:40:09.360 --> 00:40:11.460
and I think you'll appreciate hearing from Hope.

549
00:40:13.460 --> 00:40:17.440
- So I moved over from England a year ago last Monday.

550
00:40:17.720 --> 00:40:20.690
I came to work at Cincinnati Children's as a researcher.

551
00:40:20.930 --> 00:40:23.510
I came with my boyfriend at the time and very excited.

552
00:40:23.540 --> 00:40:27.350
And unfortunately, we ended up breaking up in the first week.

553
00:40:27.680 --> 00:40:28.970
And so I had to find somewhere else to live.

554
00:40:29.540 --> 00:40:30.850
I ended up finding Uptown.

555
00:40:31.160 --> 00:40:32.510
I got involved with young adults there.

556
00:40:32.650 --> 00:40:35.470
And they've really just become the people I relied on for support.

557
00:40:36.470 --> 00:40:38.180
They're kind of like my family away from home.

558
00:40:38.300 --> 00:40:41.810
Before I came to America I was kind of a borderline Christian

559
00:40:41.810 --> 00:40:43.030
in the sense I wasn't all in.

560
00:40:43.190 --> 00:40:45.620
And I've always known that there's a 10 percent rule.

561
00:40:45.680 --> 00:40:49.400
You should give 10 percent of your income to the church.

562
00:40:49.850 --> 00:40:51.050
I just basically ignored it.

563
00:40:51.070 --> 00:40:53.060
It was like, Eh, it's OK, I don't need to.

564
00:40:54.170 --> 00:40:58.700
And so I think I ended up giving $5 every paycheck, which is pittance.

565
00:41:00.140 --> 00:41:03.780
And so over the last year, I've kind of realized

566
00:41:03.780 --> 00:41:06.080
God's kind of been saying to me you kind need to step up your game.

567
00:41:06.170 --> 00:41:08.420
You need to give 10 percent. It's the right thing to do.".

568
00:41:09.140 --> 00:41:10.970
And throughout this kind at the same time

569
00:41:10.970 --> 00:41:15.200
I've had kind of issues being unable to kind of trust God

570
00:41:15.200 --> 00:41:16.580
and know how to do that practically.

571
00:41:16.640 --> 00:41:19.850
So I was with my friend Joel and he kind of brought up the topic of tithing.

572
00:41:21.440 --> 00:41:25.960
And he asked me about money and said, you know, "Do you tithe?

573
00:41:25.970 --> 00:41:27.380
Do you give any of your income away?"

574
00:41:28.040 --> 00:41:30.410
And I kind of sheepishly said not .5

575
00:41:30.410 --> 00:41:32.120
percent of my income goes away.".

576
00:41:32.930 --> 00:41:35.940
And he kind of told me, you know, "It's you know, it's a good thing to do.

577
00:41:35.960 --> 00:41:38.960
It's you know, it's in the Bible for a reason.".

578
00:41:39.320 --> 00:41:42.140
And so when I got to work I went on the Crossroads App

579
00:41:42.140 --> 00:41:45.290
and I upped my very small percentage to 10 percent.

580
00:41:45.890 --> 00:41:51.800
And literally that day I felt a wave of calm come over me.

581
00:41:51.830 --> 00:41:57.680
And it was all because I'd like practically done something

582
00:41:57.680 --> 00:41:58.970
to put my trust in God,

583
00:41:58.970 --> 00:42:01.070
which wasn't just praying or reading the Bible,

584
00:42:01.070 --> 00:42:04.100
but it was a physical thing that I could give.

585
00:42:04.340 --> 00:42:06.610
So later on that day I heard from my boss

586
00:42:06.610 --> 00:42:09.230
I was going to get a promotion in the new year

587
00:42:09.230 --> 00:42:10.820
and I had a pay raise that same day.

588
00:42:10.820 --> 00:42:13.550
So it was, yeah, it was all God.

589
00:42:13.580 --> 00:42:17.960
So before I was would tithe I knew

590
00:42:17.960 --> 00:42:20.980
I wanted to like deepen my relationship with God,

591
00:42:20.980 --> 00:42:23.600
but I was always so hesitant about giving money, you know?

592
00:42:23.600 --> 00:42:25.100
It's a big corporation, it's a big church.

593
00:42:25.530 --> 00:42:26.900
What will happen to it? I don't know.

594
00:42:27.470 --> 00:42:31.250
What made me shift my opinion probably was just God.

595
00:42:31.350 --> 00:42:34.730
Now that I am tithing and, you know, I kind of wish I did it sooner.

596
00:42:34.760 --> 00:42:39.560
I think having that that trust that I
now feel between God and myself is incredible.

597
00:42:39.620 --> 00:42:41.690
And if I have I had that year when I was going through that,

598
00:42:41.690 --> 00:42:44.840
you know, break up to now I feel much more,

599
00:42:44.840 --> 00:42:45.740
I guess, cemented in my faith.

600
00:42:46.220 --> 00:42:48.800
And there's an idea of being all in.

601
00:42:48.910 --> 00:42:50.350
You've kind of got to be all in in your faith.

602
00:42:50.390 --> 00:42:53.720
And this is just one way you can be all in is to give 10 percent.

603
00:42:55.760 --> 00:42:56.260
- Isn't that cool? [applause]

604
00:42:58.190 --> 00:43:01.310
Now the blessings of God go way beyond finances.

605
00:43:01.340 --> 00:43:04.530
The blessings of God include the relationships God gives us.

606
00:43:04.550 --> 00:43:06.740
It includes the the health that we have.

607
00:43:06.740 --> 00:43:09.650
The blessing of God include a sense of awareness of God.

608
00:43:09.650 --> 00:43:13.940
The blessings of God or are a joy that we could have that He blessed us with.

609
00:43:14.180 --> 00:43:15.350
Its opportunities.

610
00:43:15.350 --> 00:43:16.130
It could be sunshine.

611
00:43:16.160 --> 00:43:18.380
The blessings of God are very, very --

612
00:43:18.380 --> 00:43:23.030
The blessings of God include His Son, who has died on the Cross for us.

613
00:43:23.030 --> 00:43:26.450
I mean there are loads, loads go on and on and on and on.

614
00:43:26.450 --> 00:43:29.600
But those of us who tithe, we also know

615
00:43:29.600 --> 00:43:31.570
like when something happens financially,

616
00:43:31.570 --> 00:43:33.940
it just like it turns our head but.

617
00:43:34.160 --> 00:43:37.490
Normally if we get a new friend that doesn't necessarily turn our head,

618
00:43:37.490 --> 00:43:40.180
like "Oh my gosh, God showed up," though He very well may have there.

619
00:43:40.490 --> 00:43:43.130
But when we have something happen financially, it just makes you go, wow.

620
00:43:43.550 --> 00:43:47.090
That was part of Hope's story and I hear those again and again.

621
00:43:47.330 --> 00:43:50.740
My most recent one was a couple months ago

622
00:43:50.740 --> 00:43:54.170
I driving my wife's car and we were going out to eat some place.

623
00:43:54.200 --> 00:43:58.790
And as we were going, it was raining and a car lost control,

624
00:43:58.790 --> 00:44:00.950
crossed the center yellow line, smashed into me,

625
00:44:00.950 --> 00:44:06.020
put us into the guardrail and totaled our car.

626
00:44:06.020 --> 00:44:08.270
Which right there they where we're going, I'm blessed.

627
00:44:08.300 --> 00:44:12.830
Like a game of inches, I'm dead right now, head on collision.

628
00:44:12.950 --> 00:44:14.320
Game of inches, my wife and I,

629
00:44:14.320 --> 00:44:15.950
I mean I don't know how good airbags are

630
00:44:15.950 --> 00:44:17.610
when you're going that fast, but geeze.

631
00:44:17.840 --> 00:44:18.980
Was that the blessing? Yeah.

632
00:44:20.510 --> 00:44:21.520
Then I'm like, oh, my gosh.

633
00:44:21.650 --> 00:44:22.460
I'm just --

634
00:44:22.460 --> 00:44:25.040
You know, whenever you have an accident, your first hope is no one's hurt.

635
00:44:25.070 --> 00:44:25.310
Right?

636
00:44:25.340 --> 00:44:27.350
And then what's the second one? It's not my fault, is it?

637
00:44:27.350 --> 00:44:28.310
Because I want my rates to go up. Right?

638
00:44:28.520 --> 00:44:29.630
That's the second big question.

639
00:44:30.230 --> 00:44:31.210
This one was not my fault.

640
00:44:31.220 --> 00:44:33.680
The insurance company, you know, guaranteed that,

641
00:44:33.680 --> 00:44:34.190
said that was case.

642
00:44:34.210 --> 00:44:36.200
But here's problem: They never give you enough money, right,

643
00:44:38.240 --> 00:44:40.010
to get the next car that you need.

644
00:44:40.280 --> 00:44:43.550
I find out that day when I find out -- that day I find out

645
00:44:43.550 --> 00:44:46.970
the last raise Crossroads had given me two and a half years ago,

646
00:44:47.510 --> 00:44:51.980
I hadn't -- Something happened after the first paycheck

647
00:44:51.980 --> 00:44:54.410
where it reverted back to my previous pay.

648
00:44:55.130 --> 00:44:57.040
I didn't realize it because I don't stare at my stuff.

649
00:44:57.250 --> 00:44:58.780
I'm sorry, I don't balance my checkbook.

650
00:44:58.790 --> 00:45:00.110
That really freaks some of you guys out.

651
00:45:00.340 --> 00:45:01.100
I just don't notice.

652
00:45:01.310 --> 00:45:02.810
They come two and a half years later and go,

653
00:45:02.810 --> 00:45:04.520
"I'm sorry we owe you back pay.".

654
00:45:04.610 --> 00:45:13.970
You're kidding?

655
00:45:13.970 --> 00:45:17.870
Did they find it just in time, because God said,
hey, there's a guy that going to need it?

656
00:45:17.950 --> 00:45:21.090
Or did God two and a half years ago go, I'm just going to save this

657
00:45:21.090 --> 00:45:24.570
because I'm putting this in an interest free account for you

658
00:45:24.570 --> 00:45:26.490
because you're going to need this later.

659
00:45:26.490 --> 00:45:29.190
I don't know, but I'm telling ya, it's real.

660
00:45:29.220 --> 00:45:30.030
It's real.

661
00:45:31.530 --> 00:45:34.740
A friend of mine, you probably, you may know him, I'm Craig Dockery

662
00:45:34.740 --> 00:45:36.030
and he was telling me this story last week.

663
00:45:36.040 --> 00:45:38.040
We were talking about this stuff and he said,

664
00:45:38.040 --> 00:45:39.690
"Man, one time I was between churches.

665
00:45:40.830 --> 00:45:46.080
And as I was between churches, I was saving my tithe for the next church.

666
00:45:46.290 --> 00:45:50.880
And so I was taking my cash that I had and
I was putting it in a sock in my drawer."

667
00:45:51.300 --> 00:45:55.490
And then he said, "My car got totaled and I had to buy a new car.

668
00:45:55.500 --> 00:45:57.090
And I figured, well, I'm just gonna use this money.

669
00:45:57.970 --> 00:46:00.810
I bought the car partially using that money.".

670
00:46:00.810 --> 00:46:03.390
He said, "It is the worst lemon of a car I've ever had.

671
00:46:03.930 --> 00:46:05.850
It broke down more than anything.

672
00:46:05.880 --> 00:46:08.130
I cannot tell you how much money I've put in that car.".

673
00:46:08.140 --> 00:46:10.270
I've interacted with some people who tithe that say,

674
00:46:10.270 --> 00:46:13.170
"I'm convinced my car's still going at 300,000 miles

675
00:46:13.170 --> 00:46:13.860
because God's blessing me."

676
00:46:13.890 --> 00:46:17.500
I don't know if he blesses cylinders and motor oil or not.

677
00:46:17.550 --> 00:46:21.390
All I know is Craig said, "It's the worst car I've ever had.".

678
00:46:22.140 --> 00:46:23.250
And why are we reflecting on it?

679
00:46:23.290 --> 00:46:25.530
We're reflecting on that because of this verse.

680
00:46:25.540 --> 00:46:26.780
I don't know if you caught it.

681
00:46:27.060 --> 00:46:28.200
I'm going to read it again.

682
00:46:29.140 --> 00:46:30.420
Malachi 3:9, here he goes again:.

683
00:46:49.300 --> 00:46:52.380
So there is a devourer that is trying to devour you and I.

684
00:46:53.460 --> 00:46:55.260
There is a devourer.

685
00:46:55.260 --> 00:46:57.470
And if you feel like you're not getting ahead,

686
00:46:57.470 --> 00:46:58.590
there's reason you're not getting ahead.

687
00:46:59.100 --> 00:47:02.550
Maybe there's a devourer that's trying to devour your crops,

688
00:47:02.550 --> 00:47:04.170
devour your life, devour any progress.

689
00:47:04.500 --> 00:47:06.510
God says here, so I'll just let him speak for Himself,

690
00:47:07.110 --> 00:47:12.960
when we don't pass the test and return 10 percent of His money,

691
00:47:12.960 --> 00:47:14.310
we come under a curse.

692
00:47:16.430 --> 00:47:20.960
Now, this doesn't mean that God's putting a hex
on us and voodoo and stuff like that.

693
00:47:20.960 --> 00:47:25.630
It just means that we're out from the blessed zone.

694
00:47:25.640 --> 00:47:28.490
It means God makes a mental note like,

695
00:47:28.490 --> 00:47:32.720
"Oh, I'm not going to step in front of the devourer on your part.

696
00:47:32.720 --> 00:47:34.850
I'm not going to go out of my way

697
00:47:34.850 --> 00:47:37.830
to stop certain things that could devour you."

698
00:47:37.830 --> 00:47:39.230
And I know folks like this,

699
00:47:39.230 --> 00:47:41.990
like it's a regular point of discipleship conversation I had with them.

700
00:47:42.280 --> 00:47:45.310
"Are you tithing?" "I'm working on it."

701
00:47:45.310 --> 00:47:46.560
"You said that three years ago.

702
00:47:46.660 --> 00:47:47.640
What are you..."

703
00:47:47.640 --> 00:47:49.260
In life just doesn't seem to work.

704
00:47:49.860 --> 00:47:52.050
There's frustration after frustration you try to patch together.

705
00:47:52.260 --> 00:47:53.520
Is it just because of this?

706
00:47:53.970 --> 00:47:54.840
I don't know.

707
00:47:55.110 --> 00:48:00.220
But I will tell you, in my experience, this is a huge, huge thing.

708
00:48:00.420 --> 00:48:03.210
And God says this to incentivized us.

709
00:48:03.930 --> 00:48:07.950
He says, is to incentivize us to come into His ways.

710
00:48:07.980 --> 00:48:11.550
There are people who tithe and they say,

711
00:48:11.550 --> 00:48:13.230
"God has blessed me and he's still blessing me."

712
00:48:13.590 --> 00:48:15.490
And then there are people who don't tithe.

713
00:48:15.630 --> 00:48:17.730
And we say, "I can't afford to tithe."

714
00:48:19.000 --> 00:48:21.700
Those of us who tithe go, "God's blessing me, I can't afford not tithe."

715
00:48:21.700 --> 00:48:25.180
And those of us who don't tithe go, "I can't afford to tithe.".

716
00:48:25.450 --> 00:48:27.190
Robert Morris, who wrote the book

717
00:48:27.190 --> 00:48:29.830
that I've been basing much this material on, he says this:.

718
00:48:40.070 --> 00:48:45.100
So I'll just ask you just to consider could it be

719
00:48:45.100 --> 00:48:48.730
the reason why you keep heading into a wall,

720
00:48:48.730 --> 00:48:52.060
could it be the reason why there just seems to be,

721
00:48:52.060 --> 00:48:55.600
could it be as simple as this test not being passed?

722
00:48:56.410 --> 00:48:59.060
You won't know until you do it.

723
00:48:59.450 --> 00:49:01.550
You won't know until we try it.

724
00:49:03.370 --> 00:49:07.820
Now, I'm going to do a little visual object lesson here.

725
00:49:08.200 --> 00:49:11.130
The three people -- I'm preaching right now in Oakley,

726
00:49:11.130 --> 00:49:14.200
so the three people who've had the most visible roles in Oakley

727
00:49:14.200 --> 00:49:15.670
I'm going to invite up right now today.

728
00:49:16.120 --> 00:49:19.110
Justin and Courtney and Victor,

729
00:49:19.110 --> 00:49:19.960
I'm going to have them come on over here.

730
00:49:20.860 --> 00:49:23.820
I'm doing everything I can to make sure we understand this.

731
00:49:23.860 --> 00:49:25.910
I mean, if we don't want to do this, that's OK.

732
00:49:25.960 --> 00:49:29.620
That's your decision, but I want to make sure that we understand it.

733
00:49:29.680 --> 00:49:32.350
So I've got -- I forgot your name.

734
00:49:32.800 --> 00:49:33.690
- Justin.

735
00:49:33.690 --> 00:49:37.090
- Justin. The person I know best of everybody here.

736
00:49:37.200 --> 00:49:40.010
Will be up here and Courtney and Victor, Okay.

737
00:49:40.360 --> 00:49:43.390
Now, here's a -- This is a weird thing, but let's just imagine this.

738
00:49:43.810 --> 00:49:45.600
Hey, I've got a lot of resources.

739
00:49:45.610 --> 00:49:46.780
I've got a lot of money.

740
00:49:47.110 --> 00:49:50.260
Let's imagine I'm incredibly powerful, very connected.

741
00:49:50.260 --> 00:49:51.790
And I'm going to go away for a while.

742
00:49:52.900 --> 00:49:53.840
And here's what I'm going to do.

743
00:49:53.860 --> 00:49:56.230
I need to take care of Lib. I'm taking my wife.

744
00:49:56.830 --> 00:50:03.100
So what I'm going to do is I'm going to give you each $10,000 every month.

745
00:50:03.610 --> 00:50:06.190
And what I want you to do is I want you to return

746
00:50:06.190 --> 00:50:09.560
a thousand of that to my wife to take care of her.

747
00:50:09.910 --> 00:50:11.630
And then you do whatever you want for the rest.

748
00:50:12.100 --> 00:50:13.140
OK? All right. Good.

749
00:50:13.200 --> 00:50:13.410
Good.

750
00:50:13.660 --> 00:50:19.570
Now, imagine after three months, I go back, I talk to Lib,

751
00:50:19.570 --> 00:50:22.350
and say, "Hey, Lib, how are things going?

752
00:50:22.380 --> 00:50:23.980
Is the resources coming in and everything?"

753
00:50:23.980 --> 00:50:26.700
And she says, "Well, Victor, man.

754
00:50:26.700 --> 00:50:29.830
Victor like he's on it, man.

755
00:50:30.340 --> 00:50:33.530
Every month, first of the month, like bam, $1,000 show up."

756
00:50:34.840 --> 00:50:35.870
Awesome, Victor. Yeah.

757
00:50:36.760 --> 00:50:38.980
And Courtney, "With Courtney like it's really weird with Courtney,

758
00:50:38.990 --> 00:50:42.400
she sends me some months a thousand.

759
00:50:42.430 --> 00:50:46.000
She sends me other months, $1100, sometimes $1500.

760
00:50:46.000 --> 00:50:48.090
But it's like, it's holding up, but it is all good.

761
00:50:48.310 --> 00:50:49.120
It's awesome.".

762
00:50:49.390 --> 00:50:51.870
Great, How about Justin?

763
00:50:51.870 --> 00:50:54.310
"Well, Justin started off real well.

764
00:50:54.320 --> 00:50:59.620
He hit the first month and then it was like $700

765
00:50:59.620 --> 00:51:01.720
and then it was $500."

766
00:51:01.720 --> 00:51:04.700
And I"m like okay, so what am I gonna do?

767
00:51:04.770 --> 00:51:05.620
What am I gonna do here?

768
00:51:05.770 --> 00:51:09.390
Now, I know it's not the case because I checked what he tithes.

769
00:51:09.420 --> 00:51:12.030
I do. That is not the case.

770
00:51:12.030 --> 00:51:15.510
You laugh, dead serious, when you come on staff at Crossroads

771
00:51:15.510 --> 00:51:18.540
It's like the expectation that you don't commit adultery.

772
00:51:18.540 --> 00:51:21.570
It's an expectation that you tithe on gross to your church

773
00:51:21.570 --> 00:51:24.780
just like great, great people do who aren't part of the church.

774
00:51:24.780 --> 00:51:25.980
So I know these guys are all.

775
00:51:26.100 --> 00:51:27.220
You can give them a hand on that.

776
00:51:27.220 --> 00:51:27.700
[applause]

777
00:51:28.670 --> 00:51:30.700
And most of our staff goes above and beyond that.

778
00:51:30.720 --> 00:51:33.300
So what I'm going to do with Justin is I'm going to go,

779
00:51:33.300 --> 00:51:35.670
"Hey, man, I'm going to take what I'm giving you,

780
00:51:35.670 --> 00:51:37.920
and I'm going to have to be shifting that elsewhere.

781
00:51:38.820 --> 00:51:40.350
Because I've got to take care of my wife.

782
00:51:40.410 --> 00:51:41.470
I'm gonna have to be doing it.

783
00:51:41.470 --> 00:51:46.620
And by the way, that job interview you have coming up.

784
00:51:46.620 --> 00:51:48.660
I know the owner of that company pretty well.

785
00:51:50.860 --> 00:51:52.420
That's probably not going to go very well for you.

786
00:51:53.500 --> 00:51:56.830
Because I'm going to have to do something that causes him

787
00:51:56.830 --> 00:52:00.460
to not hire you because you haven't been that faithful.

788
00:52:01.080 --> 00:52:02.560
You know? Because I'm pretty connected.

789
00:52:03.010 --> 00:52:04.210
Right?

790
00:52:04.210 --> 00:52:05.730
That's God any way.

791
00:52:05.730 --> 00:52:07.660
So, that's it.

792
00:52:07.840 --> 00:52:08.970
Thank these guys for being here right now.

793
00:52:11.900 --> 00:52:15.500
Now, interestingly, I talked about Lib, my wife.

794
00:52:15.500 --> 00:52:16.610
She's my wife's, very personal to me.

795
00:52:18.480 --> 00:52:25.350
Jesus says that His church is His bride, the bride of Christ.

796
00:52:27.290 --> 00:52:33.820
Tithing is probably a lot more personal to Jesus than you and I realize.

797
00:52:34.790 --> 00:52:36.140
It's very personal to Him.

798
00:52:37.710 --> 00:52:42.270
And He wants us to be in the right place.

799
00:52:43.020 --> 00:52:44.310
Wants to be in the right place.

800
00:52:44.730 --> 00:52:47.460
Now let me read this verse again because it's so amazing.

801
00:52:47.460 --> 00:52:48.960
Malachi 3:10:

802
00:52:53.080 --> 00:52:54.330
God says, put me to the test.

803
00:52:54.360 --> 00:52:55.320
Put me to the test.

804
00:52:55.680 --> 00:52:57.450
That's crazy. It's the only place in the Bible where God says,

805
00:52:57.450 --> 00:52:58.530
you can put me the test.

806
00:53:09.610 --> 00:53:11.460
It's a two way test. God tests us.

807
00:53:12.390 --> 00:53:14.550
God allows us to test him.

808
00:53:14.550 --> 00:53:18.690
Now we've put -- I put lot of thought and we've put lots of prayer in this.

809
00:53:18.780 --> 00:53:22.560
And I do, I want to do everything in my power

810
00:53:22.560 --> 00:53:24.450
to get those of us who want more of God

811
00:53:24.450 --> 00:53:29.880
and to go through a wall to get you to be able to pass this test

812
00:53:29.880 --> 00:53:32.820
and to sense and experience the blessing of God in different ways.

813
00:53:33.570 --> 00:53:37.930
And so our board decided to go ahead, we'll take the test, too.

814
00:53:37.970 --> 00:53:39.170
Here's what we're going to do.

815
00:53:40.010 --> 00:53:45.560
For anybody who wants to start tithing, who has never tried before.

816
00:53:45.890 --> 00:53:49.700
You can take the tithe test for 90 days.

817
00:53:50.450 --> 00:53:53.270
And if you get back to us after 90 days saying,

818
00:53:53.270 --> 00:53:54.980
"I just didn't sense, God didn't work for me."

819
00:53:54.980 --> 00:53:57.860
We're going to refund you your everything you gave in the last 90 days.

820
00:53:58.520 --> 00:54:02.690
You can go to Crossroads.net/tithetest.

821
00:54:05.180 --> 00:54:09.620
So I can't -- it's hard to think of any more barriers I could a lower, right?

822
00:54:10.590 --> 00:54:13.970
Knowledge's barrier, you know, inspiration, I'm lowering the barriers.

823
00:54:13.980 --> 00:54:19.420
And the barrier of, hey, if you don't see God show up,

824
00:54:19.430 --> 00:54:21.500
you're going -- come back to us and we're going to

825
00:54:21.500 --> 00:54:23.900
give you back everything you've given in the last 90 days.

826
00:54:24.600 --> 00:54:26.940
You can go on Crossroads.net/tithetest.

827
00:54:27.140 --> 00:54:28.700
This is for new tithers, by the way.

828
00:54:29.600 --> 00:54:31.210
And probably should do it for everybody,

829
00:54:31.210 --> 00:54:33.080
but we just set it up for new tithers.

830
00:54:33.080 --> 00:54:34.340
And there's instruction on it.

831
00:54:34.340 --> 00:54:36.200
And we're also going to be able to come to you

832
00:54:36.200 --> 00:54:38.570
and we're going to give you encouragement

833
00:54:38.570 --> 00:54:40.310
and all that kind of stuff as you go forward.

834
00:54:40.340 --> 00:54:43.550
It's going to be really, really cool.

835
00:54:43.550 --> 00:54:49.160
So my heart for you, my desire for you is to move.

836
00:54:49.670 --> 00:54:50.870
Take take a step.

837
00:54:50.990 --> 00:54:51.950
Take a step.

838
00:54:51.950 --> 00:54:53.180
Take a step in that direction.

839
00:54:53.450 --> 00:54:56.000
Have God see you take a step.

840
00:54:56.750 --> 00:55:02.060
If it is right now by faith, I mean rip the Band-Aid off and 10 percent now

841
00:55:02.060 --> 00:55:03.500
that's obviously pass.

842
00:55:03.860 --> 00:55:08.660
Or if it's a step of, "God, I see my way through it this way.

843
00:55:08.660 --> 00:55:10.910
And here's how I'm going to start this step today.

844
00:55:11.470 --> 00:55:13.750
OK. OK. But get moving.

845
00:55:13.760 --> 00:55:15.860
Don't make this a philosophical thing.

846
00:55:16.100 --> 00:55:19.280
Our philosophies never lead to our blessings.

847
00:55:20.340 --> 00:55:25.200
Our lives, our choices lead to our blessings.

848
00:55:26.140 --> 00:55:27.220
Malachi, 3:12:.

849
00:55:37.190 --> 00:55:39.500
I want your life to be a life of delight.

850
00:55:40.370 --> 00:55:43.730
I want my life to be a life of delight.

851
00:55:43.790 --> 00:55:47.840
I want people to look at people at Crossroads

852
00:55:47.840 --> 00:55:51.170
and say how delightful those people are

853
00:55:51.170 --> 00:55:52.910
because they're just something special happening.

854
00:55:53.540 --> 00:55:56.990
And part of how that happens is this test.

855
00:55:58.980 --> 00:56:04.500
Let's spend a moment just collecting our thoughts, praying, being silent.

856
00:56:05.580 --> 00:56:11.880
And if God seals or affirms or confirms anything that was talked about,

857
00:56:11.880 --> 00:56:14.370
or maybe just puts something else in your mind

858
00:56:14.370 --> 00:56:15.690
that He wants you to have in your mind right now.

859
00:56:16.790 --> 00:56:18.990
If you want do that, what I do sometimes when I do this

860
00:56:18.990 --> 00:56:22.770
is just put my hands palms up in my lap because I want to receive.

861
00:56:24.430 --> 00:56:32.650
Dear God, I Pray you would direct our heart

862
00:56:32.650 --> 00:56:33.970
right now as we direct our mind.

863
00:57:18.540 --> 00:57:22.770
Lord, You're good to give words of instruction.

864
00:57:24.150 --> 00:57:25.650
I think you've given that to us today.

865
00:57:26.880 --> 00:57:29.340
You're good to give us second chances and third chances.

866
00:57:30.270 --> 00:57:33.210
You're good to give us words of life.

867
00:57:35.270 --> 00:57:38.920
Lord, we want to pass anything, any test you give us, want to pass it.

868
00:57:40.290 --> 00:57:44.440
And God, I trust that I pass the test you've given me

869
00:57:44.440 --> 00:57:52.960
to give this material in as winsome and
as nonjudgmental and non-manipulative way as possible.

870
00:57:52.960 --> 00:57:54.370
That was my heart, that was my goal.

871
00:57:55.560 --> 00:57:57.010
And I'll leave you to grade my paper.

872
00:57:58.840 --> 00:58:01.990
These are your people, Lord, do with them what You will.

873
00:58:03.250 --> 00:58:05.430
I pray these things according to the name of Jesus.

874
00:58:05.430 --> 00:58:05.680
Amen.

875
00:58:08.520 --> 00:58:10.890
All right. Exhale.

876
00:58:11.760 --> 00:58:12.180
Good. [applause]

877
00:58:13.660 --> 00:58:15.840
Man, more good stuff coming.

878
00:58:15.870 --> 00:58:17.860
We'll see you next week. Have a good weekend.

879
00:58:20.190 --> 00:58:23.340
- Well, I hope that just now you took advantage of that time

880
00:58:23.340 --> 00:58:24.720
and space to hear from God.

881
00:58:24.780 --> 00:58:26.370
I know that that's been a gift for me

882
00:58:26.640 --> 00:58:28.710
in these last two weeks of The Blessed Life.

883
00:58:29.090 --> 00:58:31.920
And maybe you heard something specific from God

884
00:58:31.920 --> 00:58:34.350
that you're going to go and act on this week

885
00:58:34.350 --> 00:58:38.040
or maybe as a follow up, you want someone to pray for you.

886
00:58:38.400 --> 00:58:42.240
We have staff and volunteers that would love to pray for you

887
00:58:42.240 --> 00:58:43.890
from anywhere you might be right now.

888
00:58:44.100 --> 00:58:45.930
So if you head to the Crossroads website

889
00:58:45.930 --> 00:58:50.010
and click on the chat button in the lower right hand corner,

890
00:58:50.010 --> 00:58:54.480
whether you have something specific or just general that you want prayer for,

891
00:58:54.480 --> 00:58:57.360
we'd love, love, love to do that right now for you.

892
00:58:57.780 --> 00:59:01.270
We'll see you back next week for week three of The Blessed Life.
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. You’re hanging in after a weighty weekend. Well done. Let’s be real. No matter your income, giving 10% back feels like a sacrifice. Everyone share some of the barriers or misunderstandings that may hinder you—I mean, your friend—from tithing.

  2. We established this weekend that God puts his people to tests. That’s not a popular thought, but it’s one backed up by the entirety of scripture (start at James 1:2-3 if you don’t believe me). Give yourself a grade on God’s test. How are you doing?

  3. We’re not only the ones being tested. God says you can put him to the test (Malachi 3:10-11). If you’re ready to take the next step in your faith, consider the 90 Day Tithe Test. Find more information and sign up at www.crossroads.net/tithetest

  4. Our American cultural Christianity focuses too much on having correct thoughts and ideas. But it’s not our philosophies that lead to blessings, it’s our actions. What action is God calling you to take? How can you get moving on it today?

  5. Getting moving can be difficult, especially in taking that first step. Finish your time by praying together. Pray specifically for barriers your group identifies that are stopping them from being obedient to God. Ask Him to remove them.

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Oct 26, 2019

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