Last week on The Blessed Life:
there's one critical, simple but critical
question you and I must ask
ourselves. The question is
this: Am I generous?
Generosity has an enemy.
The enemy of
generosity is selfishness.
They're in conflict
with each other.
My kids want expensive
crap and it sucks.
They want this thing, it's
called a Nintendo Switch.
When my kids open it on Christmas
morning and they go, "Look what
Santa brought us," you know
what I'm going to do?
Santa didn't buy you that,
that old geezer's cheap.
Dear old dad bought you that.
Generosity is what I choose to
do with what is truly mine.
See, God doesn't it
need your treasure.
He's doing fine. He's good.
He can pay the
light bill in heaven.
It's amazing. He's fine.
He doesn't need your treasure.
He wants your heart. And he knows
when you give Him your treasure, He
gets your heart. Being a rewarder, it's
not an option for God because
it's something He is.
It's just like God can't
lie because He is truth.
God can't ignore generosity because He
is a rewarder, He always
rewards it. - Welcome
to Crossroads Church.
We're so glad to have you joining
us online from anywhere you might
be right now.
My name's Lena Schuler and
I'm the Crossroads Anywhere Community
Pastor. And today we're in our very
last week of The Blessed Life
series. And we get to hear from
our senior pastor, Brian Tome, in a
few minutes. But before that, we're
actually going to spend time
And in the midst of these few
minutes, I know that singing songs or
maybe even watching people sing songs
can be uncomfortable or maybe
But I would encourage you to sing
along with us, go to that
Because it might just be the time
in this hour that you connect with
God more than any other
time in your week.
And I want you to get
to experience that right now.
So every once in a while I
get to throw my weight around here.
So I threw it around this week, I
said, "You know, the last song of
this series, the worship block of
this series, The Blessed Life.
Haven't we had a good
time during The Blessed Life?
It's been -- I'll talk about that
a little bit, the final message.
But it's been really, really good.
And I said there's this one
song that talks about blessings.
Can we do that song? And that
the band is accommodating that song.
We're doing that right now. And let
me tell you about this song we're
doing. It's from, well, the writer of
it is, his name is William
Cowper. He's the author of this,
not Bill Cowher, William Cowper.
Big difference between Bill
Cowher and William Cowper.
William Cowper wrote this song
in the late 1700s.
You have to understand his
story to understand these words.
These are very, very deep, or you
might not even get these words
entirely. I want to tell you
what he's trying to get behind.
This is a guy who knows hardship.
As we've talked about The Blessed Life,
some of us are just -- we're
just feeling blessings of God,
whether it's money, whether it's
friends, whether it's our health, whether
it's just a sense of joy
that's happening. And sometimes you're doing
all the right things and
sometimes you're just not sensing any
of the blessings of God.
That's the way William Cowper was
for much of his life.
At age 6, his mother died.
When he wanted to marry the first
love his life, her father said no.
He tried and failed multiple times
to kill himself with suicide.
He was labeled at that time insane
for a portion of his life.
And yet God used this guy mightily.
A close personal friend of his was
John Newton, he was a former slave
trader who wrote Amazing Grace.
John Newton, a racist, a slave
trader, and God gripped him and
blessed him with forgiveness and a whole
new outlook on how to treat
people who are different than him and
a whole new outlook on life.
His friend William Cowper was enslaved
to difficulty for most of his
life. And he writes this song and
he says it to you and I:
"Ye fearful saint," that's you and I,
that's not people who are dead
in heaven necessarily.
That's people who are putting
themselves under God's direction.
"Ye fearful saints, take courage.
The clouds that you see, though dark
they may, at some point they're
going to break with
blessings on your head."
And you can see this song, the verses,
it just kind of gives you this
painful deal of what this guy's dealing
with and the stuff that God
is allowing to come his way.
But he shakes his fist during the
chorus, he says, Ye fearful saints,
take courage. Take courage, the clouds
that you are dreading, the
clouds that are dark over your head,
one day, trust your God, they
will break forth with
a shower of blessings.
So whether you're dealing with
depression or not, whether you're
dealing with poverty or not, whether
dealing with wealth or not,
whether you're dealing with mental
illness or not, whether you're
dealing with a lot of friends or not,
this song is our heart to God
in whatever situation we're in.
We just want to thank you.
We want to praise you, God, for
the way that You love us.
God, for the way that you bring
blessings when it's hard to see
sometimes in this situation that we're
in, God, you are always good.
So, God, I pray that you help us
to believe that more when we walk
out of this building than
when we came in.
When we're watching right now, God, we
pray that You are stirring up
something in us that makes
us believe these words.
Thank you, God, we
love you. Hello, everyone.
Thank you so much
for worshipping with us.
My name is Courtney. Happy to be here
with you all and do this with
you in this room and
wherever you are watching.
Before you get comfortable, why don't you
say hi to someone next to
you. - Worship for me
is a way that I
give thanks to God.
And it's why is an important thing
that I love to participate in with
So I hope that you just got to
do that, express thanks to God, give
God thanks in the
midst of Thanksgiving week.
Thanksgiving is happening this week,
in case you forgot.
Make sure you go get your turkeys.
And I'm really excited for the
two family traditions that are coming
up this week for my family.
The first is returning our
Thanksgiving Food Drive box.
If you grabbed a Thanksgiving Food Drive
box, make sure you take it
back to that location on Sunday,
today before services end there.
And if you're looking for a way
to be generous this Thanksgiving, you
could do that by joining up with
a local organization, a nonprofit, a
food kitchen, and helping provide a meal
to someone who might not get
it this Thanksgiving.
Man, your Thanksgiving will be
better for that experience.
The second thing coming up this
week is our Thanksgiving Eve service,
our Thanksgiving eve experience.
Now, I've been doing this from the
time I was a kid up through
adulthood. It's a way for me to
give thanks to God on the night
And I want you to get to experience
the joy of giving thanks to God.
And I want your Thanksgiving to be
better this year than it's ever
been. And one of the ways that
it's gonna be better this year than
it's ever been is if you start
some new traditions and if you
actually make it an intentional choice
to give thanks to God this
Thanksgiving. And so if
you head to crossroads.net/ThanksgivingEve,
you can see where a Thanksgiving
Eve service might be happening near
you. Or we'd love to have you
join us right here online to experience
Thanksgiving Eve. And in the midst
of that, you're going to get
modeled for you something that you
could do around your living room,
around your Thanksgiving table this
year that will make your
Thanksgiving better if you choose to
just imitate the experience that
we give you right here online.
I'm really excited about it.
Right after Thanksgiving
is a Christmastime.
I'm so excited. My husband won't
let me decorate our house until
after Thanksgiving, and so I
cannot wait for Friday.
But nonetheless, I also can't wait
for the next series that's coming
This is a Christmas series.
I don't know what your experience
of the word Advent has been.
Mine has always had the
word calendar attached to it.
But if we look at that word
Advent, what does it actually mean?
It means arrival.
It means awaiting the arrival.
And so we have a four part
series starting next week on the four
pieces of Advent that get us prepared
for the arrival of Jesus on
Christmas. So with this series coming
up, it's a great opportunity
for you to invite a friend with
you or to share a weekend service
with a friend to help them
anticipate the arrival of Jesus this
Christmas. It's going to be great.
And right now, if you want to give
thanks to God, you could do that
by giving at Crossroads.net/give.
And we're going to hear Adam's
story, a story of generosity.
- I started coming to
Crossroads about 10 years ago.
When I first walked in, one of
things I noticed was, Wow this place
is really big. It seems like they've
really got a lot of really
generous people that give
to this church.
My initial thought was, you know,
what do they need me for?
They don't need my money. The
more I got into Crossroads and
understanding about how this place is
truly fueled, I started giving
a little bit here and there.
I didn't really understand
what the tithe meant.
I thought it just meant
you just gave some money.
The more I got to see how God's
money was used to reach people, the
more convicted I felt
to give more money.
As I started to really mature, what
I realized is that Jesus is more
important than the government, so I
should probably tithe 10 percent
of my gross. Why should the government
get a cut that Jesus doesn't
get? For a while there I held onto
money as if it was going to make
me safe or secure.
I started to realize how quickly you
can do things like lose your job
or a catastrophe could happen, it could
wipe all of your money out.
And that's not really true safety.
True safety is is really believing that
the Lord is your Savior and
the Lord will provide for you.
So in return, The Blessed Life
book, Robert Morris talks about, you
know, there's different
levels of giving.
There's there's tithing
and there's giving.
And there's kind of exceptional giving
where you give a rather large
gift. And to be honest, that kind
of giving kind of frightens me a
little bit. I find that in the
times He's done that, He's always
given me exactly what needed to do
the thing He's asked me to do.
I started a new business last year and
so I knew I had to pay more
taxes than I normally would.
So I actually saved up enough money,
the amount that I thought that I
needed to pay off all those taxes.
And after talking to a tax accountant,
I actually had saved more than
I needed. So when I prayed and
thanked God and said, "Lord, this is
like a far better result
than I could've imagined."
I felt God say,
"Give $1,000 to someone."
And it just like freaked me out.
I'm trying to renovate some parts of
my house and the speed of
renovation depends on how much
extra free money I have.
So I knew that I wouldn't be
able to make some renovations to my
house, but I felt God tell me
quite clearly this is what he wanted
from me. There was one person that
always popped up into my mind as
the person who really
needed that thousand dollars.
And so I talked to them and
said, "Hey, I pray to God.
He's blessed me more than I
could have imagined this year.
And I think He asked me
to give you this thousand dollars."
The guy was just taken aback.
He said, "You know, I have had a
leak in my roof for years now.
I was just praying this week and
asking God to give me provisions so
I can solve this problem."
So it was amazing to see that
we both walked away just feeling truly
loved and truly understanding how
God's Kingdom really works.
When you distribute and you're generous
with the things that he gives
and when you trust in Him to
provide for you what you need.
- Isn't that good? [applause] I just
love seeing a heart like that.
That's what we're looking at, that
giving is an attitude of the
hearts. And I have had
incredible fun in this series.
Even though there's been some intense
topics, it's just been light,
hasn't it? It's been life-giving.
And the amount of positive emails I've
got coming my way is just
utterly astounding. God is doing some
really, really good and fun
things in this.
And today is our last day.
And I'm going to go
look at some Bible stories.
Shocking. You're in church and you're
going to see some Bible
stories. I'm going to
do that today.
And I'm going to talk
about the principle of multiplications.
It's going to come right
out of Jesus's life.
And before we get into that,
why don't we pray right now.
God, You are a God that is worthy
of being thanked, a God who is just
so generous and gracious
to all of us.
God, I want to be able to get
Your heart across to all of us.
I want to be able to powerfully
and accurately portray the depth of
your hearts in the way your mind
works and the way reality works.
Help me to do that. And may You
be honored by all that I say.
And I pray these things according
to the character and identity of
Jesus. Amen. Well, in America, we
know of Ringling Brothers or Barnum
Bailey as the circuses that were known
as the greatest show on earth.
I just saw a PBS special on it
or a documentary not too long ago,
very, very fascinating. The original
greatest show on earth though
was Jesus. He was the
original greatest show on earth.
Wherever He went, people went because
where He went, crazy things
took place. Teachings that would
transform people and hold people
Healings, He would spit on people
and they would be healed of
Crazy stuff. He would he would heal
people who couldn't walk and they
could walk again.
People who are possessed by an evil
spirit and we're out of control,
He would speak to it.
And they would have
a total transformation instantaneously.
And so where He went, people around
Him all the time, it's the
section of scripture I'm going to look
at in the book of Mark
chapter, gosh, six, seven, eight.
I'm going to look at
a couple stories in here.
And we see in the midst of
this kind of cacophony of energy, He's
trying to take care of Him and
the other disciples, His friends, His
posse, the other twelve of them.
And they're going to try to get
to the other side of this lake.
It's known as the Sea of Galilee.
It's really a
giant freshwater lake.
And here's what it
says in verse 31.
I like this. He says, "Hey, guys,
we've been burning the candle at
both ends. Let's just go rest.
Let's just chill out.".
And still do that. But people are like,
oh, no, no, no, no, no, no,
no, no, no. The party is not over.
Where is this guy going?
Here it continues, it says
So many are coming here and there.
People are coming to watch Him.
And they're forgetting
their basic sustenance.
They don't care about food.
They don't care about water.
Well, they could have gotten water
from the Sea of Galilee.
They don't care about that. They're
just wanting to see Jesus.
Jesus is like, "Okay, we need
to have some leisure here.
We need to have some retreat."
So they head off to another part.
But the problem is, you can
see where this boats going.
So all these people are like, "Oh,
my goodness, the greatest show on
earth is going elsewhere.
Let's find that guy.".
So they're running around the lake.
They're either getting their own boats
to try to follow Him.
And they get to this
place and it says this:
Now, many saw them
going and recognize them.
And they ran there on foot, all
talents they got ahead of them.
He's like, "Sorry, guys, I was really
trying to get in some retreat
time. I was really trying to
get us some private time.
I really want to do
some male bonding with you.
And I had this little private ropes
course set up over here that
we're going to do. And that just
kind of got kind of fun side.
I had a pig roast
we were going to do.
Actually, no, we're Jewish. I
couldn't do a pig roast.
But there were some things that things
that I was going to do here.
But all these people were here.
And just when you'd think Jesus would
go, "Oh, my gosh, when does it
end? All these people just take,
take, take, take, take, take.".
It says He has compassion on
them because they're like sheep without
a shepherd. Maybe they're
like modern American spiritualists.
We in America, we're like
sheep without a shepherd.
We're all spiritual free agents is
the way many of us operate.
We don't want to put
ourselves under anybody's authority.
We don't want to have somebody care
for us and give us instruction
and direction. We just want to
kind of scatter where we want.
And this causes us to
be harassed and helpless.
No one's watching out for us.
We're not part of any sort
of flock or any community.
And Jesus has a heart for them and
says, OK, let's go, let's crank it
up. Let's just start giving
them and teach them.
And here's what it says:.
So Jesus doesn't just give them like
a little devotional or a little
homily. He says okay --
and it gets late.
It gets going into the dark time.
And now here's where I got to
think what probably with the disciples
were thinking. I think Peter's was
going like, "Hey, John, I don't
know. Are you tired of this?
I mean we just came from this on
the other side of the body of water.
And now we're here. And maybe if
like we told Jesus, hint, hint,
nudge, nudge, people are going to be
hungry and really it's me and
you are hungry. Maybe if we have
Jesus -- let's blame the hunger
situation on everybody else and just clue
Jesus in that if He's going
to be going on teaching like this He
needs to at least have some Hors
d'oeuvres or something
We probably should tell Him just out
of pity He should just stop His
teaching so people could have time to
get out the Steak N Shake.
He's just -- He
should just do that.
So they basically bring this plan to
Jesus and here's how it goes.
They're kind of like, really?
You want us to --
200 hundred denarii of bread.
That's -- a denarii.
They had a saying
another day, another denarii.
That was a day's wages.
So they're saying, "Really? You want like
a third of the year of
wages spent on this?"
Jesus says you can get them something
to eat. Now where we're gonna
go from here is, what this is
the story of, this is story of
Jesus, multiplies something.
It's a supernatural thing.
And the things that He does are
the same things that His sheep today
still do if they want
things to be multiplied.
If we want to multiply, remember
back, think about this Jesus, okay.
He is the most well-known person in
the history of the world, in
every corner of the globe.
No one can deny that.
That is because of
His multiplying influence.
His disciples come with a problem.
They're thinking, Jesus is going to
stop the whole teaching thing.
Or Jesus might just do some
crazy miracle right then and there,
because they've been seeing
all kinds of miracles.
They haven't seen this kind of miracle
yet, but they don't know what
Jesus is possible to do because He
is the greatest show on earth.
And Jesus says them, "Ok,
well, you feed them.
Yeah, give them something to eat."
This is what Jesus does.
He still does this today.
When God wants to get something done,
He gets it done through you and
I. I'll say it again: when God
wants to get something done, He does
it through you and I.
Jesus is setting up His movement
to prosper and multiply when He's
gone. Jesus said one time, "Greater
things will you do than Me."
There's never been an individual who
did greater things than Jesus.
But what Jesus is saying is, I've
got you twelve and we've got these
other crowds. I'm going to multiply
My influence and this movement is
going to do more than
I personally have ever done.
And that is exactly what's happened
and it's been because of the
multiplying influence of Jesus.
And it starts with you and I.
My friend Gary Haugen, who
started International Justice Mission to
fight slavery, modern slavery
all over the world.
Gary says, you know, "You and I, you
are plan A and there is no plan
B.". God has no plan B.
You and I are the ones that He
uses to multiply His impact on the
world. So the story continues.
And when they had -- excuse me,
where did I stop off here?
Should we go buy 200 denarii worth
of bread and give it to them?
And he said to them, "Well,
how many loaves do you have?"
There it is back to you.
How much do you have?
That's what they got between the
disciples, five and two fish.
This is nice. I like this, it
spells out on the green grass.
You know, some of us think, "Well, you
know, if God ever gets a hold
my life, it's going to
be painful, really, really hard.
Jesus doesn't say, "OK, let's.
Let's have people get on
their bare knees on gravel.
Give me some gravel around here,
because unless it hurts, it doesn't
really count." It's amazing how many
people aren't big on churches
like Crossroads. They're like, "Well,
people actually like to go
there. It doesn't count.
It's got to hurt.
It's got to be boring.
It's got to be painful."
No, who's -- what's sick,
twisted God do you follow?
I don't understand.
Jesus says I'm going to find some
grass, have them sit on green
OK, it stopped there.
Three marks of multiplication.
If you want your life to multiply, if
you want to see God do greater
and more things, according to this
story and this pattern comes up
again and again in the Bible.
The first thing is this: money
must be put in order.
Now, when I say money, you say,
"Wait, why are we talking about money
here? I thought we were talking about
green grass. I thought we were
talking about like bodies of
water and greatest show."
Well, the big thing here is going
to be the fishes and loaves.
That's the big thing that's
going to happen in this.
The fish and a loaf was
their modern equivalent of money.
They don't have bank
accounts back then.
People weren't carrying around their
wealth in their pocket.
It was in your livestock.
It was in your property.
It was in your fishes,
it was your loaves.
This was your and my, when we have
whatever we have in our account or
our pocket, that is the equivalent.
That is apples to
apples, fishes and loaves.
And what Jesus does to start this
whole thing off is He puts
everything in order.
First he starts with you, "OK?
Something needs to be done?
Let's go in order.
What do you have?
Let's go to you."
The second thing He does, you've got
to understand that much of what
you and I understand about
Jesus is wrong, dead wrong.
I'm looking forward to our next series,
though I hate to have this
one go away because I've had
so much fun with this.
It was actually hard for me to
have two other people speak this
series because I wanted them all.
This topic just fascinates me.
It's something I've experienced and
I've seen so many people
experience. So I'm looking forward to it,
but this next series we get
on Christmas. Let me tell you
what pastor types and clergy types
you're going to be seeing all over
the country, all over the world at
Christmastime. They're going to say stuff
like this, "Jesus was a
lowly carpenter who --"
And they always said softly too.
"Jesus was a little --"
Why do they say it softly?
Why not, "Hey, Jesus
was a lowly carpenter"?
It's, "Jesus was
the lowly carpenter."
Let me tell you about that phrase.
That phrase is wrong, dead wrong.
First of all, who
says carpenters are lowly.
Who says carpenters are lowly?
Carpenter isn't a lowly
profession, not at all.
It's a very high profession.
In fact, most of us have no idea
how to drive a sixteen penny nail
into anything. You're going, "Sixteen
pennies, what are you..."
That's my point.
Do you even know what a nail is?
Do you even know -- you have
no idea about carpentry at all.
Carpenters are not lowly.
My goodness, you need them
greatly, especially in our culture.
We are increasingly incompetent when it
comes to working with our
hands. Carpenters are not
lowly, number one.
Number two, Jesus
wasn't a carpenter.
What? Jesus was not a carpenter.
Scholarly belief is coalescing around this,
I've been saying this for
years. More and more
scholars are seeing this.
There's one verse in the book of Luke
where Jesus is referred to as a
carpenter. It's translated
Actually, the word there is
tekton, which means master craftsman.
It could be any number of things
someone does with their hands or
logisticates. Jesus was known to be
of Nazareth, that's why he's
called Jesus of Nazareth.
Nazareth was a quarry town.
Nazareth was where building
blocks came from.
Nazareth was where you would
take things and build things.
How many wood metaphors
does Jesus have?
One. Don't judge somebody with a
little speck in your eye until
you've got a log in your eye.
One, everything else is stone and
Count the cost before
you build the tower.
Build your life on the solid rock.
He talks about stumbling, stumbling
blocks and foundation stones.
Jesus was a builder.
He was a builder,
likely with stones.
Do we really think that when God
comes to the earth, He's not going
to figure out how to make jack?
Do you really think God's going to come
to the earth and say, "Oh, my
goodness. I've got to figure
out how to feed myself."
Jesus would have figured that out.
Jesus could have done a wonderful table, but
he had a mind to do way,
way more than a
table in the history.
And the archeologist is leading us
to believe this as well.
If He's a builder, what does it --
first of all, every good builder
I know is doing just fine
financially unless there's a
crazy, crazy recession happens.
And that's momentary.
They get back on their feet.
The second thing that all builders do
is they know how to organize a
work site. This is what Jesus does,
He divides them up into 50s and
hundreds. He's making
order of things.
There must be order
before there is blessing.
You can't just live your life any way
you want to live your life and
then just expect there be blessing.
There has to be order.
Your money must be ordered.
We've been looking at this
throughout this whole series.
The passage after passage after
passage, principle after principle.
It's not a solo concept.
It's all throughout the Bible.
If we want the blessing of God, we
have to order our money under Him
as the chief shepherd.
We as the shepherd have to slot
ourselves under Him as a chief
shepherd. And whenever He blesses us
with something, the proper order
is the first fruits, the first 10%
gross goes to His church and the
rest is discretionary.
It's crazy that someone would invest
something in you and only ask
for a one time 10% payment.
If we really believe that God's blessing
me, a one time 10% thing is
crazy, but God does this
to test us on this.
He tests us to see whether or not
we will order our life around Him,
and whether or not we are
a good place for additional blessings,
whatever those blessings would be.
Order is critical.
And this is why Jesus
orders these things here now.
And this is also, by the way,
why people I know and I've discipled,
they never get ahead.
Because they never order
their life under God.
They never order their finances under
God, that Got gets the first
because it's His. He
says it's mine.
And they never get ahead.
They may get ahead financially, but
I never see their life getting
ahead. It's like
problem after problem.
OK, I got this one solved
and another one pops up.
Because there has to be order and this
is a divine way that God has
This is the way our life works.
And I have to admit that it's
awkward for me to talk about it,
because sometimes I hear myself saying
this, and I go, "Really?
You believe this?"
Sometimes I have to sell
it, "Hey, Brian, get ready.
Come on, you've got to pump yourself
up to talk about this because
this sounds really crazy."
I admit it. In fact, most of what
I say from this stage is really
crazy. Let me give
you some examples.
Here's one. Anytime you ask me to
pray for you because you've got a
medical issue, let's just
say that's crazy.
Wait a minute. I'm going to actually
teach that we should pray for
somebody like the
prayer actually works?
Let's just talk about
how crazy that is.
Like my thoughts and my words are
going to change something in the
physical realm. That is crazy.
And yet I believe it and I do it.
How about this one? How
about this crazy one?
Love your neighbor as yourself.
Love my neighbor?
That guy is whacked.
Are you kidding me? That chick is --
she's a beer short of a six
pack. She's -- no way.
Yes. Yes. And yet Jesus says that.
He says love your
neighbor as yourself.
Here's another one, like
we actually believe this?
Pray for your enemies.
Well, pray some judgment on them.
No, no, no. Pray
blessings -- pray blessings.
I'm going to tell and I have
told, I'm going to tell somebody who's
been abused sexually as a child
to pray for their perpetrator, pray
blessing for the perpetrator.
Yes, I have and, yes, I will.
It's not something you can
just jump right into immediately.
You've got to build your faith up
to be able to do that.
But yes, the only way you can
get released of your bitterness from
the people who've hurt you is
to pray for your enemies.
Pray blessings on them.
And I know you think I'm
crazy when I say that.
Here's what I'm saying, all these
things that God says, including
ordering and tithing and praying for
healing, if you want normal,
then don't do these things.
Personally, I don't want normal.
Personally, I want abnormal life.
Personally, I don't
want natural life.
Personally, I want
Personally, I want to be in step with
God and I want to sense His
power coursing through me.
And I don't want to be average.
If you want to
be average, do average.
If you want beyond average, if you
want abnormal, you want to walk
where you're having the chief shepherd
who knows you and is paying
attention to you, then
we do abnormal, undescribable
things like this.
This is what Jesus said?
I'm just curious. How many of us
would be okay if Gob multiplied your
resources? Just out of curiosity, if
you're OK to be multiplied.
Anyone? Just okay, man.
No, not a trick question.
Let me just say I want more.
I want more friends in my life.
I want more health.
I want more visions from God.
I want more creativity.
I want more opportunities to see part
of the planet I haven't seen.
I want more money.
I want more deer to shoot.
I want more motorcycles.
I want more assignments from God that
stretch me and make me feel
used. I want more
laughter in my life.
I want all those things multiplied.
All of them, I
want them all multiplied.
And you should too.
God wants to bless His people and
He wants to multiply His influence
through you and through I.
And for multiplication to happen, money has
to be blessed for it to
multiply. Let's take a look at
this, this next thing happens.
It's gonna be blessed
and be multiplied.
Here's what happens
Money has to be blessed
before it can multiply.
They take the resources, they
give it to Jesus.
He blesses it.
When we take our tithe, we give
it to God and He blesses it.
And then He begins a multiplication
work of building into other
people's lives and building
in His Kingdom.
It can't multiply
unless it's blessed.
Not possible. Can't multiply
unless it's blessed.
And the only way it's blessed
is when we're ordering ourselves under
God. Now I believe this so,
so strongly that we've been doing
everything we can to help
you, help your faith.
Because these kind of things, they're
always a mixture of faith and
math. How much faith do I have to go
to 3%, do I have that faith, or
4 percent? And what
does the math say?
But my payments I make and my --
Faith in that, you've got
to figure that out.
This is a matter of the heart.
I just know that God likes
when He sees us growing.
I know He likes when
He sees us growing.
And I also know that there's something
special when we get to the
tithe. This is why we're trying to
help you as all we can.
We have the 90 day tithe test.
If you go take this and you do
it and you don't get blessed, you
don't sense God more, or they're
not something that happens with you
relationally or God doesn't break
something financially, or you just
feel more freed up because your
conscience before God is free.
If you don't feel that God has
blessed you, we will refund you
everything over the last 90 days.
And we're only doing this so that
you can start to multiply your
life. You can start to feel blessed
by God, because money has to be
given away before it can multiply.
Anything has to be given
away before it can multiply.
Jesus, God so loved the world that
He gave his only begotten son.
Jesus gives His life away on
a Cross and his life multiplies.
His life has multiplied, and you and
I because he gave His life.
It's when we give
something that something multiplies.
I could put something in savings
and there'd be incremental stuff.
But multiplication in the Kingdom of
God always happens when we
actually give it.
Now, if you do these things, if
you do these things and the disciples
do these things so much so.
Let's take look at the end of
this little section I'm giving you
today. It says this.
It says: And those who ate
the loaves were 5,000 men.
So that's the men. That's not
the women or the children.
They take this stuff,
they break it up.
And it's like the disciples,
they give it to Jesus.
He blesses it. He gives
it back to them.
And we don't know it
happened. They start dividing it.
Is it like they divide it
and it multiplies their hand?
Like wait, I thought I
just broke off that piece.
Wait, it's there again. I thought,
wait, wait, where's this fish?
I thought I had three,
I still have three fish.
Whatever it is, as they're giving
it away, it's multiplying somehow.
So when it's over, they have
more left than they started with.
And that was after giving
away what they had.
This is the power of
how God works in multiplication.
If you do these things, you
have to be prepared for multiplication.
Let me just give you some
quick little financial things to think
about to be
prepared for multiplication.
Three things. One,
give thanks liberally.
Give thanks liberally. Recently in my time
with God I said, God, I'm
just kind of feeling like
I'm in a rut.
Every time I talk to you I
start off with God, thank you for...
I said, you must be getting
sick of that right now.
It's like by row. God, thank you.
I say something different a thing. And
God, I sense God said to me,
"Do you ever get tired of
someone telling you, thank you"?
No, I know I never do.
God said, "Good I don't either.".
When you sense the blessing of God
in your life and even when you
don't just give liberal, thanks.
God, thank you for my friends.
Thank you for the fact
that I have my feet.
Thank you that I we're in a
country that has is so jacked up
politically, it's still a country I would
live in more than any other
country in the world right now.
Thank you for that. Thank you, God,
that you've given me whatever it
is, nose hairs that filters out
the Micron's of diseases, whatever it
is, whatever it is
you can think of.
Yeah, he did that. He
gave you your nose hairs.
Thank God, liberally.
Second thing, I know this is crazy
for some of us to think about.
Second thing, spend less
than you make.
Hold on a second, spend
less than you make.
Wow, you're telling me if I make
a thousand dollars to not spend a
thousand fifty? Exactly.
Yes, exactly what I'm saying. Exactly,
spend less than you make.
And the way we do this is we
are very, very cautious in taking on
debt. Very, very, very cautious.
I have two means of debt right now.
I have a 15 year mortgage on
my house and I have a motorcycle
payment, a motorcycle
The reason I have the motorcycle interest
payment is because I have a
-- I got a .9%
rate on my motorcycle a few
years ago, point nine percent.
And I had the cash on the
motorcycle, but I could park it someplace
and would make three percent
in the conserve investment.
So I'll take that.
I'll make 2.1
percent. I'm fine.
That's the different and it's also
a different than saying, "I really
don't know mechanics at all.
And I have to have
some kind of reliable car.
I'm going to take a hyper modest
car payments to start me off with.
That's different too.
Some people like anti-debt all forms
of that anti at all time.
I'm not. I'm not.
I am anti us always leaning into
debt to get us what we want.
That never will get us ahead.
Yet to be a
very, very cautious debtor.
And one of the ways I've become
a cautious debtor is I'm managing
much more wisely the stuff that's
left after my tithe and my
offerings. I have side gigs I do.
This is my main thing I
do. My calling at Crossroads.
I love when I speak here. I love
and I manage staff and interact with
you and pray for you.
I love it. I'm very, very thankful.
And there's things I also
do on the side.
I speak on the side, one of
the things I do on the side.
Last 2 speaking things I did.
One, I got one hundred dollars for it
and the other I got just a
couple days ago I got $3500 for it.
Same amount of time, same
amount of things, same me.
But one was people in rehab at a
halfway house and the other was a
larger group of people
who did great, awesome.
My stance with both, the $100 and
$3500 is the exact same thing.
First thing, God. Thank
you for that.
My tithe, that's God's cut.
Immediately I returned that to Him.
Actually, I'm beyond that.
But that section is boom.
And when I deposit that, I wait
to see it clears and I don't
anything. I'm not going to myself, "Oh,
now I'm going to buy all
these things," it's like I'm
already accruing mental debt.
No, no. I don't even think about
that until I return to God.
I put myself in
order under His command.
It doesn't matter how much money it
is, it's always that spend less
than you make.
Three, the last one I'll give
you is regularly evaluate and adjust
your macro financial objectives.
Regularly evaluate and adjust
your macro-financial objectives.
What I did with my money when I
was 23 is different than what I do
with it at 54.
How I treat saving and giving now
is vastly different than how I
treated it when I was 35.
We just from time to time, it's good
to go, "Okay, where I am right
now, let me tell my money where
it's going, unless my money wants to
tell me where I'm going.
No, let me tell it. Let
me just sit back there."
Okay, now macro here. What's my
thought about giving right now?
How much does -- do I
want to multiply in the world?
What about savings?
What should I --
From time to time we've
got to do this.
I have to -- just recently I did this,
Lib and I are in the midst of
this. And like it dawned on me.
Actually, it didn't. It did dawn on
me, but I also remember almost
playing dumb a number of --
about a year or so ago.
One of the ways that Lib and
I've gotten ahead financially and one of
the reasons I always defend the
trades and carpenters and plumbers is
because those dudes built into me to enable
me to be in a place where
I am financially right now.
I've had four homes.
Every home I've gone into I've put
my own equity and my construction
knowledge into it and have made
lots of money on them.
Lots and lots on them every time.
And when I do that, that's an
increase that God's given me and I
tithe on that.
So I take -- I bought the house
for this and then I put this amount
of money into it. And
I sold it for this.
God gave me an increase and that's
an increase, so I tithe on that.
This last one, last house I did more
made more than any house I ever
had. I had been there for 15 years and
did a bunch of stuff and a lot
of -- poured a lot
of money into it.
When I netted all of that out,
I made about $175,000 on that house.
That was an increase.
And I took a portion that money and
other money and I put it into the
downpayment of our current 15
year mortgage we're on.
And then I just, because there's this
big thing Lib and I want, we're
just going to park it and
we're going to research this thing.
And that's there. And then as I
was doing this step three just
recently in the midst of this thing,
"Like God, I've had that money
sitting there for 14 months.
That's an increase, I haven't
given that to You."
So I made it right, like
over the 10% of that amount.
There goes. And boy, I tell
you, I just felt free.
In fact, I even felt less stressed
about this thing that Lib and I
were thinking of doing. It's probably not
going to happen now, but I
actually feel less stressed, at
least not right now.
I actually feel less stressed about
it because it was just clarity.
It was just a sense of joy.
It's like God blessed
me with clarity.
I am so excited about
how well we're all doing.
And I know a lot of us have
been praying for me coming into this
series, a lot of us who
were tithing before the series started.
Our estimates are about 7% of
Crossroads was tithing before this
series starts, 7%.
And it's awesome when you come into
a series and you're like, yeah,
yeah, I'm doing it.
I'm getting encouraged.
Yes, Brian, go, go.
Oh, I needed to be reinforced that.
Woo-woo. I just have an opportunity for
those of us who came into
this tithing, not those of us
who started tithing, do what you're
doing. Get get your
sea legs on you.
There's not a challenge, just an awareness
of what we can do when we
multiply, those of us who tithe.
You know, credit card debt, 25 percent
of all credit card debt is
medical debt. Think about that.
Twenty five percent of all credit
card debt is medical debt.
We do stupid things with our credit
cards, but no one wakes up one
day and says, "Man, I just need
to spend some money because I've got
this money. I know, I'm going
to go to a hospital.
I'm going to buy me an MRI.
That's what I'm going to do. I'll put
it on my credit, it's just I
want to buy an MRI.
No one ever does that.
No one ever wakes up and goes,
"Oh, man, I've got some money burning
a hole in my pocket.
I've got a credit card.
What do I do? Oh, I know.
I'm gonna go buy me some chemo.
I'm going to walk in
and go, give me some.
No one ever does that, right?
When there's medical debt, it's
because there is legitimate true
hardship and pain that's
come somebody's way.
When we are in debt, a sin debt to
God, we can't get our way out of
the sin debt to God.
Jesus comes and gives Himself so we
can pay off our sin debt
So we never have to worry about
God hurting us for our sin.
We never have to worry because
there is therefore no condemnation for
those who are in Christ. I want
to give us the opportunity to
multiply our impact.
Do you realize around Cincinnati there's
$65 million worth of medical
debt that's coming due.
Do you realize when it goes
in the collection, that collection agency
buys it for one
penny on the dollar.
So those you who have a bill
collector coming at you for medical
debt. If you had $10,000 you owed
to a hospital for medical debt,
they bought that debt for $100.
And now they're coming to
you to get $10,000.
I'm helping out here because if you
talk to them on the phone, you
might be able to pay off your
debt for $500 because they'll take 5x
what they bought it for. There's
an organization we're going to
partner with RIP medical debt.
We could pay off $65 million in
medical debt in Cincinnati alone, let
alone we want to do in Dayton
and Columbus and Lexington, any place
where there's a
pocket of Crossroads.
If those of us who are
tithing said, "Hey, let's do it.".
If we had -- if we had 650
tithers who were already tithing and we
average a thousand bucks, the
entire Cincinnati community, as an
example, will get a letter and say;
"Congratulations, your debt has been
paid because someone loves you
and there is a God who
has not forgotten about you."
How would that multiply
in blessing people?
I get giddy about that. Now, this
is not like a challenge, it's just
an awareness. If you want to do that,
you can go, you a text 313131.
I'm going to do that. 313131.
You can text multiply and we'll see
what what God does with those of
us who God might be
prompting to do that.
And if He's not, great. Just
an idea could be pretty fun.
Last thing we'll talk about here in
this story, the very, very end of
it. Mark 8.
Actually it's not the
end of this story.
It is, as time goes on, Jesus does
the exact same thing a little bit
later with 4000 men, a bunch
more people are women and children.
He's doing a bunch of things. He
does the same thing twice, this
multiplication thing. Same format.
He does it twice. And we see
this formula happened in various ways
all throughout the Bible and happened in
so many people's lives who I
know. And yet, we're
human and we forget.
And so now we see Jesus get into
the boat another time and he's on
the boat and he's
teaching the disciples.
You know, religious people, man,
they'll wear you down.
Be careful. Be care for the
religious people because they'll get this
yeast and it'll get inside of your
life and it'll start to blow up
your life. It will go through a whole
batch and it'll jack you up, be
careful. And as he's talking about
this, the slaves going, "Like
yeast? Dang, darn it, I'm hungry
again and we don't have enough
food." They're like (sound effect) Andy
Jesus senses that this is
what's going on. So
here's what happens.
That's what God said to me when
I recognized the increase on the sale
of my house. I was like,
"Oh, God, I legitimately or intensely,
either way, happened to
forget about that one."
God's like, "Brian, do
you not yet understand?
When have I not blessed you?
When have I not taken care of you?
When have I not forgiven you?
When have I not given you a full
life, even if it was painful, it was
full? Do you not yet understand?
This is the test God continues to
give us and we continue to answer
if we want to step into it.
Let's take a moment and just see
if God seals something for us and
says something to us right now.
God, I know that you have done
something in our church, in our lives.
If there's something right now you want
to enforce with us, would you
- Don't forget to join us
this week for our Thanksgiving Eve
experience. Head to Crossroads.net
at 7 p.m.
on Wednesday. And we'll see you next
week for the start of our Advent
series. Share it with a friend.