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Faithlife

When God has you

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1 Corinthians 16:1-2

Do you want the windows of Heaven open in your life?  God says, “If you do – then GIVE…Malachi 3:10

QUESTION: How does the LORD look at Money?

GREAT QUESTION; #1 Question from you to God is:  “What is the BEST investment of my life?

I want to talk to you today about your commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ.

I want to talk to you today about your worship of the true and living God.

I want to talk to you today about how you are handling your money.

Next year, if the Lord tarries, I will have pastored a Texas Baptist Church for thirty years.

It has been my experience that in all of these three decades the church gets quiet and still when the pastor of the church speaks the truth from the Bible about money. 

R. Earl Allen – the great pastor of the Rosen eights Baptist Church in Ft. Worth, Texas for more than three decades – nearly 33 years this beloved pastor served the people of God and had an incredible ministry in a declining area of north east Fort Worth.  Dr. Allen was a mentor to my last room mate – before Andrea Akins became my permanent room mate.  My good friend Tim Morrow served the Rosen Heights Baptist Church as an intern to the pastor.  His job title was: Do anything the pastor tells you to do!

Dr. Allen preached with regularity and consistency the whole counsel of God year after year.  He taught His people to pray, to read the Bible, to grow in their faith – to take in the sincere milk of the Word of God.  Dr. Allen shared with my friend that in that church a most unusual thing happened every year, every time he preached about money or stewardship in that great church.  A senior member of that church – and inn those days, for those that were hearing impaired they had plugs on the back of the first three pews of that church.  The folks who had a hard time hearing could plug in their headphones – in those days they were those big, bulky kind.  This brother, a leader in the church, when the pastor began to speak about money – he would reach up and emphatically take off those headphones – and place them on the floor!  Everyone saw it.  Then, as if

Jesus forever settled the matter of Christian stewardship when he said, “Where your treasure is – there will be your heart.”

Jesus says, “

When God has YOU – God has yours…

God wants you – and he knows and maybe you know – if God has YOU – He has YOURS.

Like the hearing impaired brother – we often have a disconnect

·        God owns everything – I am just the manager of my little corner of the world.

·        Every Spending decision is a SPIRITUAL decision.

Ron Blue: “You cannot fake stewardship…your checkbook reveals all that you believe about God and how you relate to God.  You can fake prayer, fake Bible Study, fake going to church – but you cannot fake stewardship.

Jesus wants to know – WHERE is your heart this morning?  Jesus is not asking for information he does not have access to – Jesus wants you to take a spiritual inventory this morning.  Where is your heart?

We will say, “Oh, I just LOVE Jesus!”  God has blessed me in ways I never could have imagined! 

Looking at your checkbook will reveal what you really believe about God.

Look at it – it likely would look something like this:

House payment - $1,100 per month

Utilities - $400 per month

Fuel - $600 per month

Groceries – Wal-Mart; Dollar General; IGA - $900 per month

Check to God & His Church - $20.

Now, we say we love God, we say we are blessed, we say God has saved my soul, we say – “God has all of me – all of my life, all of my children, all of my family and all of my priorities. 

God says, “Don’t tell me how much you love me – show me.”

God has certainly shown me how much He loves me- how about you?

Does God have anything to say about the way I spend my money?

 

Does God care whether or not I tithe to His church, or give to His Kingdom?

 

Does the Bible have anything to say to me personally about what God EXPECTS from me financially? 

 

Would it surprise you to learn the Bible says more about money than it does about PRAYER, about FAITH or even about LOVE?

 

I was shocked to learn this – but it is true…

God knows and He wants you to know – and then He wants you to act on what you know –He wants you to be a “doer” of the Word and not just a “hearer”.

1, When God has YOU HE has yours EVERY WEEK!

Planned regularity – look carefully in our text today – what does it say here in verse 2? 

“On the first day of the week…”

What do those words say to you?  They speak to me about priorities.  Not the second day, the third day – the first day of the week.  The day that we worship is the day that we give.  Worship is giving and giving is worshipping.

Are you disobeying God’s command here if you only give once a month?  NO!

Are you being disobedient to the Word of God if you give yearly?

No!

The Biblical interpretation is – SYSTEMATICALLY!  CONSISTENTLY; Repeatedly; Regularly!!! This is the teaching.  God says you are to plan the giving part of your worship – just like you plan everything else in your life.

You might say – “Preacher, don’t say that, I don’t do ANY PLANNING!” 

Well, let’s lean on that wall a little bit today.  Most days how many meals do you plan to enjoy?  Most of us 3 per day. 

Years ago a young lady was engaged to be married.  The wedding was about to take place – but it never took place.  The young lady tragically died in a car accident just days before she was to be married.  Pastor Ray Vandemeer tells of this account. Pastor Ray serves the Oak Grove Baptist Church.  When the grieving fiancé arrived at the accident scene – he encountered the investigating Police Officer and all he could find was this young lady’s check book.  He couldn’t help but notice – every fourth or fifth check – Oak Grove Baptist Church.  Oak Grove. Oak Grove. Oak Grove.  That officer asked that grieving fiancé – “What kind of person was this young lady?”  And Pastor Ray says that on the basis of that young ladies faithfulness seen in her checkbook – that Police officer came to saving faith in Jesus.

What will you leave that GAVE EVIDENCE where your heart really was?

2. When God has you – He has YOURS and YOU matter to God!

Look again at the verse – here in verse 2 – God announces that our giving, like every commitment of our lives is a matter of PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY.

Most of you take your PERSONAL RESPONSIBLITIES very seriously.  Many of you have a strong work ethic – that’s good!

You will not miss work – some of you will go to work if you have a fever, a cold, allergies – a broken toe, a broken toe-nail.

Most of us that are still sending our children or young people to school – we make sure that our kids are in school 5 days a week.  You don’t miss…

How serious do you take YOUR PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY before a Holy God – the God you say has saved your soul and purchased your eternal life.

“Each one of you…”

In my first full-time church I came into some knowleddge that a lady in our fellowship was very poor.  So poor that she was eating dog food – because she couldn’t afford to buy groceries.  I later learned on a visit to her home that she did not have hot water in her home.  God sent us a plumber right at that time – he was saved and baptized in our little fellowship – and he said, “Let’s fix it and I’ll take charge…”  We bought a new hot water heater – but it had been so long since she had one – all the pipes under the house leaked and – you talk about a Job! 

That lady – when I’d visit her in her home would say to me, “Preacher here’s my tithe…”  You know what I said to her?  I said, “Ma’am, we ought to be giving to you – not you giving to us.”

Well, I should not have said that!

She said, “Preacher, don’t you dare ROB me of the one small thing I can do for God…and that is give Him as He has given me.”

There is a sense in which money talks about where your priorities are.  You say, “Preacher, couldn’t God get it some other way?”

3. When God has you He has what is yours – and God doesn’t ask you to give more than you CAN give.

The old country bumpkin said it this way:  “God ain’t in business against Himself…”

Perhaps the greatest preacher/orator to pastor a church in the last 100 years in America was the venerable George Washington Truett..  Truett spoke with an authority, a courage like none other.  When young Truett was 19 years Baylor University was experiencing foreclosure.  The young soon-to-be-student had such a persuasive and dynamic relationship to people that he was asked to travel the state and raise needed money so that Baylor University would not be lost.  Truett went about everywhere.  He had a reputation – people said, “Truett’s coming to town – I’m staying home – cause if I go I’ll give!”

Back in this day, the offering plates were’nt copper, gold or silver.  Most often, Truett used large 4 foot wicker baskets…so they could hold all the money to be collected.  On one of Truett’s last stops – near Bridgeport Texas the wicher baskets were being passed as Truett finished preaching.  One little 9-yr. old looked to the usher and said, “I can’t give – I don’t have no money!  I’ll just give myself.”  And that little 9-yr.- old boy literally climbed into that wicker basket and gave himself to God.  The usher had no earthly idea what to do with that offering!

God knew what to do with it.

When God has YOU – God has YOURS – all of it.

Give your LIFE to Jesus.  Trust Him with YOIUR life.  You see, this is not a money question – this is a Lord question. God wants eomething more than your moeny - God wants you. When God has you - He has YOURS.

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