Tithes and Offerings

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And so if we go on, this is a series together out of the book of Malakai talking about a legacy. And so if you want to turn to the book of Malakai, we’re in chapter three Malakai in order for you to be able to find it, it’s a book of Matthew, the first book of the new Testament. Malik has the last book of the old Testament. So if you go to Matthew, flip back, you’ll find the book of Malakai and God is sharing with Israel the last message he’s going to share before he goes silent for 400 years. Then this message is really six different messages. God speaks to his people to challenge them in their lives, to live a life that not just impacts themselves, but the people around them in generations to come and it’s about living a legacy for God. It is the same message he has declared from Adam and Eve throughout history that through us, God’s image would be, would be bore in this world and that we would be fruitful declaring the goodness of God.

God created people as the tool to share his glory and goodness in this world, meaning for us today, we have a choice in our lives and how, which, how we desire to live and follow in that path and in Christ we can be life giving. We’re a pry apart from Christ. We can be life taking. We can be selfless or selfish. You can be a blessing or a cursing that God has given you certain blessings as people, whether it be time, talent, gifts, resources to use it for his glory and demonstrate the ultimate value of who God is. By the way you choose to live your life and leave a legacy in this world. In Genesis chapter one in verse 27 when God created us actually starts in verse 26 it says, let us make man in our image, in the image of God, he made them both male and female and then he says in verse 28 be fruitful and multiply and subdue the earth. So God makes us in his image spiritually. We connect to him as creator God having the characteristics of God, love, joy, peace, patience, and through that image we bear that image into this world and we bless the world by our presence being made known as we walk faithfully.

Yeah. Truth is though, we struggle with that and that’s why we need the body of Christ. That’s why we ultimately need the cross of Christ. But apart from what Jesus has done, we had no hope of ever, ever doing anything that would satisfy God because no good deed we would ever do would satisfy to Justin, Holy God. In fact, the Bible calls that any act that we do apart from Jesus, filthy rags. And so in a very honest way, I’ve heard a pastor say about us as people. If you’re visiting with us, if you’ve known the things that we’ve done in our lives, you wouldn’t want to sit with us.

But truth is if we knew the things that you’ve done in your life, we wouldn’t want to sit with you either. By the grace of God. We have hope and in that hope because of Christ and giving his life on our behalf when we were guilty, he bore that guilt and shame. We’re made a new creation, able to live in what God has called us to even in our failures. God makes us new in him that we in his image could be fruitful and multiply and subdue the earth and that thought becomes exactly where God is intersecting with the lives of the people of Israel and Malakai chapter three in verse six if you remember the backdrop to the story in chapter three they’re saying to God, God, we’re good and your bad, the things that are bad, we’re doing and we’re calling good and you got who are good. We are saying that you are bad. And then God says a Malakai chapter three in verse six, this important statement.

And if I could tell you as a church family out of all that we look at in Malika, if there is one verse to really hold onto that’s significant in your demonstration of Christ in this world, it is this verse, he says this for I the Lord do not change, therefore you sons of Jacob are not consumed. So you remember in this passage you’re saying God gut your, your bad and where good and God is saying in this passage and no, I am good. And the reason you’re able to exist in this world is because the grace of my goodness. You remember through the people of Israel that he’s writing or speaking through Malakai that God has promised through these people, that the Messiah would come and he’s saying to them that what you are deserving of because of your unholiness and rejection of God and sin and your violation, he gets Holy creator God, Lord of Lords, Kings of King is death, deserve death.

And the reason such a Holy God allows you to exist because the promises, grace Israel is upset with God because God’s not changing according to their will. God, we’re good, you’re bad. You need to change. And God’s saying, no, I’m good. You’re bad. You’re the one that needs to change. And it’s my promises that demonstrate this. How much do you need me? And and violating against God how much you don’t deserve to exist. But yeah, God by his grace allows you to exist. And so this thought of God not changing becomes significantly important and understanding our relationship to God and the capability of who God is. Because if God was a God that changed or evolved, it would also communicate that God is inadequate in some way. But yet when you read scripture about God, he contains all things by him. He is and everything that exists is dependent upon him. Not because, because he is adequate, not inadequate, and does not change, not changing. Does that make sense? God does not change.

And because of the consistency of him yesterday, we in this promise live that he will be consistent that way tomorrow. And because he has declared that promise and his nature is not changing, we always have hope in the grace of God is because of what he has done.

In fact, throughout scripture, the theme of his identity is declared to us so that people who are hopeless, people who are broken, people who are sinful, people who have rejected God can always find a hope in the grace of God because he continues to deliver it to us by his gracious hand numbers 23 it says this, God is not man, that he should lie or a son of man that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it or has he spoken and will he not fulfill it?

Showing that Jesus has the same nature that he has God in the flesh. It says this about Jesus and Hebrews chapter 13 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. His nature is always the same because he is God in the flesh that God is unchanging. And by unchanging it means by his nature and character and promises God is the same. So in verse seven and knowing the gracious hand, he is delivering to the people of Israel, he says this for the days of your father, yes, you have turned aside from my statutes and you have not kept them return to me and I will return to you, says the Lord of hosts. But you say, how shall we return

God in this passage is calling them into continual intimacy with him. And he’s acknowledging that they’re repeating the past and they’re doing what the fathers have done in the past, which is to reject God and turn from him. And they’re asking this question almost arrogantly. In fact, in verse 13 it says that they ask their questions arrogantly as if what God’s saying isn’t accurate, remember, God is wrong and they are right. And so they’re saying this God, how shall we return to? You’ve got, yeah, right? We’ve never left you where your chosen people, right? We’re the ones that you love. You love us because we’re so lovable. You can’t help but do anything but love us.

God’s saying, are you kidding me? It’s only because of my nature, which is unchanging, that my love is even been demonstrated to a people who consistently reject me because what God has called us to is to be a light in this world and the salt of the earth.

In fact, Jesus continued to put that target before his people that followed him. In Matthew five 13 he says this to us because sometimes our tendency is to get the focus of life all about self and internalized self and I’m just going to be honest. Sometimes we like to say things like, you know, you don’t love yourself enough, but maybe sometimes we just need to consider this. Maybe we love ourselves too much. Maybe that is the problem and because we love ourselves too much, we continue to look to ourselves as the solution to the problems that we’ve been experiencing. But, but the Bible tells us that external from us is where hope comes and external from us is where we’re transformed and made new. That the answer isn’t to look deeper inside of yourself, to love yourself more, but the answer is to look outside of yourself to see how much Christ loves you and calls you into this world to be a light for him and so Jesus, and continue to put that target out there for us. He said this in Matthew five 13 you are the salt of the earth.

If the salt has become tasteless, how can it be salty again, it is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men. [inaudible] it’s getting warmer outside. All right, praise the Lord. There’s no amens other than one and we go. It’s getting warmer outside again. [inaudible] and it’s about, it’s about time to break the barbecues out and I grill myself some mean corn on that barbecue. Put some butter on top and just watch that bad boy melt. When you’re from the South, you’re really good at butter on everything and you just sprinkle a little salt on the top of that corn and then you behold the taste salt on anything. Not too much, but just enough, right? Just draws out that flavor. It is, but no one bite, something covered in salt. No one’s going to bite a piece of corn covered in salt and be like, mm, that that salt is fantastic, right when the whole point of of biting in it, using that salt and biting into it so that the flavor of that thing that the salt is on just radiates. It just pops in your mouth and you enjoy it as it just goes down. You’re like, give me another, you can’t have enough. This is dripping off the side. You love it. That salt just brought that taste to the forefront, right, and what God is saying here in this passage is that you are salt in the point. Taking a bite of salt is not to look at you and say, man, you are awesome.

But the point of view being the salt is that when people take a bite of your life, they look at you and say, man, Jesus, Oh God. And that’s what it means for your story to live on, not for people to look at you and think how great you are, but for people to see your life and say, praise God for how great he is. And he’s saying in this passage to Israel, this is what I’ve called you to, that that you as a nation would be light of the world and people would see you as you savor Christ and they would know that the Lord is good people longing for the Messiah and Jesus is reminder to his people in Matthew having now come as one who had build his church and the Gates of hell would not prevail. That they would look at the church and then that identity they would taste and see. Not that the church itself is good, but their goodness comes because God is good.

Your religious people have the tendency of looking at the world around them. Let’s say what’s wrong with those people? God’s people, because they understand the grace that’s been given to them and the goodness of who Jesus is. They look at the world and they say, God, wow. How could we make, you know, just as you’ve met me on a crossroads in relationship with you because of what you’ve done, Lord, how can we continue to be used as a tool in the environment of the people that are around me that they could see and see demonstrated through my life? That goodness of who you are, which I would say is living life successfully and so Israel accusation and he’s chapters verse six and seven, God, how can, how can we return to you? Lord, we’re not leaving you. Where were your chosen people? You love us because we’re special and God says this.

Well, a man, Rob God, being a pastor, I feel like it’s important here to interject this thought. Don’t Rob God. That’s probably good advice I can give you today. This is not a good thing. If you’re going to Rob someone robbed someone less than God, they’ll Rob anybody. Okay? They’ll Rob anybody, but definitely don’t Rob God. Will a man Rob God, yet you’re robbing me. But you say, how have we robbed you? God, we’re special. Right? And then he says this, and tireless and offerings. Yeah. I think in this passage, God could have pointed to anything and said, here you want an example? But, but for Israel in this passage, I think he points to the most tangible example for everybody. Because if you remember the history of where Malakai fits in, the people of Israel were in captivity in Babylon for 70 years. They’re in captivity. They find themselves released and their desires to then go back to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple, to rebuild this, the place in which God had called them the place where God’s presence was. And they go into this temple and and shortly thereafter they begin to wane what they pursued. And the reason they left Babylon all together and they start to neglect the place where God’s presence was, which is at the temple.

So God says, you want a tangible example? Look to the temple where my presence is, and in that sample he uses this place called ties and offerings because in that temple there were these storerooms or store houses where they would come, they would offer things, they would, they would put them in the offerings, in the store houses, and it was a way to praise God, but those, those things within the store houses were also used in other capacities, but they would take it there. They would deliver it there as a worship and an offering before God demonstrating the worth they believed God had in their lives, their times, talents, resources, gifts for the praise of God and now the sacred place with the Shekinah glory, the presence of God dwell.

Now sometimes I think we can fool ourselves this way as people. I’m a good person. I do good things. Israel could say this before God got, I’m a good person. I do good things and God says, I’ll really, here’s an example. The very place my presence dwells. Look, Israel, it’s been neglected for us in our lives. We could ask that question in multiple different ways. God could have pointed to multiple different things for Israel, but I think because of the tangible identity of the temple, what it represented, the presence of God being empty. It was the, it was the most heart wrenching thing that God could point out too is the reason they left the captivity, but in our own lives, the question is, is the, is Jesus emanating from who we are as the purpose for which we live is for people to think we’re good or God is good?

I mean, when’s the last time you invited someone to this community? When’s the last time you encourage your family close to the Lord or minister to your children sat down and read God’s word together? I mean, it’s hard to say that Jesus is the most important thing to your life. If the answer to that is none, I haven’t [inaudible] that’s what God is pointing Israel to here. The most important thing for the history of Israel was the temple. They, when they would set up their camp, the temple was in the wilderness. When they wandered, the temple was the center of the camp. Everything they did pointed to this place because it was considered sacred because the presence of God was there, but yet they neglected because they began to look at the time and the talents and the gifts and the resources that God gave them as belonging to them and they’re saying to God, God, if you want things, you can go get it yourself. But the with that thinking is how we view the time, talents, gifts, resources that God gives us. Because when you consider what the Bible says about those things in Psalm chapter 24 in verse one it says this, the earth is the Lords and everything in it.

The world in all who live in it for he founded upon the seas and established it upon the waters. So whatever you possess in this world, whatever your talents, gifts, times, money, resources, whatever it is that you think that you own, it’s not true. God owns it all. And then when the pursuit of our life becomes about attaining more of those things, it’s important in a sober mentality. Recognize in our lives, the more that you possess, the more responsible you are. For the things that you have. There is an accountability to all of it because all of it belongs to the Lord. Everything God has created is intended to be used for his glory, but the way that you use it demonstrates what glory really goes to.

And when it’s not for God’s glory, there’s accountability with it. Time, talent, resources. It all belongs to God. God is the owner of all of it and God is saying to Israel in this passage that the place where my, my presence is most made known, that in itself should be the very place, at least one could look to see how people are lavishing on me and demonstrating my glory if they find me so valuable. And so the question then is if, if, if God truly owns everything yet he allows these things to pass through my hands and I am not really truly the owner of any of those things. How does the Bible call me to view the stuff that I have? Time, talents, resources, whatever it is. And the answer is first Corinthians chapter four verse two it says this. Now it is required that those who have been given a trust or stewardship, that’s proof faithful, that you have become the steward of the things in which God owns that God has given you certain things in life to demonstrate and allow the, the glory of God to emanate from your life through those resources and when Malakai uses this in Israel is an illustration he uses in verse 10 the idea of tithes and offerings. Excuse me, verse eight, tides in the offerings.

This word for tithe is the Hebrew word for 10 or where we get the thought of 10% the old Testament practice of Israel was when they went to the temple to give a 10 10% to the temple of what they had before the Lord, but this wasn’t the only offerings Israel gave. In fact, when you study the history of the giving God required of Israel, somewhere between 20 to 25% of what they possessed went to God and worship out of different tithes and offerings, they were called to give to the Lord even before the old Testament law, Abraham milk gave to kiss a deck attempt. Jacob gave a 10th and so 10% was the old Testament practice. But here’s what’s important to know about tithes and offerings. If you ever wonder when it comes to resources financially and giving to God, what’s a good number?

Um, if, if you’ve weighed that in your head, the word tides is an old Testament word, meaning in the new Testament there is no calling of giving the time. And so for me to tell you that it’s biblical to give 10%, I would say yes in the old Testament and the new Testament is not there. Right? That’s good. So what does God call us to give? The Bible never gives an answer to a numeric number. I think 10% is maybe a good arbitrary number, but um, because it’s, it follows what the old Testament was, but the Bible never gives us number. But when you read it in the new Testament and you read what the church did in the new Testament, acts chapter two, acts chapter four, they were giving unconditionally sacrificially. They wanted to give him such a way that Jesus was their pursuit in joy in life. In fact, in first Corinthians chapter 16 I’m talking about at the church, this is what Paul said, he said, now concerning the collection for the saints, as I directed the churches of Galicia, so do you also on the first day of every week, each one of you is to put aside and save as he may prosper so that no collections be made when I come.

So in the very beginning on Sunday, the church was, would gather the first day of the week, the church would gather and they would take a collection in order to give towards the, the glory of God being made known that the community continued to propagate the gospel in sharing to see lives transformed in Christ. There’s no specific way that’s designated in the Bible as to how to take an offering on Sunday morning. There’s no mandate that we have to take an offering on Sunday morning. In fact, Paul just encouraged the body of believers here to do that because it seems like a decent time when God’s people are gathered to promote his name, to do it then. And so they would take an offering in different churches, do it in different ways. And by the way, I’m talking about finances to some degree today. So if you’re uncomfortable with that, and I apologize, I’m uncomfortable with it too.

So there you go. But when you take an offering on Sunday morning, churches do it differently. We’ve done it differently in our past. We’ve telled, we’ve had offering boxes instead if you want to give, give there. And now we do offering baskets. And the reason we’ve changed the offering baskets is that during our worship and we’re honoring God, we want that to pass before seeds so that if, if you want to have a sacred moment before the Lord in order to give to him, to show your glory and his glory and worth to demonstrate that from your life as you’re worshiping him with God’s people, that you have the opportunity to do that. And if you don’t like doing that and you want a box, there’s boxes, whatever. But the point of all of it is in our lives we understand that God’s given us time, gifts, talents, and resources to glorify his name, to show in life that he is our prize and our joy.

In fact, in first Timothy chapter three in verse three and Hebrews chapter 13 and verse eight it tells us not to allow the love of money to control us. But what does dictate our lives is the love that we carry for the Lord. And so it shares that with us in scripture. Paul, when he describes giving, if you want to look it up later. Second Corinthians chapter eight and chapter nine talks about grace giving Jesus in Luke chapter 11 and verse 42 he, he rebuked the religious leaders of his day when they were giving 10% and in fact the Pharisees would give, they would tie even portions from their own table 10% as the law had declared them to do. In Luke chapter 11 and verse 42 Jesus rebukes those leaders because the motivation for which they were doing it was to look good before others, not on a love for God. It’s the motivation behind anything that you do for the Lord. It’s not guilt today. It’s not about guilt. It’s an overflowing out of your love for Jesus and the desire to want to demonstrate that in the way that you live your life.

In Molokai chapter three in verse nine he goes on and says this, you are cursed with a curse. Talking about them for not giving your curse with a curse, for you are robbing me. The whole nation of you. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse so that there may be food in my house and test me on this. Look in verse 10 pay attention. This. God says, test me on this as the Lord of hosts. If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows, then I will rebuke the devour for you so it will not destroy the fruits of the ground, nor will your vine in the fields cast its grapes as the Lord of hosts. I want to come back to verse 10 what verse 10 is not saying for us today is if you give to Jesus, you’ll own a Mercedes tomorrow. That is not what it’s saying, okay? God may call us into this world into suffering. In fact, Jesus and his apostles live lives of destitute to declare his glory. So just because you serve Jesus does not mean you’re going to live life wealthy.

But in verse 10 I think he’s saying something specific. I want to come back to in a moment, but what he’s recognizing in the theme of these verses is when our hearts become selfish and we become self-absorbed and we use the things that God has given us to promote ourselves, the people that truly suffer in that isn’t. It’s not God, it’s you, it’s you and the people around you. That’s why I said in the beginning of God’s story is the intersects our lives ends with us. It is a tragedy. It’s the greatest gift I think that we can experience in our lives is how we walk with Jesus and seeing how through us, God uses us to transform the life around us. The person that’s most blessed in any of that isn’t the person that’s receiving. It’s the person that’s giving.

You’ll find if you are in your life, ever take a missions trip anywhere to serve the Lord, you’ll go thinking that you’re going to serve the people there, but what you find in serving the people there is that you’re the one that’s most blessed out of that journey. I think it’s like that when you serve Jesus anywhere. Can I tell you how I robbed you today? I had the opportunity to sit down and really dig into God’s word over this topic and you’re just hearing the overflow from that. I spent hours in God’s word this week because of this message. I am blessed most because of it serving God. He’s saying in this passage, through the context when we neglect to serve God, we’re thinking that we’re keeping things from God for our own benefit, but the one that suffers from that is the one who’s created to reflect the goodness of God in this world.

And so he’s reminding Israel, this passes, no only are you robbing yourself. You’re robbing those around you and you’re robbing other people, groups or nations. And Jesus said in Matthew six 21 where your treasure is, there will your heart be. And so we Rob ourselves of demonstrating the glory of God and the worth of our God above all else, we Rob ourselves of rating ourselves from all other idols to demonstrate what we truly love in Christ. They call us, we give because we love God and we want to make him known. Giving is a tangible way. We demonstrate a what we love more possessions or Jesus in our culture today it is PO is, it is popular Tarell against the trajectory of our nation. It’s a protest to use words of aggravation. You know, I wish as much as people complained that the same people would be the people that would do something to demonstrate where ultimate change happens in Christ.

And when you read about this in the book of Nehemiah in chapter 13 in verse 10 this, this context of this verse is happening the same time as the story of Malakai. Nehemiah is one of the leaders of Israel who’s going back as as the people who are building the temple, and this is what he says about the people they want. They wanted to see the temple built and they wanted to see God praise again. They thought about all of these glorious things and then he reflects back on where they are, this present condition. And he says this. I also discovered that the portions of the Levis had not been given to them, so that the Levi’s on the singers who performed the services had gone away. This is talking about in the temple, each to his own field. What it’s saying is as the people of Israel go to the temple and they would make these sacrifices that a portion of what they would use for those sacrifices would be given to the Levites who worked in the temple and it would provide for their families.

And because the people really weren’t sold out for the Lord, what was happening is the Levi’s who were going to the temple weren’t able to eat. And so they had to return. And so the temple was left empty. And so the people that proclaim that God was so important to the proclamation of that was not being passed to that generation or future generations. And so they may complain about the desire to want to see change in the world around them, but they were doing nothing to contribute to that cause. And so Nehemiah saying to the people, if you want to pursue God, if you want to see God change things, if you want to see God’s glory and made note that become a part of the people that give to the cause, that God’s glory may be given and promoted throughout this world. You are plan a, there is no plan B. So let me have an awkward conversation for a moment because today we don’t give to Levi some priests anymore. We don’t have the temple anymore because we have become the temple of God. The temple isn’t a physical building. The temple is God’s people. God’s presence dwells within his people. And so that way of thinking isn’t, it doesn’t fit in the context of where we are, but what the new Testament calls and leadership is the elders and pastors and it uses those terms. Bishops presbyters as as the leaders of the church and different churches, they use different terms.

And I know sometimes it becomes the the thing to talk about paying pastors. And so let me, let me share a thought on paying pastors for a minute. Not because I’m looking for a bigger paycheck. Okay? You guys should know. That’s not my motivation in saying this at all. I’m not going to open up any offering plate later and say, give me your cash into your wallet. None of that’s going to happen. If you’ve been to ABC for any amount of time, you know what? It’s taken for us to get to this place. Um, for the first six years our church existed. I worked other jobs. Uh, I didn’t take money from the church. I didn’t have a paycheck from the church. If it’s not godly to take a paycheck from the church, I would not be accepting a paycheck from a church. Um, I lived on $30,000 or less a year for like the first eight years lived in Utah, which I don’t know how that happened, but somehow it did.

So I, I’m not, I didn’t get into this for the money. This is not the career to choose. If you’re interested in money like this is, this is the worst option for, for that. You gotta really want your, your heavenly rewards, then your earthly rewards. So that’s my motivation and my motivation sharing. This has nothing to do with me, but let me share this on a, on a, on another note. I know not everyone here today will always be a part of ABC. At some point, God may lead you to other places. You may move, you may get a promotion. You need to be in a different spot. So for the sake of whoever might be on staff, maybe I’m sharing this for them today, I don’t know. But in the new Testament, there’s biblical thoughts on paying people for ministry within the church. When a church gets past 70 to 80 people, it really becomes impossible for, for, uh, people to take care of the body of Christ.

And so it becomes necessary to, I think, employ people once the church definitely gets above that. Some churches could employ people before that, and if they’re able to, then that’s great for the church. I think it’s healthy for the church to be able to have someone because if we don’t, we’re going to end up with Nehemiah 1310. But if you look in the new Testament for passages that talk about paying people in salary, just so you know where they are, they exist. There are several. The most popular one is first Corinthians chapter nine I’m going to tell you as I read this, I don’t know if any religion in the world that doesn’t pay their leadership something, no matter how much people might want to proclaim, they don’t. They do. And so first Corinthians nine though is where we go for in the new Testament, and this is the most prominent one, the most descriptive one.

It actually starts before verse 10 if you ever want to go back and read this, but this is Paul writing to the Corinthians. The reason he’s having to write this to the Corinthians is because the Corinthians are the worst demonstration of what a church is. If you read first and second Corinthians as you read that, just know whatever they’re doing, I do not want to do all right. And Paul is writing this to them because they’re doing what they should not do. And he says this though, he says in first Corinthians nine 10 or is he speaking altogether for our sake? Yes. For our sake, it was written talking about someone for claiming God’s word because the Plowman ought to plow in hope and the thresher to thresh and hope of sharing the crops. If we sowed spiritual things in you, is it too much?

If we reap material things from you, if others share the right over you, do we not more? Nevertheless, we did not use this right, but we endure all things that we will cause. No hindrance to the gospel of Christ. Do you not know that those who perform sacred services eat the food of the temple? And those who attend regularly to the altar have their share from the altar? So also the Lord directed those who proclaim the gospel to get their living from the gospel. That can’t make it any more clear than that. So verse 14, that’s what Paul, he’s laying that out and we’ll get to 15 and second but he’s saying it is, um, if, if it’s possible in the someone ministering for the gospel can make a living from the gospel and then do that, that way they have more time to proclaim the gospel.

Just so you know, on a personal level from a, from a pastoral standpoint, people that serve the church and a lot of us serve the church. We work full time and serve the church here, which I’m grateful for. I’m thankful for. We don’t have the capacity to pay people Utah as the poorest church in the nation when it comes to serving in a pastoral role here, I can tell you when it sermons like on Sunday, I do not write sermons between nine to five. I, there is no time for me to write sermons nine to five. I know some people might think I’ll only work on Sundays and that is that if I, if you come here after the service, I want to give you a Swift kick and I’m just kidding. That is not, that is not how it goes of sermons are written after the kids go to bed late at night hoping, hoping to the Lord he get through with this one.

So you got something to show up with on Sunday to make it worthwhile for the people to come in and worship God together. That’s, that’s generally how it happens. I like to do it ahead of time just so I’m not last minute cram to do those things, but some weeks are so jam packed that it becomes impossible. But Paul says here in verse 14 if it’s possible to allow a minister to make a living from the gospel, so for whatever pasture within the future, I’m not crying, I’m not complaining. I feel I love where I’m at in life and I’m enjoying life as it is. But, but wherever you’re at, that’s biblical. But then Paul says this in verse 15 but I have used none of these things. So Paul says, I’m not taking a paycheck and I am not writing these things so that I will be done.

So in, so it will be done in my case. Like I’m, and I’m not looking for one for, it’d be better for me to die than to have any man make my boast, any IM, any empty one. So he’s saying, I really want to show you my passion is Jesus. And so I’m not doing this for monetary gain. I did it. Did that for as long as I could here at ABC on a, on a personal level, Paul, by the way, if you’re wondering in Corinth was there for 18 months, 18 months, he served there and he was a tentmaker made money part of the time. And so people could take this person, see like zoo Bardot and Paik take a paycheck, therefore you shouldn’t pastor. Which I’ll say, okay, fine, go, go find someone that will do it for less than this. Okay. Because it’s not possible, but, but this is what Paul says, this is, this is what Paul goes on to tell the Corinthians. And second Corinthians 11 eight he says this, I robbed other churches by accepting support from them in order to serve you.

So for us today, I think it’s even important to acknowledge the reason ABC exists is not because of our generosity. I want to tell you that as you felt the Lord live in your life and you are giving, that does help us to continue to exist. I am grateful for any anyone that that gives to the Lord in any capacity, in any way. Time, talents, gifts, resources, whatever. Thankful for that. The reason ABC exists is for the same reason Paul says other churches, I know some of us have donated even to have this building and we know the majority of the money that it took to give them this building over $200,000 didn’t come from our church. It came from other churches.

God intersected in their lives and their desire was to see the glory of God be made known and they demonstrated that by not only giving to where they were, but giving beyond that and now it comes to us for the same opportunity that that story wouldn’t die with us, but it would intersect in our lives and his glory. We continue to be made known both here locally and abroad and my encouragement to us as a church is to continue to think about how could do that in us and through us in, excuse me, in our lives. You think because of what God has done through other churches and seeing a work started here that this church and now beginning to grow and establish itself, and even from this now we’ve even started works in other countries that even last year that we went on a missions trip to India and through the donations of that trip and through regular donations that come through monthly, $13,000 was given to that ministry. I’m not saying that’s enough. I’m saying we need not stop to continue to reflect the goodness of God in the world in which we live. In

Malakai chapter three verse 10 it says, God says this, test me and see how the flood Gates would open and I think God is saying to Israel the promise that he gave to them in the old Testament that if you’re faithful to me, I’ll bless you. If you disobey me, you will be cursed. Now we don’t live under the old Testament law anymore, but a principle to that thought still applies here in second Corinthians nine it says this, remember this, whoever sows sparingly will reap sparingly and whoever sows generously will reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion. For God loves a cheerful giver and God is able to bless you abundantly so that in all things at all times having all that you need, you will abound in every good work as it is written.

So when we are a generous people, we are a blessed people. We have the ability to proclaim his name and have a place to meet in a light that shed into this world. Can I tell you the most exciting thing for church? When God’s people see the effect they’re having on the community around them? Evangelism. Honestly, evangelism is a lifeblood of the church. When we see here in this community, people coming and becoming a part of what God is doing, that gets us excited to continue on that cause in life. It breeds more life and people are attracted to life and they want to be a part of something that’s life giving. I mean, we’re doing volunteer Sunday today and you being a part of that. That’s why it’s so important that you come and you give and you serve and you promote the life that is God’s people in the churches. God works through our heart. Amen. You guys are alive, right? All right, let me give this last thought.

Malika chapter three verse 12 he also says this and it affects the nations. All the nations will call you blessed for you shall be a delightful land. So he’s saying when God’s people test him and they give and the nation see the glory of God being made known in the people of Israel, that they bless God because of that, but I couldn’t tell you it’s the same thing here, but God now calls his people into the nations and when they see God’s people living for his glory, it’s a blessing to the nations and the nations are affected by that. It’s saying in our giving of our time, resources, talents, abilities, whatever. The God is great and stuff doesn’t own me, but rather I would, I would have a, a greater hope in God and my life is demonstrating a true trust and worth in God and my family and my church and my community is blessed because of that and the world around me.

It’s blessed because of that. It’s statistically said that less than 2% of what a church gives towards missions goes to the unreached people group of the world, which is today 2 billion people in this world. 2% of what they give towards missions goes to 2 billion people, unreached people groups. There’s a population that’s considered less than 2% Christian of which I want you to know this morning. That’s Utah.

How important, how important you love Jesus. I’m not asking you to fabricate this. I’m not saying to you this morning, try harder. I’m saying to you this morning, love Jesus. Love Jesus because he does not change love Jesus because he has given everything for you. Love Jesus because time is short and God has given you the opportunity and what little time you have in this world to promote the goodness of his glory to the people around you. Love Jesus with all that you are. Everything that God has given. Let Jesus have control of that because the people around you need it so desperately. Wow. Jesus, not out of guilt, but out of joy, out of joy for what his done. Joyfully demonstrate that in the world and from that joy. Let the world see how good God is. Love Jesus. I’m from the love of that relationship. I like the goodness of God. Flow. William Carey was a missionary to India. It took them awhile to get to India because part of the world in which he lived in the church, people that were there believed that they didn’t need to go anywhere for the cause of Christ. Even though God created and be a light to the world, their thought was God. If God cared about them, God would take care of them.

William Carey began to open up the scriptures and to teach the church that what God calls as the one as the, the ability to take care of people are the people made in his image. There are the mouthpiece to point people to Jesus because they understand what Jesus can do. And so we spent time promoting that and eventually the church where he lives decides that he needs to go somewhere and share that then so they send them to India. And this is what he said about his life.

I am not afraid of, but rather I’m afraid at succeeding and the things that do not matter. Can I tell you when we hold onto things, even the made in God’s image as if they belong to us as if it’s going to get us somewhere. We’re living for things that don’t matter, but church, let’s just be thankful. Thankful for what God’s done here, what God continues to do here, and what God will continue to do through us as we look to him as our prize.